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Textbooks 101 A Primer On Writing Your First Book

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Global Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1120.1 - 7.1120.11



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Pack

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Steven Barrett

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Textbooks 101 A Primer on Writing Your First Book

Steven Barrett, Daniel Pack

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071-3295 e-mail:, (307) 766-6181

Department of Electrical Engineering United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840-6236 e-mail:, (719) 333-6967


This paper presents a guide on the “A, B, Cs” of writing a textbook. Eighteen months ago the authors were novice writers who wanted to publish their first textbook. Their first textbook entitled “The 68HC12 Microcontroller: Theory and Applications,” was released by Prentice Hall in December 2001. During the book writing process the authors learned a variety of valuable lessons that they hope are useful to others. This paper presents their thoughts on issues associated with a book writing process: topic and publisher selection, book contracts, time commitments, the actual mechanics of writing, preparing solutions manuals, including software packages, and creating websites. Although their textbook is intended for an electrical and computer engineering audience, the lessons they learned while writing the book should be applicable to any engineering discipline.


Several years ago, the authors talked about writing a textbook together in some area of digital design. After all, they had taught, performed research, and consulted in this area for a number of years and were eager to share their knowledge with others. They decided to put talk into action in April 2000 when they began serious planning on writing a book. Both of the authors had published extensively in journals and conference proceedings but neither had written a textbook.

Both authors are full time faculty members. Dr. Pack is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado. Dr. Barrett is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming. Both authors are typical faculty members with a full teaching load, an active

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Pack, D., & Barrett, S. (2002, June), Textbooks 101 A Primer On Writing Your First Book Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11006

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