The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 22, 2016

Benjamin Franklin — 'Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.'It’s so easy for us to say, “I’ll do that tomorrow”, “I’ll start on my writing projects, tomorrow” and tomorrow keeps getting pushed further and further away. Procrastination is easy. Yet, never satisfying. Chances are you have the time to get started today. So start! End the infinite tomorrow and do as Benjamin Franklin reminds us, and, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: July 17, 2015

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.You need to start somewhere.” –Anne Lamott

No piece of writing is perfect when first written—that’s why they call it a first draft and why editing exists. Pat Thomson offers a bit of comfort in her piece this week in that all academic writers (or any writer for that matter) face the same struggles. She focuses on being ‘stuck’ with a writing piece and how to move thru it. Today, just focus on getting started and let the rest fall into place. The rest will either fall into place or, if nothing else, give you direction for where to go on the page next time you sit to write. Either way, just start and know that you can (and will) edit later.

Happy writing! [Read more…]

Join us for the 3/4 TAA Webinar, ‘How Textbook Authors Can Prosper With Open Content’

Brian JacobsJoin us Wednesday, March 4 from 3-4 p.m. ET for the one-hour TAA webinar, “How Textbook Authors Can Prosper With Open Content

”, presented by Brian Jacobs, Founder of panOpen. Register

This presentation introduces a new model for textbook and academic authors to work with open content. Authors have mostly viewed the movement for open content with understandable skepticism and concern, as there are few controls over the shaping of content and usually no financial compensation for its use.  [Read more…]

Traditional vs. open textbook authoring: An interview with Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan is a Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Maine. He is the author or co-author of six textbooks published by large and small traditional publishers. Barkan has also published one textbook with open textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge and is under contract to author a second textbook.

Here Barkan talks to TAA about his experiences authoring for both traditional publishers and open textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge:

TAA: How did you get started in textbook authoring?

Steven Barkan: “In the early 1990s, I was about to be promoted to full professor status, and decided it was time to write a textbook. I had always enjoyed my conversations with textbook company representatives about their books and the textbook industry. I realized there was a need for a criminology textbook emphasizing a sociological approach, and later published this book with Prentice Hall. It is now in its 5th edition and was a Texty winner in an earlier edition. I enjoyed that initial experience in textbook writing so much that I sought out other projects and wrote additional books in the areas of sociology and criminology/criminal justice for Allyn & Bacon and Wadsworth. My newest book, an introductory sociology text, is with Flat World Knowledge.”

[Read more…]