Collecting unpaid royalties: Trends, traps, and litigation strategies in textbook royalty enforcement

textbooksMuch has been written about changes in the college textbook marketplace over the last decade. The industry has adapted to new pedagogical methods, the proliferation of digital learning materials, and profitability pressures felt by publishers — all leading to significant innovation in the publication of learning materials. Some observers have concluded that we may be witnessing the death of the textbook as we have known it.

As the textbook publishing marketplace has changed, so too have relationships evolved between authors and their publishers. Commercial arrangements forged in the era of print media — which were amended and extended over time to apply to the publication of new editions — have been impacted by these industry-wide changes. [Read more…]

Join us 3/22 for the TAA webinar, ‘Author Q&A: Writing and Developing Your College Textbook’

Stephen GillenSean WakelyMary Ellen LepionkaJoin us Wednesday, March 22 at 3-4 p.m. ET, for the TAA webinar, Author Q&A: Writing and Developing Your College Textbook. The authors of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook will share insights into the higher education publishing industry, textbook contract negotiation, and textbook development. Learn the two-three key trends in the higher education publishing industry about which an author or prospective author should know; [Read more…]

5 Things to consider when negotiating your textbook contract audit clause

royalty auditOne of the most important provisions in your textbook publishing contract is the audit clause, which will specify the conditions for how and when you can request and conduct an audit. In the absence of an audit clause, some publishers will still comply with a request to audit, although they are not contractually required to do so.

While the large publishers have calculated and paid royalties to thousands of authors, contract terms can vary, automated royalty systems have limitations, and the accounting teams at publishers are made up of human beings who can make mistakes. If an author wants a better understanding as to the calculation and accuracy of his or her royalties, the best course of action is to request a royalty audit. [Read more…]

Pre-order your copy of TAA’s newest book: ‘Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide’

Writing and Developing Your College TextbookWriting and crafting a textbook and attending to authoring tasks is a time-consuming, complex—some would say monumental—project, even harrowing at times. The updated and expanded third edition of Writing a Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide, now available for pre-order, will empower you to undertake textbook development by guiding you through the nuts and bolts of the development process and providing essential background information on the changing higher education publishing industry, as well as how to choose a publisher, write a textbook proposal, negotiate a publishing contract, and establish good author-publisher relations. Click here to pre-order. [Read more…]

Two new templates added to TAA’s Templates & Samples Resource Library

Templates and SamplesTwo new templates have been added to TAA’s Templates & Samples Resource Library – a Workflow Chart Template, and a Royalty Tracking Template.

The Workflow Chart Template was contributed by Kevin Patton, author of Anatomy & Physiology (9e), who uses it to track his workflow. Available in both landscape and portrait, each row is a chapter or section and columns track items such as chapter number/title, research, reviews, copyedited draft, etc. [Read more…]

Book Review: Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts

Kevin Patton 2016-04-19_16-38-43One of the first experiences a textbook author will have is dealing with a publishing contract. Very few of us are attorneys ourselves and very few of us will have had any prior experience negotiating a publishing contract. Our expertise is in our teaching discipline—not in contract law.

I have learned—the hard way—that I should NOT be the only one looking at contracts and amendments presented to me by my publisher. I’ve therefore made it a habit to have an attorney specializing in textbook publishing contracts to review, suggest, and debate the points in anything I sign. Now I have a much better idea of the potential risks and rewards involved in each new professional writing project. [Read more…]

We have a great conference planned for you! Early registration now open

TAA_early_bird_conf_slide_2016We invite you to join us for TAA’s 29th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Mark your calendars for June 24-25, 2016. Early registration is now open!

Learn from industry experts, gain new perspectives, and get inspired for your writing projects. All conference activities will take place at the beautiful Hotel Contessa, a four-diamond, all-suite hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk. It is a conference you won’t want to miss! [Read more…]

[Infographic] TAA announces results of 2015 Textbook Author Survey

2016TAATextbookSurveyA survey of 403 textbook authors by the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA) and digital book pioneer and industry expert June Jamrich Parsons has found that most have the same royalty rates for digital and print. Only 6 percent of respondents reported higher royalty rates for digital versions.

The survey, conducted for the first time this spring as part of a session on digital book publishing by Parsons at the 2015 TAA Conference, was a way to begin to quantify the range of royalties and contract options offered for print and digital textbooks. [Read more…]

Join us 10/27 for the TAA Webinar ‘What is a Textbook Royalty Audit and How Do I Know If I Need One?’

Juli SaitzA textbook royalty audit can provide answers to the many questions authors have about their royalty payments and the distribution of their books, including: “How are my royalties being calculated when my book is packaged and sold with other books or content?”, “How am I being paid when a custom book is printed with some of my chapter content along with other content?”, and “My book was ranked in the top 5 on Amazon.com! Why haven’t I seen an increase in my royalty payments?”

Join us Tuesday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET  for the TAA webinar, “What is a Textbook Royalty Audit and How Do I Know If I Need One?”, where CPA Juli Saitz from Ankura Consulting Group will share the steps involved in a textbook royalty audit and how to determine if you should conduct one to assert your contractual audit rights. Register today! [Read more…]

How to deconstruct and decipher your textbook royalty statement

royaltiesDeciphering textbook royalty statements to determine whether royalties being reported are accurate can be frustrating for both first time and veteran textbook authors.

Royalty calculations should be relatively straightforward. That is, the contractually agreed-upon royalty rate for the Work multiplied by the earnings received by the publisher. However, add in escalation clauses, various rates for different sales categories or channels, co-authorship, packaged products, electronic materials, custom editions, abridgements, agreed-upon deductions, returns for reserves, specific definitions of earnings, multiple titles in various editions etc., and the calculation of royalties becomes much more complex. [Read more…]