Posted by Linda
I write mainly non-fiction but have never attempted to submit to an educational market. The Dan Case “Writing for Dollars” newsletter, this week carried an article by Kathryn Lay. She speaks to the advantages of writing for the educational market.
In Googling "educational markets", I came across Evelyn Christensen, also mentioned in Lay’s article. She lists educational markets with links to their writers’ guidelines.
Be aware most educational markets purchase Work for Hire rather than provide advance and royalties. Since many authors seldom “earn out” their advance or collect royalties on their books, Work for Hire may be a desirable route to pursue. According to Lay and Christensen, you receive payment quicker than royalties, and, often up front.
Although a challenging market, the reward comes from knowing you provided materials to make positive differences in children’s learning. Also, the market might be easier to break into and educational publishers keep your books in print longer than trade publishers. They have their own distributing outlets and sales force which helps if you don't like to do school visits, book fairs, and/or speaking.
Lay suggests these five questions to consider when writing for education.
WHO can write for the educational market? Anyone with some knowledge of a curriculum subject or willing to do a lot of research can write for this market.
WHY write for this market when you’ll seldom see royalties or your books in stores? Schools always need educational reading materials. You are guaranteed payment, often quicker than from traditional publishers.
WHERE do you find markets? Check online for educational publishers. Besides Christensen, log onto the SCBWI website or http://educationwriting.blogspot.com.
HOW do you submit? Most educational publishers require writing samples. From those samples they choose an author who best fits their current project. Be sure to research the publishers. Only submit to those who fit your writing, i.e. for younger children, middle grade, or YA.
WHAT do you need to know? Make sure your submission is age appropriate. Send samples, see if series are missing something you could write, keep deadlines, stick to ages and topics with which you are comfortable, or be prepared to learn something new. Otherwise, the procedure is the same as that for trade publications.
NCW member, Ellen Javernick,has published a multitude of educational books. She says she enjoys writing for the educational market because it sets deadlines, allows her to learn new things, and provides a steady stream of income.
I think I'll try it. How about you?