Introducing the “Let’s Play Math!” Book, Beta Version

This blog originally grew out of my Homeschool Math Manuals series published in the 1990s, and when I typed a post, I often added new tips, activities, or examples. Now the stories are coming full circle: I’ve entered the enriched blog-post versions back into the book manuscript, fixed all the typos I could find, deleted obsolete references, and added a list of my favorite “living” math books and internet links.

But no writer can accurately judge her own work. A professional editor is helpful, but he or she can’t see the book with a real homeschooler’s eye. Most writers look for beta-readers among their friends or acquaintances. As we live in a rural area, my supply of potential victims helpers is limited. So I decided to try an ebook experiment: Use Amazon.com to find readers willing to pay the price of a Caramel Macchiato for a pre-publication beta version of my book.

All of the books in the Math Ebooks Beta Series are designed to supplement your current math program — to help you teach math with ANY curriculum. If you would like to help me improve the books, please grab a notepad and jot down your thoughts as you read:

  • Let’s Play Math:
    How Homeschooling Families Can Learn Math Together, and Enjoy It!

    Discover new ways to explore math as a family adventure, playing with ideas. True mathematical thinking involves the same creative reasoning that children use to solve puzzles. Introduce your children to the “Aha!” factor, the thrill of solving a challenging puzzle, and build thinking skills with toys, games, and library books. Find out how to choose math manipulatives, or make your own, and learn how to tackle story problems with confidence. Let’s Play Math will give you a wealth of motivating, hands-on ideas for teaching home school math.

Edited to Add a Clarification

If you are interested in my book but don’t have time to take notes and send me comments, that’s OK. Feel free to take advantage of the beta price anyway — there’s absolutely no obligation.

I hope you and your children enjoy the adventure of learning math together!


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11 comments on “Introducing the “Let’s Play Math!” Book, Beta Version

  1. Wow, how cheeky is that. Expecting people to pay you to edit your work for you? With the excuse that because you live in a rural area you have limited friends or acquaintances? Um, this is a blog, is it not? On the INTERNET, read by people from all over? Or because a ‘real’ editor wouldn’t see the book as a homeschooler? First, editors are trained to edit a wide range of topics, even those they don’t have direct experience with; second, some editors are, *gasp*, homeschoolers too!

    So, snark over. I understand not wanting to pay out for a pro editor. I really do. But perhaps you could have simply asked for a few volunteer reader/editors to help you out, and in exchange for helping, they get the book free. (The unedited version so they could do the work, *and* the final, edited, published version as a thank-you.) That way, both parties benefit and you are more likely to get thorough, valuable feedback on your book.

    I guess it’s an interesting experiment, if nothing else!

  2. Not exactly. I expect that most of the people who buy the beta version of my books will never send me any comments — I just want to make sure they realize they are not buying a finished product.

    The books have been through several rounds of pretty thorough editing in the past year (including a paid professional editor who was not a homeschooler), but I’m sure there are still typos and other problems. Trying to get rid of typos is like playing whack-a-mole!

    Also, in addition to whatever comments readers wish to send in, the books will go through at least one more round of professional editing before the “finished” version is released.

    But for the many people who have asked for the books, and who don’t want to wait another year (or more) until I get the last few chapters written, this is a chance to pick them up at about half what the finished version will cost.

  3. Oh, and if you know a professional book editor who is also a homeschooler, please post his or her website or contact information. I’d love to send some business their way.

  4. But that’s not at all how you presented it in your blog post. It was all “I need help editing it”, not “here’s an edited but not quite finished version yet for people who can’t wait”. Why not make that clear?

  5. Thank you for passing on my name!

    I had two reasons for writing the description as I did:

    (1) I wanted to make it very clear that this is not a finished work. By stressing “Please help my editing”, I keep someone from buying it under the impression that this is the final version. Many people read book descriptions cursorily (after all, who of us has time to read fine print? I do sympathize with them!), and I’ve seen way too many reviews on Amazon saying, “I didn’t realize this book was X. It’s such a cheat!” when the description (sometimes even the title) made it clear. I’ve done my best to keep people from being disappointed that way.

    (2) I really would like to hear from homeschoolers — especially from those who do things differently than I do — how they think I can make the book more helpful. I know I haven’t got all the answers, and I truly appreciate other peoples’ points of view.

    I have changed the description on Amazon a bit, thanks to your comments. (See, getting another point of view does help!) I didn’t take away the emphasis on beta-editors, but I tried to make it clear also that readers are not obligated to send me editing notes.

  6. I am not a homeschool mom but I teach in a small middle school and have loved your postings over the years and adapted many to work in my classroom. I already downloaded your ebook and can’t wait to dive into and find some new treasures! Thanks.

  7. I’m glad to hear that you find my blog useful, Angela. I know that I’ve learned an awesome lot from classroom teacher blogs over the years, so I’m thrilled that I can return (or pass on) the favor.

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