Authorship Made Easy

Authorship Made Easy By Susana Christie, Developmental Editor The Cognella Guide to Writing a Textbook

Introduction: Before You Begin

Just as every book is different, so is every author. Each Cognella author will have personal preferences about how to organize and develop his or her book. Different authors find different parts of the publishing process extremely easy, or conversely, quite challenging.

People write their content in different ways. Some authors like to craft a formal outline, begin writing at the beginning, and work straight through until they reach the end. Other authors prefer to allow the content of their books to develop organically. They might start with a general list of topics, begin writing on one of these, and see where it leads.

There is no right or wrong way to write a book. There is just the way that works best for you. 

Your Cognella editorial team is here to help you determine the writing plan and process that best set you and your book up for success.

We have numerous resources available to assist you. These include everything from our professional copyeditors, production and design teams, and manuscript formatters to our Cognella Webinar Series, featuring sessions on how to work with images, access and make use of our publisher partner library, cite sources, and implement basic heading styles in your manuscript.

  • If you need help generating ideas for the content of your book, we can help.
  • If you need help organizing and sequencing your content, we can help.
  • If you are uncertain how to best begin writing your original content, we can help.
  • If you get stuck halfway through a chapter and can’t decide how to finish, we can help.

Cognella editors have helped hundreds of authors overcome a variety of challenges in getting their books ready for use in their own classes, as well as those of adopters.

This guide is designed to help with some of the common challenges new authors face. These range from learning how to be aware of their own writing process to actually generating pages of content. Reading through this guide will prepare you to organize and write your book.

While this guide focuses on the development of actual chapter content, we also have other resources to help you with developing the front and end matter of your book. Your editorial team can provide additional support regarding prefaces, forewords, introductions, tables of contents, glossaries, indexes, and more if you decide to include these in your book.

This Guide:

  • Discusses the three main stages involved in developing a book and different ways to move through these stages;
  • Outlines specific strategies for organizing and structuring your work;
  • Offers suggestions to help get writing again if you feel stuck;
  • Provides practical tips that can save time and facilitate a smooth writing process.