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What motivates ESL teachers to become authors? Why do many of these authors self-publish? What’s their likelihood of success?
Naturally, I’m quite interested in these questions – and hope other English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers will share my interests. The acceptance of this panel discussion by CATESOL for the state conference both surprised and pleased me – especially since I’m the third panelist!
Here is the original 300-word proposal written in third person to make it sound more academic. Elizabeth Weal, the panel organizer and ESL author, wrote the successful proposal. She also chose the catchy title.
Passion and Persistence: Self-Published ESL Authors Tell Their Stories
In this CATESOL panel discussion, three authors of ESL books will share the pleasures and perils of self-publishing as well as offer tips for those contemplating writing and publishing an ESL text.
Like most sectors of the textbook market, the ESL textbook market is dominated by a few large publishers. But the situation is rapidly changing as increasing numbers of ESL professionals-turned-authors start their own publishing companies, maintaining control over virtually every aspect of the book production process.
In this panel three authors of successful ESL books will recount their experiences publishing ESL texts. What motivated them to put pen to paper? Why did they self-publish as opposed to turning to a traditional publisher? How do these authors define success? What has been their greatest disappointment? What previously unfilled niche does their book fill?
The authors also will touch on some of the key issues self-published authors most address: Concerns about self-publishing and academic respectability, risks and benefits of self-publishing, and steps to follow in the self-publishing process.
Each panelist comes to the table with a different perspective. Diane Asitimbay, author of What’s Up America? wanted to answer the most common and embarrassing questions ESL students asked her; Eric H. Roth, author of Compelling Conversations teaches international graduate students the pleasures and perils of writing and speaking in English at the University of Southern California. Elizabeth Weal, author of Gramática del ingles: Past a paso and English Grammar Step by Step wanted to find a way to explain English grammar to Spanish speakers who knew very little about grammar in English or Spanish.
Ample time will be left at the end of the discussion to take questions from the audience.
Self-publishing is both a pleasure and a headache, but I’m going to accent the positive. After all, as Churchill noted, “success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.”
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