5 Key Lessons for Creating Quality Learning Materials

5 Key Lessons for Creating Quality Learning MaterialsMany of us still remember lugging around a backpack full of textbooks to and from school. While textbooks remain integral to a learning curriculum, the reality is different than what we experienced growing up.

Today’s modern classrooms are full of quality digital and adaptive products. From game-based learning to interactive courses and simulation activities, PreK-12 educational materials come in all shapes and sizes for every learner.

To that end, education content producers know that publishing materials for the digital age are about creating engaging content that helps students reach their highest potential. And each year, the Association of American Publishers’ PreK-12 division identifies and honors high quality resources through their REVERE Awards program. By recognizing successes in the educational content industry throughout the years, they’ve found keys to creating learning materials for today’s classroom.

So here are five lessons to take away from some of the 2015 REVERE Award winners:

Much more.

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Scribd Announces Major Changes to Subscription Service (DBW)
Scribd announced major changes to its subscription service. As part of the re-structured service, all Scribd users will receive unlimited access to “Scribd Select” books and audiobooks, a rotating collection spread across a variety of genres. In addition, all users will have access to three books and one audiobook of their choice each month from the entire Scribd catalog; titles from Scribd Selects do not count toward the user-chosen titles.

Coming Soon: New Data at DBW, and More (Pub Lunch)
Our big seventh-annual Digital Book World is just three weeks away, with the main conference on March 8th and 9th—after our biggest-yet “Day Zero” roster on March 7th featuring the all-day Launch Kids, the brand-new four Mostly Marketing Masterclasses (with Pete McCarthy, Kelly Gallagher, Annie Cushing and Tom Thompson), the also-new Nielsen half-day conference, and the return of some DBW Workshop favorites. Data is in the spotlight even more than usual this year, as we feature the first-known stage appearance of “Data Guy,” the controversial analyst behind the ongoing Author Earnings reports.

Kindle Unlimited KENP Per Page Rate Drops (Chris McMullen)
The KENP pages read rate has reached a record low, paying $0.00411 per page in the United States. That’s a drop of 11 percent from the December payout. That’s a substantial change for just one month. But it’s a drop of 29 percent from the first month of Kindle Unlimited v2 from July’s $0.0058 per page rate. That’s a much larger drop when put in the long-term perspective. However, there was also a record high set in January, 2016, with the KDP Select Global Fund reaching $15 million. That’s a rise of 11 percent over December’s Global Fund.

UK Startup Reedsy Expands to Serve Publishers (Pub Perspectives)
“The idea,” says Emmanuel Nataf, “is that the authors are going to be able to create a book on Reedsy, and whenever it’s ready, push it to Ingram for distribution.” The CEO of this two-year-old UK-based startup (named for reeds, not for reads) is introducing this week not only a new stage in his company’s development, but also two major partnerships.

Selling Books in a World Without Bookstores (Book Business)
Let’s pretend for a moment that there are no bookstores and as publishers we still need to sell books. How are we going to do that? For starters, let’s take a look at the recent trends for physical bookstore sales. There was welcome relief this year that sales at physical stores have stabilized, although I have yet to see how much of that stabilization occurred within the actual book inventories sold as opposed to non-book merchandise. But landing on a plateau during times of rapid declines feels good, no doubt.

How to Find and Work with a Book Publicist (Jane Friedman)
This past weekend, I had the honor of speaking at the San Francisco Writers Conference. While attending, I sat in on two sessions focusing on book publicity, with panelists Penny Sansevieri, Andrea Dunlop and Natalie Obando (all publicists or marketing consultants). Because marketing and publicity help is the most common request I receive, I was very interested in hearing advice from these publicists about what authors can expect from a professional firm and how the process works. What follows is a summary of their comments from both panels.

The Adult Publishing Coloring Craze Hits the Toy Industry (PW)
Pop culture trends typically start in the entertainment, comics and toy arena and expand into book publishing. But one of the most notable themes at this year’s New York International Toy Fair emanated from publishing: adult coloring books. Several of the 30 or so publishers at Toy Fair, which runs from February 13th-16th, prominently featured their roster of adult coloring titles and many of the 1,200 other exhibitors were showing adult coloring books, puzzles, mugs, posters and even socks.


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