Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 11, 2022
As academic and textbook authors we can often get stuck before, during, or after our writing efforts. Whether faced with self-doubt, writer’s block, lack of knowledge, or a change in process or expectations, our flow can get disrupted. Even once the project is complete, we may feel challenged by the publishing process or in marketing our work.
In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find advice for meeting this myriad of challenges, but the most important process of all may be quite as simple as Isabel Allende once said, “Write what should not be forgotten.” Happy Writing!
Sometimes writing gets stuck like wheels in mud. Doing more of the same simply leads to you spinning your wheels and getting in deeper. Going nowhere. Sometimes writing gets stuck like a stone wedged in the sole of your shoe. You can keep walking but is very uncomfortable. And you probably aren’t going to make it all the way walking like this. You need a very pointy stick to dislodge the obdurate object. What stuck writing needs is its own version of the sharp pointy stick. Its own version of the hessian bag you lay under the stuck wheels so you get traction.
It takes many different forms, but every writer faces the monster of self-doubt at some point. Today, writer Ellie Joy shares her encounter with the dreaded beast, and shares some encouragement for facing and moving past that doubt.
By embracing the unknown, you can stretch your creative muscles and make great progress as a writer in ways you might not otherwise have done had you remained within your comfort zone. Here are some tips to get you started.
Trust lies at the very core of the global research endeavor. Researchers around the world need trust in order to build upon the work of others, rather than following false leads of unreliable studies. Society needs to trust scientists in order to benefit from the products of science — the anti-vaccine movement which puts all of society at risk for diseases which could otherwise be eradicated, is evidence of the dangers of a lack of trust by society in science. But researchers are human, and therefore fallible, vulnerable to error, conflicting interests, perverse incentives, and blind spots in the same way individuals in all other professions are. The discipline of research integrity is an attempt to build a universal culture of ethical and responsible research practices as well as systems within the overall research ecosystem for such a culture to flourish.
Oh no! You’re in the middle of a thing (a novel, a series, a career) and you suddenly realize that the expectations you set early on are not the expectations you’ll be meeting. What do you do now?
When I first met Cat, she had been working on her book for more than three years, since finishing her MFA program. She was frustrated and discouraged, feeling like she didn’t know what direction to take with her manuscript. She questioned whether anyone would ever want to read her book and, worse, she felt burned and discouraged by her MFA program because she didn’t feel she got the support she needed to write the story she felt compelled to tell. She learned a lot in the MFA program, but not how to actually finish a book. And she wasn’t able to figure out how to make progress on her manuscript without the external structure of the MFA program.
For some time now, a research article can display several different dates that can prove confusing when trying to work out when a scholarly publication is actually released. In the hardcopy print era, before the Web shook up the academic publishing system, the publication date was always associated with the issued date, the moment at which an article was included in an issue and publicly distributed. With the advent of online publishing and the adaptation of print journals to the digital environment, many of the traditional conventions are not necessary.
John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book was the first book I ever bought on marketing way back when I started self-publishing in 2008. He has revised it several times since and is still a prolific content creator around book marketing. I’m thrilled to discuss long-term book marketing for authors in this interview.
Last week we covered an impressive strategy for getting your book into the library. This week, we think about another emerging way for authors to promote their work and drive book sales — the book trailer. Book trailers are kind of like movie trailers, short videos setting up the premise of the book and enticing readers to want to learn more. While they’ve become common for the release of big new fiction works, I’m not sure how well the concept translates to many areas of scholarly publishing. Or at least I was unsure until fellow Chef Charlie Rapple sent along the charming musical number below.