Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 4, 2019

New YearThe new year is always an opportunity to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. In this first week of 2019, we begin our collection of posts with two that look back at works from 1923 which have now entered the public domain and the related future of copyright reform. We continue with a couple posts focused on how writing is taught at the college level and advice for PhDs and PhD seekers interviewing and networking at conferences this year. Finally, we have found a few articles focused on the publishing industry at large, including the future of PLOS, open access publishing, and “The Great Acceleration”.

Whatever your writing efforts have in store this week, we hope the new beginnings of a new year provide time for reflection, preparation, and anticipation of what is to come. Happy Writing! [Read more…]

Higher education publishers’ aspirations to become software developers

Expanding upon an article in the September-October 2014 issue of TAA’s print newsletter, The Academic Author, Sean Wakely, Founder and Principal Adviser at Academic Author Advisers, posted an article on his blog that covers the topic of higher education publishers’ aspirations to become software developers.

In his post, Wakely examines publishers’ digital solution to declining print sales and used books and whether publishers are ready to meet the challenges posed by the “digital transition”.

In future posts, Wakely plans to cover publishers’ changing product vision and the acquisitions editor’s evolving role.

How to reach out to potential textbook publishers

high stack of booksQ: “I am interested in researching the types of textbooks that currently exist regarding preparing a student for a job and which courses utilize this book. Is there a way to determine, other than contacting universities directly, if books are currently being used regarding this topic and if they effectively address the current job market issues? Also, is it recommended, if you have a textbook topic idea, to send the proposal to multiple potential publishers? Is it necessary to completely write the book before marketing it to potential publishers?”

A: Mary Ellen Lepionka, author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook:

“You don’t mention the type of job you are referring to. Textbooks that prepare people for jobs may be [Read more…]

Advantages & disadvantages of working with multiple publishers

Jason Wrench, Associate Professor in Communication and Media at the State University of New York at New Paltz, share some advantages and disadvantages of working with multiple publishers.

Advantages

You learn what you like and don’t like about the publishing process. First and foremost, one of the biggest advantages to having multiple publishers is you learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Some publishers are a lot more hands-on during the writing process, while others are almost completely hands-off until the entire manuscript is finished. I’ve always been someone really good at keeping deadlines, so I don’t need an editor to help me with that, but I really do like getting the feedback along the way. I’ve experienced both, and have found that I would rather alter how I’m writing a book to meet expectations along the way than have to rewrite the book after I’ve finished. [Read more…]