One of the choices you can make when publishing your textbook or other instructional text is to sign a contract that simply assigns to the publisher the copyrights in your work or to enter into a work for hire agreement, in which you and the publisher agree that the publisher will be legally considered the author and sole owner of your work for copyright purposes. A significant consequence of work for hire agreements is that you don’t have the benefit of the right of termination under copyright law, said Stephen E. Gillen, an attorney with Wood Herron & Evans, and author of Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts.
Many college textbook authors are experiencing declining print unit sales and diminishing royalty checks. Regular price increases previously helped college textbook publishers offset shrinking print sales, but that strategy is no longer effective. Consequently, some publishers are cutting budgets to offset revenue shortfalls. They’re also diverting remaining investment resources into new digital products and services that offer a measure of protection against the depredations of used, rental, and pirate competition. As a result, those publishers are rebranding themselves as software or learning science companies and setting very public goals to eliminate or scale back their print publishing programs in favor of fully digital product models. What are the key forces driving college publishers’ online publishing strategies? What are some steps higher education textbook authors can take in response?
TAA’s 30th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference session proposals deadline is October 6, 2016. TAA invites the submission of presentations relevant to authoring and publishing textbooks and academic works (journal articles, academic books, and monographs).
The conference will be held at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel, Providence, RI, June 9-10, 2017. The conference will be attended by authors and aspiring authors of textbooks, journal articles, and other academic works, as well as by industry professionals from across the country.
Gain recognition with your fellow authors and within the textbook publishing industry by nominating your textbook for a 2017 TAA Textbook Award now through November 1, 2016.
The Textbook Excellence Award recognizes excellence in current textbooks and learning materials. The McGuffey Longevity Award recognizes textbooks and learning materials whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. The Most Promising New Textbook Award recognizes excellence in 1st edition textbooks and learning materials.