Special Features of TAA Award-Winning Textbooks: From the 2019 Awardees

Special Features of TAA Award-Winning Textbooks: From the 2019 AwardeesAt the 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Philadelphia, PA, TAA members Al Trujillo and Dave Dillon hosted a panel of textbook award-winning authors to share features that they considered instrumental in the success of their books.  

The panel consisted of Jocelyn Nelson, author of Gateway to Music: An Introduction to American Vernacular, Western Art, and World Musical Traditions, 1st Edition, Frank Carrano and Timothy Henry, co-authors of Data Structures and Abstractions with Java, 5th Edition, and Monica Sherwin and Dave Hall, co-authors of two winning titles, Oklahoma Studies Weekly – Our State, 6th Edition and New Mexico Studies Weekly – Our State, 1st Edition. Below is a summary of the textbook features they felt were most significant in the achievement of their 2019 Textbook Excellence awards. [Read more…]

4 Paths to writing productivity and publication success

writing successIn his 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Organizing for Writing Productivity and Publication Success”, history author Kenneth Campbell shared organizational advice and tips based on his personal writing experience.  

Specifically, Campbell offered strategies and techniques for research and writing, time management, working with editors and publishers, and responding to peer review criticisms throughout the writing process. In conclusion, he encouraged participants to “focus on the contribution you are making to educating and enriching the lives of others” if the goal is success. [Read more…]

The textbook report 2019

The Textbook Report 2019As we near the end of the decade, textbook authors face a myriad of changes in industry structure and public perception reflected and fueled by the headlines in the news. In her annual textbook report, veteran author June Jamrich Parsons shared some of those headlines and the details behind them with attendees at her 2019 conference session in Philadelphia, PA.

Below is a summary of her presentation, including key takeaways about industry profitability, textbook prices, publishing formats, and instructor perceptions. [Read more…]

The 5R activities of OER

cassette tapeDuring his 2019 TAA Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Why I Chose to Publish OER, What I Learned, and Do I Have Regrets”, with Jeanne Hoover, Dave Dillon, TAA Council member and author of the award-winning open textbook Blueprint for Success in College and Career, shared the 5R activities permitted by open access.

Defining the “open” in open content and open educational resources (OER), Dillon noted, “The terms ‘open content’ and ‘open educational resources’, describe any copyrightable work that is either (1) in the public domain or (2) licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities” below. [Read more…]

13 ways to promote and market your book on a budget

online marketingIn today’s publishing environment, author involvement in the promotion and marketing of a book is critical to the success of a title. This June, John Bond, Riverwinds Consulting; Kathleen Reid, VP and Commerical Lender for Medical Learning, Elsevier; and Diane Harnish, Head of Primal Pictures, Global Director of Academic and Government Markets, Informa Group shared their combined marketing experience with authors who are both budget-conscious and market-minded.  

These experienced marketing professionals from academic publishers focused on low to no cost ideas for how authors can become a partner in the marketing efforts of the publisher. After all, who knows the book better than the author? Below are some highlights from the 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference session, “Promoting and Marketing Your Book on a Budget”. [Read more…]

10 Classic and contemporary textbook features you may not be thinking about…but should

highlighted textbookDuring his 2019 TAA Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Textbook Features You May Not Be Thinking About… But Should!”, veteran textbook author Kevin Patton shared details about both classic – not “old” – and contemporary textbook features for consideration when designing a learning experience for your readers.

Starting with an exploration of the textbook as part of a learning experience for the student, Patton advised looking at the pain points, how they can be addressed, and what already works in the classroom. From there, it’s a matter of finding the right design elements to deliver the content in a meaningful way for the students using your book. Below are ten features for consideration. [Read more…]

2019 TAA Council Award Winners

2019 Council Award WinnersDuring the 2019 TAA Awards Ceremony on June 14th in Philadelphia, PA, in addition to honoring our thirty-one Textbook Award winners, five individuals were honored with TAA Council awards recognizing exemplary contributions to the Association and the authoring community, and two individuals were inducted into the TAA Council of Fellows.

The awards were given by Mike Kennamer, TAA Council President during the ceremony. His remarks on each of the winners and inductees are included below. [Read more…]

Can my publisher really do that? Common author questions and answers from industry pros

textbooksAt TAA’s 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, industry insider Sean Wakely and royalty auditor Juli Saitz addressed some common questions authors have about what prerogatives publishers have in respect to publication decisions, calculating royalty payments, marketing, and rights, with hypothetical examples from their point of view.

Here are the questions and answers from that session, divided into five parts: [Read more…]

Selecting visuals to illustrate your post, article, or book

Enhance Your Writing: How to Design, Select or Create Effective VisualsIt was great to see many TAA members at the recent conference in Philadelphia! Since not everyone could attend, I’m sharing my presentation about “Enhance Your Writing: How to Design, Select or Create Effective Visuals” in this and future Abstract posts. See the previous post, Figuring it out: Trends for visuals in academic writing. Next month I will write about ways to create original visuals.

Yes, you need visuals! [Read more…]

Reflecting on #TAAConf2019

#TAAConf2019 registration tableIt’s hard to believe that the 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference – #TAAConf2019 – has come and gone. If you were with us in Old City, Philadelphia, I’m sure you heard the sentiment expressed more than once – “this might be the best TAA conference yet.”

Having been in attendance for the last five, I can certainly say, for me, that it’s been the best of those. When a day at work hardly feel like work, it’s a good day. Add to that day more than 100 passionate and encouraging colleagues, and it’s a great day! That’s what my two days of “work” this weekend felt like.

For those of you in attendance, please feel free to add your experiences to the comments below. For those of you who weren’t able to join us this year, here’s a little of what you missed at #TAAConf2019. [Read more…]