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…]

Textbook proposal submission tips: How to evaluate the competition

Study competing textbooksWhen 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. [Read more…]

Printing is not publishing – what to look for in a publisher relationship

Due to an increase in availability of print-on-demand services that provide lower-cost alternatives for converting a manuscript into a printed and bound product, there is growing confusion among new authors about what constitutes the role of a publisher. Although many publishers and printing companies have symbiotic relationships, publishing companies provide much more than simply printing and binding of a manuscript.

To better understand the role of a publisher, and what authors should look for in a publisher relationship, we reached out to two of TAA’s industry professionals and 2017 conference sponsors: William England of Sentia Publishing and Sean Wakely of FlatWorld. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

Q&A: How to ensure quality when the publisher is cutting costs

textbook stackQ: How do you work with a publisher to ensure the final product is a quality work even though they are cutting costs?

A: Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide

“The best way to ensure quality of content is to make sure standards are referenced in your contract, e.g., that your manuscript will be professionally edited and indexed. If such provisions are not made contractually, then you should pay for them yourself. Your advance may pay for that, and you may be able to negotiate a higher royalty rate or a grant in exchange, but don’t count on it. Many publishers are no longer investing in the kind of editorial development that makes books commercially successful, except for titles [Read more…]

Special offer on TAA books on textbook authoring

Guide to Textbook Publishing ContractsWriting and Developing Your College TextbookTake advantage of special pricing on two TAA books, Writing and Developing Your College Textbook and Guide to Textbook Publishing ContractsWriting and Developing Your College Textbook is now $43.95 (regularly $53.95) with free shipping. You’ll also receive a coupon code for $5 off your membership renewal! Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts is now $14.95 for the print book (regularly $19.95) and $9.95 for the ebook (regularly $14.95). You’ll also receive free shipping on the print order and a coupon code for $5 off your membership renewal! [Read more…]

Major educational content providers and distributors join together to fight counterfeit textbooks

Cengage, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson have joined forces with distributors Ingram and Chegg, Inc. to have them adopt and implement a set of Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices designed to address the growing problem of counterfeit print textbooks. The Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices are intended to assist distributors with combating counterfeits of print textbooks that hurt students, educators, publishers and distributors. [Read more…]

4 Higher education publishers team up to fight counterfeit textbooks

Stop Counterfeit TextbooksIn an effort to fight counterfeit textbooks, four higher education publishers, Cengage, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson, have teamed up to create a website called Stop Counterfeit Textbooks.

The site includes information on how to avoid counterfeit textbooks, how to identify a counterfeit textbook, and what to do if your textbook is counterfeit. The website states: “Counterfeit textbooks are a substantial problem in the educational marketplace, burdening students with inferior products; exposing distributors to legal liability and unsaleable inventory; and depriving authors and publishers of the funds necessary to reinvest in new educational content.” [Read more…]