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2024 TAA Post-Conference Survey: Majority of Respondents ‘Very Satisfied’ With Experience

In a survey sent to attendees of TAA’s 2024 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, which took place in Nashville June 21-22, the majority of respondents (91.49%) said they were very satisfied with their conference experience. Eight-and-a-half percent said they were satisfied and no one said they were dissatisfied.

A little over 38 percent of respondents said they participated in 10 or more sessions, with 28 percent reporting they participated in 7-9 sessions, and 32 percent saying they participated in 4-6 sessions. Sixty-eight percent of respondents rated the sessions very high quality, with 30 percent rating them high quality. No one rated them low or very low quality. Sixty-six percent rated the presenters very high quality, with 32 percent rating them high quality. No one rated them low or very low quality. All respondents said that sessions largely stayed on schedule and that they had ample time to ask questions during sessions.

The majority of sessions were rated as excellent, and others rated them good, with only a handful of respondents rating some sessions as fair.

Eighty percent of respondents found the shorter format Author Talk sessions, held for the first time this year, as valuable. Forty-one percent said it was their first TAA conference.

Respondents suggested several topics for future conferences, including:

  • Writing interactive books for graduate student use
  • Introduction to getting into the textbook authoring field
  • A textbook manuscript development, hands on workshop
  • Writing nuts and bolts in the digital age, e.g., editing using pdf files for text and art.
  • Industry trends and tools and techniques for textbook writing
  • More on how publishers calculate royalties
  • More sessions on technology
  • Tips for writing in teams

The majority of respondents (62%) rated the networking sessions a 5, the highest rating they could give, with some sharing:

  • “I met great people.”
  • “Lovely venue, great food, great conversation.”
  • “These social events lead to personal conversations and connections which are extremely valuable.”
  • “The setting was ideal; comfortable/good setup to encourage mingling.”

Eight-nine percent said they visited The Lounge, a cozy networking room available throughout the conference, with 64 percent reporting being very satisfied with the networking opportunities available during the conference.

The majority of respondents (75%) said said that the opportunity to connect with other authors was a primary factor in their decision to attend. Sixty-nine percent said it was for sessions with information about navigating the publishing industry; 66 percent said it was for sessions with advice on royalties, contracts and information related to textbook publishing; and 51 percent said it was for opportunities to provide or receive advice from mentors. One respondent said, “appreciated hearing from publishers and how different ones approach certain aspects of publisher/author relationships, marketing, etc.”

Thirty-five respondents shared a piece of advice, takeaway or “aha” moment from the conference, including:

  • “I had shied away from podcasts and marketing: now I feel empowered. I just don’t know much about this aspect of publishing and feel I learned so much! Very grateful.”
  • “The most effective way to promote your book by John Bond was most interesting and created that aha moment for me. Also, the sessions on AI are enormously relevant to writing today.”
  • “The simple reminders about writing, with the focus on generating to make progress rather than getting caught up in the editing process.”
  • “I found the presentation on searching for a successor for your book/work very, very useful. This is something we aren’t even aware of, when we begin writing books; rarely discussed. We need more about this topic on a routine basis.”
  • “The power of journaling and the affirmation that I have something to contribute to the field.”
  • “I learnt the importance of peer review and how essential it is in publication. That was an aha moment for me.”
  • “I realized that I can take my textbook to a new level.”
  • “A key takeaway for me is to tell myself ‘you are generating, not editing’ when I sit down to write. This deliberate cue allows me to write more freely and productively in the early stages of a writing project.”

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