Last Updated April 24, 2013
TAA announces 2013 Council election results
Five TAA members have been elected to the TAA Council, the association’s governing board. The newly elected Council positions include Steven E. Barkan, as Vice President/President Elect; Mike Kennamer, Secretary; Mark Lerner, Treasurer; and new council members John Russo and Susanna Weiss. All terms begin July 1, 2013. The officer positions serve two-year terms while the council positions serve three-year terms.
Tara Gray, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Criminal Justice and founding director of the Teaching Academy at New Mexico State University. She has published more than 30 articles and three books including Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar.
Here Gray discusses how she incorporates her 12 steps to Publish & Flourish into her own writing process.
TAA: What is your approach to writing?
Tara Gray: “I try to write every day of the year, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays included, but I would say I average writing six days a week year-round. Sometimes I feel discouraged because I’m not as successful at writing daily as some of the writers who wrote books emphasizing writing daily. For example, former TAA member, the late Frank Silverman, rarely missed a day of writing for any reason whatsoever. In contrast, I have written daily for only ten years. Nonetheless, as the years go by, I’m becoming more committed to writing daily.
I write at home in the early mornings to face the day with confidence and to minimize interruptions. By writing first, I can go to campus confident that one third of my workday is behind me. The interruptions I do face at home are almost all internal, and my best way of keeping them at bay is to know that I have duly noted my beginning writing time on my writing log. It’s like a ritual for me. Once I have noted the time I started writing on the log, I know that this is my time for writing, not for emailing or for anything else.
I believe strongly in accountability, so on Sundays, I write a note to my sponsor (accountability partner) explaining how many days and minutes I have written and exercised in the past week. There is something essential about keeping records and sharing them with someone. It’s what keeps me on track.”
TAA: How do you choose your writing projects?
TG: “I write from the first day of my research projects. When I first begin thinking about a topic, I get out my computer and start free writing. Then I choose between topics by comparing my free writing on one topic to the free writing on another. By having something on paper, I am also able to move forward with my writing because, once something is written, it’s much easier to criticize, revise, and ratchet it up to the next level. The ‘something’ that I have on paper is likely to be PowerPoint™ slides. You may find this technique useful as well. You might create a simple set of PowerPoint™ slides and then write a paper from it. Of course, this is not too different from working from an outline, except it really encourages you to say your ideas out loud before writing them down, which can be enormously helpful.”
TAA: Do you have any tips for how to organize your thoughts and strategize your writing time?
TG: “I divide my writing time into about three five minute time slots. I spend the first five minutes reading the paragraph(s) that I wrote the day before and making revisions. Then I move on to writing new prose. I insist that I write at least one line, but preferably one paragraph. This takes another five minutes or so. In the last five minutes, I revise what I have written.
I organize each paragraph around a key or topic sentence. I don’t know why my paragraphs were so incoherent before I used key sentences, but they were. Key sentences brought my paragraphs into focus; more important, they brought my thinking into focus. I had always tried to be organized by keeping outlines. In these outlines I synthesized the essence of each paragraph. But the outlines were a private thing; my reader wasn’t privy to those outlines. Putting my key points in key sentences made my outlines accessible to my reader.
Next, I line up my key sentences to make an after-the-fact outline. I go through the after-the-fact outline carefully, checking first for purpose and audience. Does every sentence help me convey the purpose to the audience? Next, I check for organization, by which I mean logic and coherence. Have I said something half way twice instead of saying it once and referring back to it as necessary? Are my ideas ordered in the most logical way? Are they coherent? Do the paragraphs stick together as well as is possible? I spend a lot of time with this step and see a huge payoff in my writing.”
TAA: Do you elicit input from others, and if so, how do you respond to comments?
TG: “I share my work with every manner of expert, including non-experts. Over a period of thirty months, I shared this book with a half-dozen of each of the following: writing groups (non-experts), experts, and Experts. For an ordinary academic article, I would share with only three or so people in each category. People remark most on my sharing of my manuscripts with Capital-E Experts. I go straight to the top. I invite the people whom I respect the most–on my side of the debate and on the other side–to read my work. I learn a lot from both groups
I try to listen well, without being defensive. I use different techniques depending on whether I’m ‘listening’ to someone talk or to someone’s email. When listening to someone talk, I take notes right when I would like to disagree. I force myself to get a record of what the person is saying so that I will be able to distill the essence of it later when I am usually less defensive. When listening to someone by email, I write down what I would like to say to them, which is usually me explaining myself better than I did on paper. Instead of emailing this to the critic, I put it in my paper.
