SUPPLEMENT THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
As a teacher and a parent (and before that, a student), I’ve seen the different sides of the classroom experience.
Even with an exceptional teacher at a fantastic school with amazing students, it’s difficult for a class to fully meet the diverse needs and expectations of all the students and their parents.
A school curriculum is (ideally) designed to best meet the needs of the students.
But some students and some parents are looking for material that isn’t part of the curriculum (or isn’t covered as much as they would like).
There are a variety of reasons for this, such as:
- advanced students looking for more of a challenge
- parents who want to expose their kids to the way they had learned things
- material that is no longer taught at many schools (like cursive handwriting)
- parents who want to improve their teenagers’ chances of getting into a competitive university
- students who are looking for books with clearer explanations and instructions
- parents whose kids need extra help
- students who need more practice
- adults who wish to self-study or relearn old skills
- students interested in special topics not taught in schools
- people who wish to learn a specific skill
- students who need to prepare for an exam
- students hoping for a quicker way to learn a topic
- lifelong learners
Obviously, no single book can meet all of these needs.
You can find some books that meet some of these needs in bookstores, but the market for these different types of books has grown far wider than what you can find in a bookstore.
Many students and parents have turned to Amazon, where teachers, tutors, instructors, and other educators are publishing a fast-growing variety of supplementary books.
Do you wish that your calculus course had included some more challenging problems? Or do you wish that there was a calculus book for people who want to understand what calculus is without having to take the class? Either way, or anywhere in between, you can probably find a book for that.
I published my first book back in 2008, and I have since published several math workbooks as part of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of workbooks. (I’ve also published a few science books.)
It started when I realized that my physics students weren’t as fluent in fundamental algebra and trigonometry skills as they needed to be. I thought to myself, maybe students could benefit from some extra practice.
It turns out that some students (and parents) were looking for such extra practice.
My books have developed considerably over the past decade, as I have come to interact with many parents and students who have used my workbooks. I continue to discover new ways that people would benefit from supplemental workbooks.
I’ve also discovered many other authors who are publishing supplemental material on Amazon. I don’t think of these authors as competitors. Rather, I realize that their books are very helpful. The growing number of supplemental educational books helps to attract students and parents to Amazon, and we all benefit from this.
Most people don’t buy a single educational book. They often buy several books. If not now, at some point in the future they will probably purchase more books. The customers-also-bought lists help customers find additional books, and later on Amazon will show customers recommendations based on previous purchases.
If you’re an educator who is thinking about becoming an author, if you want to write a textbook and have it adopted for classroom use, you probably want to work with a traditional academic publisher. However, if you’re thinking about preparing supplemental material, the road to publishing is simpler in some regards if you use Amazon KDP. At least, you should explore all of your options and decide what seems best for your book.
Either way, the goal is the same: Let’s help students learn. 🙂
Write Happy, Be Happy
Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks