Textbooks as scholarship and agents of change

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.

How can AR technology enhance the reading experience?

This post will briefly illustrate what the future of textbooks may look like and explore the transformation of making reading an interactive and engaging learning experience using AR.

You might wonder: what is augmented reality (AR) and how is it related to regular textbooks? Since the global share of the mobile AR adaption is predicted to grow massively in the coming years, it seems it might be a meaningful space to increase your knowledge. By 2024 there will be an estimated 1.7 billion mobile AR user devices worldwide, a rise of 1.5 billion from the 200 million seen in 2015. Let’s look in more detail at what mobile AR is, how it can relate to learning and publishing, and what it takes to develop an augmented reality textbook.

Developing digital learning experiences

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.

How to evaluate an effective book cover

Go ahead. Judge that next book by its cover. Or, at least, judge the cover itself and what purpose it serves for the book. Textbook author, Paul A. Krieger tells us that “Good book covers are important” and shares four specific benefits to a quality cover design.

  1. The book cover serves as an advertisement for your book;
  2. A quality cover makes a positive first impression with your readers;
  3. It informs your readers what the book is about; and
  4. It can improve overall sales.

Published textbook authors invited to take TAA’s 2022 Textbook Contracts & Royalties Survey

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.

TAA announces 2022 Textbook Award winners

Forty-five textbooks have been awarded 2022 Textbook Awards by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). 12 textbooks received William Holmes McGuffey Longevity Awards, 13 textbooks received Textbook Excellence Awards, and 20 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.