In our Proud to Publish series we talk to our book editors about the books they were most proud to publish, commission or work on, in the past year. We talked to our editor for Mathematics books, Loretta Bartolini, who specializes in graduate and undergraduate textbooks. Prior to moving into publishing, she taught in universities for over 10 years and values textbooks that not only promote best practice in pedagogy, but capture the imagination of the student reader. Read our interview with Loretta below and find out which book she was proud to publish in 2020.
I am proud to have published Measure, Integration & Real Analysis by Sheldon Axler in 2020. This is the first OA book in the flagship series Graduate Texts in Mathematics. It is also the latest book from the author of Springer’s bestselling Linear Algebra Done Right. Either of these facts alone would have been a recipe for success, but we sailed straight for unchartered waters by combining the two together.
Who is this book aimed at?
This book is designed for a standard “Measure Theory” course, which is a core requirement in mathematics Masters and PhD programs across the US and Canada. This is a large and important market where there was a general feeling that the literature did not fully meet the needs of today. Axler actively crafted Measure, Integration & Real Analysis, affectionately known as MIRA, to reflect the best mathematical and pedagogical practices, and did not shy away from putting them to the test: he recruited class-testers from a phenomenal 32 institutions. Mass class-testing for a graduate textbook – unthinkable! It also received stellar reviews through our own review process.
What led to this book being published Open Access?
The author cares very much about accessibility to readers around the world, so we decided to investigate Open Access. There is little funding available for Open Access in mathematics, but we were able to work with the author to find a way forward. As a result of this collaborative approach, Measure, Integration & Real Analysis published under the Gold Open Access model.
What happened after the book was published?
The print version of the book debuted at our booth at the biggest conference of the year: the Joint Mathematics Meetings, held in Denver in January 2020. Watch a short interview with author Sheldon Axler at the conference.
Since then, the book has been adopted by a whopping 22 institutions (which is unthinkable for a brand new textbook in its first year), and has 386K chapter downloads (which works out to over 32K whole book downloads). Despite being completely free electronically, print copies are also selling well, illustrating the enduring popularity of the print medium for textbooks.
Have a look at our webinar recording "The Shift to Electronic Curriculum Material due to the Pandemic" with guest speakers Loretta Bartolini, who discusses the role and benefits of textbooks in library collections and Sheldon Axler, who talks about digital learning resources.
If you are interested in publishing Mathematics textbooks with us, please contact Loretta Bartolini.
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