Well, it’s been twenty four hours since my last post, and I have to say that I’m really impressed with Bedford/St. Martin’s project with us. Of course they’ve been incredibly generous feeding us great food, putting us up in a swank hotel down the street from their offices, and giving us face-to-face time with a few of their editors. But in addition to that, they’ve made it clear since we’ve been here just how invested they are in the development of our discipline. The projects we’ve looked at since we’ve been here are incredibly exciting. (I can’t imagine they’d want to see me offering details about in-development projects here, so don’t get your hopes up.) We’ve learned about the proposal process, different aspects of development and editing, and we’ve had some rich discussions about textbook needs that aren’t yet being met. What really struck me, though, about yesterday, was all of the resources they make available to instructors in our field. Granted, I know that they are a for-profit institution, and that they are doing just fine in that regard. I’ve been thinking about it though, and they are really only one company among several offering textbooks for our discipline. They’re not exactly holding us over a barrel (read: Windows Vista) and they act like they know that. They invest back into our discipline. I guess this is a long way of saying how much I appreciate it.
And I’m really not trying to shill books for them either. Any Comp instructor knows that adopting the wrong textbook can make for a miserable term, and no amount of generosity or professional development will change that. Which brings me to my final point…
They want to offer the best resources they can. They asked us smart questions, and engaged us in thoughtful conversation. The projects they are working on have the potential to be very cool. The resources they already offer in the “Teaching Central” section of their site (http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/newcatalog.aspx?disc=English&course=TeachingCentral).
Anyway… good company, great people, excellent resources. Give ’em a look.