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2020 Conference Roundtable Discussions Preview

2020 Textbook & Academic Authoring ConferenceEarly registration is now open for TAA’s 33rd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in San Diego, CA this June! This event is always an incredible opportunity to network with authors from a variety of disciplines and to learn about the latest trends, best practices, and industry changes.

One of the highlights of the annual event is the engaging roundtable discussion sessions that close out the Saturday afternoon schedule. This year, conference participants have six topics to choose from. A complete overview of the roundtable sessions is below.

Saturday, June 13, 2020 Roundtable offerings

‘Herding Cats’: The Ins and Outs of Creating an Academic (But Still Interesting) Edited Collection

Facilitated by Davinia Thornley, Laura Carroll, and Laura S. Scott, this discussion is for those considering putting together an edited book. This roundtable will focus on answering your questions about sticky issues such as: What if my collection varies from the standard academic model? How can I market a “risky” book? How can I keep the whole thing afloat and on deadline, while still retaining the goodwill of my colleagues? And why on earth would I want to (i.e. what’s in it for me)?

First the presenters will show you some paths to creating an academic collection: from the initial idea to submitting a proposal through to getting the finished product in before the deadline. The editor will discuss how she managed a previous edited collection and share how she’s working through her current project. She will be joined by respected colleagues working in the same topic area who will also share what they’ve learned from their previous writing projects — ideas that will help you!

Publishing Outside the Box: Blogs, Indie Publishing, and Self-Publishing

Led by Janet Salmons, this roundtable is designed to highlight resources and strategies for publishing outside the traditional box! Janet will lead a discussion on the use of academic or professional blogs, newsletters, or other informal publications to make your name, share your thinking, discuss work in progress, or promote more formal books and articles. In addition, she will explore the options of indie or self-publishing to meet a specific or time-limited need, such as a manual or guide to complement a seminar or workshop, or to publish work in a niche or style not of interest to a conventional publisher.

To-do Lists for Every Round of Textbook Production

Whether you are a new textbook author or a seasoned pro, you may struggle to take a systematic approach to the many tasks involved in chapter revision and book production. A disorganized author may forget important tasks, possibly leading to errors. During this roundtable, Marielle Hoefnagels plans to share her detailed to-do lists for first drafts, copyedited chapters, first pass pages, revised pages, and confirming pages. Participants can edit her checklists for use in their production work and share their own tips and tricks for staying on top of every task.

Understanding Royalty Statements is NOT an Introductory Course

In this roundtable, Rich Wessler will lead an interactive discussion focused on understanding the ins and outs of royalty statements. Topics to be covered include spotting trends from one royalty statement to another, spotting red flags on your royalty statement, and how to translate a publisher’s comments about how they will sell your content to how it will appear on your royalty statement. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions regarding how to interpret their royalty statements and what specific elements mean.

What Does Mindfulness Have to do with Academic Writing? Lots!

Facilitated by Danelle D. Stevens, this session is designed to offer a set of mindfulness exercises to tap the richness of your experience and weave it into your academic writing life. Mindfulness is the holistic practice of beginning or stopping what you are doing with intention and checking in with what you are feeling and thinking, here and now.

Can practicing mindfulness benefit your academic writing as well as your personal life? The answer is a resounding yes! Practicing mindfulness is instrumental in the creative aspects of academic writing, such as discovering the essential questions to research or writing the title of the manuscript, and it can be key to maximizing the focus you need while crafting your manuscript. Understanding more about yourself through reflection and mindfulness can enable you to develop your writing as a holistic practice and provide the creativity, focus, and momentum you need to sustain your efforts over the long haul. Join this discussion to learn how.

Writing a dissertation and beyond: Tips & Tools for Launching and Maintaining Your Academic Writing Productivity

Writing productivity is important for academics at all levels. For graduate students, in particular, writing is essential for completing a dissertation. Unfortunately, approximately 50% of doctoral students do not complete their degrees, often dropping out during the dissertation writing stage. How can graduate students launch a healthy writing habit in order to complete their dissertations and maintain academic writing productivity as faculty?

In this presentation, Danielle Feeney and Margarita Huerta will discuss research-based, practical tools and tips that have helped them successfully complete dissertations and launch productive academic careers. They will also discuss the versatility of transforming and personalizing these tools to help manage other aspects of academic life and work. Participants will have an opportunity to explore and modify the tools provided based on their personalized academic needs.

For more information on the other sessions or to register for the 2020 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, visit

TAA reserves the right to rearrange the schedule or cancel or replace any session as circumstances require.

Eric Schmieder

Eric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.