The rise of self-publishing

You'll work hard for the things you wantSelf-publishing has been on an upward trajectory for over a decade, but has gained exponential strength even more recently. What is happening in publishing and the wider world to drive this?

In this post, I will look at self-publishing and the factors powering it. I will compare it to traditional publishing. My next two posts will examine the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, the finances of each, the skills needed to succeed in self-publishing, and the nuts-and-bolts of what needs to be done to self-publish. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 13, 2020

“A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.” ~Angela CarterAngela Carter once said, “A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.” What goes inside the book, however, is the challenge every author faces. It takes process, persistence, and support to complete our writing projects and to produce something that matters.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have advice on using outlines, setting goals, taking notes, finding your target audience, and writing conclusions. We also found information on networking, writing retreats, unspoken privilege, and growth as a writer. Finally, we explore the global outlook for open access and other academic publishing trends.

Remember that the final product – your book, paper, grant proposal, or other writing project – is merely the container. It’s the ideas that you express inside that manuscript that matter most. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The textbook report 2019

The Textbook Report 2019As we near the end of the decade, textbook authors face a myriad of changes in industry structure and public perception reflected and fueled by the headlines in the news. In her annual textbook report, veteran author June Jamrich Parsons shared some of those headlines and the details behind them with attendees at her 2019 conference session in Philadelphia, PA.

Below is a summary of her presentation, including key takeaways about industry profitability, textbook prices, publishing formats, and instructor perceptions. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: March 9, 2018

"I like my writing career and its progression, I'd rather be that slow moving tide that turns a mountain into a beautiful beach for all to enjoy, rather than a flash in a pan that yields no heat." ~Stanley Victor PaskavichStanley Victor Paskavich said “I like my writing career and its progression, I’d rather be that slow moving tide that turns a mountain into a beautiful beach for all to enjoy, rather than a flash in a pan that yields no heat.” There are a lot of aspects of writing careers – both textbook and academic – that seem to take longer than anticipated to reach fruition. In addition, over time the rules seem to continue to change – as do our individual goals as writers.

This process and progression is examined in the collection of articles from around the web this week. We examine the processes of pursuing a PhD, trusting your gut in academic writing efforts, the realities of faculty research, contract negotiation, and disclosure practices from an author’s perspective. We also explore systemic ideas related to affordability of course materials, glass ceilings, and stewardship as the publishing industry progresses. As you write this week, continue to write in a way that turns the mountain ahead into a beautiful beach for all to enjoy. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 8, 2017

"Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end." ~Nona Mae KingThis week our collection of articles from around the web contains innovative practices and changes in the publishing industry, suggestions for Open Education, ways to repurpose your finished research into a journal article, academic friendships, social media impacts on author and publisher success, and actions to reduce predatory publishing practices.

As we come to the end of the first week of December, a month where many of our writing projects are faced with increased struggle as academic terms come to an end, remember the words of Nona Mae King, “Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end.” [Read more…]

E-books, digital rights management, and the first-sale doctrine

There has been much buzz over the last couple of decades about the future of the textbook. Will print books continue to dominate? Will book rentals take a more prominent role? Will the market shift to e-books or to subscription-based access to cloud stored content or to more complex adaptive learning systems? Or will proprietary publishing fade to black as Open Education Resources improve in quality and increase in number? [Read more…]