The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: July 31, 2015

What tricks or strategies do you use to get yourself started and to get the words flowing? For me, on days when I need an extra push of motivation, I retreat to my favorite local coffee shop where there is nothing there to distract me. Words, sentences, and entire pieces are also always sure to form in my head while jogging or biking. When finally I return home the words never quite flow as eloquently onto the page as they did in my mind during that bike ride, but at least I have a starting place and an idea for what I want to write or how I want to write it. In other words, as soon as I un-focus my mind from a writing task and hop on my bike or lace up my running shoes, the words finally come. Does this “trick” work for you? If not, what other tricks and strategies can you share that you use to get you started writing?

Textbook contract negotiations: Do your homework

When it comes to contract negotiations, you have to do your homework, says Steve Gillen, partner at Wood, Herron & Evans, where he concentrates his practice on publishing, media, and copyright matters. “Negotiations are ultimately influenced by which side knows the most about the other side’s positions. The editor starts this contest with an advantage gained from experience in the market, experience doing other similar deals (undoubtedly many more than you have done), and the benefits of your perspective as reflected in your proposal. The way to get on an even footing with the editor/publisher is to learn more about the publisher’s plans for, and expectations of, your work — information that will help you evaluate your leverage and the editor’s weaknesses.