John recently published his first textbook, The English Gym, under the pen name, Jon Charles. 

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An excellent resource for textbook authors is the JALT Materiel Writers SIG
(Special Interest Group). You can check out the archives by following the link below:

I wrote an article for the SIG's publication, Between the Keys Vol. 28.1 2020, "A Guide to Independent Publishing for EFL in Japan" which goes into further detail about self-publication.

You can click on the image to view the PDF.

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PREVIEW (2 minutes)


FULL VIDEO (22 minutes)


Write your own textbook?
Here’s what you’ll need!
That’s up to you, Einstein!
●     Long Hours of Work
Send your children abroad.
●     Notepad for Ideas
Ideas come at all hours.
●     Write, Write, Write
On the train, at home, anywhere.
●     Never Give Up
Overcome all adversity.
“Yo, Adrian!”

Desktop Publishing Software
●     Adobe InDesign $$$$$
●     Microsoft Publisher $$$
●     Serif Page Plus X9 $
Powerful, Easy to Use
2,400 yen

Key Points:
Image Dots Per Inch at 300 DPI
Bleed at 3 mm
Inside Margins at Least 15 mm

*(You may want to try SCRIBUS, a FREE Desktop Publisher)

●     Editor 
Ruthless is Better

●     Translator
●     Guinea Pigs 
Students and Teachers to Try Out Your Ideas

Need Engaging Images?
Creative Commons CC0
Free for Commercial Use
●     Freepik @
●     Pixabay @

Need High-Quality Audio?
●     Recording Engineer
Professional or Good Hobbyist
●     Voice Actors
May Work for Beer
●     Recording Studio
Most Schools have Studios
●     Free Music Archive
CC BY 4.0 Needs Attribution

Need Professional Printing?
●     Mojo Printing @
Bilingual Staff, Professional Designers, Advice
●     Specs for a Textbook
Gluebound Magazine Type
●     Example: The English Gym
144pg A4 4c4c Gluebound Magazine
180kg Coat Cover
70kg Uncoated Inner Pages
1,000 copies = 600,000 yen
2,000 copies = 700,000 yen

ISBN, JAN (Japanese Article Number)
Textbook Code Numbers
Japan Books Code Management Center
Need to Renew Every 3 Years
Download the Manual here:

Book Database Search:

Japan Publishing Organization:

Generate Barcodes here:


Your Textbook is Good to Go!
Now, you have to tell everyone about it!
●     Colleagues
●     Book Looks
●     Presentations
●     Expos
●     Facebook
●     Pub Quiz

Make a Web Page!
Wix @
●     Easy to Design, Powerful
●     Audio, Video, Tests
●     Free or Paid Plans

Office Manager
Fluent Japanese Speaker
●     Phone Calls, Invoices
●     Negotiate with Bookstores
75 to 80% of List Price
●     Shipping
●     Bank Account
●     Busy Season, March

Reach Your Goals!
●     Textbook Being Used in Several Universities
●     A Profitable Business
●     Retire at 50, Move to Hawaii
2 out of 3! Pretty Good!

Has this information been helpful?

If so, would you mind giving my textbook Facebook Page a thumbs up? I'd really appreciate it!

Facebook search: @TheEnglishGymJapan


Got 5 minutes for a survey? Independent Publishing or Established Publishing House?
This survey is intended to collect information on writers who have published materials either through an established publisher or have published independently. The intended responders to this survey are those who have written classroom materials such as textbooks, graded readers or test preparation guides. The survey should take approximately five minutes.
Data collection will end on October 31, 2021.
Click here, please.

Images Designed


Though there are many good textbooks available from major publishers, often they cannot fulfill the needs of a local market in the way that independent writers and publishers can. Experienced teachers may know the needs of their students far better than distant publishing companies. In order to fulfill those needs, many teachers have thought about writing a textbook. However, getting a project from initial concept to finished product presents numerous challenges. This poster shares resources and ideas intended to help solve many of those challenges and may be of use in a broader sense even if your goals may not be to create your own textbook.

Contact John Carle

Thanks for submitting!