What is critical race theory and why it should matter to academic authors

Recently, since the popularity of the 1619 project and its connection to critical race theory (CRT), there has been significant confusion about what CRT is. CRT used to be only known and debated by scholars in law, education, sociology and other related fields, but now it is troubling the minds of the parents of elementary students, among others. Let’s start with what it is, talk about what it isn’t and end with discussing what academic authors need to know about it.

Five chances to reset the terms of your book contract (Part 1)

If you published the first edition of your textbook ten or more years ago, you may find yourself occasionally muttering to yourself, “I wish I kew then what I know now.”

Why is that?

Historically, the publishers start the book contract negotiation game with all the cards…backs to you. You have one card…it’s face up. And it tells everybody, “I’m new at this but I’m excited. Just tell me where to sign.”

Publishers have generally been the gatekeeper to a published book. While this may be less true now, with self-publishing and Open Educational Resources (OER), the publishers still have the most established distribution channels self-publishers cannot begin to match.

How to use graphic design principles to evaluate the effectiveness of your book cover

All four books in textbook supplement author Paul Krieger’s Visual Analogy series showcase a visual analogy on the cover, a great advertisement for one of the key learning tools that make his books unique: visual analogies.

“My whole book idea was born in the lab from my teaching,” says Krieger, whose books include A Visual Guide to Human Anatomy, A Visual Analogy Guide to Physiology, A Visual Analogy Guide to Human Anatomy and Physiology, and A Visual Analogy Guide to Chemistry. “I used to sketch visual analogies out at my students’ lab tables, and it was students who encouraged me to write my first book 17 years ago. In the anatomy and physiology lab, students have to learn different anatomical structures. So, for example, when they need to learn the thoracic vertebra, I use a giraffe head to create a visual analogy that helps them learn and remember all of the parts of the thoracic vertebra, which is shaped like a giraffe head.”

Get your writing-themed t-shirts by Aug. 10

TAA is offering two writing-themed t-shirt designs for a limited time. Choose between two popular writing quotes. ‘Write Without Fear. Edit Without Mercy.’ and ‘Writing: Somewhere Between Torture and Fun’. Or, get both!

Super-soft high-quality fabric T’s. Both designs available in crew neck (unisex) or v-neck in Graphite Heather or Royal Frost. Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL. Order by August 10. Shirts ship the week of August 30.

When to consider authoring as a work for hire

Work made for hire is writing that is done as part of a person’s job or as an independent contractor who signs an advance written agreement that the work is “work for hire” or “work made for hire.” Authors of a work made for hire have fewer rights than authors who sign a copyright transfer agreement. In effect, the organization that hires the author owns the work. That organization can, within the constraints of the agreement, do whatever they want with the work including adding drastic changes or deciding to not publish it. If the work made for hire is done as part of the author’s regular job, the author will not receive royalties unless a written agreement assigns royalties to the author.