Your textbook isn’t being revised. Now what?

Just askIf your standard textbook revision cycle has come and gone, it doesn’t automatically mean that you aren’t being revised, and you can’t expect that your publisher will reach out to you either, so you’ll need to ask, says Donna Battista, vice president of content strategy for Top Hat.

“Get in touch with your publisher and just ask directly,” she says. “I think it’s always good practice to start from the perspective that everybody is going to work in good faith. Nobody wants to squat on your rights.”

Start with reviewing the revision clause in your contract to see what your options are, but if the publisher doesn’t plan for a new edition and you want to ask for your rights back it’s always best to ask for as much as possible, says Battista. “Know what you want to ask for, and then have an expectation that there are only certain things that they are required to release to you,” she says. The rights that will be returned to you are your intellectual property rights, or your content. [Read more…]

Get CCC Checks? Go Paperless

Copyright Clearance Center logoCopyright 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. [Read more…]

Inclusion means including everyone

Kevin Patton, TAA Vice President

As authors who have recommitted ourselves to the ideas of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our professional lives, one of the many struggles we face is making access to our content inclusive. However inclusive of race, gender, age, and other aspects of humanity our writing is, it is important to also ask ourselves whether all potential readers are able to access it.

As an author, I have often left accessibility issues completely in the hands the professionals among our publishing team. However, I realize more and more that, in many ways, that sort of inclusion starts with me. [Read more…]

4/14 TAA Webinar, “Effective Organization Strategies for Developing a Textbook Chapter”

Eric SchmiederWriting and Developing Your College TextbookThinking about writing a textbook can be much like planning to climb a mountain. A daunting task that may be overwhelming and require both endurance and strength before even getting started. But what if I told you that like most major projects or journeys, the effectiveness of the whole is really defined by the quality of the small parts that get put together?

Join us Wednesday, April 14, from 2-3 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Effective Organization Strategies for Developing a Textbook Chapter,” where TAA’s Membership Marketing Manager and author/co-author of several computer technology textbooks, Eric Schmieder, will share strategies for organizing your content at a chapter level in a way that defines your author style for content delivery. [Read more…]

Are you stalling by revising too soon?

writing linesWhen we’ve squeezed out a few sentences, a paragraph, or page of the first draft of our current writing project, in our elation we may be tempted to go back and revise. The pull to polish is irresistible. So, we revisit those hard-won sentences and baby them into perfection. Then we sit back and bask with satisfaction.

But what do we have? Admittedly, a start, but really just a few sentences. We know we should have kept going with the fearsome task of confronting the blankness, but we yield. And often, our excitement in starting the piece dissipates, like steam out the open window. We sit there, staring or sighing, get up, and walk away to do something that eats into our writing time. [Read more…]

TAA announces 2021 Textbook Award winners

2021 Textbook Award Winners from TAATwenty-five textbooks have been awarded 2021 Textbook Awards by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). Six textbooks received William Holmes McGuffey Longevity Awards, nine textbooks received Textbook Excellence Awards, and ten textbooks received Most Promising New Textbook Awards.

The McGuffey Longevity Award recognizes textbooks and learning materials whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. The Textbook Excellence Award recognizes excellence in current textbooks and learning materials. The Most Promising New Textbook Award recognizes excellence in 1st edition textbooks and learning materials.

The awardees will be recognized during an online textbook awards ceremony at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, March 19, 2021. The ceremony will be open to anyone who would like to help celebrate this year’s winners. Pre-registration is required for access to the ceremony. Register today. [Read more…]

Member Spotlight: Brian Shmaefsky

Brian ShmaefskyTAA Member Brian Shmaefsky is a Professor of Environmental Science and both a textbook and academic author writing in the disciplines of environmental science and human disease and anatomy. His most recent publication is Phytoremediation: In-Situ Applications.

What are you currently working on?

An environmental science textbook and several human disease books in a deadly diseases and epidemics series. [Read more…]

Featured Member Paul Krieger – Working with small publishers, niche markets, and alternative publishing opportunities

Paul Krieger is an award-winning professor and the creator, author, and illustrator of Morton Publishing’s Visual Analogy Guide series. Due to the success of his first book on human anatomy in 2004 (now in its 5th edition), this unique book concept quickly evolved into a four-book series. He is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan and also works as a scientific illustrator.

Here Paul discusses the evolution of his writing career, including decisions about publishers, alternative publishing opportunities in the educational teaching materials market, and lessons learned through his years in the industry. [Read more…]

Stepping gingerly into 2021: Molding our future

Laura FrostAt the end of the fall semester, I looked out at my students taking their final exam in masks—sitting in a room at half capacity with social distancing in effect, barely recognizing them—and I couldn’t help but wonder what their future holds.

The same question I ask my students at the conclusion of every class, I now ask myself about 2020: “What have I learned?” I learned that we can mold and change our future, all we have to do is fight for the things we believe in (nod to RBG). I learned that there are many heroes among us. Our health care and other essential workers have put their lives on the line, our scientific community raced to produce life-saving vaccines, our educators put their own lives at risk to keep our children engaged, and by many screaming loudly, we may finally advance some social justice issues. I have to believe that the many heroic efforts that took place in 2020 will result in change for the overall good of humanity. [Read more…]

Round up all those stampeding ideas

lots of ideasDo ideas flood your brain like a herd gone wild? Do you flail around, physically and metaphorically, trying to corral them and drive them into the barn? Are you going mad trying to figure out how to use them all?

I am almost constantly barraged by ideas for essays, stories, poems, novel slivers, quirky descriptions, and metaphoric pearls. Ideas surface everywhere: as I edit clients’ manuscripts, wash dishes, huff through workouts, wait on line, watch people, meditate, fall asleep, and even during tactful small talk at business dinners.

All the deluging ideas used to make me groan. Sometimes I’d even feel envious of writers who complained about their sparse fits of inspiration. I’d grouse internally that my ideas never seemed to stop. How would I ever get to them all, much less organize them or make something of them? Most would end up in a mass of ragged notes or on scraps stuffed under the scanner. [Read more…]