A common method for finding co-authors is to send out a call for contributions inviting collaborators to join your open textbook project.
A call for contributions is like a job advertisement. You need to be clear about what you’re looking for and what you’re asking people to do.
A typical call is structured as follows:
You should also include details that get readers excited about the project, including:
You may also want to add a note encouraging people from traditionally underrepresented groups to contribute.
The more people who see your call, the more likely it is that you’ll find what you’re looking for. Encourage everyone on the project team to share the call by sending it out to:
You may also want to cold email people or organisations of interest to ensure they’re aware of your call.
Some tips for responding to interested contributors:
Sometimes you’ll end up with more volunteers than anticipated. If this happens, consider asking them to collaborate – for example, by co-authoring a chapter.
Other times, you’ll get fewer responses than you’re hoping for. In this case, make the most of the team you have by being flexible about time lines and workloads.
If you don’t receive any suitable responses:
You may need to make some adjustments to your call and keep sending it out until you reach the right audience.
Once you’ve found your co-authors, you’ll need to discuss how you’re going to work together.
Adapted from ‘Recruitment Guide’ in The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) by Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.