In recent years multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against the biggest textbook publishers, challenging their royalty-payment practices. In 2016, it was a suit against Pearson, alleging (among other things) gray market sales to international subsidiaries, paying lower international royalty rates, and then shipping books back into the U.S. for retail sales.1 More recently, there have been suits against Cengage, challenging “Cengage Unlimited,” Cengage’s all-access, Netflix-like subscription model.2 McGraw-Hill was also sued, in January, for improper royalty payment practices on its “Connect” products.3
Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) pays royalties repatriated to the United States by foreign Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) for use of certain US published works. Authors of textbooks and scholarly publications who hold copyright to their works also receive royalties for various services offered by CCC.
If you receive royalty payments from Copyright Clearance Center for use of copyrighted work(s) in the US and abroad, you should know that CCC will make future royalty payments electronically.
Publishers love acronyms. They take up less space in their software programs and they are convenient to use in daily conversations. Royalty statements are not easy to interpret. When publishers use abbreviations, it can add to the already confusing task of understanding your statements. To help authors better understand and navigate their statements, here we outline some of the most common abbreviations and terminology.
TAA announces a Call for Proposals for its 34th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference which will be held June 18-19, 2021 in Indianapolis, IN. We invite the submission of presentations relevant to writing, publishing, and marketing textbooks and academic works (textbooks, academic books, journal articles, and monographs). Interactive, hands-on sessions are encouraged. The proposal deadline is October 7, 2020.
Your royalty statements only tell part of the story regarding the success of your textbook. Join Juli Saitz, Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting Group at 2pm ET on Thursday, July 23rd to understand “5 Things Your Royalty Statements Don’t Tell You“.
The goal of this next session in our TAA Summer Webinar Series is to help authors understand what information is provided by their publishers and help identify gaps in that information.
Q: I’m a published author. I signed a textbook contract with a publisher 32 years ago and the first edition of my text was published 30 years ago. It’s since been revised 9 times, all under the original contract, and is due to be revised again soon. Recently, my publisher wrote and said they wanted to sign a new contract for the new edition because the industry had changed, their business model had changed, and the old contract was no longer in step with their current practices. Should I go along with this and sign the new contract?
A: Maybe. . . but not without doing a little homework first. Your original contract almost certainly contemplated that your text, if successful, would need periodically to be revised. What it probably said about this was that “if and when” the publisher thought a revision was warranted, the publisher would call upon you to prepare it. And if you were willing and able to do that, the revision would be prepared and published under the terms of your then existing agreement as if it were the work being published for the first time.