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QUESTION: I want to write a "tell all" book about public education. I am an inner-city public school teacher. i believe people would be shocked by what goes on in schools. i am talking about students, parents, and teachers. The problem is if I am to be honest, I could jeoperdize my job. Any suggestions? Do you think there woukd be ant interest?
ANSWER: There are a lot of considerations for you make...

Where are you in your career? If you depend on your job for a living, you may want to wait, unless you are a recognized expert in this field.

Would your book pose solutions? Or, is it just a tell-all? Those are two very different types of books, one is an expose', the other is proactive and attempts to education and rally support. Expose' books can come off as self-serving, whereas books posing solutions may be better received if the solutions posed are well researched and documented.

Are you a recognized authority on this topic? If not, do you know one who would assess your idea and if it seems relevant, partner with you?

Have you considered a book of short stories recounting some of what you have seen? This is an emotional topic and that is one way to bring it to light in a compelling way that might rally people to action.

Hope that helps. Bottom line:
1.  you need to be very clear on your goals for publishing this book
2.  you need to spend a fair amount of time exploring the many ways you can get this message out there.

Hope that helps!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Do i nee to reveal sources or can i print material and not name names? I think the short stories are more what i was thinking. Where can i send in a couple chapters in order to see whether I am on the right track?

I think your book would be more effective if you did this---meaning you wrote the accounts as stories and didn't name names---then it has broader reach. And, readers cant' say, we'll that may happen in City A, but it would never happen here. Sounds like you want to raise awareness and this would help that.

As far as where to send it...suggest you go to:  For about $30 a year you can have access to names, addresses, submission guidelines to both book and magazine editors. Set a goal for how many proposals you will send out weekly, then do that to publishers that seem to be a fit. Be careful to note submission guidelines in your planning---some publishers will not accept "mulitple submissions" meaning if you send to them, you need to wait to send the material elsewhere until you've gotten a reply.

For information on writing a book proposal, I hope you will visit my website: We've recently launched a set of tools for doing just that (see upper right corner of home page). I'm not trying to sell you anything---it's just a coincidence that you ask this question right now when we are in the midst of this product launch.  

Your book sounds very engaging. Please, keep me posted. If you want to write a  

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Gail Richards


I can help you use your intellectual capital---you know---that NON-FICTION "book you've been meaning to write" out of your head and out into the world by answering questions about the publishing process and what your options are.


I work with numerous authors as well as other book professionals in this arena. In addition, I create tools for authors to use as they work through the process. Detailed information is available on my website,

eWomenPublishingNetwork - member and service provider eWomenNetwork, Colorado Springs - leadership team National Association of Women Writers - member Colorado Springs Customer Service Association

BA Dartmouth College, 1984

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