Virtually all faculty in academia, regardless of discipline and institution, are aware of the ongoing debate concerning “what counts” when considering criteria for raises, tenure, and promotion. In more than a few cases, the debate centers on whether textbooks are “real scholarship.” Alred and Thelen, in their 1993 paper outlined some of the common anti-text arguments. In our article in Kinesiology Review (Corbin, Yu, & Gill, 2022), we discuss textbooks as scholarship and address some of the anti-textbook arguments. In addition, we argue that textbooks are agents of change that have influenced both disciplinary and professional studies in academia.
Over the past decade, digital textbooks have become the norm in many college classrooms. That may sound like progress, but there’s an issue: moving content onto a digital platform only solves the problem of the medium of delivery. It doesn’t inherently change the teaching or learning experience. Making something digital does not aloneserve the needs of today’s students and, in fact, challenges arise because there is no simple one-to-one correlation between the print and digital experience. In order to build content for digital delivery we need to be intentional about what we are building, why we are building it and how we are building it. Great digital learning experiences are intentional.
Are you curious what royalty rates other textbook authors are receiving for print and digital books? What about what they’ve been able to negotiate regarding first right of refusal, the sunset clause, or royalties for bulk, wholesale and foreign editions?
If you are a published textbook author, we invite you to participate in TAA’s 2022 Textbook Contract & Royalties Survey, which aims to provide a look into the range of royalties and contract options offered for print and digital textbooks.
Join Eirik Wahlstrøm, Ingrid Skrede, and Harald Manheim from Ludenso on Thursday, February 24 from 102 p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, The Future of Textbooks, to learn what AR is and how it can be used in the existing and future print textbooks to better illustrate complex concepts and spark curiosity. In the webinar, you will get a live demo of the technology, insights into the research findings from the initial tests of using AR in classrooms in the Nordics, as well as a step-wise guide into how you as an author easily can bring your books to life.
College textbook publishing has changed in many significant ways over the past twenty years. While the industry is still dominated by a small number of large publishers, their product and business models have evolved greatly. Pressure to create a variety of low-priced product options and resulting decreases in growth and profit have caused many publishers to pull back on the acquisition of new products. Consequently, acquisitions editors have often begun to focus on managing existing titles rather than on acquiring new products. If you are flexible, persistent, and creative, you can still find opportunities to write or contribute to a college-level textbook.
Join us Thursday, February 10 from 1-2 p.m. ET for “Connecting With a College Textbook Publisher in Changing Times”, presented by Sean Wakely, Vice President of Product and Editorial at FlatWorld. Wakely will describe the current college textbook publishing landscape and provide you with actionable ideas about how to approach and form a relationship with the editorial staff who are responsible for bringing new writing talent into a publisher.
This past summer I gave a presentation at TAA’s 2021 Virtual Conference on the joys and benefits of working for a small publisher, which I have done for the past 18 years. Well, guess what? I no longer work for a small publisher because they were recently acquired by a larger publisher. This serves as yet another example of what we all know so well – the publishing business in higher education is changing rapidly and we all need to adapt to new paradigms.
Allow me to share how I have handled this transition so far. The first thing I did was contact my intellectual property attorney to solicit advice on questions to ask my new publisher.