Beginner's Guide To Writing, Editing

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Beginner's Guide To Writing, Editing, And Publishing A Medical Textbook

A Medical Textbook, whether you are a medical doctor, researcher, or teacher, writing a medical textbook can be a great way to share your knowledge and experience with students and colleagues. But are you thinking of how and where to start? 

Don’t worry! Being a medical writer, a published author of 3 books, and a professional editor, I am here to assist you in this regard. So are you ready to write a medical textbook? 

Perhaps you are a practising physician with years of experience and expertise in your field, or maybe you are a medical student who has noticed a gap in available textbooks.

Whatever your reason for wanting to write a medical textbook, there are some things you should know before getting started. In this blog post, I will give you a step-by-step guide on how to go about writing, editing, and publishing a medical textbook.

Textbooks in the field of medicine are indispensable resources for both medical students and working professionals. They present precise, current, and concise information regarding a specific medical subject. Any medical library can benefit from the addition of a well-written medical textbook to its collection.

So, let’s break down the process of writing, editing, and publishing a medical textbook one step at a time.

1- Writing your medical textbook

There are a few things to remember when writing a medical textbook. 

The first step in writing your medical textbook is to decide on a focus. It is crucial to choose a specific medical topic that you are knowledgeable about and of interest to your intended audience. Do you have a specific medical speciality in mind?

Second, you will need to find reliable sources of information to include in your textbook. 

Finding a writing guide or course may help you get started if you have never written a book before. 

Finally, you will need to write clearly and concisely to not overwhelm readers with too much information. Feeling overwhelmed! So, let’s dive into the details of these steps.

Choose a specific medical topic

When beginning to write a book, you first need to decide what subject you want to cover in the book.

Selecting a relevant and up-to-date topic when looking for material to include in a medical textbook is essential.

For instance, if you are an expert in cancer research, you might want to write a textbook about the latest developments in cancer treatment. Or you may want to choose a particular disease or condition or a specific area of medicine, such as paediatrics or geriatrics. 

Once you have chosen your topic, it is essential to narrow it down even further so that your textbook is focused and easy to read. For example, if you are writing about pediatric medicine, you may want to focus on common childhood illnesses such as the flu or chickenpox.

Once you have decided on a topic, it is time to start planning and brainstorming ideas for your book.

Find reliable sources

The next step is to find reliable sources of information to include in your textbook. These sources could be journal articles, textbooks written by other authors, or online resources. 

It is essential to ensure that the sources you choose are reputable and up-to-date so that your readers can trust the information they are reading.

Create an outline

We can’t deny the importance and clearance of ideas we get by outlining!

Like any other book, a medical textbook must have a clear structure. One way to achieve this is by creating an outline of the topics you want to cover. 

An organized outline will help you stay on track as you write and ensure that your book flows smoothly from one topic to the next.

Write a table of contents.

Once you have ideas for your book, the next step is creating a table of contents. It will help you organize your thoughts and logically structure your book. 

Start by listing all the chapters and subchapters you want to include in your book. Then fill in each chapter with the topics you want to cover.

Create a system for managing citations and styles

Using Microsoft Word Styles for headings and subheadings makes generating and maintaining an up-to-date table of contents simple. 

Manuscripts with numerous citations require a reference manager, such as EndNote. EndNote automatically links the bibliography it creates to PubMed, ensuring that it is always up to date.

Start writing

Now that you have a topic and an outline, it’s time to start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).When writing a medical textbook, it is important to be clear and concise so as not to overload readers with too much information at once.

Try breaking down complex topics into small pieces so they are easy to understand.

Also, use simple language throughout your textbook so all readers can easily understand it. 

And don’t forget to include citations for any sources you use!

Images, tables, and graphs

Excellent illustrations are a hallmark of quality literature. Including creative illustrations in your book can significantly improve its readability. 

Consult a graphic designer if you need help making charts, infographics, or clinical illustrations. Most of the time, a competent medical writer can also help you create basic visuals.

Once you have an outline or rough draft of your textbook, it is time for the next step: editing.

2- Editing your medical textbook

Editing is an essential part of the book-writing process. No matter how good of a writer you are, your book will benefit from the help of a professional editor. 

If you want to save money on hiring an editor, you can self-edit your book. However, you won’t be able to spot the tiniest grammatical errors that an editor would catch.

A good or professional editor will help improve the clarity and flow of your writing and catch any mistakes.

You can rely on Akasious editing services if you’re looking for a professional medical editor.

Getting ready to submit a book proposal

With the assistance of several online resources, you will be able to draft a proposal for a medical textbook that you can then send off to potential publishers. 

Elsevier, for instance, has a helpful checklist that specifies what should go into each section of a book proposal.

You can include the following in your proposal:

  • Title Suggestion
  • List of authors with their names, affiliations, and brief biographies.
  • Aim and Scope
  • Context and goal
  • Who you’re writing for and what they need to hear
  • Define the issue that your book addresses.
  • Identify any relevant alternatives and explain what makes yours better.
  • The Table of Contents
  • Example of a Chapter
  • Expert Critics
  • Readability and ease of discovery
  • Optional: Internet-based multimedia (i.e., video, audio, extended datasets, etc.).

Once your book has been edited, it is time for the final step: publishing.

3- Publishing your medical textbook

Every writer craves the recognition and respect that comes with having their work published. You can follow different methods or ways to publish your medical textbook. 

Some of them are below!

Find a publisher

After you have written your book, the next step is to find a publisher. It can be tricky, as there are many different publishers out there who focus on different topics. Do some research to find a few potential publishers who might be interested in your book. 

Many publishing houses specialize in medical textbooks. So, reach out to them and send them your manuscript. With any luck, one of them will agree to publish your work!

Be sure to read their submission guidelines carefully before submitting your book proposal. 

But if you want to save some bucks, then self-publishing is another way to publish your book. Yes, you read it right! 

You can publish your book yourself if you’re good at marketing and have a dedicated following.


It has become much easier in recent years thanks to technological advances. Many companies now offer self-publishing services; some even specialize in publishing medical textbooks. 

If you decide to self-publish, do your research and select a company with experience in publishing medical textbooks. Once your textbook is published, all that’s left to do is market it!

Market your book

It’s important to promote your book as soon as possible after publication. There are many different ways to market a book. 

You can hold events, give talks, or promote your book online through social media or other channels. Getting the word out about your book is vital so that people will know it exists and be interested in reading it.

Final Thoughts

Writing a medical textbook can seem daunting, but it is achievable with careful planning and hard work. 

By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can write a comprehensive and user-friendly medical textbook that will be of value to both students and practitioners alike.

Writing is hard work, and it’s not over when you’re done with it; editing and proofreading take more energy and time. 

However, you can save time and effort by enlisting the assistance of a skilled medical editor to revise your medical textbook.

Being a medical writer, you can not trust and send your work to an editor who isn’t familiar with the field and its jargon. You can always trust my editing services as a medical writer and editor. 

You can take advantage of my editing guide and services for your medical textbook, blog post, or article, and watch it soar to the top of the bestseller lists.

I hope this guide will help you write an informative and valuable medical textbook that students and professionals will use for years to come!

Give it a try – you may be surprised at what you can accomplish!

Happy writing and publishing! Read More