Q&A: How do you phase out a co-author?

Textbook PublishingQ: How do you phase out a coauthor who is now retired and with whom you have worked with for many years?

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

“The best way to phase out a co-author is to bring in a new co-author and increase the proportion of a new content, but so long as the book has original content contributed by the original author, that coauthor has a legitimate (and legal) stake in the book. Publishing industry standards for textbooks call for a gradual reduction in the royalty split, reflecting the reduced contribution, proportionally, to revisions. [Read more…]

9 Ways to improve your academic writing style

writingWhen it comes to academia, the quality of your writing has a lot riding on it. Whether you are in university or are employed as a teacher and/or researcher, the work you produce can make or break your academic career.

Strong writing (and empirical content, of course) is a major factor in whether a paper you write will be published in a reputable journal. So before you begin drafting your next article, consider these 9 ways to improve your academic writing. [Read more…]

Join us for the 4/21 webinar, ‘3 Essential Steps to Breaking Your Writing Block’

Cassie Premo SteeleYou know the feeling. You have a writing project and you have a deadline. You think about the project all the time—but when you sit down to write, nothing comes. You do the dishes. You check Facebook. You run an errand. You organize your file cabinet, for goodness sake! You have so much energy for everything—except for writing.

Could you have a case of the dreaded writing block? Join us Thursday, April 21, from 12-1 pm ET, for the TAA webinar, “3 Essential Steps to Breaking Your Writing Block”, where writing coach Cassie Premo Steele will share: [Read more…]

Vines @ 2014 TAA Conference

Register with the Authors Registry to receive secondary royalty payments from foreign organizations

The Authors Registry is a not-for-profit organization that distributes secondary royalties from foreign organizations to U.S. authors. The Registry was founded in 1995 by a consortium of U.S. authors’ organizations: The Authors Guild, The American Society of Journalists & Authors, the Dramatists Guild, and the Association of Authors’ Representatives. To date, the Authors Registry has distributed over $22.5 million in royalties to over 10,000 authors living in the United States.

“Each year, hundreds of new authors are added to our lists and we attempt to locate and contact them to help them receive these royalties. We have great success rates, but sometimes these royalties go unclaimed,” said Terry King, Operations Manager at the Authors Registry.

The payments come from foreign and domestic organizations that collect secondary royalties for the use of authors’ works. They are collected from organizations such as the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, part of an extended collective licensing system in the U.K., and LIRA, the organization with the authority to collect and disperse fees for public library lending rights in the Netherlands.

To ensure that you receive any of these secondary royalties due to you, register with the Authors Registry by completing their Collection Authorization form here. You can also contact Terry King at 212-563-5904 and staff@authorsregistry.org or visit them on the web at www.authorsregistry.org.

Insights on writing, project development and the value of developing a business structure: An interview with Mike Kennamer

Mike KennamerMike Kennamer currently serves as Director of Workforce Development at Northeast Alabama Community College and is President/CEO of Kennamer Media Group, Inc., a company that provides written and photographic resources in a variety of formats. He has written a number of textbooks, workbooks, instructor resource materials, video scripts, and online content in the health and public safety fields, and has had several articles published in higher education journals.

As a seasoned textbook and journal article author, Kennamer shares his insights on the writing and project development processes and the strategies he has implemented to simplify his business structure. [Read more…]

Tax tips for authors: LLC or S-Corporation?

Robert Pesce

Robert Pesce

Tax Tips for AuthorsWhile the simplest way for a small business, a writer, to report their income and related expenses is on Schedule C of their personal tax return as a sole proprietor, the two most popular entities for authors thinking about expanding beyond a sole proprietor are LLCs and S-Corporations.
[Read more…]

Video: Join the TAA authoring community

TAA LogoJoin TAA today to gain access to the key resources you need to succeed as a textbook writer and academic author. TAA membership is open to individuals, colleges, universities, organizations and industry professionals.

As a TAA member, you have access to a host of benefits designed to maximize your authoring success, including an online member community, live webinars and more than 100+ presentations on demand, a templates & samples resource library, writing grants, and a print newsletter.

Watch this video to learn more about how TAA can benefit you.

Author Beware: Predatory scholarly journals, Insights on OA predatory publishing from Jeffrey Beall

Jeffrey Beall

Jeffrey Beall, Scholarly Initiatives Librarian at Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver

The increase in popularity of online scholarly journals has given rise to new open-access publishing models, including the gold open-access model, in which authors often pay to have their accepted papers published. While there are advantages to this model, according to Jeffrey Beall, author of Scholarly Open Access, a blog which tracks and critically analyzes questionable online open-access journal publishers, some online journals are exploiting this model by engaging in predatory practices that defraud authors and dilute the quality of the corpus of scholarly literature.

During his 2013 TAA Conference presentation, “A Primer on Predatory Open-Access Scholarly Publishers”, Beall, Scholarly Initiatives Librarian at Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, outlined several disadvantages to the gold open-access publishing model that have opened the door for predatory publishers to abuse the model for their own profit. [Read more…]

Contract considerations when switching from contributing textbook author to lead author

Michael Lennie

Michael Lennie

Q: If an author is transitioning from a contributing author role to the role of a lead author, do they have to accept the same contract conditions/stipulations that were negotiated by the original authors?

A: Michael Lennie, Attorney and Literary Agent, Lennie Literary Agency & Author’s Attorney:

“I see at least a couple of meanings to your use of the term ‘a contributing author’, each of which results in a different answer. If you have been ‘contributing’ only to certain elements (e.g., chapter summaries, or a particular supplement to the main text), but not to the overall book, you may have entered into what is designated a “work-made-for-hire” (‘WMFH’) agreement with your publisher. A WMFH agreement requires the agreement be in writing clearly stating that it is in fact a ‘work-made-for-hire’ agreement. A WMFH agreement is quite different from an author/publisher agreement (ah, but that’s another tale).

[Read more…]