Crushing our creative guilt

creativityMany of us feel a strong calling to express our talents—in the academic and literary arts, music, dance, media, crafts, sciences, or any other field. In my profession of writing, almost every writer I know feels guilty for not writing enough, producing enough, and sending out enough pieces. But for “creatives,” as spiritual creativity guru Julia Cameron (1992, p. 33) labels us all, I’ve recognized another unproductive, thwarting, and possibly paradoxical self-recrimination. [Read more…]

Special features of TAA award-winning textbooks: From the awardees

Textbook Excellence Award WinnerAt the 31st Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, TAA members Al Trujillo and Dave Dillon hosted a panel of textbook award-winning authors to share features that they considered instrumental in the success of their books.

The panel consisted of Karen Morris, co-author of Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Law: A Preventive Approach, 8th Edition, Kathleen P. King, author of Technology and Innovation in Adult Learning, and the authoring team for Calculus for the AP Course, 2nd Edition, Michael Sullivan and Kathleen Miranda. Below is a summary of the textbook features they felt were most significant in the achievement of their 2018 Textbook Excellence awards. [Read more…]

President’s Message: Five major changes that altered the face of textbook publishing

Mike KennamerRecently I had a conversation with a friend about how textbook publishing has changed over the past several years. In our conversation, she recalled a time when publishing companies were small, specialized, and focused on a particular market. It was a time when publishers hired full-time employees which developed relationships with their authors, who they valued as experts in their fields. The author was consulted on anything from marketing to cover design and the publishing team listened to author opinions.

What changed? I submit that there are five major changes that combined, in the same way that one domino falling triggers another, have substantively changed the face of textbook publishing. The issue is far more complex than what I write here, but I see these changes as pivotally impacting the industry over the past few years. [Read more…]

Cengage to offer new ‘Author Relations team’ starting in February 2019

Help DeskCengage announced this week that beginning in February 2019 authors will have the ability to contact a member of a newly created Author Relations team made up of “professionals with proven expertise in handling contracts, royalties and other issues that are top of mind for authors and for Cengage.”

The Author Relations team, said Cengage, will offer clear and regular communication with authors, and act as the main point of contact for questions and concerns related to contracts, royalties and/or other similar topics to ensure that author queries on these topics are addressed quickly and effectively. [Read more…]

Can I help you in any way? Learning objectives

Can I help you in any way? Learning objectives“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real” (as opposed to an automated bot). Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions.

In this post, we’re focused on a question about the importance of learning objectives when writing a textbook. [Read more…]

Early registration open for TAA’s 2019 Conference

Join us in Old City, Philadelphia for TAA’s 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference. Early registration is now open!

TAA’s conference will be held on June 14-15 at the beautiful Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Hotel. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Old City, the neighborhood known as America’s most historic square mile, rich with treasures of American heritage, the Wyndham hotel sits adjacent to the historic Christ Church and Burial Ground, one block off charming Market Street, and within easy walking distance to Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center, and the Betsy Ross House. [Read more…]

11/6 TAA Webinar: Make “Collaboration” More Than a Buzzword

Learn to CollaborateJanet SalmonsHow do we decide what kind of interactive process will allow us to achieve outcomes more significant than what we could do on our own? What steps will improve collaborations when some or all of our interaction occurs online? These are questions Dr. Janet Salmons, author of the forthcoming book, Learning to Collaborate, Collaborating to Learn, will explore in her TAA webinar, “Make ‘Collaboration’ More Than a Buzzword,” on Tuesday, November 6 from 3-4 p.m. ET. Register today! [Read more…]

Textbook authors settle lawsuit over Cengage Unlimited

Choices in RelationshipsTextbook authors David Knox and Caroline Schacht have settled their lawsuit with Cengage over its Cengage Unlimited subscription service for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the agreement, the rights to the authors’ textbook, Choices in Relationships, will revert back to them, and Cengage will receive all rights to the authors’ remaining textbooks, Marriage and the Family, and Understanding Social Problems.

Cengage authors David Knox and Caroline Schacht filed a class action lawsuit against Cengage on May 14, claiming the company’s emphasis on digital distribution, including its new Cengage Unlimited model and expanded digital courseware offerings, violated their publishing agreements, and that the company was refusing to provide information that would allow them to audit their royalty payments. [Read more…]

9/17 TAA Webinar: ‘What You Need to Know About Rights Clearance and Permissions’

Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions for scholarly, educational, and trade publishingStephen GillenYour contract provided by your publisher will probably put the burden of securing permission for the use of third party material solely on you. How much of this is negotiable? What are the possible compromises? And regardless of whether you end up doing it or the publisher does it, under what circumstances do you need permission and how do you best go about getting it? Get answers to these questions from Stephen E. Gillen, a lawyer with more than 40 years of experience in and around the publishing business, and author of Guide to Rights Clearance and Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing, during his TAA webinar, “What You Need to Know About Rights Clearance and Permissions,” on Monday, September 17 from 2-3 p.m. ET. Register today! Free and open to members and non-members. 

4 Questions authors are asking about open textbooks

Whether you are a veteran textbook author or new to the industry, you’ve likely heard of open educational resources (OER) and open textbooks by now. As with anything new, the open textbook model is faced with scrutiny and questions from those familiar with the traditional publishing process. It’s also laden with opportunities, such as the current $5M open textbook pilot program.

To better understand the open textbook model, specifically what is the same and what is different from traditional publishing options, we asked some questions of several leaders in the open textbook movement. Here’s what we learned. [Read more…]