I also try to respond to every specific comment. I sometimes set aside a comment because I don’t understand how to respond to it or I am resisting it. I have a vague sense that the reader is probably right about something, but I don’t know what to do about it or I think I have a better reason for leaving it the way it is. Later on someone will say something similar, and I realize that I should have made the change sooner. So I’m not as good at making a response to every specific comment as I could be. I should probably ask more questions of my readers until I understand more and can see yet a third way that accommodates my reason for how it is as well as the reader’s reason for a change.
I read my work out loud–or listen to it read out loud to me before sending it off. This step reduces my verbiage a lot and gives me a different window to my work. Personally I like having my work read out loud to me while I follow along. Involving someone else in this step makes this a much better experience because I learn from this important step, as I always did, but now I enjoy it more, too.”
TAA: Can you share some insight into your project submission process?
TG: “I know before I send a manuscript off that if it comes back rejected, I will send it off again, and where. So I have my next move in mind as a way of being prepared for rejection.
Before sending a manuscript out for review, I query the editor of the journal I want to send it to. It’s invaluable. Sometimes I am rejected, but sometimes I am encouraged to submit the article and then I have much more confidence that it will be accepted. Querying editors has reduced the stress of publishing a lot for me.
I do eventually kick every manuscript out the door. Only three times in my life have I decided against sending something forward. Even in these instances, I decided against it rather than procrastinating it. I decided that the works had fatal flaws and that my time would be better spent on other projects. In all three cases, I still think I was right. So I don’t have any unfinished projects waiting to be finished. I do have a few ideas that I have not started seriously yet.
When it comes time to send something off, I do hesitate because I feel scared. But I remind myself of a definition of courage I once heard. Courage means you’re scared, but you do it anyway. So I’m scared, but I kick it out the door!”
TAA: What is your favorite TAA benefit?
TG: “My favorite TAA benefit is The Academic Author, of which I am an avid reader.”
Tara Gray has presented TAA-sponsored workshops on Publish & Flourish since 1998. To date, she has given this workshop to 5,000 participants in more than thirty of the United States, and in Mexico, Guatemala, and Saudi Arabia. Learn more about Tara’s TAA-sponsored workshop, Publish & Flourish.
Busy TAA People: Anita Moskowitz publishes new book
TAA member Anita Moskowitz, professor emerita at Stony Brook University, has published a new book, Forging Authenticity: Bastianini and the Neo-Renaissance in Nineteenth-Century Florence (Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki). "The publication costs were helped by an award from TAA, for which I remain extremely grateful," she said. Moskowitz received a TAA Publication Grant. Authors can apply for grants of up to $1,000 if TAA members and $250 if non-members. Learn more
Podcasts now available for 'Textbook Contract Improvement Session, Part 1 & 2'
The podcast of the two-part TAA audio conference "Textbook Contract Improvement Session," presented by Michael Lennie, is now available to listen to or download.
BTAA People: John Morfaw
TAA member John Morfaw published a new textbook entitled, Fundamentals of Project Sustainability: Strategies, Processes and Plans. He was also a finalist for The 2012 International Book Award in the Business Management and Leadership category; and will serve as a resource for the Seminar on Agricultural Projects in Africa, in Tangier, Morocco, April 2013; and as a panelist for the Emerging Market Economics Conference in Tangier, Morocco, September 2013.
Podcast now available for 'Author Blogging: How to Attract Readers'
The podcast of the TAA webinar, "Author Blogging: How to Attract Readers," presented by Joel Friedlander, is now available to listen to or download.
There's only one problem: where do you find the readers that will make all this work? Too often, these blogs attract few readers, no conversation, and the author ends up frustrated, abandoning the blog because "it just didn't work for me." It doesn't have to be that way.
