Creating a companion site for your textbook: What to consider

Companion sites can enrich the learning experience for readers by offering valuable features that can’t be shared on a printed page and/or might be too costly to include in an e-book. There are many factors to consider when planning or developing a companion site for your textbook. In a recent TAA webinar entitled Texts Plus: Ancillary Materials & Companion Sites, Janet Salmons, an independent researcher, writer, consultant, and founder of Vision2Lead, offered detailed advice for authors interested in creating companion sites for their textbooks. [Read more…]

Tech Tip: Use polling software to incorporate audience participation into your next presentation

Eric SchmiederIf you’re like me, you often give presentations to a class or conference audience and leave wondering things like “Did they get it?” or “What questions were left unanswered?”

My Solution: Incorporate Poll Everywhere into the presentation and know for sure!

Poll Everywhere works with PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides from Windows or Mac computers to add interactive polling to your presentations. [Read more…]

7 Strategies for writing successful grants

grant writing folderThroughout my journey as a grant writer, reviewer, and mentor to aspiring grant writers, I have had multiple opportunities to read grant proposals that received funding—and many more that did not. One question I often get from novice grant writers is: “How do I get my proposal funded?” To address this question, it is helpful to examine strategies that successful grant writers have in common. Here, I highlight seven basic strategies that I consider “musts” when it comes to preparing grant proposals. [Read more…]

E-books, digital rights management, and the first-sale doctrine

There has been much buzz over the last couple of decades about the future of the textbook. Will print books continue to dominate? Will book rentals take a more prominent role? Will the market shift to e-books or to subscription-based access to cloud stored content or to more complex adaptive learning systems? Or will proprietary publishing fade to black as Open Education Resources improve in quality and increase in number? [Read more…]

Education publishers make good on promise to fight counterfeit textbooks

On August 17, 2017, four higher education publishers, Cengage, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson Education, initiated five lawsuits against 40 alleged sellers of counterfeit textbooks, including two identified sellers: Yaroslav Stolyarchuk and Zichao Wang.

The case against Stolyarchuk was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California alleging the sale of counterfeit textbooks through seven identified online storefronts, including the defendant-operated website, www.booksliquidation.com.

[Read more…]

2018 Textbook Award Nominations Now Open

2017 TAA Textbook AwardsNominations for the 2018 Textbook Excellence Award (“Texty”), McGuffey Longevity Award (“McGuffey”), and Most Promising New Textbook Award, opened September 1 and will run through November 1.

For more than 20 years, TAA has supported textbook and academic authors through these highly-recognized awards, given annually to emerging and veteran published authors in eight subject categories. [Read more…]

4 Tips to help you lose the stress and enhance your writing

At the 2017 TAA conference, Robert Barlow, author of 10 legal and business studies textbooks, shared “10 Tips to Enhance Your Writing & Take the Stress Out of Polishing Your Work”. As he presented his tips, a common theme of planning and preparation seemed to provide the key to reducing stress in the writing process.

Barlow shared foundational tips in grammar and style. He also shared ways to frame the destination of your manuscript around the needs of your audience and the style of your discipline. However, the four organization tips shared by Barlow – organize, research, scaffold, and review – were the key takeaways for managing stress throughout the writing process. We focus on his thoughts below. [Read more…]

Friends – How to keep them but keep them away when you need academic immersion

friendsNote: This is the first of two posts on how to handle your friends so you maintain their friendship but hold them off when you need most of your time for your academic project.

The piercing voice of Kathryn’s best friend on the other end of the phone threatened to puncture her eardrum. Penny screamed, “You’re never around anymore! Why is this damn project so important to you anyway? You think you’re too good for me!”

Kathryn mumbled an excuse about the doorbell ringing, hung up, and started to sob. For 18 years, Penny was her best friend, confidante, and supporter. [Read more…]

Why you should be incorporating gamification into textbook exercises

Chess board Let’s play a game! After all, who doesn’t love a good game? Already your mind is excited to see what comes next. Eager to learn more. Ready for active participation. Primed to learn.

Isn’t that EXACTLY what you want from your students?

[Read more…]

TAA signs on to Copyright Alliance letter seeking changes to copyright provisions of NAFTA agreement

copyrightThe Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) was one of 19 groups to sign on to a letter from the Copyright Alliance to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking him to “modernize the copyright provisions of the NAFTA agreement for the digital age and to establish a template for future agreements.” Meetings to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement began August 16, 2017.

“The internet’s global reach has made copyright protections and enforcement increasingly important to free trade agreements,” states the letter. [Read more…]