Classrooms are great incubator for great textbooks

The classroom is a crucible for textbook development, said geography author Robert Christopherson, and that’s why publishers are looking for people who love to teach to write textbooks. “The development of the sequences of topics and the text outline is done through experimentation, he said, which is best done in the classroom using the author’s own students. Student questions in the classroom, for example, may be an indication of where a figure label is needed in the textbook.”

How to deal with rejection in academic publishing

Rejection can certainly be discouraging, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of a project. It is important to move forward after your work is rejected and there are some steps you can take to avoid rejection altogether.

Overcoming disappointment is often one of the first things an academic author must face after a rejection. Dannielle Joy Davis, an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law at Alabama State University and a new co-editor for the journal Learning for Democracy, recommends setting aside a finite amount of time to feel disappointed before moving on and taking steps to resubmit. “I always send [a rejected paper] back out to a refereed venue and do not dwell on disappointment for more than 24 hours,” she said.

Q&A: Tips on copyrighting your completed textbook

Q: “I have recently completed a textbook, and am searching for a publisher. Should I have the book copyrighted?”

A: Mary Ellen Lepionka, author of Writing & Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide:

“You can, or the publisher can do that for you in your name. The publisher typically pays the fee and sends two finished copies to the Library of Congress when the book is out. Request that the publisher register the copyright in your name, which is normal unless you have permanently assigned copyright to the publisher. My understanding is that in signing the publishing contract you do assign exclusive copyright use to the publisher (hopefully for a specified time rather than indefinitely), after which rights can revert to the author. However, an original work is ultimately, automatically, the property of its author or creator, which is a separate function from granting rights.

Q&A: What are some of the rewards of textbook writing?

Q: “What are some of the rewards of textbook writing?”

A: Erin C. Amerman, author of Exploring Anatomy & Physiology in the Laboratory, 1e (2010):

“Authoring a textbook from scratch is, naturally, an incredibly laborious process. It means often working 80-hour work weeks, giving up weekends, and facing occasional scathing comments from one’s peers. For me, it also meant that my daughter’s first intelligible sentence was, ‘Mommy, work, book.’ Without a doubt, textbook authoring demands sacrifices. Given all of this, one may wonder why anyone ever bothers to undertake such a massive task. The answer lies in the many rewards of textbook writing. In my opinion, the biggest such reward is the ability to create something brand new, something that will enhance the learning experience of students and make a positive impact on their education. As professors, we all have the opportunity to touch our students’ lives, but textbook authoring offers one the opportunity to do this on a much grander scale.”