On Demand Webinar: 20 Tips & 20 questions for your next textbook deal

Stephen GillenIn this webinar, recorded at the 2016 TAA Conference on June 25, Stephen Gillen, a partner at Wood Herron & Evans, takes you on a tour of a typical textbook publishing contract, pointing out the highlights along the way – what’s usually negotiable; what’s often not negotiable; what questions to ask; and when to ask them.

The webinar is adapted from his book, Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts.

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[Storify] Tips, strategies, takeaways & fun-filled tweets from #2016TAA

2016 TAA Conference

“A must-attend conference for newbie writers like me!” – Claire Resilla (bottom right with a group of attendees from SHSU)

The 2016 TAA Conference in San Antonio Texas, June 24-25 was a huge success!

Here are some tips, strategies, takeaways & fun-filled tweets from the meeting. [Read more…]

‘Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts’ featured in ‘Wisconsin Bookwatch’

Blank square hardcover album templateThe following review of Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts was published in the June 2016 issue of Wisconsin Bookwatch, published by Midwest Book Review. It is being posted here with permission.


The forming of contracts to the benefit of authors is a subject never taught in any creative writing class or workshop but it is a vital and necessary skill — especially for writers of textbooks. In Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts, Stephen Gillen (a partner at the 145-year-old legal firm Wood Herron & Evans which specializes in intellectual property law) provides a complete and comprehensive course of instruction that is as ‘user friendly’ as it is do-it-yourself practical. [Read more…]

10 Tips for your next textbook deal

Blank square hardcover album template

Steve Gillen

If you’ve been published, then you’ve seen it before — a “whereas” and a “therefore” followed by eight or more pages of pre-printed, pedantic prose offered up by the editor as the house’s “standard publishing contract.” Other than a few tiny spaces for your name, the title of your work, and the manuscript delivery date, the bulk of it looks as though it were long ago locked down in Century Schoolbook type.

But the truth is that there is more to review than the spelling of your name, choice of title, and projected completion date, and more to negotiate than you might realize. Here are 10 tips to help you understand what is (or ought to be) worthy of negotiation. [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…]

Just released by TAA Press: ‘Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts’

Guide to Textbook Publishing ContractsWhen it comes to negotiating your textbook publishing contract, you have more leverage than you think.

In this step-by-step guide by Stephen Gillen, a Partner at Wood Herron & Evans, you will learn the key provisions of a typical textbook contract and how to determine what’s important to you so that you can enter into the contract negotiation process better informed. Get the “better”, “best” and “better still” options you can consider when making decisions about what to negotiate.

As a bonus, we’ve included a list of 20 questions that you can employ to learn more about your publisher’s plans for, and expectations of, your work — information that will help you evaluate your leverage and your editor’s weaknesses. Buy your copy today.

Watch Fall 2015 TAA Webinars On Demand

On Demand PresentationsMissed any of TAA’s Fall 2015 webinars? View the recordings in TAA’s library of presentations on demand.

What is a Textbook Royalty Audit and How Do I Know If I Need One?

Juli Saitz, CPA, Senior Managing Director at Ankura Consulting Group shares the steps involved in a textbook royalty audit and how to determine if you should conduct one to assert your contractual audit rights. [Read more…]

Join us 11/12 for the TAA Webinar: ‘Negotiating (or Renegotiating) Your ​Textbook ​ Publishing Agreement: A Creative Focus on Business Terms’

Sean Wakely

While there are many aspects of an author-publisher relationship, the key component is your textbook publishing agreement. Publishing agreements determine the responsibilities of each party, as well as the deliverables, dates, revenue sharing in the form of royalties, and many other key elements.

Join us Thursday, November 12 from 4-5 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Negotiating (or Renegotiating) Your Textbook Publishing Agreement: A Creative Focus on Business Terms”. In this webinar, Sean Wakely, Founder and Principal Advisor at Academic Author Advisers, will focus on the non-legal, negotiable business terms of publishing agreements, such as deadlines, royalty rates, art and illustration rendering, permissions, advances, grants, and responsibilities for supplements, and how you can position yourself to negotiate more favorable outcomes. Register [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…]

Top 11 Reasons to attend TAA’s 28th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference

Have you registered yet? Here are the top 11 reasons why you need to attend TAA’s 28th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, June 19-20, in Las Vegas:

Follow the conference on Twitter using hashtag, #2015TAA.
Also, be sure to ‘Like’ our conference Facebook page!
See you in Las Vegas!