Freelance curriculum writing tips
1. One of the best places to look is craigslist. Visit the jobs section of the major cities and scan for freelance and curriculum writing work. I got some good gigs this way. Another option is simply to Google "freelance curriculum writer" and see what comes up. Sometimes the smaller educational publishers will put job listings right on their websites instead of listing them anywhere. Google different combinations of the phrase. "freelance item writer," "freelance ELA writer," "freelance writing jobs," "contract curriculum writer," etc.
2. If you have any aptitude for writing multiple choice questions, you'll do well. Sadly, test writers are in huge demand. This depresses me, of course, but it is a fact.
3. Rework your resume to reflect any writing you've done and be prepared to send samples of your work. Usually 2-3 pages is fine; only send if requested. The cover letter is the most important thing. I kept mine short since you'll always apply for jobs via email.
4. Try this blog: http://educationwriting.
5. Don't work for less than $25/hour. There are a lot of people trying to scam writers and it's not cool.
6. Publish your own curriculum materials at http://www.currclick.com for the homeschool market or at http://www.
The traditional route.
1. You have to get an agent. This is a lot easier if you have a "high concept" pitch. For example, the YA writer Lauren Oliver broke through the noise by pitching something like: "it's Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls" when she wrote BEFORE I FALL. I got the attention of my agent with the pitch, "How about I turn the Facebook meme '25 Things About Me' into a novel?"
2. Good writing matters a lot, but the traditional publishers only offer nice advances to people who already have a fan base or to a book concept that is super fresh. THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern (sp?) is a good example of what was fresh last year. I have no idea what will be fresh next year.
3. A lot of people are saying traditional publishing is dead and ebooks are the wave of the future. I think both traditional publishing and self-publishing will do fine, but we're definitely in a time of flux. As William Goldman once said, "Nobody knows anything."
The self-pubbed route
You can upload your book(s) directly to Amazon via: http://kdp.amazon.com and to other websites via their own self-publishing platforms. I've done this and I like it. You have total control over your own work, you keep 70% of the cover price instead of 5% or 10%, and it's really fast. Promotion is hard, however. There is growing respect for self-pubbed authors and it's the route I'm taking with Planet Explorers. If you're curious about this, I'd recommend lurking on the Writers' Cafe at Kindleboards for a little while: http://www.kindleboards.com/