In this webinar you'll learn three key ideas that will make your own blogging better, more attractive and more productive. Through real-life examples we'll explore creating engaging content, attracting traffic from search engines, and networking for success.
About Joel Friedlander:
Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) is an award-winning book designer, a blogger, and the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish. He’s been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994 and writes TheBookDesigner.com, a popular blog on book design, book marketing and the future of the book. Joel is also the founder of the online training course, The Self-Publishing Roadmap.
Seven candidates running for seats on TAA Council
Seven candidates are running for five open positions on the TAA Council, the association’s governing body. Steven E. Barkan and Dannelle Stevens are running for the position of Vice President/President-Elect; Mark Lerner is running for the position of Treasurer; Mike Kennamer is running for the position of Secretary; and John Russo, Doris Weatherford, and Susanna Weiss, are running for two open Council positions.
Terms begin July 1, 2013. Officers serve two-year terms and Council members serve three-year terms. Ballots will be mailed to TAA members next week. They must be postmarked by April 15, 2013 to ensure counting.
Steven E. Barkan is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maine. A past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, he is author or co-author of more than 30 journal articles and book chapters and eight textbooks in his fields of interest in criminology, sociology, and law and society, with publishers such as Flat World Knowledge, Pearson, and Wadsworth/Cengage. Two of these textbooks, Criminology: A Sociological Understanding (Pearson), and Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World (Flat World Knowledge), have received TAA’s Textbook Excellence Award (Texty), and Professor Barkan has additionally received the TAA President’s Award. He served as chair of his department for seventeen years, fortunately not all of them consecutively.
“As a veteran textbook author and a past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, I would be honored to serve as Vice President/President-Elect of TAA. When I discovered TAA in 2005, long after I began writing my first textbook, I was thrilled to find that an association of textbook authors actually existed and wished I had known about it much earlier! Since discovering TAA, I’ve led two roundtable discussions at the annual conferences and will co-lead a session and a roundtable discussion at the upcoming conference. I believe my textbook authorship for both traditional and innovative publishers and my strong scholarly record provide me an unusual set of experiences and knowledge base that will enable me to serve all TAA members, textbook authors and academic writers alike. In particular, I would strive to increase TAA’s membership and members’ participation at the annual conference.”
Dannelle D. Stevens Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Portland State, received her doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State. Her research and writing interests lie in identifying, and studying strategies that all educators can use to be more effective and productive in their professional life as teachers, writers and researchers. Her co-authored book, Introduction To Rubrics: An Assessment Tool To Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning with Antonia Levi, has sold 24,000 copies to date. She co-authored Journal Keeping: How to Use Reflective Writing for Learning, Teaching, Professional Insight and Positive Change in 2009. Other work includes an earlier book with Joanne Cooper, Tenure in the sacred grove: Issues and strategies for women and minorities. In addition, she has conducted both national and international workshops and consulted with colleges and universities on faculty development topics.
“TAA is perfectly positioned to contribute to the success of textbook and academic authors, especially in this new publishing world. Through newsletters, webinars, mentoring, timely tips, valuable workshops and a myriad of other ways, the organization meets the basic needs of both the new and seasoned faculty author. The TAA Conference is unique in supporting those ignored by larger conferences--textbook and academic authors. Where can this organization go in the future to meet the needs of the next generation of textbook and academic authors? Any organization relies on its leadership to enact the vision and the membership for its vitality and fresh ideas. I honor the wisdom of those who have held this organization in its hands for so many years. Our strength is in our wisdom, talent and ability to listen to the membership and craft an organization that meets current and future needs.”
Mark Lerner is an out of the box thinker originally from west Texas. One of three sons born to business owners, he has 30+ years each of collection and sales management experience with a training and HR background. Lerner has excellent organizational, auditing, communication, and computer skills; is QuickBooks experienced; and is General Manager for a company with responsibilities including invoicing, contracts, etc. Lerner also has full life cycle desktop publishing experience, and is a published author and presenter. He is presently a Regional Director for a non-profit organization and member of two executive boards, one advisory board, the Wine Century Club, and a former eagle scout. His past treasurer's experience is through school and non-profit organizations.
