Writing a book takes hours; perhaps a thousand or more including the research and editing. Needless to say it is a major commitment that authors expect will have a payoff of peer recognition, dissemination of ideas, and (gasp) maybe even a royalty payment. But how do authors know the marketplace wants their book?
As 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.
This week’s collection of articles from around the web is full of opportunities. Opportunities to improve your academic reading practice, to tell your story, to make your writing more interesting, to broadcast your research, or to go freelance. It’s also filled with challenges and uncertainty. Challenges of parenting and academia, predatory journals, the uncertain future of university presses, neurodiversity in scholarly publishing, and the affect of the planned merger between Cengage and McGraw-Hill on the textbook market.
With each opportunity comes challenge and uncertainty. Equally so, with each challenge or uncertainty comes opportunity. As Ray Bradbury once said, “You fail only if you stop writing.” So, here’s to success. Happy writing!
An announcement jointly made by Cengage CEO Michael Hansen and McGraw-Hill CEO Nana Banerjee is sure to raise questions among authors of both organizations. The two entities are planning a merger in 2020 that will, according to the company’s public release, “accelerate innovation and accessibility” and provide “seamless integration across our range of learning sciences, adaptive solutions, and learning tools.”
“I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.” This advice from Anna Quindlen frames our collection of articles this week.
Recognizing the quality of our efforts and focusing on ways to improve our contribution to the field is core to writing success. We begin this week’s collection with an examination of effective feedback, finding the gap in the research, and getting into a habit of data management. We then explore the challenges and benefits of balancing family and academic lives. Finally, we close with a look at textbook subscriptions in the publishing market and how to construct a CV for the academic job market.
Whatever the state of your writing or career this week, start where you are, no matter how bad, it can eventually lead to something better, but doing nothing will certainly lead to nothing. Happy writing!
Jane Yolen once said, “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” This week’s collection of articles includes discussions about the hard work of writing and the importance of tracking your time and productivity related to the craft. There are also articles on innovation and creativity in research and writing, a methodology study group, and FlatWorld’s impact in the textbook market.
As a reminder, registration for the TAA Writing Gym closes on Monday, July 9th. We encourage you to join the gym and spend the next six weeks exercising your writing muscles with other TAA members!