About Kim Pawlak

Kim Pawlak is Director of Publishing & Operations for the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). She has been writing about the textbook and academic authoring and publishing industry for 20 years.

2021 TAA Council Election Results Announced

Paul Krieger Five TAA members have been elected to the TAA Council, the association’s governing board. Paul Krieger has been elected Vice President/President-Elect, Juli Saitz has been elected to a third term as Treasurer, and Brenda Ulrich has been elected to a second term as Secretary. Stacie Craft DeFreitas and Dione Taylor have been elected to Council positions.

Krieger, a retired professor of biology, is the author and illustrator of the four-book series, The Visual Analogy Guides. In his position statement, he said he intends to focus on three major goals as VP/President-Elect: (1) Help TAA remain true to its mission of supporting textbook and academic authors as it has done so impressively over the years; (2) Assist the recently established Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI) to achieve its goals; and (3) Explore new sources of revenue to keep TAA on solid financial ground in the future. Krieger will serve a two-year term as VP, a two-year term as President, and a two-year term as Past-President. [Read more…]

Your textbook isn’t being revised. Now what?

Just askIf your standard textbook revision cycle has come and gone, it doesn’t automatically mean that you aren’t being revised, and you can’t expect that your publisher will reach out to you either, so you’ll need to ask, says Donna Battista, vice president of content strategy for Top Hat.

“Get in touch with your publisher and just ask directly,” she says. “I think it’s always good practice to start from the perspective that everybody is going to work in good faith. Nobody wants to squat on your rights.”

Start with reviewing the revision clause in your contract to see what your options are, but if the publisher doesn’t plan for a new edition and you want to ask for your rights back it’s always best to ask for as much as possible, says Battista. “Know what you want to ask for, and then have an expectation that there are only certain things that they are required to release to you,” she says. The rights that will be returned to you are your intellectual property rights, or your content. [Read more…]

2021 TAA Council Elections – Cast Your Vote

TAA LogoSeven candidates are running for five open positions on the TAA Council, the association’s governing board. Positions include Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, and two Council positions. Terms begin July 1, 2021. Officers serve two-year terms, with the exception of the Vice-President/President-Elect, who serves a two-year term as Vice-President, a two-year term as President, and a two-year term as Past President. Council members serve three-year terms.

Brenda Ulrich

Brenda Ulrich

Juli Saitz

Juli Saitz

Paul Krieger

Retired Biology Professor and Textbook Author Paul Krieger is running unopposed for Vice President/President Elect, Accountant Juli Saitz is running unopposed for Treasurer (she currently holds the position), and Intellectual Property Lawyer Brenda Ulrich is running unopposed for Secretary (she currently holds the position). Council Candidates include Stacie Craft DeFreitas, Cynthia Wheatley Glenn, Brian Shmaefsky, and Dione Taylor. View Full Candidate Bios and Position Statements. Ballots were emailed to TAA Members on March 23. [Read more…]

4/14 TAA Webinar, “Effective Organization Strategies for Developing a Textbook Chapter”

Eric SchmiederWriting and Developing Your College TextbookThinking about writing a textbook can be much like planning to climb a mountain. A daunting task that may be overwhelming and require both endurance and strength before even getting started. But what if I told you that like most major projects or journeys, the effectiveness of the whole is really defined by the quality of the small parts that get put together?

Join us Wednesday, April 14, from 2-3 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Effective Organization Strategies for Developing a Textbook Chapter,” where TAA’s Membership Marketing Manager and author/co-author of several computer technology textbooks, Eric Schmieder, will share strategies for organizing your content at a chapter level in a way that defines your author style for content delivery. [Read more…]

4/5 TAA Webinar, “Your Textbook Isn’t Being Revised. Now What?”

Donna BattistaAs publishing companies look to manage costs and focus on large introductory courses, many high-quality and high-value textbooks are not being revised.

Join us Monday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Your Textbook Isn’t Being Revised. Now What?”, where Donna Battista, VP of Content Strategy at Top Hat, and previous Pearson Executive, will help authors navigate this increasingly common challenge. She’ll provide guidance on requesting rights back, what to do when rights are reverted, and what options there are to make content available. [Read more…]

Spring Your Writing Forward: Get a Month of Motivation in April

Accomplish your academic writing goals by focusing on two areas of academic writing that many authors tend to struggle with – isolation and accountability – with TAA’s new Month of Motivation program.

To combat the challenges associated with personal goal setting and accountability felt by many academic authors, we have developed a month-long motivational email series that begins with a personal pledge to meet your writing goals. Simply share with us your goals, anticipated challenges, and what TAA can do to help you succeed, and we’ll help move you forward with daily email messages containing motivation, encouragement, and resources to advance your writing efforts all month long. [Read more…]

Member Spotlight: Brian Shmaefsky

Brian ShmaefskyTAA Member Brian Shmaefsky is a Professor of Environmental Science and both a textbook and academic author writing in the disciplines of environmental science and human disease and anatomy. His most recent publication is Phytoremediation: In-Situ Applications.

What are you currently working on?

An environmental science textbook and several human disease books in a deadly diseases and epidemics series. [Read more…]

3/11 TAA Webinar: “Why Your Journal Articles Are Confusing and How IMRaD Can Help”

PublishedThomas DeetjenDo you struggle to describe your research in writing? Like your crisp research vision inevitably devolves into a disorganized, confusing journal article? Let’s discuss a tool that can help—one with which you’re already familiar, but likely not familiar enough: journal article structure.

Join us Wednesday, March 11 at 1 p.m. ET for the 30-minute webinar, “Why Your Journal Articles Are Confusing and How IMRaD Can Help,” where Thomas Deetjen, author of Published, will explore the value of the Introduction, Methods, Results & Discussion—or IMRaD—journal article structure. [Read more…]

eBook Download: Developing Trust in Peer Review: From Author to Audience

Trust in Peer Review eBook coverThis eBook is the compilation of a four-part series published on the TAA Blog during Peer Review Week 2020: “Trust in Peer Review”. The series explores how trust in peer review is established, maintained and delivered, and focuses on the role of authors, reviewers, publishers and readers in developing that trust.

What You’ll Get:

Part 1: Trust Starts With the Author
Part 2: Trust Develops Through the Reviewers
Part 3: Trust is Demonstrated By the Publisher
Part 4: Trust is Appreciated By the Reader

Download

Busy TAA People: Steve Barkan

Critical CriminologySteven BarkanAn article by TAA member and former Council President Steve Barkan, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UMaine, and Michael Rocque, Associate Professor of Sociology at Bates College and a UMaine sociology alumnus, received the 2020 Outstanding Contribution Award from the Division of Biopsychosocial Criminology of the American Society of Criminology.

The article, published in Critical Criminology in 2018, is entitled, “Socioeconomic Status and Racism as Fundamental Causes of Street Criminality” [26(2):211-231]

The Award recognizes an outstanding contribution (journal article or book) in the field of biopsychosocial criminology by a scholar who has completed their Ph.D.