A Prescription for Self-Published Textbooks

Dr. Robert Hoyt M.D.A field of study like medical informatics is in constant flux.  Indeed, technology and healthcare have become so intimate and entwined, they are almost inseparable.  Conveying that dynamic relationship to students demands textbooks and other instructional materials that are current and comprehensive.  For a growing number of textbook authors, self-publishing is just what the doctor ordered.

“If a faculty member submits their galley proofs for publication to a standard commercial publisher, they’re probably not going to get that book published for two to four years, based on personal experience and experience of peers,” explains Dr. Robert Hoyt M.D.

In 2004, Bob Hoyt had created a pioneering program in medical health informatics at the University of West Florida.  He found a lack of textbooks on the subject, and in 2007, he self-published Health Informatics: A Practical Guide for Healthcare and Information Technology Professionals.  The work is now a standard in the field, and the sixth edition available in print, PDF, and Kindle versions debuted in 2014.

“I was writing on a topic that not only was the content or topic changing rapidly, but also the government support of it and their policies was also changing rapidly,” he recalled for CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “That really mandated a fast turnaround, and the only way to do that was self-publication.”

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