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Authoring textbooks

  1. Feb 15, 2009 #1
    How much can one expect to earn if they are one of the primary authors of a math/science textbook? For example, my Differential Equations book is "Differential Equations: A Modeling Prospective," second edition, by Coleman and Borelli. How much money does someone earn by authoring a book like that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2009 #2


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    Just like any other type of book, it depends on how well it sells and what your commission is.

    Naturally, first year books will sell more as they are accessible to a more general audience. Graduate level textbooks have a very limited audience.

    Author commission can vary significantly, depending on how you publish (ie. with a well-known publisher, vs. self-publication). My guess is that typically authors receive about 20-40% of the cover price. In some cases it may be as low as 5%.

    The trick to making money at it, is to convince other professors to use your book as required reading for their courses.
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