Michael Clark’s Self-Publishing Journey

Michael Clark, author of ‘So You Want To Teach?’ shares his book’s journey from idea to print.

I have never been a great reader and I am proud of my children, as they grew up all enjoying reading. Credit for this must go to my wife Lin, for all of those bedtime stories when they were young. I only have time to read when I go on holiday. Lin will read half a dozen books to my one. I tend to read footballer’s autobiographies or tales from the Secret Footballer. On this occasion I read the story of an adventure racer. He compared himself to other people and explained that they were ordinary to what he does.

I disagree that people are ordinary.

We can all tell or explain our views on life/experiences. Everyone of us has lived a different life and at this point, I thought others might like to know of my experiences and views from the world of teaching.

The TV advertising campaign, detailing all of the positive aspects of teaching also further encouraged me to put pen to paper. I wrote the majority of my book whilst on holiday, sitting on the beach in Turkey.

My aim was to produce a short, light read with some insight as to who I am and my working life. Once I had a working document, I searched online on how to publish a book. A phone call later to Douglas at the Self-Publishing Partnership set the wheels in motion. Once the price had been agreed, Frances then took the lead on editing and design, requesting my confirmation at each stage of the publishing journey. They did a brilliant job for me.

Extract from 'So You Want To Teach?'
"As the class was dismissed from the lesson, one student took the opportunity for retaliation. Grasping a length of dowel rod, teeth gritted, eyes angry, he lunged striking out as hard as he could muster. Three times he struck the teacher, before the teacher could disarm him.
Disruptive students and behaviour were part of teacher training, but nothing quite covered some of the situations that his teacher would encounter.
Emotional, physical, and verbal abuse at the teacher was common, also with an episode of spitting for good measure. Even in such challenging circumstances, it must be down to the teacher that the students are not achieving?"

As with all advertising, campaigns for new teaching recruits have a bias to the positive aspects. This book details one design and technology teacher’s journey through eighteen years of education at the chalk face/white board. It provides a true insight into the real world of secondary education, one that would certainly not make an advertising campaign.

My book is available as an e-book online, and I had 100 copies printed. My aim is to sell enough to try and break even with the costs of producing it. I am still exploring the best ways of how to promote it, especially as I am not classed as a celebrity and I cannot appear on Graham Norton!

I have had positive feedback from those who have read it which has been very pleasing. I have further books to write on other subjects, it is just finding enough hours in the day to complete. I certainly would recommend writing and publishing a book, it is a fulfilling experience with something tangible at the end.

Michael Clark

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