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TAA Vice President’s message: Top 10 reasons to be a textbook and/or academic author

Steven Barkan
Steven Barkan, TAA Vice President

Why should anyone want to write textbooks, journal articles, or other academic publications? After all, prospective authors can never be sure that their manuscripts will be accepted by an editor or publisher, and textbook authors can never be sure that their books will earn more than a modicum of royalties. Is there method to our madness?

With tongue firmly in cheek, I have given this issue much thought and have drawn on my many conversations with authors over the years to come up with my “Top Ten Reasons for Being a Textbook and/or Academic Author”. If you find at least one of these reasons relevant for your own authorship, you are certainly in the right business!


10) You like to be alone a lot.
9) You like to sit.
8) You really like to sit.
7) You want to have an excuse the next time your spouse/partner wants you to do something you don’t want to do.
6) The weather is bad.
5) You think editors are easily impressed.
4) You enjoy reviewers criticizing your work even though they know so much less about it than you do.
3) You take pleasure in being somewhat of a masochist.
2) You love spending time with a desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone/other.
1) You have delusions of grandeur.

When the weather is good or when the weather is bad, TAA is here for you. If you really do like sitting a lot or instead get tired of sitting, TAA is here for you. Even if you have a delusion or two of grandeur, TAA is still here for you. That is because TAA knows what it’s like to be a text or academic author. TAA provides a community of authors who have all shared the joys and tribulations of authorship that began the day when you first started thinking about becoming an author. TAA also provides a host of resources to make the author’s life a bit easier and more productive. If you’ve read this far, you know all this for yourself, but if you remain to be convinced, peruse the many areas of the TAA website and be sure to come to the annual conference in Las Vegas this June. You won’t be alone.