This is my first look at the cover for the textbook. It looks so simple, yet striking. Of course, that's just my opinion! :)
You can see details about the book here, and it will be available by August 15.
I know that there are a lot of people who develop innovative courses and great teaching materials. Here are some things that I have learned along the way that might be helpful to others who are writing a textbook or want to.
1. Inform yourself. Talk to other people who have written textbooks, if possible. See if you can do some work-for-hire for a publishing company, just so that you see the kind of work it takes--and if you're cut out for it.
2. Know your market. In order to get a contract you have to write a proposal. Even if your idea is great, if there aren't enough instructors who will buy it, then it won't get published. Remember, that doesn't mean that you don't have a great idea. It just means that not enough Spanish programs can adopt it in their course offerings.
3. Don't confuse the intro market with the intermediate/advanced market. Intro textbooks have a lot of resources poured into them because thousands and thousands of students will buy them. That's not the case for a book like Comunidades. That's not a problem, unless you are expecting something that you're not going to find.
4. Don't do it for the money. Whenever I tell someone that I have written a textbook, the very first thing they say is, "Oh, that's where the money is." First of all, I would like to tell them, "having a tenure-line position; advancing from Assistant to Associate and Full Professor; applying for jobs elsewhere and getting retention packages; that's where the money is." But then that wouldn't be very polite, would it? Secondly, this is related to #3--maybe, in the intro market, but probably not in the advanced market where fewer sections are offered.
5. Do it for the love of writing activities. I truly love writing activities and whole lesson plans. It is one of my creative outlets. When I was developing this course, in the first few years I wrote down all my lesson plans. That gave me the material to build upon to create a complete coursepack for TAs to use. I listened to the TAs and the students and tweaked the materials they complained about and created new lesson plans based on the needs they expressed. That may sound like a lot of work, but it's the work I love. And if you don't have that kind of love for creating activities AND revising them, you might reconsider your desire to publish a textbook.