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.

4/5 TAA Webinar, “Your Textbook Isn’t Being Revised. Now What?”

As publishing companies look to manage costs and focus on large introductory courses, many high-quality and high-value textbooks are not being revised.

Join us Monday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Your Textbook Isn’t Being Revised. Now What?”, when Donna Battista, VP of Content Strategy at Top Hat, and previous Pearson Executive, will help authors navigate this increasingly common challenge. She’ll provide guidance on requesting rights back, what to do when rights are reverted, and what options there are to make content available.

TAA announces 2021 Textbook Award winners

2021 Textbook Awards by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). Six textbooks received William Holmes McGuffey Longevity Awards, nine textbooks received Textbook Excellence Awards, and ten textbooks received Most Promising New Textbook Awards.

The McGuffey Longevity Award recognizes textbooks and learning materials whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. The Textbook Excellence Award recognizes excellence in current textbooks and learning materials. The Most Promising New Textbook Award recognizes excellence in 1st edition textbooks and learning materials.

The awardees will be recognized during an online textbook awards ceremony at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, March 19, 2021. The ceremony will be open to anyone who would like to help celebrate this year’s winners. Information about how to participate in the ceremony will be posted next week.

McGraw-Hill textbook authors file class action lawsuit against publisher

Three authors filed a complaint in U.S. district court asserting that McGraw Hill is in breach of contract for a recent change to royalty calculations for products sold on its Connect digital platform. The complaint, Flynn v. McGraw Hill LLC, 21-cv-00614, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan), was filed on January 22 by Sean Flynn, Associate Professor of Economics, Scripps College; co-author of Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. (Now in 22nd edition.), Dean Kardan, Prof Economics and Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern U; co-author three textbooks: Economics, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics, and Jonathan Morduch Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Wagner Graduate School of Public Service in NYU, co-author with Dean Kardan of the above three books.

Put your dream of publication to the test

In his book, Put Your Dream to the Test, Dr. John C. Maxwell says, “Dreams are valuable commodities. They propel us forward. They give us energy. They make us enthusiastic. Everyone ought to have a dream.”

What is your dream? Do you have a dream of publishing a book or article, but don’t know where to start? Have you started, but lose momentum? Have you lost hope and set your dream aside?

Maxwell adds, “It’s one thing to have a dream. It’s another to do the things needed to achieve it.” To put your dream to the test, he outlines the following list of 10 questions to help you recognize your dream and seize it.

Accessible college textbooks: From problematical to profitable

Following is an excerpt of an article published by Robert Martinengo, Founder, Consumer Accessibility Information Label Association (CAILA). The article explains how publishers can serve the needs of college students with disabilities while making, not losing, money.

For years, publishers have been encouraged to produce books that are accessible to students with disabilities. Those advocating for accessible books include people with disabilities, naturally, and organizations that represent their interests. But the sector with pressing legal, practical, and economic interests in the accessibility of educational materials are colleges and universities

Executive Director’s Message: The changing face of piracy

I invite you to try an experiment. If you have authored a textbook or monograph in the past 20 years, go to your favorite search engine and type in the title of that work. Scroll around a bit amongst the results and scrutinize the sources that claim to be able to provide your book, in full text, for a fee or for free. Did you find any that you were unaware of?…any that are giving it away for free that you did not know about or that your publisher tells you are illegitimate? How far down your list of search results did you have to go to find an instance of one of these illegitimate copies of your work?

Will getting published achieve what you think it will?

People want to be published. Whether it is a journal article, textbook, monograph, dissertation, or something else, the urge to be published is palpable with many scholars, researchers, and academics. I work with many people and they all have different motivations: tenure, career advancement, to have their work disseminated, financial rewards, and more. Many have a sense of urgency to them.

But will getting published achieve what you think it will?

Authors’ suit against Cengage hits snags

In October 2019, six authors, intending to form a class action together with other Cengage authors, filed a lawsuit against Cengage alleging that Cengage’s royalty accounting for proceeds from distribution of their products through the MindTap and Cengage Unlimited business models breached the publisher’s royalty arrangements with authors. In addition to the breach of contract claim, the authors alleged that Cengage acted in bad faith towards authors regarding the two products. Before a trial could get underway, Cengage responded by asking for all counts to be dismissed, and that the attempt to form a class action be denied.