4/25 TAA Webinar: ‘How to Structure and Write an Article Abstract’

Mark PedrettiWhat makes for a strong article abstract? How much is too much, not enough, and just right? What goes in and what stays out? The abstract to your article is often the first thing that readers and reviewers see, and setting the right tone up front can influence the way the rest of your text is received. Join us Wednesday, April 25 from 3-4 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “How to Structure and Write an Article Abstract”,  presented by Mark Pedretti, Director of the Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Claremont Graduate University. [Read more…]

Pre-order your copy of TAA’s newest book: ‘Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing’

Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade PublishingLearn what you need to know to avoid and manage copyright infringement claims that arise from the publication of your book, article, or media project with TAA’s newest book by intellectual property attorney Stephen E. Gillen, Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing. In this book, now available for pre-order, Gillen covers the unique rights clearance and permission issues related to writing scholarly works: [Read more…]

Executive Director’s Message: Developing sustainable textbook business models

Textbooks have a very different challenge from journals in converting to online businesses. First, readers have not embraced longer works online quite as enthusiastically as they adopted shorter journal articles. Print continues to have strong appeal as a reading format.

Another critical barrier to developing sustainable online textbook business models is working out the complexities of author royalties.

We have entered a new phase of experimentation with textbook business models. One major textbook publisher recently introduced a digital platform providing student access to all eligible textbooks in the publisher’s portfolio for a flat rental fee per semester. This is but one version of a broader strategy called “inclusive access” (see Joe Esposito’s excellent post on this in SSP’s Scholarly Kitchen blog from March of last year). Inclusive access plans enable institutions to negotiate for campus-wide access to titles for a student fee that can be a fraction of the current average cost of textbooks each semester.

There are serious concerns among authors – especially of works already published – about how these new plans will impact royalties. Are authors paid a small share of every student fee collected?…every time their work gets used?…or only when the work is adopted for a particular course? It is unknown how online royalties accounting can be audited, or whether author royalties for online access can remain at least comparable to print royalties.

Even so, experimentation with business models is necessary. Textbook publishing must adapt to both the threats and opportunities presented by the digital environment.

The business case for aggregated fees rests on expanding market share and increasing the percentage of students who purchase access digitally. Inclusive access and other strategies have already reduced student average spending per semester and per book in recent years, according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the number of students who are getting by without purchasing a textbook, or only buying used books is still apparently very high today (see http://bit.ly/2ivJwlY).

Non-sales and used copy sales do not contribute anything to author or publisher royalties. Changing that dynamic might stabilize author royalties even if the royalty ‘per unit’ is lower. But there are risks for authors in the new arrangements, and the rollout of publisher business model experiments has so far been shrouded in secrecy. Publishers who want to act as partners with authors will take steps to inform them and address their questions before experimental models are presented to the market. And authors, as key stakeholders, should remain open minded to new models, but express their concerns and ideas pro-actively with their publishers whenever possible.

~ Michael Spinella, TAA Executive Director

What a TAA grant can do for you

GrantsTAA offers two forms of grants – publication grants and contract review grants – to assist members and non-members with some of the expenses related to publishing their academic works and textbooks.

As the April 30th grant application deadline approaches, we asked several 2017 publication grant recipients for feedback on how a TAA grant has helped them. [Read more…]

Member Spotlight: John Bond

John BondScholarly Publishing: A PrimerTAA member John Bond is a Publishing Consultant with Riverwinds Consulting and an author in the communication writing discipline.

His most recent publication is Scholarly Publishing: A Primer – his fourth book. See www.booksbyjohnbond.com for more information about the books. [Read more…]

Member Spotlight: Michael Greer

The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, 10eMichael GreerTAA member Michael Greer is a Lecturer at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Editor for Research in Online Literacy Education, and both a textbook and academic author in the English writing discipline.

His most recent publications include The Little, Brown Handbook, 14th ed. and The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, 10th ed. Michael has published four other books on literacy, technology, and digital publishing. [Read more…]

2018 TAA Council Elections – Cast your vote

2017 TAA Council ElectionsFour candidates are running for two open positions on the TAA Council, the association’s governing board. Council members serve three-year terms beginning July 1, 2018.

TAA members were emailed a link to the ballots on April 4. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing. If you are a TAA member and cannot vote electronically, contact Kim Pawlak at Kim.Pawlak@TAAonline.net or (608) 687-3106 to request a paper ballot. The deadline for voting is May 1, 2018. [Read more…]

Welcome new members to TAA: March 2018

Welcome to TAAWith membership in TAA, you are not alone. You become part of a diverse community of textbook and academic authors with similar interests and goals. We are pleased to announce the addition of 73 new TAA members who joined us in March 2018.  [Read more…]

Welcome new members to TAA: February 2018

Welcome to TAAWith membership in TAA, you are not alone. You become part of a diverse community of textbook and academic authors with similar interests and goals. We are pleased to announce the addition of 45 new TAA members who joined us in February 2018.  [Read more…]

TAA announces 2018 Textbook Award winners

Twenty-six textbooks have been awarded 2018 Textbook Awards by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). Four textbooks received William Holmes McGuffey Longevity Awards, 17 textbooks received Textbook Excellence Awards, and five textbooks received Most Promising New Textbook Awards.

The McGuffey Longevity Award recognizes textbooks and learning materials whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. The Textbook Excellence Award recognizes excellence in current textbooks and learning materials. The Most Promising New Textbook Award recognizes excellence in 1st edition textbooks and learning materials.

The awards will be presented during an awards reception at TAA’s 31st Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, June 15, 2018. [Read more…]