The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: March 27, 2015

“You can’t think yourself out You can't think yourself out of a writing blockof a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” ~John Rogers

At first thought, I had mixed feelings about Rogers’ statement, thinking that at times it’s nearly impossible to find the right words to get them down on the page. Then it struck me. The thinking is precisely the thing that often gets in my way of getting those words down. My mind is trying to get it just right before allowing my fingers to type the words. I get lost in my head and that causes me to get stuck. Do you find that this too is what happens to you? Do you get lost in your thoughts or lost in trying to get your writing perfect before getting anything down on the page? Rogers’ words are pause for thought, to really analyze why it is that we get blocks. Sure, there are also many other factors that may come into play that deter us from writing, but you may also find, as I did, that the root of many of those are due to overthinking. Next time you have a block, stop thinking and start writing. Sometimes all it takes is allowing for your fingers to start typing to get the words flowing. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Schulman receives TAA Publication Grant

Vanessa SchulmanVanessa Schulman, an Assistant Professor in the School of Art at Illinois State University, received a TAA Publication Grant to support the publication of her book, Works Sights: The Visual Culture of Industry in Nineteenth-Century America, which will be published by the University of Massachusetts Press in January 2016.

“In my field, permissions fees for reproducing works of art can cost hundreds of dollars,” she said. “As an art historian, I am grateful to TAA for their financial assistance; this grant means I can afford to include the images necessary to support my book’s argument.”
[Read more…]

Salus receives TAA Publication Grant

Carol SalusCarol Salus, an Associate Professor at Kent State University, received a TAA Publication Grant to cover a portion of the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the publication of her book, Picasso and Celestina: The Artist’s Vision of the Procuress. The book will be published by Juan de la Cuesta Press, LinguaText in March 2015.

“I am thrilled to have received this grant,” said Salus. “It will be extremely useful, as the copyright costs alone on my book incurred an enormous expense.” [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…]

TAA announces call for proposals for 28th annual conference

2015 TAA Conference LogoThe Text and Academic Authors Association is pleased to announce a call for proposals for its 28th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, which will be held at the Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Spa, in Las Vegas, NV, June 19-20, 2015. A highly interactive event, the conference is attended by authors of textbooks, journal articles, and other academic works, as well as by industry professionals from across the country.

TAA invites the submission of presentations relevant to authoring and publishing textbooks and academic works (monographs, journal articles, reports). Click here for more information and to access the online proposal submission form. [Read more…]

3 Tips to succeeding as a textbook author

Photo of Michael Sullivan TextbooksMike Sullivan

TAA Council member Michael Sullivan recently authored a new textbook entitled CALCULUS, Early Transcendentals. Published by W. H. Freeman and coauthored with Kathleen Miranda, the book is aimed to serve the three-semester Calculus sequence (12-13 semester hours) for students majoring in mathematics, engineering, the natural sciences, and other related areas. Sullivan has authored or coauthored over 100 textbooks, including subsequent editions, in Calculus, Precalculus (including College Algebra and Trigonometry), Finite Mathematics, and Business Calculus. His publishers include Pearson Education, John Wiley and Sons, and W. H. Freeman. [Read more…]

Self-publishing workshop offered at TAA’s 27th annual authoring conference

2014 TAA Conference logoTAA’s 2014 Conference on Textbook & Academic Writing in Baltimore, MD, June 20-21, will include a new track on “Self-Publishing”. The track will feature a workshop designed for both novice and veteran authors who want to experience a hands-on approach to marketing their book to readers and buyers. Attendees will learn how to raise money to get a book printed and marketed, what to look for in hiring an editor, and how to find a publisher for a manuscript. [Read more…]

Insights on writing, project development and the value of developing a business structure: An interview with Mike Kennamer

Mike KennamerMike Kennamer currently serves as Director of Workforce Development at Northeast Alabama Community College and is President/CEO of Kennamer Media Group, Inc., a company that provides written and photographic resources in a variety of formats. He has written a number of textbooks, workbooks, instructor resource materials, video scripts, and online content in the health and public safety fields, and has had several articles published in higher education journals.

As a seasoned textbook and journal article author, Kennamer shares his insights on the writing and project development processes and the strategies he has implemented to simplify his business structure. [Read more…]

Bob Mankoff to keynote 2014 TAA Conference

Bob Mankoff

Bob Mankoff, nationally renowned cartoon editor for The New Yorker

Robert Mankoff, nationally renowned cartoon editor for The New Yorker, will be the keynote speaker at TAA’s 2014 Conference with a presentation entitled “Taking Humor Seriously”. Mankoff will share his engaging and informative analysis of how and why humor works for making academic subjects come to life.

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be held at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel at Camden Yards June 20-21-2014.  For more program information and session descriptions visit the 2014 TAA Conference website.

How to use social media as an academic writer

Social mediaSocial media has become an influential force in both our personal and professional lives. According to Mark Carrigan, social media trainer and sociologist at the University of Warwick, social media offers many benefits for academic writers. In a recent TAA webinar entitled, ‘What On Earth Will I Tweet About?’: Feeling Comfortable with Social Media as an Academic, Carrigan shared some of those benefits.

“One advantage of social media for academic writers is that it allows you to have an independent presence online so if you switch institutions, you can still easily be found,” Carrigan said. Since many academics work at multiple educational institutions during their careers, an independent online presence can be an invaluable networking and promotional tool.

Social media platforms can offer many advantages in both the pre- and post-publication stages of textbooks and journal articles. [Read more…]