The Final Push: Helping Student Authors Prepare to Release Books for Publication

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Student Authors, Jennifer Lee Schwartz and John Diorio, plan book release on May 17th

Student Authors, Jennifer Lee Schwartz and John Diorio, plan book release on May 17th

In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April-June 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

I have coordinated with my students to get their books ready for release, so we are in the last stages of preparing them for publication. Simultaneously, we have to market them for release. As self-published authors, we have nobody but ourselves to market our books. My students have blogs and have been posting about their work and their books for the past nine months, so they have done well in building up interest in their books. Now they need to alert their blog followers, their contacts, their family and friends, and their community that their books are about to be available for purchase. Obnoxious sales pitches are not appropriate. Instead, just letting people know the books are available will suffice.

Two of the student authors, Jennifer Lee Schwartz and John Diorio, are planning a joint book release party at our town library on the day the books will be available on Amazon.com:

On the Right Track: A Student’s Memoir of Research, Advancement and Holding on to Hope

by Jennifer Lee Schwartz

Broadening the High School Experience: A Student’s Perspective on Independent Exploration

by John Diorio

Official release party May 17th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ridgefield Library

Contact Jennifer Lee Schwartz if you would like to attend.

Jennifer’s memoir about her journey through the Ridgefield High School Science Research Program is filled with emotional anecdotes and new perspectives on innovative cancer research. Jennifer chronicles her struggles and successes, both in the program and in her life, to create a powerful and touching story. John’s book explores the concept of a more open and personalized education system. Creating classes that are centered around independent study projects, will promote exploration and allow students to put their knowledge to use.

The other student author, Alexandra DiGiacomo, will be releasing her children’s book about sharks in June and is working out the details.

My original deadline to these students was to release their books in April. I think April is ideal, as students can do work over spring break and release their books before the final wave of academic tests that hit in May. Nevertheless, these students needed some extra time, and they are releasing their books before the end of the school year. All in all, they have done an outstanding job in completing this project. If you are interested in duplicating this project as a teacher or mentor with your own student authors, I am releasing my book, an easy to follow step-by-step guide to the entire self-publishing process, on April 27, 2015 on Amazon.com:

Creating Student Authors: How to Mentor Anyone to Be a Published Author

by Bryan Holmes

Profits will benefit Ridgefield Public Schools and Newington Public Schools in Connecticut.

My next post will be more about the preparation for publication release.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April-June 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.

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Keep Things in Perspective When Mentoring Student Authors & Prepare to Be Amazed

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Tip#10In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

Expect anything to happen when mentoring students to become authors. A quiet student may explode with creativity and come up with a unique idea for a book. A promising student may get overwhelmed by other schoolwork and have to drop out of the project. As a teacher, you just have to be patient and encouraging with a project like this. The students will blossom in unexpected ways, and the overall results will be amazing.

I began this project by approaching three students who I knew were involved with science research in one way or another, and I proposed that they write books about their research. They recruited three more. One had to drop out due to other demands. When we first met, I gave them my expectations. I suggested a general approach for writing their books, emphasizing that I was teaching them the mechanics of writing and publishing, but they had to create the book. I envisioned them creating five books about their research projects. Instead, the students developed different ideas for their books. One is working on a children’s book about the true nature of sharks, one on a critique of modern science education, one on a reflection of her experience with cancer, one on the dichotomy of being an artist and a scientist, and one on a novel for young adults about genetics. They all involve science, but in various ways I never imagined.

To mentor this group, I am also creating a book and doing everything I am asking them to do. I am doing each step before they do it so that my work serves as a teaching example. This also gives me a good perspective on the difficulty involved in the various steps toward publication. We meet when we have a milestone completed, and this has been working well. All of these students are involved in many activities, so they don’t need another set of weekly club-like meetings. I also email them a couple times per week with information or advice as I think it is helpful or timely. We have a schedule that we are using as a guide, and so far it has been fairly accurate. I also have compiled resources to help them, such as checklists and templates. Everything I have done is only to make the mechanics of writing and publishing accessible to these students. They are using this information to create an incredibly unique set of books.

Next week, I will feature my students’ blogs and discuss their book ideas in more detail.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.