Academic grant writing tips from a pro (and lessons from a rookie)

GrantsA grant is a great tool to help you build or enhance your project or program, said Erin Comeaux (the pro), formerly a professional grant writer for Lone Star College System, and now a grants coordinator for Pasadena Independent School District in Pasadena, Texas, and Jennifer Travis (the rookie), a professor of mathematics at Lone Star College-North Harris, during their presentation at the 2016 Conference in San Antonio in June. The two recently partnered to write Travis’ first grant proposal.

“The process of finding, choosing, preparing, researching, and writing a grant proposal is similar to choosing and following a training program to prepare your body for an athletic event,” said Comeaux.

In the best case scenario, they said, your progression would start with your idea, move on to defining your goal (what you want to accomplish), then to choosing your funding source, preparing your proposal, and lastly, to submitting your proposal. [Read More…]

Pre-order your copy of TAA’s newest book: ‘Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide’

Writing and Developing Your College TextbookWriting and crafting a textbook and attending to authoring tasks is a time-consuming, complex—some would say monumental—project, even harrowing at times. The updated and expanded third edition of Writing a Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide, now available for pre-order, will empower you to undertake textbook development by guiding you through the nuts and bolts of the development process and providing essential background information on the changing higher education publishing industry, as well as how to choose a publisher, write a textbook proposal, negotiate a publishing contract, and establish good author-publisher relations. Click here to pre-order. [Read More…]

Promoting a book? Making a career move? Join us 10/14 for the TAA webinar, ‘The Art of Being Interviewed’

Amy DeLouise producersplaybookFor many of us, conducting an interview is easier than being interviewed. But when promoting a book, or even making a career move, you may be the interviewee. What does it take to deliver a “good” interview? How do you build a relationship with your interviewer? How do you prepare? What are the different ways to handle an in-person, an audio-only interview, and one that takes place on camera? How do you turn a bad question into a good answer? For on-camera interviews, what are the special considerations for attire that works on video?

Join us Friday, October 14, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET, for the TAA Webinar, “The Art of Being Interviewed”, led by Amy DeLouise, an experienced interviewer and video producer-director who has conducted thousands of interviews. She will walk us through the process, field questions, and help you feel confident for your next interview.

Q&A: How to write for student learning vs. faculty content

The following Q&A is based on a TAA webinar presentation by Michael Greer, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Development by Design, entitled, “Bringing Textbooks to Life: Strategies for Improving Student Engagement”.

Q: Laura Frost, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Whitaker Center for STEM Education at Florida Gulf Coast University:

“One of the problems with producing a textbook that helps the student learn is that the faculty member is the person who is selecting the textbook and the publishers know this. Do you have any suggestions for authors who are interested in writing for student learning vs. faculty content?”

Why you shouldn’t sign a work for hire agreement

One of the choices you can make when publishing your textbook or other instructional text is to sign a contract that simply assigns to the publisher the copyrights in your work or to enter into a work for hire agreement, in which you and the publisher agree that the publisher will be legally considered the author and sole owner of your work for copyright purposes. A significant consequence of work for hire agreements is that you don’t have the benefit of the right of termination under copyright law, said Stephen E. Gillen, an attorney with Wood Herron & Evans, and author of Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts.

Trends in college textbook publishing: 5 Tips for navigating the digital transition

Many college textbook authors are experiencing declining print unit sales and diminishing royalty checks. Regular price increases previously helped college textbook publishers offset shrinking print sales, but that strategy is no longer effective. Consequently, some publishers are cutting budgets to offset revenue shortfalls. They’re also diverting remaining investment resources into new digital products and services that offer a measure of protection against the depredations of used, rental, and pirate competition. As a result, those publishers are rebranding themselves as software or learning science companies and setting very public goals to eliminate or scale back their print publishing programs in favor of fully digital product models. What are the key forces driving college publishers’ online publishing strategies? What are some steps higher education textbook authors can take in response?

Call for proposals deadline October 6 for TAA’s 2017 Conference

TAA’s 30th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference session proposals deadline is October 6, 2016. TAA invites the submission of presentations relevant to authoring and publishing textbooks and academic works (journal articles, academic books, and monographs).

The conference will be held at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel, Providence, RI, June 9-10, 2017. The conference will be attended by authors and aspiring authors of textbooks, journal articles, and other academic works, as well as by industry professionals from across the country.

Nominate your book for a 2017 TAA Textbook Award

Gain recognition with your fellow authors and within the textbook publishing industry by nominating your textbook for a 2017 TAA Textbook Award now through November 1, 2016.

The Textbook Excellence Award recognizes excellence in current textbooks and learning materials. The McGuffey Longevity Award recognizes textbooks and learning materials whose excellence has been demonstrated over time.  The Most Promising New Textbook Award recognizes excellence in 1st edition textbooks and learning materials.

Why textbook & academic authors should make time for Twitter

Of the major social media platforms, Twitter is, in my opinion, the most effective for wordsmiths like textbook and academic authors. The 140-character constraint on tweets—the messages one posts on Twitter—turns out to be rather freeing: the site rewards concision and encourages straightforwardness.

Specialists like textbook and academic authors can and should use Twitter for professional marketing purposes—to demonstrate their know-how, interface with other experts, reach readers, generate leads, generate publicity for their work, and make professional connections. All of these aims can be furthered with Twitter—it’s just a matter of tweeting intentionally.

[Featured Member] From blocked to breakthrough: The art of stress-free creating

Dominique T. Chlup is a tenured University Associate Professor turned Creativity & Writing Coach. She is President and Chief Creative Officer of Inspiring the Creative Within®, LLC. What she does best is take you from blocked to breakthrough, teaching you the art of stress-free creating to maximize your writing productivity. She has five degrees behind her […]