June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1112.1 - 23.1112.26
Successfully Publishing New Technology-Level Text Materials – Electronic & Print – in an Era of Publishers Not Signing & Professors Not Adopting Technology-Specific TitlesTechnology-level instructors have long had few if any textbooks & other teaching materials atthe appropriate level for their students (vs. engineering & technicians, especially for courses atthe sophomore/ junior-level or above, except in a few select courses – even then, one bookusually dominates, & no recently published alternative is available. Thus tech-level instructorsoften reluctantly adopt an engineering-level text with too few applications. Strangely, technician-level courses often also offer more text choices, but these can’t be adopted by an ABET program.Technology-level instructors are no less capable or willing to write a text than their engineering-level counterparts, nor are they any more discouraged from writing a text vs. focusing instead onpromotion, tenure, or other institutional & professional opportunities. Instead, the issue is thatfew if any new mid-to-upper-level technology-level textbooks are being signed by the largertraditional text publishers; instead, most publishers have ceased publishing entirely at this level,and those few remaining are almost exclusively focusing on revising those rare titles that sellwell enough to justify maintaining them; they’re not taking on new projects. The gradual shift toelectronic delivery of texts (as an alternative to print) is actually not a significant factor for this.This paper: (1) explores the reasons for this tech-level text dearth; (2) offers practical remedies. (1) Lists changes in the textbook publishing environment & in enrollments at individual ABET-accredited ET school programs that led to traditional textbook publishers not undertaking (signing & publishing) new mid-to-upper level tech-level text projects. (2) Lists steps (a) Technology-level textbook instructors could take in adoption decisions, & (b) would-be authors could take in preparing text proposals – to greatly increase the odds that new appropriately applied text materials would be signed by a commercial publisher, & then become successful – with “success” defined as getting published, being promoted effectively, & selling well enough that the publisher asks the author to revise it every few years (vs. being released prior to publication, buried [under-developed & under- promoted], put out of print, or reprinted but not revised.Three caveats: (a) This paper’s author’s experience is tech-level publishing (not teaching) & theauthor could benefit personally if more tech-level texts are signed & published, (b) financialreward for success (as defined) would almost exclusively benefit the academic author (while thispaper’s author’s #1 benefit for an author’s success would be reinforcing of reputation,); (c) mostfirst-time would-be commercial authors are not signed, & most signed are unsuccessful (notrevised). So while this paper’s author/ editor’s history suggests a possibility of doubling thoseodds for a text author who follows the paper’s author’s suggestions, no guarantee is made that:these odds from the past will continue in the future; that any given author will enjoy success.
Conty, C. R. (2013, June), Successfully Publishing New Technology-Level Text Materials Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22497
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