“I would like to continue the work that Mike Sullivan has done with the treasurer’s role and get TAA on a QuickBooks platform so that we can increase the ease and proficiency with which reports are generated and provided to Council. Furthermore, I would like to research and institute with the Board’s approval, changes that can save us additional monies moving forward. Anxious to provide fresh ideas, solve problems, develop out of the box ideas for TAA, its board, its current and future members. Committed to assisting in increasing TAA's membership base.”
Mike Kennamer serves as Director of Workforce Development at Northeast Alabama Community College. He holds a BS in Public Safety Administration from Athens State University, an MPA from Jacksonville State University, and an Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama. Dr. Kennamer has written a number of textbooks, workbooks, instructor resources, video scripts, and Internet content for the healthcare field and has had several academic articles published in higher education journals. His research interests include career/technical education, student financial aid and rural issues. Taylor and Francis Group recognized Kennamer, along with co-authors, Katsinas, Hardy, and Roessler, for authoring the most downloaded article in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice in 2010. His company, Kennamer Media Group, Inc., provides quality products and services to selected clients. He serves on a number of advisory committees and boards, and frequently speaks at professional conferences.
“Having been a textbook and academic author for 12 years, I wish I had discovered TAA earlier in my writing career. Although I have been a member of TAA for only a few years, it is one of the few organizations to which I belong that I have received both immediate and continued benefit. I have not found another organization that helps me to stay current with the publishing industry as well as TAA. Whether dealing with tax issues, copyright questions, royalties, contracts, or simply connecting with fellow authors, TAA is my go-to organization. I enthusiastically support the purposes and goals of the association and wish to serve as its secretary so that I may serve the organization that has served me so well. My experience in public administration and as (former) secretary of another professional association has prepared me to serve in this capacity.”
John Russo is currently Associate Professor of Computer Science at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, where he has served in both faculty and administration for the past 14 years. Prior to joining Wentworth, he held several positions in government and the private sector in a variety of fields including public health, epidemiological research and financial services. He holds degrees in Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science. Russo is currently working on a database textbook and has contributed to three other major Computer Science textbooks. He is actively involved in distance education, teaching both hybrid and online courses. He also works in the open education movement, having authored several courses and content for the Saylor Foundation.
“During my 10 years as a TAA member I have enjoyed learning about academic writing through workshops and publications offered by the organization. I have served as a judge for the Texty and McGuffey Awards a number of times. As we move forward in the digital age, academic writing faces some new challenges. The days of traditional textbooks are waning as the industry tries to find its way. While no one is clear on what the future holds for textbooks, we as academic authors need to be looking ahead and thinking of new ways to deliver content. Since my discipline is computer science, I have a passion for finding new ways to use existing technology. As a member of the Council, I would like to help TAA and its members explore new ways that we can utilize technology to provide the best content in the most economical way possible.”
Doris Weatherford has been publishing non-fiction books since 1986, when her Foreign and Female: Immigrant Women in America came out; it later was reissued in an expanded version. Her second book, American Women and World War II, was translated into Japanese. After that, she specialized in writing reference books on women’s history for Prentice Hall, Facts on File, and other commercial presses. She greatly enjoyed researching and writing the narratives and many sidebars for a 4-volume work, A History of Women in the United States: A State-by-State Reference (2004), of which she was executive editor. Her most recent work, published by Congressional Quarterly Press in January, again is solely by her; it is a two-volume encyclopedia, Women in American Politics.
“Although I will be new to the board of TAA, I have appreciable relevant experience, including a gubernatorial appointment to the Board of Trustees for Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, as well as several other state and local boards to which I’ve been appointed by elected officials. I also have served on the boards of the National Women’s History Project, the founders of Women’s History Month, and that of the National Women’s History Museum in Washington. I am especially interested in protecting copyrights and implementing new ways of compensating authors in an electronic age. I trust that this combination of publishing experience and board experience will be an asset to TAA.”
