How to minimize distractions and disruptions while writing

Do not disturbUnlike most writing disciplines, textbook and academic writing must be balanced with the distractions and disruptions of the many demands of academic life, including teaching, committee assignments, and research.

Five TAA members share how they minimize distractions and disruptions while writing, including how they eliminate electronic distractions, make time for writing, use music to focus, and edit later. [Read More…]

Authors express concern about new Cengage Unlimited subscription service

online booksCengage’s announcement of a new subscription service, Cengage Unlimited, that gives students at U.S. higher education institutions access to all of the company’s digital higher education materials for $119.99 a semester has Cengage authors concerned about how their contracts will be affected.

“I think the authors should find out as soon as possible how we are going to be paid,” said mathematics author Pat McKeague, who did not receive any information from his publisher about the new service prior to its public announcement, and has not been able to reach his editor for more information. “My contracts require my written permission before any electronic version of my book can be published.” [Read More…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 8, 2017

This week our collection of articles from around the web contains innovative practices and changes in the publishing industry, suggestions for Open Education, ways to repurpose your finished research into a journal article, academic friendships, social media impacts on author and publisher success, and actions to reduce predatory publishing practices.

As we come to the end of the first week of December, a month where many of our writing projects are faced with increased struggle as academic terms come to an end, remember the words of Nona Mae King, “Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end.”

Textbook proposal submission tips: How to evaluate the competition

When submitting a textbook proposal, most publishers will expect you to provide information on two to four of the closest competitors in the market and identify how your book will be different and better than the competition.

Three veteran textbook authors share their advice on how to study competing textbooks and which elements should be reviewed in making the case in a textbook proposal.

Call for nominations to TAA Council

As a member-driven organization, TAA relies on members’ willingness to get involved in governance and other activities of the association. The TAA Governance Committee announces a call for nominations for two open Council positions. All nominations must be received by March 1, 2018.

Show me the money: How academics can secure research funding

As academics, we are rarely at a shortage of ideas for research topics within our disciplines, but having the money to execute the research of those ideas – that’s a different story.

Research funding generally comes from one of three sources: corporations, government, or charitable organizations. According to an article in Science, referencing data from the National Science Foundation (NSF), federal agencies provided for only 44% of research funding in 2015 representing a significant decline from over 70% less than half a century earlier.

NIH issues statement encouraging authors to publish NIH-funded research papers in reputable journals

In a statement released November 3, 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) encouraged authors to publish NIH-funded research papers in reputable journals “to protect the credibility of published research.”

According to the statement: “The NIH has noted an increase in the numbers of papers reported as products of NIH funding which are published in journals or by publishers that do not follow best practices promoted by professional scholarly publishing organizations.”

Welcome new members to TAA: November 2017

With membership in TAA, you are not alone. You become part of a diverse community of textbook and academic authors with similar interests and goals. We are pleased to announce the addition of 38 new TAA members who joined us in November 2017. 

FTC awarded preliminary injunction against publisher of online academic journals

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was awarded a preliminary injunction by the U.S. Court of the District of Nevada against defendants OMICS Group Inc., iMedPub LLC, and Conference Series LLC, to stop them from engaging in alleged unfair and deceptive practices in the publication of online academic journals and the organization of scientific conferences.

The injunction also requires the defendants to identify assets and account for their current finances, and to preserve financial records.

Not for the faint of heart: The art of truly understanding your royalty statement

A royalty statement should be simple to understand, right? “Show me my sales and my royalty rate, perform a simple mathematical calculation, and — boom! There’s my royalty check!” But how often have you looked at your publisher’s royalty statement and muttered, “I have no idea where these numbers are coming from,” and spent hours trying to understand the calculations? Or perhaps you’ve become so frustrated that you simply gave up, took the royalty check out of the envelope, cashed it, and threw the rest of the statement in the recycling bin, reassuring yourself that the amount must be correct if it’s this complicated.