I am Céline Durassier and a production editor in the Education department. I also teach French and write exam questions for a French exam board.
If you have been contacted to write some educational materials, congratulations! It is very rewarding to see your name on a textbook, revision guide or a digital platform. However, authoring educational content can also feel challenging at times and since we have been working with (experienced and new) authors for a while now at Newgen, we thought we would give you some tips (you will see that we like bullet lists too):Your first point of contact is usually the commissioning editor. They can be someone working for Newgen or the publisher’s commissioning editor. In both cases, let them know about anything that can get on your way: short deadlines, difficult brief, issues to access platforms. Very much like in a couple, communication is key.
۰ Never hesitate to give your commissioning editor a call. You can even suggest to have weekly or fortnightly meetings to discuss your progress.
۰ During the publishing process, make sure you check your emails regularly: editors will get in touch with you regularly to ask you questions.
۰ When you want to use a specific third-party source (that the Rights and Permissions team will probably need to clear permissions for), leave a note in the manuscript. This will be helpful for the Development Editor and the Copy Editor.
۰ Speaking of Development Editors, they will read your manuscript and check that the progression of your lesson makes sense. They usually either have specialised knowledge and/or are teachers (or former teachers) themselves. They might ask you to rewrite or change some activities. Don’t hesitate to challenge their opinion if you feel strongly about your choice. However, don’t forget that they are working with you to make the manuscript better. Trust their judgement, they usually have the right experience working on educational content.
۰ Finally, if you are writing lessons that will go on a digital platform, try to browse the platform before you start writing. It is really helpful to put yourself in the student’s shoes and have a go at doing some of the activities yourself.