I’ve mentioned here before that my school self-publishes our senior year ELA textbook as well as our junior year ELA textbook. Not to go into too much depth, but for the last six years we’ve written and curated and had printed our own physical books. We use Adobe InDesign for the layout, and use the excellent Lulu for printing. It’s wildly cheaper than comercial textbooks. It’s so cheap that we can print and GIVE to students new books every year, and it still costs less than buying one set of hardbacks that we’d keep for TEN years.
I was heavily involved in getting this off the ground- I did the layout work for a few years, and early on was so keen on the idea that I paid for parts of it out of my own pocket. I still feel passionately about it, though I don’t have a ton to do with the project these days.
Or “didn’t,” I should say. Because I’ve gone and done something rash.
I’m taking all the existing files for the senior year book and I’m going to turn them into a decent digital version.
It exists already, as a matter of need (to upload to Lulu) as a PDF, but PDF’s are not an acceptable format for the distribution of a file like this. I’m going to be doing either (and maybe both?) an ePub and an iBooks Author file. Either will allow much of the hands-on work with the text that those teachers have come to expect from students- and either will be a. Cheaper, b. Not confined to the limits of a printed page and c. physically weigh nothing. All of which, as far as I’m concerned, are good things.
It’ll be some work. But maybe me doing this will be what it takes to get my department completely onboard.