The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 10, 2017

"The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas." ~Oliver MarkusThis week, November 6-11, 2017, was not only the first full week of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, but it also marked the sixth annual #UPWeek event in celebration of University Press Week. Throughout the week, there were a lot of great resources being shared throughout the academic community, no doubt inspired by these events. Our collection this week has something for everyone beginning with some humor illustrating the life of a grad student and tips about academic writing; exploring the scholarly process involving university presses, scholars, and reviewers; taking new perspectives on the publishing process, idea development, and resulting impact; increasing accessibility of scholarly resources; and sharing ideas with a broader audience. As stated by Oliver Markus, “The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas.” Now go, write, and share your big ideas! [Read more…]

Academic Writing for Social Good – TAA Webinar 12/4

Lynn WilsonJanet SalmonsAcademic writers want to disseminate their research for many reasons. Many are motivated by university requirements for certain kinds of publications. Others want to contribute to their fields by communicating with other researchers. Some of us want to communicate with professionals or practitioners, entrepreneurs or activists, makers or inventors who work outside the ivory tower. We hope our findings can be applied to make a difference. How can we use our research and insights in ways that contribute to the social good?

Join us Monday, December 4 from 3-4 p.m. ET for “Academic Writing for Social Good”, where textbook writer Janet Salmons and environmental non-profit leader Lynn Wilson will  share examples and suggestions for socially beneficial ways to think about our publication strategies. [Read more…]

Q&A: How to ensure quality when the publisher is cutting costs

textbook stackQ: How do you work with a publisher to ensure the final product is a quality work even though they are cutting costs?

A: Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide

“The best way to ensure quality of content is to make sure standards are referenced in your contract, e.g., that your manuscript will be professionally edited and indexed. If such provisions are not made contractually, then you should pay for them yourself. Your advance may pay for that, and you may be able to negotiate a higher royalty rate or a grant in exchange, but don’t count on it. Many publishers are no longer investing in the kind of editorial development that makes books commercially successful, except for titles [Read more…]

2017 Fall Webinars – Improve your skills

TAA fall webinar seriesWhether you are interested in learning how to publish in scholarly journals, develop a website, use podcasting to promote your scholarship, manage your writing projects, or how to use your research and insights in ways that contribute to the social good, TAA’s fall webinar series for textbook and academic authors has you covered. Join us as various industry experts share their expertise on academic and textbook writing topics. Sign-up early to reserve your spot! Not a TAA member? Learn more about member benefits and join today. [Read more…]

Call for Proposals: Textbook and academic authoring conference

TAA’s 31st Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference will be held at La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM, June 15-16, 2018. The conference is attended by authors and aspiring authors of textbooks, journal articles, and other academic works, as well as by industry professionals from across the country.

TAA invites the submission of presentations relevant to authoring and publishing textbooks and academic works (journal articles, books, and monographs). [Read more…]

Special offer on TAA books on textbook authoring

Guide to Textbook Publishing ContractsWriting and Developing Your College TextbookTake advantage of special pricing on two TAA books, Writing and Developing Your College Textbook and Guide to Textbook Publishing ContractsWriting and Developing Your College Textbook is now $43.95 (regularly $53.95) with free shipping. You’ll also receive a coupon code for $5 off your membership renewal! Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts is now $14.95 for the print book (regularly $19.95) and $9.95 for the ebook (regularly $14.95). You’ll also receive free shipping on the print order and a coupon code for $5 off your membership renewal! [Read more…]

4 Higher education publishers team up to fight counterfeit textbooks

Stop Counterfeit TextbooksIn an effort to fight counterfeit textbooks, four higher education publishers, Cengage, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson, have teamed up to create a website called Stop Counterfeit Textbooks.

The site includes information on how to avoid counterfeit textbooks, how to identify a counterfeit textbook, and what to do if your textbook is counterfeit. The website states: “Counterfeit textbooks are a substantial problem in the educational marketplace, burdening students with inferior products; exposing distributors to legal liability and unsaleable inventory; and depriving authors and publishers of the funds necessary to reinvest in new educational content.” [Read more…]

Trade vs. textbooks: 6 Key takeaways from my experiences

Competency Based Education in Aviation

Suzanne Kearns’s trade book, “Competency-Based Education in Aviation”, published by Routledge

Suzanne KearnsI am the author or co-author of three books. A textbook with a vanity publisher, two trade books with an academic publisher, and an upcoming introductory textbook.

My first book was the result of a publisher’s agent knocking on my office door and asking if I would be interested in writing a textbook. All the publisher asked was that I would require the book within my courses and sign away the copyright. I was excited to get started, so I barely even read the publishing contract. I now know this experience epitomizes that of working with a vanity publisher – the goal is to generate some revenue rather than produce the ideal product.  The textbook ended up being an effective tool within my course, but it wasn’t adopted anywhere else. [Read more…]

Textbook award-winning insight (Part 3): Pedagogy and marketing involvement

2017 TAA Textbook AwardsA few weeks ago, I reached out to winners of the 2017 TAA Textbook Awards and asked them to answer some questions about their textbook writing. I had so many great responses I decided to create a five-part series to share them. The first installment focused on why they decided to write their textbook, and how they got started. The second installment focused on what they do to boost their confidence as a writer, how they fit writing time into their schedule, and what software they use.

This third installment in the five-part series focuses which pedagogical elements in their textbook they are most proud of, and what involvement they have had in marketing their book. [Read more…]

Join us 4/6 for the TAA webinar, ‘Screencasting for Academic Authors: How to Create Instructional Videos on a Budget’

Michael GreerWith the rise of e-books, online learning, and mobile technology, the demand for instructional media is exploding. Textbook authors, academic authors, and instructors are being called upon to design and deliver instruction in multimedia genres like screencasts and videos. Fortunately, authors and teachers today can produce effective screencast videos without going to film school or hiring expensive professional help.

Join us Thursday, April 6 from 1-2 p.m. ET, for the TAA webinar, “Screencasting for Academic Authors: How to Create Instructional Media on a Budget,” and presenter Michael Greer will walk you through a sample screencast project to show how you can get started today, even if you have no experience using video editing software. The webinar will demonstrate a simple step-by-step process you can use to create an instructional screencast and offer additional resources for authors who want to learn more about designing and producing educational media. In short, this webinar offers everything you wanted to know about screencasting but were afraid to ask!  [Read more…]