Writing a book takes hours; perhaps a thousand or more including the research and editing. Needless to say it is a major commitment that authors expect will have a payoff of peer recognition, dissemination of ideas, and (gasp) maybe even a royalty payment. But how do authors know the marketplace wants their book?
For many veteran authors and publishing industry professionals, like TAA members Karen Morris and Steve Gillen, mergers and acquisitions are not new occurrences in academic publishing. However, in light of recent announcements, including the pending merger of industry-leaders Cengage and McGraw-Hill, many authors are concerned about their own survival options.
In their 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Mergers and Acquisitions Among Publishers: Authors Need a Life Jacket”, Morris shared her experience as a survivor of mergers throughout her career and Gillen offered perspective on what a merger may mean to the individual author, what they can do to protect themselves, and what to do after the deal is announced.
During her 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “The Anatomy of a Textbook Contract”, intellectual property attorney Brenda Ulrich walked participants through a standard textbook publishing contract clause by clause to dissect and explain what the language means, what is significant, what to look for, what is worth trying to change and what is not.
Below are key points from the presentation covering the first four contract elements: grant or transfer of rights, manuscript preparation and delivery, acceptability of manuscript/acceptance, and failure to deliver.
According to Bangambiki Habyarimana, “Writing a book is burning your brain to enlighten another man’s mind.” Our collection of articles from around the web this week begins with thoughts on writing book chapters, publishing expectations on the tenure track, and advice on growing a platform to land a book deal. We then explore the existence of bad writing advice and the consequences of bad research practices. Finally, we explore the ongoing impact of ed tech, the potential affect of automation in research, a new digital homework platform from FlatWorld, and a three-pronged approach to fighting digital piracy.
As you enter this new week of writing, approach your practice with integrity and innovation that serves to enlighten the minds of your readers.