Susanna Weiss is a regulatory scientist at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. Previously she was at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Her research has been published in Journal of Public Health, Clinical Trials, Progress in Communication Sciences, Information and Behavior, Judicature, Justice System Journal, Communications and the Law, International Journal of Instructional Media, Journal of Employment Counseling, Howard Journal of Communications, Media and Values, Transactions on Office Information Systems, Instructional Innovator, Audio-Visual Communications, and EITV. Her book, News Cameras in the Courtroom was named an “Outstanding Academic Book” by Choice magazine; her corporate communication research received an award from the International Association of Business Communicators. She has received fellowships/research awards from the Ford Foundation, Kaltenborn Foundation, Poynter Institute, Annenberg Program for Communication Policy Studies, and the Advertising Education Foundation. From 1986-1987 she was a “Foreign Expert” news editor in the People’s Republic of China.
“Great organizations, such as TAA, benefit from their highly motivated and creative membership, and require consistent, committed effort to continue their success. We need to constantly explore ways to maintain the passion of TAA over the long-run, and raise the member base by reaching out to people who care about the issues that TAA supports, using a variety of innovative methods and technologies. Responsibility for growth lies with the elected council members who play a strategic and active role in the organization. We can lead the way in providing vision, planning, expertise, and systems for making TAA even more effective at serving the needs of current and future members, and creating social impact that benefits all constituents. We can build even greater public awareness of the organization and its objectives; increase our referral and colleague-constituency, and attract even more interest in TAA’s workshops, webinars, and peer mentoring programs.”
Contract review grant awarded
Margaret M. Borkowski, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Saginaw Valley State University, received a Textbook Contract Review Grant for her forthcoming book tentatively titled Sleep and Dreams. Due to be published in winter 2016 by Worth Publishers, the book will provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of sleep and dreams aimed at an undergraduate audience.
“I am grateful to receive this grant, said Borkowski. “Having an intellectual property attorney help me navigate the waters of my first contract was extremely helpful. The grant was instrumental in helping ensure my contract was worthwhile and feasible for me, and helped reduced my anxiety over negotiations. TAA has been extremely helpful in many ways. Thank you for offering this program and for my award."
Featured Member Profile
Elsa Peterson has more than 20 years of experience in text and academic publishing as a freelance permissions editor, picture researcher, and developmental editor. Her most recent in-house position was as a senior developmental editor for psychology with McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Peterson recently authored a brief and accessible guide to copyright in the context of publishing titled Copyright and Permissions: What Every Writer and Editor Should Know (New York: Editorial Freelancers Association, 2012). She has also authored numerous articles about the business and craft of editing, and has presented TAA audio conferences on editing and copyright.
Peterson spoke with TAA about the roles of editors and where they fit within the authoring process.
TAA: Can you describe the different editorial services you provide?
Elsa Peterson: “I primarily do developmental editing, which involves working closely with an author to bring the vision for the book to fruition. Development is a long-term process that usually begins with the author’s proposal and extends through the turnover of the manuscript to production. When I do permissions editing, my task is to identify all the material in a manuscript that is under copyright, find the rights holders, and secure their authorization to use the material. Similarly, picture research involves clearing permission to reproduce photographs and works of art; it also includes a creative dimension in helping the author to select the most effective visuals to convey the concepts being presented.”
TAA: Does an author generally contact a freelance editor to help in preparing the work for submission, or is it more common to work with an editor after the work has been accepted? How can an author go about finding an editor?
EP: “Textbook publishers generally assign editors after a contract is in place. To get the contract, of course, the author signs with an acquisitions editor. After signing, the author usually works with a developmental editor, who assesses the project in the context of the market, helps to bring out the best in this particular book, and prepares the manuscript for turnover to production. During production, the author will work with a copyeditor. A permissions editor, photo editor, and proofreader will often work behind the scenes, but they may also have interaction with the author.
In the case of journals, I’ve found that many authors hire editors before submitting articles because journals tend to provide less author support than textbook publishers; they expect submissions to be perfect or nearly so. Authors of trade nonfiction may also benefit from hiring an editor, not only for manuscript editing but also to help craft a strong book proposal to attract the best possible agent or publisher.
For authors who want to hire an editor, I would recommend looking for someone with strong developmental and line-editing skills and at least 3 to 5 years’ experience in the publishing area of interest. Authors may also want a permissions editor to look over a manuscript before submission to spot any material that has a high risk of being problematic. To find an editor with a given skill set, one can use the Editorial Freelancers Association’s online ‘Find a Freelancer’ tool at http://www.the-efa.org/dir/search.php
TAA: Are book editors usually qualified across the board, or do they specialize in specific areas?
