10 Tips for ESL/EFL academic writers (and everyone else, too)

academic writingCongratulations on learning English, the current lingua franca of international communication and the most difficult Western language to learn. I’m really glad it’s my native language. As a copy editor, I have worked for many years with scholars whose native language is not English. In 2008 I became house copy editor for the International Review of Public Administration, which at that time was published by the Korean Association for Public Administration and is now published by Taylor & Francis; more recently I took on the same role with Korean Social Science Journal. The majority of articles accepted for publication by IRPA and KSSJ are written by academics native in a language that is not English (with the majority of authors native in an Asian language). That work has led to my developing a specialty in working with ESL/EFL authors. [Read more...]

PODCAST: The Four Paths to Publishing

Keith OgorekRecently, publishing has undergone an indie revolution similar to what occurred in the film and music industries. While these changes have made now the best time in history to be an author, they have also made it one of the most confusing. In this TAA podcast, recorded at the 2014 TAA Conference in Baltimore, Keith Ogorek, self-published author and industry thought leader, outlines four clear paths authors can now follow to reach their publishing goals; addressing each path’s advantages and disadvantages and what authors should consider as they look to publish.


Like this podcast? Join TAA and gain access to 100+ more. First-year membership is only $30.

When getting rights clearance is tough

copyright collage artWe’ve all been there. You have the perfect photo . . . verse . . . song lyrics . . . vignette . . . you name it . . . to open your book or a chapter within it. Having labored long and hard to locate just the thing, you are now certain that nothing else will do. There’s only one problem. It’s not yours and either you can’t determine who owns the rights, or you can’t figure out how to reach them, or they’re dead or out of business, or they won’t answer you. [Read more...]

Use YouTube videos to promote your textbook

Textbook videosLydia Cline, a drafting professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and the author of five text and trade books, said she has found that posting short videos on her books’ topics to YouTube can be an effective way to promote them.

She originally created her channel, ProfDrafting, to post classroom topics for her students. “They enjoy the videos as a supplement to their text,” said Cline. On the advice of her TAB/McGraw-Hll editor, she added book content videos. In less than a year she collected 137 subscribers and over 31,000 views, even though she does no promotion beyond telling her students about it. “The channel has returned benefits in ways I didn’t anticipate. With YouTube’s amazing analytics, I can see how long viewers watch the videos, which videos are popular, and which are ignored. My observation is that once a channel starts attracting views–mine were initially from my students–YouTube starts promoting it via the Suggested Videos sidebar and the videos also appear in a Google search. I can see who the subscribers are, and most are NOT my students. They’re from all over the world. I knew YouTube had a global audience, but wow, my subscriber list really hammers that home to me.” [Read more...]

Forming a publisher relationship: The acquisitions editor

Sean Wakely

Sean Wakely

For aspiring higher education authors and content writers, one of the first goals is to connect with a publisher. The next step is to leverage that connection into an immediate contract offer or build a working relationship that will one day result in a contract.

In this first installment of a three-part series, I’ll provide some insights about acquisitions editors. The acquisitions editor is the gatekeeper to forming a productive publisher relationship, so it’s particularly useful for authors to understand who acquisitions editors are and what typically motivates them.

Let’s start with a brief overview of the acquisitions editor’s role, key responsibilities, and performance metrics. Then I’ll cover how authors can leverage this knowledge in building a relationship with a publisher. [Read more...]

How to keep your textbook on track during the production stage

Textbook On TrackOnce you have delivered your textbook manuscript to your publisher, the book production process begins. What should you, the author, do after the final manuscript has been submitted to ensure the book starts—and stays—on the production schedule?

Three textbook authors share their advice:

“In order to ensure that your book adheres to the production schedule, keep in constant contact with your editor and respond to all queries as quickly as possible.”

Dr. Kimberly Collica, Associate Professor, PACE University, Co-Author of Crime and Society with Dr. Gennifer Furst, Associate Professor, William Paterson University
[Read more...]

5 Tips for sprinting past writer’s block

Writer's BlockFor most writers, whether they need to start a new project or pick one up that’s been left on the back burner for a while, their biggest writing challenge tends to center around getting started, says Margarita Huerta, Assistant Professor of English Language Learning/Early Childhood Education, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Huerta, who will be presenting a 30-minute webinar entitled, “Writing With POWER” for TAA’s September Virtual Dissertation Writing Boot Camp, shares her strategies for getting past the “block”:

1) As Peter Elbow says, “Write when you are not in the mood”. Just sit down and do it.

2) Dump. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and just write out everything and anything that comes to mind without worrying about editing or grammar. Later, go back and refine/edit/parse out the good stuff that came out. This is the whole “separate generating from editing” idea. [Read more...]

Developing a new textbook? Research other textbooks in the field

Textbook ResearchIf you are thinking of writing a textbook, an important step in the process is to research other textbooks in the field. This information will not only be helpful to you as you develop your textbook, but will be an important part of the process of developing a book proposal and securing a publisher.

Three textbook authors share their views on the importance of researching other textbooks in the field when developing a new textbook, and suggest some sources for finding out which textbooks are already available on the market for a particular field:

Q: Why should someone thinking of writing a textbook research other textbooks in their field? [Read more...]

6 Do’s and don’ts of editing your dissertation

EdtPicture this: You’ve just finished up the last paragraph of a section in your dissertation. Now comes the time to read over the whole chapter and edit it, even though you feel that you’ve been over it a million times, so maybe you’ll be fine without editing—right? Wrong. Editing your dissertation is one of the most important things you’ll do before submitting it and earning your doctorate, so here are some do’s and don’ts of editing your dissertation. [Read more...]

Vine Video-Writer’s block: Get over it

Click on video to pause and unpause.