10 Remedies for mid-book slog

It's book o'clockWhen the contract arrived for my book Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation, I levitated and floated on the ceiling. My proposal had been accepted, my outline was complete, and my files of notes overflowed. I dove into the full book head-on, bounding out of bed early every day, even Sunday. With not a single email detour, I clicked the manuscript onto the screen and started typing. I would easily make the agreed-on publisher’s deadline.

And then it hit. Three months in, I should have been barreling along. But I dragged out of bed, succumbed to at least an hour of home-page clicking, read every word of emails selling everything, and with lukewarm attention, perused writing sites. After way too long, I pecked a phrase, deleted it, pecked another, almost cried. My malady: mid-book slog. [Read more…]

12 Ways to use creativity to separate your book project from the competition

Hipster businessman with idea, light bulb above his head, isolated on black backgroundYou’ve determined to dive in and write that monograph or textbook. You know it will be countless hours of work, but it will be worth it. Right?

No one wants to spend time on a “me too” project; going over ground already covered in other books. By spending time up front using creative thinking, you can increase your project’s chance of success. [Read more…]

Tech Tip: Managing academic reference sources in Microsoft Word

Students in libraryAlthough a number of software tools are now available for managing citations and references for research papers and journal articles, I have found that using the tools built into the latest versions of Microsoft Word provide a single tool for document creation and reference source management. The reference features of Word support a variety of manuscript styles, allow for quick and accurate citations, automate the development of bibliography or works cited pages, and support the reuse of sources across multiple documents with ease.

In this article, I will discuss the basic steps for implementing the tools to manage your academic reference sources in Microsoft Word. [Read more…]

Join us 11/3 for the TAA webinar, ‘Plan, Propose & Publish an Edited Book’

Janet SalmonsWant to publish a book, but lack the content for a full manuscript? Consider creating an edited book! You can include your own material, as well as chapters by other scholars.

Join us Thursday, November 3 from 3-4 p.m. ET for this one-hour webinar, “Plan, Propose & Publish an Edited Book”. Writer and editor Janet Salmons will share strategies she learned by creating edited books, contributing chapters to numerous edited books, and serving on editorial review boards. She will provide an overview of the entire process, from proposal through final review.
[Read more…]

International Forum for Teaching and Studies journal seeking papers

American Scholars PressThe International Forum of Teaching and Studies (IFOTS), a journal that focuses on the development and improvement of teaching within international contexts, has announced a call for papers for future issues.

IFOTS publishes articles, essays, and scholarly studies about education, teaching, learning, and culture studies within themes, including 21st Century learning, distance learning, K-12 education practices, faculty development/professional education, and more.

For more information on submitting a manuscript, visit the IFOTS website.


TAA members can submit their call for papers for inclusion in a new announcements page we are developing. Information should be sent to Kim Pawlak at Kim.Pawlak@TAAonline.net.

Two academic editors share tips for getting published

Julia Kostova photo high res color (2)

Dr. Julia Kostova

Patrick Alexander color

Patrick Alexander

To have a successful career, faculty members must publish books or articles in keeping with their institution’s expectations. Unfortunately, many have received little training on navigating the publishing process. In a TAA webinar entitled “Ask the Editors: What Publishers Want and Why”, Dr. Julia Kostova, Senior Acquisitions Editor at Oxford University Press, and Patrick H. Alexander, Director of The Pennsylvania State University Press, provided strategies to help academic writers get published. The pair focused on the following four topics: identifying and approaching a publisher, writing a successful book proposal, turning a dissertation into a book, and publicizing your own work. [Read more…]

Register your own copyright: When, why, and how?

Zick and Brenda

Zick Rubin and Brenda Marshall Ulrich, copyright attorneys, Rubin & Ulrich, LLC.

As textbook and academic authors, your copyrights are your livelihood, and the value of your copyrights is often enhanced by registering them in the U.S. Copyright Office – something that you can easily do for yourself.  Yet, as publishing and copyright attorneys, we find that many text and academic authors know less than they should about copyright registration.

Here’s our sample Q&A conversation with an author who wanted to know more about when, why, and how to register the author’s copyrights: [Read more…]

Tips of the Trade: What is the best way to handle pre-contract communication with a prospective publisher?

Contract ReviewTAA Member Kamalani Hurley from Leeward Community College asks: “What is normal in the timeline between an acquisitions editor expressing interest in publishing my material and the written contract?”

Textbook author Mike Kennamer, who is director of Workforce Development at Northeast Alabama Community College, and Julia Kostova, an acquisitions editor at Oxford University Press, share their advice: [Read more…]

Why you should write a private and public purpose statement for your book

purposeBy taking some time to really think through the purpose and scope of your book project and why you are really doing it, you will not only be happier with the process and product, but when you are ready to start writing, you’ll be more successful, says faculty and productivity coach Susan Robison, author of The Peak Performing Professor: A Practical Guide to Productivity and Happiness.

Start by writing a private purpose statement that spells out your reason for writing the book and that will guide you on a day-to-day basis, she says. Your private purpose statement might be something like, “I want to declare my expertise in… [fill in the blank].”

[Read more…]

PODCAST: TAA webinar, ‘How to Write a Book When You Don’t Like to Write’

Susan RobisonMany academic book authors love writing while others want to write but are reluctant about the writing process, the work load, and the sacrifice. Susan Robison, a self-professed reluctant author, addresses those issues and other practical topics such as defining the purpose and scope of the project, managing the tasks and the time during the writing, improving your writing as you go, and when to ask for help, in this recorded webinar now available on the TAA website. [Read more…]