EP: “I think it’s good to keep a balance between specializing and branching out. My academic background is in music history, but early in my career I got a lot of positive feedback for my work in psychology, which led me to gravitate to the behavioral and social sciences in addition to the arts and humanities. I also do a fair amount of editing in business subjects, and I’ve sometimes enjoyed the variety of editing a memoir or a how-to book. However, I don’t accept work in the ‘hard sciences’ because I simply don’t have the requisite subject matter expertise.
There is a potential disadvantage to working with an editor with an advanced degree in your discipline, as he or she may have a different orientation or viewpoint from your own. This may make it difficult for the editor to refrain from imposing his or her opinions on your manuscript. Being human, we editors sometimes have to remind ourselves ‘It’s not my book,’ and this can be more of a challenge if we’re harboring thoughts like ‘It could have been my book if only…’”
TAA: Returning to the broader subject of editing, can you give an idea of the different types of editors available and the services and support they offer?
EP: “Wow! A complete answer to this question would fill an entire issue of The Academic Author. What I can provide is a table describing some common editing categories and their major functions.
TAA: How does permissions editing tie in with your focus as a developmental editor?
EP: “Knowledge of permissions puts me in a strong position as a developmental editor because development happens at the very beginning of a project. If an author intends to include many quotations, figures, tables, cartoons, or photos, I can help identify any that may be difficult or prohibitively expensive to obtain. I can also query the sources the author cites if any appear to be secondary sources rather than the actual rights holders for the material.”
TAA: How did you become interested in copyright and permissions? Will your new book be of interest to TAA members?
EP: “I began working with intellectual property in the early 1980s at European American Music, where I had a wonderful boss who challenged me to learn everything I could about copyright law. Over the years I have taught classes in copyright for various continuing education programs, and I always find it rewarding to demystify the wonderful world of intellectual property.
My book, Copyright and Permissions: What Every Writer and Editor Should Know (New York: Editorial Freelancers Association, 2012), is a concise, reader-friendly guide to copyright in the context of publishing. As the subtitle indicates, this is knowledge that every writer and editor should possess. The book covers the essentials of what copyright is, dispels common misconceptions, and assesses how intellectual property has changed—and remained the same—in the digital age. It also includes a guide to permissions editing, which should be valuable for authors who set out to secure permissions for their own publications as well as those who need to work with a permissions editor.”
TAA: What are your favorite TAA benefits?
EP: “I enjoy the e-mail conversations on the textbook listserv. Members often raise questions to which I don’t know the answers, so I learn a lot from reading what others have to say. Sometimes there’s a question I can answer, and it always makes me feel good when I can help someone solve a problem or gain new knowledge.”
TAA announces Council of Fellows inductees
TAA members Patrice Morin-Spatz, Belverd E. Needles, Jr., June Jamrich Parsons, and Michael Spiegler will be inducted into the TAA Council of Fellows, an honor bestowed on distinguished authors who have a long record of successful publishing in academe. The award recipients will be formally inducted during an Awards Ceremony at the 2013 TAA Conference in Reno on June 22.
Patrice Morin-Spatz’s company, MedBooks, has published more than 40 textbooks, with Morin-Spatz as primary author on 30 and coauthor on 10. Her coauthored textbook, Body Works, won a Ben Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association in 2012. She has been self-publishing since 1989 with the release of her first title, cpTeach, which received a TAA McGuffey Award in 2011. She has taught more than 35,000 people how to code, and has been an instructor for physician groups, hospitals, and the Department of Defense. Morin-Spatz presented a session at the 2011 TAA Conference and is currently serving on the TAA Council as Interim Secretary.
