Full results of TAA’s 2020 Textbook Contracts & Royalties Survey now available

In a recent survey conducted by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA), 27% of respondents reported that their 2019 royalties were 25% or more lower than in recent years. Only 8% reported that their royalties were 25% or more higher than in recent years. One survey respondent, who writes in the Business discipline for Cengage and has been authoring textbooks since 1985, said: “Cengage Unlimited has had a significant impact on our royalties. We were told that CU would capture more sales (at a lower price point). It has not happened; we are selling (marginally) fewer units, but at a much lower price point.” The highest royalty rate this respondent had negotiated for both their print and digital textbooks was 20% and the lowest was 15%. They also reported their 2019 royalties were between 10% and 25% lower than recent years. … [Read More]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 3, 2020

Ben Franklin once said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” As we start the month of April, the first full month of spring, the season of new beginnings, it's important that we do something. Despite the worldwide call for social isolation and limited activity, we must continue to find ways to progress in our academic efforts. To support those efforts, we have found the following collection of articles on the web this week. First, we offer advice on resetting your research agenda while working from home, core knowledge on the basics of theory, and tips for writing successful proposals. We then explore what to do now, storytelling, relational inquiry, and truth-listening, and how to prepare for an effective virtual interview. Finally, we explore noteworthy topics of the Internet Archive, who is allowed to talk about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and scholarly issues of COVID-19 racism. This week, we hope that you continue to write something … [Read More]

Steam ahead or swing back?

Do you zap out your first draft at the speed of bees, ignoring all faults just to get it down? Or do you move like mud, planning down to every detail and laboring over each word, phrase, and sentence before inching to the next? Which were you taught was the single, inviolable method? Which makes for more effective writing? Which entices you? … [Read More]

Distinguishing features of academic writing #5: Accuracy

In our final discussion of this series on distinguishing features of academic writing, we focused on accuracy. Specifically, we considered what it means to be accurate, how understanding and vocabulary affects accuracy, how to check for accuracy in sources we use, how accuracy affects the structure, style, and grammar of a manuscript, and why accuracy is important in academic writing. Below is a summary of the discussion. … [Read More]

TAA Webinar: A Crash Course in Creative Commons Licensing

Did you know that over 1 billion works -- including scholarly articles and a growing number of academic textbooks -- have been licensed with a Creative Commons (CC) license? Though widely adopted, these continually-updated, legally-enforceable tools remain a mystery to academic writers. Many authors are unaware of the permissions afforded to them through the CC licenses, and many are unaware of permissions afforded to users when a specific CC license is applied to their work by an open-access publisher. Join us and presenters Danielle S. Apfelbaum, Senior Assistant Librarian at Farmingdale State College, and Derek Stadler, Assistant Professor at LaGuardia Community College, Monday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, "A Crash Course in Creative Commons Licensing", to … [Read More]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 27, 2020

Amidst the stress and constant concern associated with the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic crisis, I had greatly hoped to present non-pandemic related content in this list of articles from around the web. Of course, I knew that would be a long-shot, but I was hopeful regardless. As textbook and academic authors, we are unfortunately not immune to the "real world" issues that span the globe and this list demonstrates some of the ways our academic community has been impacted by the novel coronavirus and how we are addressing the related effects. Included in the collection are tips for writing while distracted, continuing research efforts and managing the risks associated with the pandemic, and completing PhD defenses virtually. There are also articles on imagining forward, the impact of … [Read More]

Access TAA’s 250+ on demand presentations free during COVID-19 pandemic

TAA is committed to its mission of supporting "textbook and academic authors in the creation of top-quality educational and scholarly works that stimulate the love of learning and foster the pursuit of knowledge." To this end, we want to ensure that all textbook and academic authors have the opportunity to maintain a healthy writing practice every day. In support of continued growth and development for textbook and academic authors, TAA has opened up its entire library of 250+ on demand presentations for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. … [Read More]

Member Spotlight: Margarita Huerta

TAA member Margarita Huerta is an Assistant Professor of Multilingual Education at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and writes in the English Learner Education writing discipline. Huerta's has written six scholarly articles including her most recent publication coauthored with Tiberio Garza, Writing in science: Why, how, and for whom? A systematic literature review of 20 years of intervention research (1996 ¿ 2016), published in Educational Psychology Review. … [Read More]

If a hummingbird strikes your window while you write: When to compartmentalize and when to stop

“Writing a story is like going on a date — you will spoil it if you aren’t living in the moment.” — Pawan Mishra, On Writing Wonderfully: The Craft of Creative Fiction Writing Halfway into my morning writing session, I heard a thump. I looked down at the deck. A hummingbird lay on her back, shaking. In a daze, I went out and stared at her. Her wings didn’t look broken, but what did I know? I called my partner and my mom. My mom said hummingbirds need sugar water, so I found an old container of grape jelly and made sugar water. I fed her with a water dropper, put her in a box, and she slowly improved. I called the animal rescue people, and they eventually came and took the sweetie away after a few hours of feeding. Though I didn’t hear what happened after that, I’m sure she recovered. … [Read More]

3 Strategies and 5 steps to developing your dissertation into a manuscript

Let’s set the record straight. “A dissertation is not a book.” In her recent TAA webinar, “Writing Your First Book: Developing Your Dissertation Into a Manuscript”, Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz of MargaretEdits shared practical strategies and tips for bridging the gap between completing your dissertation and writing a compelling book manuscript.   During this session, Puskar-Pasewicz offered three strategies for making the transition from dissertation to book and then suggested five steps to get started on the journey. … [Read More]

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