Tech Tip: Use polling software to incorporate audience participation into your next presentation

Eric SchmiederIf you’re like me, you often give presentations to a class or conference audience and leave wondering things like “Did they get it?” or “What questions were left unanswered?”

My Solution: Incorporate Poll Everywhere into the presentation and know for sure!

Poll Everywhere works with PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides from Windows or Mac computers to add interactive polling to your presentations. [Read more…]

Productivity tips for authors ‘on the go’

Q: As a “pro on the go” what do you do to ensure you can stay productiveEric Schmieder

A: Eric J. Schmieder, author, presenter, and computer technology instructor:

“As a corporate trainer and adjunct instructor, I am always on the road and find myself relying more on my mobile device to stay connected, stay productive, and better prepare me to get things done when I do find a place to land with my laptop. I find it important to arm myself with the best tools to keep moving on my long-term projects.” [Read more…]

Tip of the trade: The role writing environment plays in productivity

Q: What roles do the writing work space and environment play in productivity?

writingA: Noelle Sterne, author, editor and writing consultant:

“As an academic and mainstream writer and editor, I firmly believe that one’s writing work space and work environment tremendously influence productivity. To discover your best writing environment requires self-analysis and candid (if uncomfortable) answers to several important questions:

1) What is your optimal time for a work session? An hour, three, fifteen minutes? My optimal session is about an hour and a half. But sometimes my brain bubbles like a hot spring, and I can work for three hours straight without hearing my stomach growl. [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…]

Tip of the Trade: Is it okay to use ‘we’ or ‘I’ when writing for academic audiences?

Scientific writingDuring the TAA webinar, “Principles of Effective Scientific Writing,” Kristin Sainani, associate professor with health research and policy at Stanford University, said that she often gets asked the question: “Is it okay to use ‘we’ or ‘I’ when I’m writing for academic or scientific audiences?”

She said actually, yes, it is: “Editors will encourage you to use ‘we’ or ‘I’ so that you can use the active voice. I think it’s actually a good thing to use ‘we’ and ‘I’ because you are the author taking responsibility for the work that you’ve done and the interpretation you have.”

Watch Kristin’s full TAA webinar. Free for members! Not a member? Join TAA today

What is a typical rate for a textbook contributor?

Textbook PublishingQ: What is a typical rate for a textbook contributor? Do I have any negotiation power if I think the rate isn’t fair?

A: Lorraine Papazian-Boyce, author of ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding: A Map for Success, and the upcoming Pearson’s Comprehensive Medical Coding: ICD-10-CM/PCS, ICD-9-CM, CPT, HCPCS:

“I’ve contributed to dozens of projects for multiple publishers over the last 8-9 years. It is a wonderful way to get started in the field, gain credibility with a publisher, and earn money here and now. The rate for contributors depends on the type of content you’re being asked to develop, such as exercises, a chapter, supplements, etc. It also varies by field and publisher. [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: Be strict about the type of editing that is suitable for each stage of the revision process

writing centerAdvice about academic writing often stresses the iterative nature of the writing process; the creation of an effective final draft generally requires multiple drafts and extensive revision. A crucial corollary to a commitment to extensive revision is an acceptance that revision mustn’t be allowed to go on indefinitely. Otherwise, a certain mania can set in: any draft can always be other than it is. After a certain point, we have to ask ourselves about diminishing returns and about the very real possibility of messing up what is already working. [Read more…]

Use this revising strategy to make your writing flow

writingQ: What strategies do you use during the revision process?

A: Mike Kennamer: “Before I send the article to an editor, I always read it out loud as part of the editing process. I also try to get colleagues to read it and provide input before I send it off to the editor.

When a section just doesn’t seem to flow as I would like, I will print the article and (literally, with scissors) cut out each paragraph and lay it on the floor in the order that it is in for the article. Then I will start to move certain paragraphs around to see if that helps with flow. I use the floor because it gets me out of the normal place where I write. There is something about sitting on the floor with my work in little paragraph-sized slips of paper that helps [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: How do you track your ongoing projects and manuscripts?

White Board

This is an artist rendition of Kennamer’s white board.

“I use both a very low tech and a higher tech method. In my study I have a magnetic white board with which I track major projects. This is where I keep the ‘big picture’ components of ongoing projects. There are three columns labeled project, status, and comment. When I take on a new project I write in the project name and use a combination of writing and magnets to keep up with the status of projects. I continue tracking through receiving payment for the project. [Read more…]