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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 29, 2017

"Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader." ~Cheryl AllewayIn this final week of 2017, few creatures were stirring with new articles and content between the holidays, but we were able to locate a few gems for consideration as you reflect on this year and prepare for the next. For starters, looking back, 2017 was a breakthrough year for OER and a time of textbook pricing discussion impacted by continued changes in available purchasing options. In contrast, looking forward, we found articles on book marketing traps to avoid, how to maintain a healthy competitive nature, and self-care practices you may want to consider adopting in 2018.

In this season of giving and in preparation for the gift of a new year on the way, keep in mind the words of Cheryl Alleway, “Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader”, and keep writing.

OER had its breakthrough in 2017. Next year, it will become an essential teaching tool

Open educational resources (OER) have long been touted as “the next big thing” in higher education, but the drawn-out hype has led many educators and administrators to wonder if it would ever live up to its expectations. Those days are over: 2017 was OER’s breakthrough year.

Textbook shopping goes online, driving prices down

Comparison shopping is forcing sellers to provide new, cheaper options, giving students, parents some small education-cost relief.

Common book marketing traps to avoid

There’s a ton of information out there for indie authors. However, there is also a lot of misinformation, too, as well as outright lies about book marketing. And indie authors are left in the cold to sort through the truths, semi-truths, and non-truths for themselves. Which means that you may end up figuring out the best path through trial and error, falling into common book marketing traps in the process.

A competition all in your head: Is it helpful or hurtful?

It’s not just that I want to defeat people in some imaginary competition (which is already bad enough as it is). It’s that when I get envious of those I perceive as more successful than me, some part of me secretly roots for their failure — not just my victory.

Start 2018 off strong: Self-care in the new year

It’s the end of December, meaning it’s almost time to take down the holiday decorations and get back to the grind.  What is your reaction when New Year’s comes around?  Do you see it as a fresh start, or as just another passing year?  Whether you look forward to New Year’s or would rather not be reminded that you’re another year older, for me—and I’m sure for a lot of you, too—it feels like I never had a break from the grind.  With work, classes, and the holidays all demanding your attention, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed, as if trying to keep afloat in a sea of final papers and wrapping paper.