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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 18, 2022

How do you see yourself as an academic author? What is your purpose in writing? How does your writing matter in your discipline? How do you know when you are successful?

These are some of the questions addressed in the articles curated from around the web this week. We’ve also found advice on branding and marketing yourself and your work and the risk and reward of innovation in publishing.

As you write this week, consider the reason and the audience for your words. Happy writing!

“Common Knowledge” and How False Facts Become Entrenched

The video below (brought to my attention by Lettie Conrad, thanks) takes a look at common scientific “urban legends” and their origins. There’s some interesting food for thought in there for our community’s continuing debate about how to drive trust in science and to make the literature more reliable. Key questions include thinking about what level of a statement should require a citation — if something is commonly known (e.g., chemicals are made up of atoms), does one really need a citation to back it up? But what if that common knowledge is not accurate?

What does ”connect your work to an ongoing conversation” mean?

We often hear that writing about your research is, or ought to be, joining a conversation. Other people have discussed your topic before and your writing needs to connect with that conversation. And “the conversation” actually means the published literature. Why? But why?

How to Know When You’re a Successful Author?

How to know when you’re a successful author? I suppose almost every writer asks this at some point—and very likely at frequent points. There are multiple ways to define and measure the answer. For many of us, the answer seems come down to commercial success. And yet because commercial success is sometimes elusive, this metric often seems at least vaguely unsatisfactory.

The Best Way Writers Can Build Their Brand

Simply put: your brand is you. It’s the face you show the world. It’s the way you engage with others on social media. It’s your personality that seeps from the words you write—on your website, your blog posts, and your marketing materials.

How to Make a Book Trailer: 4 Must Haves

In this article, I’m going to explain what book trailers are. We’ll talk about how to make a book trailer, what makes a great book trailer, and how you can use your book trailer effectively in your marketing plan.

A Parable of Innovation in Publishing — A Mostly True Story

This is the post that I link to most often in my current writing. I do this because I find myself regularly in the position of urging people to take on more risk, not to take a wait-and-see attitude. The reason for this is that the competitive environment moves swiftly and is heartless: in a networked world, most situations are winner-takes-all. So often the outcome for a safe choice is no different from a decision to try something new and fail. Some readers will be able to identify the names of the company and some of the personalities. I have chosen not to identify them, in part to avoid being dragged into another operating review.