Belverd E. Needles, Jr. has been a TAA member since the year of its founding in 1987. An Ernst & Young Distinguished Professor in the School of Accountancy at DePaul University, Needles has served as lead author on 86 textbooks including a best-selling series of accounting textbooks for beginning accounting, and has published 60 articles and book chapters. His textbook, Principles of Accounting, now in its 12th edition, received a TAA McGuffey Longevity Award in 2008. His textbook, Financial Accounting, now in its 11th edition, received a TAA Textbook Excellence Award in 1995 and 1998. Needles has received multiple awards related to teaching and education, including most recently, the Wicklander Fellow in Business Ethics from DePaul University, and the Founder’ Award for Life-Time Distinguished Service from the International Association of Accounting Education and Research.
June Jamrich Parsons is the author or coauthor of 28 books, including New Perspectives on Computer Concepts, now in its 16th edition, which received a TAA McGuffey Longevity Award in 2012, and an award for excellence from International Thompson Publishing. Most of the books she has authored are available in both print and digital format using technology created by her coauthor Dan Oja. She has authored 12 articles, including Episode 129: Zeus Continues His Plot to Create a Modern Day Tower of Babel, cited in the Excellence in Technology Communications Competition. Parsons has taught at Northern Michigan University and the University of Virgin Islands. She presented a session and served as a mentor at the 2012 TAA Conference, and will present a session at the 2013 TAA Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Michael Spiegler is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Providence College. A successful textbook and academic author for more than 35 years, he is the author of 16 books, including Personality, now in its 8th edition, and Contemporary Behavioral Therapy, now in its 5th edition, both of which have been groundbreaking both as textbooks and in redefining essential conceptual perspectives in their field. The 5th edition of Contemporary Behavior Therapy won a TAA McGuffey Award in 2011. He has also authored 20 articles and 14 book chapters and given numerous professional presentations.
Busy TAA People: TAA member to serve as editor-in-chief of new scientific journal
Jorge A. Santiago-Blay, PhD, will serve as editor-in-chief of a new peer-reviewed, quarterly, interdisciplinary, international scientific journal entitled, Life: The Excitement of Biology. The journal's mission is to promote an in-depth generation of understanding about all forms of life, such as bacteria, plants, fungi, animals, and others at all levels of the biological hierarchical organization, from the atomic to the biospheric, including the arch from the record of life at its origins to its current manifestations on Earth – or elsewhere. Learn more
Podcast now available for 'Contracts, Coauthors, and Other Mysteries'
The podcast of TAA's interview with textbook author Ric Martini, "Contracts, Coauthors, and Other Mysteries," is now available for download. In this recorded interview with Martini, he shares his experiences with negotiating favorable contracts, finding and working with coauthors, and other issues related to textbook authoring and publishing.
TAA files amicus brief in Google Books Case
TAA filed an amicus brief February 15, 2013 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, joining six other writers’ associations in support of the district court’s certification of authors as a class action in the Google Books mass copying case.
Preservation of the class certification is essential to the plaintiffs’ position in that case because the authors individually do not have claims large enough to justify the burden and cost of prosecution. As a class, however, their collected claims are substantial.
Google had entered agreements with five major libraries to scan the bulk of their respective collections into a giant database for the purpose of public search and retrieval. Google did its scanning indiscriminately, without regard to whether the individual works were still under copyright protection, and thus without consent of the copyright holders. Google defended this conduct on the ground that the use to which it would put the unauthorized copies was a fair use--a contention with which TAA vigorously disagrees.
TAA thought it especially important, in the interest of both its textbook author and scholarly author members, to support the plaintiff-authors’ position on this issue because a group of 155 academics led by Professor Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley, had filed a contrary amicus brief in support of Google’s position. The Samuelson group took the position that the class was not appropriately representative of all potential members because academics by and large were interested only in the widest dissemination of their writings and were not motivated at all by the prospect of royalties or license fees.
TAA and its fellow amici took the position that the Samuelson perspective was a minority perspective and that, in any event, a decision in favor of class certification would leave the Samuelson group free to waive its rights and grant royalty–free consent as to Google’s exploitation of their works, whereas a decertification of the class would leave the rest of the class without a viable remedy. More broadly, TAA and its fellow amici believe that a decision allowing Google to proceed with impunity undermines the economics of scholarly publishing in a way that imperils the future publication of the most sophisticated works, those that are at the cutting edge of science and literature, but that also enjoy the narrowest markets and thus survive on the thin edge of financial viability.
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