Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 8, 2019

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” – Samuel JohnsonAs we reach the end of the first full week of November, more affectionately known as Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) for most of our readers, we want to remind you of the importance of reading to improve your writing efforts. In fact, Samuel Johnson once said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” This reading time may be immersed in discipline-specific journal articles, or in items such as the ones below that help improve your overall writing craft and understanding of the authoring industry.

This week our collection includes resources from SAGE MethodSpace’s AcWriMo focus on writing and publishing books, ways to address worry for writers, establishing a plan B (or C), determining your contribution to the literature, maintaining an appropriate writing voice, questioning our assumptions in publishing innovations, and exploring alternative textbook options, including OER.

Remember as you move forward in your writing this week, it is more than acceptable – it’s even necessary – to take time to read to broaden your understanding of both your discipline and your craft, in order to improve your results as an author. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Can I help you in any way? Publishing strategies (part 1)

Can I help you in any way? Publishing strategies (part 1)“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’re highlighting some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on questions about publishing strategies.

As I was preparing this post in the series, I realized that many of the questions we receive fall under the category of “publishing strategies.” As a result, we will cover this topic in two parts with this post focused specifically the process of finding a publisher and submitting a book proposal. [Read more…]

Playing the field: Is it ok to submit a single book proposal to multiple publishers?

Textbook StackBuilding a relationship with a publisher, for many authors, is a lifelong commitment, so the decision of which publisher to work with shouldn’t be taken lightly. How do you know that you’ve found “the one” for your book? We sought the opinions of seven TAA members on whether or not it’s acceptable to submit a single book proposal to several different publishers. Here are their responses and reasoning. [Read more…]

Textbook proposal submission tips: How to evaluate the competition

Study competing textbooksWhen submitting a textbook proposal, most publishers will expect you to provide information on two to four of the closest competitors in the market and identify how your book will be different and better than the competition.

Three veteran textbook authors share their advice on how to study competing textbooks and which elements should be reviewed in making the case in a textbook proposal. [Read more…]

Textbook proposal tips: Read publishers’ author guidelines

TextbooksMost textbook publishers provide instruction on their website in the form of author guidelines for developing a book proposal that includes detailed information on how you can become an author for their company.

TAA has compiled this list of author guidelines for many of the major textbook publishers. [Read more…]

6 Textbook proposal writing tips

Textbook PublishingSix textbook authors share their textbook proposal writing tips:

“Make sure there is a demand for your book that currently is not being met by exisiting texts.”

David J. Ellenbogen, author of Elementary Algebra: Concepts and Applications

“Beware of putting anything in writing too early, since some editors will take your preliminary ideas to be definite proposals. When you do write the proposal, assume it will be your last chance to convince an editor to take an interest in the project. Also keep in mind that no matter how convinced you are that your book will be the best in the field, you have to make that clear to the editor, and you also have to explain to the editor how that is going to be clear to potential adopters.” [Read more…]

Q&A: Is it acceptable to submit your proposal to multiple publishers?

Author's questionnaireQ: “When seeking a new publisher, do I only talk to one acquisitions editor at a time (wait for them to send my materials out for review and either other a contract or not) before sending material out to any other editor, or is it acceptable to send materials out to 2 or 3 at once?”

A: Richard Hull, Former TAA Executive Director:

“Self interest indicates you should send the proposal out to as many publishers as you can, trying to maximize your chances of getting an acceptance. But this may lead to other moral dilemmas: what if you get an early response, accept the offer, and just as you are about to close the deal you get another, better offer? [Read more…]