Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 19, 2019

Albert Einstein once said, "The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." This week's collection of posts from around the web may challenge your thoughts about academic and textbook writing and processes. Included in the collection are ways to change your thinking when publishing journal articles, completing a dissertation, or reading over the summer. There are articles on open science, open educational resources, and Pearson's announcement of a "digital first" textbook publishing model. We close the list with articles on retaining perspective and developing new skills. This week, I challenge you to change your thinking to improve your writing practice. Happy writing! … [Read More]

4 benefits of using Trello as an academic

In March 2019, Angelique M. Davis, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Global African Studies at Seattle University; and academic editor and writing consultant, Rose Ernst, presented a TAA webinar titled “How Trello Can Transform Your Life as an Academic”. For those unfamiliar with the tool, Trello is a collaborative platform that uses boards, lists, and cards to organize projects. During this event, Davis and Ernst incorporated a demonstration and template of a Trello board based on Erin Furtak’s publishing pipeline. As related to the publishing pipeline, they shared the following four specific benefits academics can gain by using Trello. … [Read More]

2019 TAA Council Award Winners

During the 2019 TAA Awards Ceremony on June 14th in Philadelphia, PA, in addition to honoring our thirty-one Textbook Award winners, five individuals were honored with TAA Council awards recognizing exemplary contributions to the Association and the authoring community, and two individuals were inducted into the TAA Council of Fellows. The awards were given by Mike Kennamer, TAA Council President during the ceremony. His remarks on each of the winners and inductees are included below. … [Read More]

Open access is now: Good news or bad news?

At the TAA Conference in Philadelphia this past month, I heard many comments about open access. They varied widely from support, to derision, to misunderstanding, to apathy. First, what is open access? In its purest form, open access is offering or publishing material online, free of cost or barriers with an open license that removes most restrictions on use and reuse. The open access or OA movement has been around twenty plus years with its roots going back much farther than that. … [Read More]

Call for Proposals: 33rd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference

The Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) announces a Call for Proposals for its 2020 conference to be held June 12-13 in San Diego, CA. We invite the submission of session presentations relevant to writing, publishing, and marketing textbooks and academic works (journal articles, books, and monographs). The session proposal deadline is October 7, 2019. A highly interactive event, 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. … [Read More]

Can my publisher really do that? Common author questions and answers from industry pros

At TAA’s 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, industry insider Sean Wakely and royalty auditor Juli Saitz addressed some common questions authors have about what prerogatives publishers have in respect to publication decisions, calculating royalty payments, marketing, and rights, with hypothetical examples from their point of view. Here are the questions and answers from that session, divided into five parts: … [Read More]

For lagging doctoral candidates: How to finish your dissertation and keep your family

If you are in the throes of your dissertation, you probably realize that, other than yourself, your family is most affected by your dissertation, and they most affect your progress. It can be hard for family members to understand what you’re going through and must continue to endure for several years. A poignant example from one of my dissertation coaching clients: Ava wailed to me, “I get calls daily from my mother, my three sisters, and my two cousins! They all say they’re tired of me not coming to the family events. I had to go to the reunion!” Like Ava’s relatives, family can start squeezing you. … [Read More]

Textbook publisher mergers and acquisitions: What authors need to know

If you've been published (or simply signed, for that matter) by a US publisher in the last dozen years, there is a fair to excellent chance that the master to whom you are now answering is not the master to whom you indentured yourself when you signed your original publishing contract. Among the larger transactions: … [Read More]

Selecting visuals to illustrate your post, article, or book

It was great to see many TAA members at the recent conference in Philadelphia! Since not everyone could attend, I’m sharing my presentation about “Enhance Your Writing: How to Design, Select or Create Effective Visuals” in this and future Abstract posts. See the previous post, Figuring it out: Trends for visuals in academic writing. Next month I will write about ways to create original visuals. Yes, you need visuals! … [Read More]

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]

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