What academics need to know about writing for a trade audience

While the books I represent generally are for a trade audience, and are available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon and independent bookstores, a number of my authors are academicians, and also have written for more academic audiences. Very often, that is how their book career began. Today, more categories, such as neuroscience, education, learning, botany, history, and more, are crossing over from academic/textbook to trade, as those authors are able to reframe their material or generate a new spin for an alternate receptive audience. [Read more…]

Copyright, Covid, and the Virtual Classroom

CopyrightWith the fall semester fast approaching, faculty are intensively preparing for the 2020-2021 academic year, in the face of continually changing information and circumstances. A number of our higher education clients have had questions about copyright issues relating to the transition of traditional in-person classes to online or hybrid formats. We have also been reviewing software agreements for various services that allow institutions to shift more of their offerings online. Here we discuss four common issues we have encountered. Although the answers are seldom black-and-white, we thought it would be useful to share some of the questions and possible approaches to them:

1) When can copyrighted third-party materials (including text, photographs, video, and music) be used without permission or licenses in online teaching activities? Can college libraries scan and provide digital access to print reserve materials? [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 15, 2020

“Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.” ~Lindsey Vonn“Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.” This advice from former World Cup alpine ski racer and four-time champion, Lindsey Vonn, frames this week’s collection and is, perhaps, exactly what we all need to hear in our efforts to move forward from the chaos that has dominated our lives and academic communities over the past couple of months.

A little more than two months since the first round of US-based closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing a new “normal” emerge in the wake as transition to virtual instruction, cancellation of in-person events, and an acceptance of unexpected change has led people to a new way of living, learning, and working. And it can’t be in a perpetual state of pause.

There is something to be said for a state of consistency in what we can maintain – such as the approach to drafting a research paper. There is also a need to eventually, and perhaps now, summon the courage to reassess and rebuild our lives. There are also a number of new opportunities that have been uncovered as a result of the unexpected disruption to life as we knew it only a few short months ago.

All of these things are addressed in this week’s collection of articles from around the web. While there’s no doubt that life has changed quickly, it is up to you to determine if you will let that change be a positive way for you moving forward. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Embracing an imperfect writing practice: Ebb and flow, organization & persistence

Julie Peterson Combs is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University. In addition to maintaining an active research agenda, she has written over 84 journal articles, seven book chapters, and co-authored four books including The Trust Factor: Strategies for School Leaders (Routledge).

Here Julie talks about the evolution of her writing practice and how ebb and flow and persistence can win the day.

TAA: With two decades of academic writing experience, how has your writing practice evolved and what have you learned? [Read more…]

Publishing in 2019: Charting new waters

compass over waterDuring her 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Publishing in 2019: Charting New Waters”, intellectual property attorney, Brenda Ulrich identified some of the legal aspects facing authors who are publishing in 2019 and beyond.  

Whether working with a traditional publisher, self-publishing, or exploring open access options, contracts and copyright laws are still important. And as Ulrich notes, in many cases, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Below are some of the aspects for consideration as you continue your publishing journey. [Read more…]

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…]

Textbook publisher mergers and acquisitions: What authors need to know

mergers and acquisitionsIf you’ve been published (or simply signed, for that matter) by a US publisher in the last dozen years, there is a fair to excellent chance that the master to whom you are now answering is not the master to whom you indentured yourself when you signed your original publishing contract. Among the larger transactions: [Read more…]

2019 Textbook award-winning insight (Part 3): Pedagogy and marketing involvement

TAA Textbook AwardsA few weeks ago, we reached out to winners of the 2019 TAA Textbook Awards and asked them to answer some questions about their textbook writing. We 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 on which pedagogical elements in their textbook they are most proud of, and what involvement they have had in marketing their book. [Read more…]

Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference to feature sessions on contracts and royalties

TAA’s 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference speaker and mentor panels will feature several publishing industry professionals with expertise on topics such as intellectual property, copyright, publishing contracts, and royalties. The conference will be held in Old City, Philadelphia, June 14-15, 2019.

Intellectual property attorney Brenda Ulrich, a partner at Archstone Law Group PC, will kick off the conference with a session titled “Legal Issues for Independent Contractor Authors and Self-Publishers.” This session will explore legal issues in the “post-traditional publishing contract world.” [Read more…]

New year welcomes thousands of copyrighted works into the public domain

This year marks the first in two decades that a significant body of copyrighted work has lost its U.S. copyright protection and fallen into the public domain. Why is that…and what does it mean for scholars and educators?

Prior to 1978, the term of copyright protection for a work in the United States was measured from its date of first publication in the U.S. Under the first U.S. copyright act in 1790, U.S. works enjoyed an initial term of 14 years of protection, with an optional second term of another 14 years. [Read more…]