Three author takeaways from the ‘equitable access’ course distribution model

An emerging new model for distributing course materials called “equitable access” is the topic of a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. With equitable access, all students pay a flat fee per semester or quarter that covers all required textbooks, regardless of the courses they take. The model is similar to the “activity fee” collected by some colleges, which provides students access to all on-campus sporting and concert events. Such fees often are tiered, depending on whether the student is part-time or full-time. … [Read More]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 21, 2019

At last week's Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Philadelphia, there were some wonderful presentations and discussion on topics of inclusive access, textbook subscription models, open access, writing and publishing strategies, and the overall trends in the changing landscape of academic publishing. This week's collection of articles from around the web extend that discussion with some of the same topics present in our list. As you ponder the future of textbook and academic authoring and publishing for yourself, I encourage you to consider the thoughts of Rob Siltanen, "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some … [Read More]

Can I help you in any way? Book recommendations

“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well. In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on a question about the best books on academic writing. … [Read More]

Infographic: 15 Grammar rules it’s okay to break

“Use whom, not who.” “Don’t split your infinitives.” “Use appropriate personal pronouns when talking about yourself.” Grammar rules are here to keep us in check, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be broken. Often you’ll see infographics listing rules like they’re gospel; stuff like, “Don’t use double negatives” or, “Know the difference between that and which”. In reality, some grammar rules are more of a guideline than a law. When you know the rules, these can be expertly appropriated to give your speech flair and personality. … [Read More]

Reflecting on #TAAConf2019

It’s hard to believe that the 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference – #TAAConf2019 – has come and gone. If you were with us in Old City, Philadelphia, I’m sure you heard the sentiment expressed more than once – “this might be the best TAA conference yet.” Having been in attendance for the last five, I can certainly say, for me, that it’s been the best of those. When a day at work hardly feel like work, it’s a good day. Add to that day more than 100 passionate and encouraging colleagues, and it’s a great day! That’s what my two days of “work” this weekend felt like. For those of you in attendance, please feel free to add your experiences to the comments below. For those of you who weren’t able to join us this year, here’s a little of what you missed at #TAAConf2019. … [Read More]

Can I help you in any way? Self-publishing

“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.   In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on a question about self-publishing. … [Read More]

Improving your research, writing, and publishing through networking

To many, the word networking is business-speak, a bit like strategic planning, buy-in, thinking outside the box, leverage, or core competencies. But your network, however big or small, can be the key to improving all aspects of your academic output. It is no coincidence that this blog entry appears the week of the Textbook & Academic Authors Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia. This event, and others like it, offer the best opportunities to make connections and therefore improve your scholarly work. … [Read More]

2019 Textbook award-winning insight (Part 5): Key to textbook longevity, preparing for the next edition

A few weeks ago, we reached out to winners of the 2019 TAA Textbook Awards and asked them to answer some questions about their textbook writing. We had so many great responses we decided to create a six-part series to share them. The first installment focused on why they decided to write their textbook, and how they got started. The second installment focused on what they do to boost their confidence as a writer, how they fit writing time into their schedule, and what software they use. The third installment focused on which pedagogical elements in their textbook they are most proud of, and what involvement they have had in marketing their book. The fourth installment focused on what they wish they had known before they started, and advice for other authors. This fifth, and final, … [Read More]

To progress on your project, to friends and organizations say no…thanks

Do you feel you can’t refuse the requests or plans of friends or volunteer groups? Do you secretly resent or rage at them? That they’re eroding or wasting your time, the time you want to or need to use for other activities, like your current article, book chapter, or dissertation?   We all have such feelings. To assert ourselves for ourselves takes commitment and practice, especially without making enemies of cherished friends we’ve had for a long time or turning away groups and activities we believe in. … [Read More]

9 Proven strategies to help you stop procrastinating and write your manuscript

In her recent TAA webinar, “Beyond the Blank Page: 9 Proven Strategies to Help You Stop Procrastinating and Write Your Manuscript”, Mary Beth Averill shared nine strategies for moving beyond the blank page. These strategies are proven techniques for breaking out of your procrastination trap and turning your paper from idea to written manuscript. … [Read More]

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