Top 5 tips for creating and maintaining a successful coauthoring relationship

Frank Carrano and Timothy Henry have coauthored two editions each of computer science textbooks Data Abstractions & Problem Solving with Walls And Mirrors C++ and Data Structures and Abstractions with JAVA. Here they detail their top five tips for maintaining a successful coauthoring relationship.

1) Have a Coauthoring Contract or Agreement

When you and your coauthor decided to work together, you may have been long-time friends and coworkers, you may have been connected by your publisher, or you may have met at a conference. However the relationship was established, it is important to have your writing relationship clearly stated in a contract. A coauthoring contractual agreement should specify royalty splits, writing responsibilities, and future edition commitments. If you have not worked together previously, you may want to consider a work-for-hire arrangement to test your ability to collaborate. This can reduce the risk to future editions. Another option is to add the coauthor for the current edition only. That is, amend your contract for one edition at a time. [Read more…]

12/3 TAA Webinar – Practical Strategies for Collaborating With Peers

Janet SalmonsSometimes collaboration comes naturally. We can communicate honestly to determine shared goals and complete a project. It can be exhilarating to see what can be accomplished when we pool ideas and expertise. Other times, collaboration seems time-consuming and frankly aggravating. Perhaps we thought we were on the same page with our partner(s), only to discover that their sense of time, criteria for quality, or willingness to address problems are not as we expected.

The issues can compound when the number of collaborative partners expands, and when we have less common ground to build upon. When we collaborate with peers from our own discipline or professional, we understand theoretical frameworks and seminal literature that informs our field. We might share similar outlooks with peers from our region, country, or culture. When we expand the collaboration to include peers from outside these familiar groups, attention is needed to the ways we will work together.

Join us Tuesday, December 3 from 2-3 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Practical Strategies for Collaborating With Peers,” presented by author and coach Janet Salmons, who will show how the approaches described in her book, Learning to Collaborate, Collaborating to Learn, apply to peer collaboration for writing, editing, or other projects.

[Read more…]

How to find a coauthor: What you need, what you want, and where to look

coauthoringDuring a recent TAA webinar, “The Joys and Agony of Co-Authoring: Practical and Legal Tips from Two Author-Lawyers”, presented by the award-winning co-authoring team of Karen Morris and Sten Sliger, the pair shared a list of both necessary and desirable traits to look for in a coauthor as well as tips on where to start searching for the people who possess them.

While working with a coauthor has several advantages, like a reduced workload, added expertise and creativity, and a different perspective, the wrong relationship can be a recipe for disaster. To increase your chance of success, this list provides some food for thought when considering a co-authoring relationship with someone. [Read more…]

4/11 TAA Webinar: Mentor, Coach, Supervisor: Collaborative Ways to Work With Writers

Janet Salmonsjim mccleskeyWriting is deeply personal. But unless we are writing research memos or journal entries, we will have to cooperate with reviewers, editors, and others to get our work published. As faculty supervising students, writing program staff, trainers or consultants, we have the opportunity to help aspiring writers to work more collaboratively. Join us Thursday, April 11 from 3-4 p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, “Mentor, Coach, Supervisor: Collaborative Ways to Work With Writers,” where presenter Dr. Janet Salmons, author of Learning to Collaborate, Collaborating to Learn: Practical Guidance for Online and Classroom Instruction, and her dissertation supervisee Jim McClesky will explore ways to develop skills valuable to writers. They will look at ways to use review exchanges, writing circles, support teams and other approaches to improve writing while learning to work collaboratively. Practical strategies will be offered for classroom, committee, or informal learning settings. will explore ways to develop skills valuable to writers. She will look at ways to use review exchanges, writing circles, support teams and other approaches to improve writing while learning to work collaboratively, and offer practical strategies for classroom, committee, or informal learning settings. [Read more…]

11/6 TAA Webinar: Make “Collaboration” More Than a Buzzword

Learn to CollaborateJanet SalmonsHow do we decide what kind of interactive process will allow us to achieve outcomes more significant than what we could do on our own? What steps will improve collaborations when some or all of our interaction occurs online? These are questions Dr. Janet Salmons, author of the forthcoming book, Learning to Collaborate, Collaborating to Learn, will explore in her TAA webinar, “Make ‘Collaboration’ More Than a Buzzword,” on Tuesday, November 6 from 3-4 p.m. ET. Register today! [Read more…]

10/11 TAA Webinar: ‘The Joys and Agony of Co-Authoring: Practical and Legal Tips from Two Author-Lawyers’

Karen Morris and Sten SligerCoauthors Karen Morris, a seasoned author and lawyer, and Sten Sliger, a new author and lawyer, will share best practices for finding, vetting, contracting, and working with coauthors, during their TAA webinar, “The Joys and Agony of Co-Authoring: Practical and Legal Tips from Two Author-Lawyers,” on Thursday, October 11 from 3-4 p.m. ET. Register today! [Read more…]

Co-authoring & writing collaboration: Planning strategies for success

Writing a book or an article is a demanding process in the best of circumstances. We must balance a number of internal and external factors. We must figure out how to convey our insights and experiences, research and analysis, in writing. At the same time, we must interface with the external world: schedules and deadlines, editors and publishers, and ultimately with our readers. We add another set of factors when we work with co-authors. How can we navigate all of these dimensions in ways that allow us to collectively produce our best work? [Read more…]

Successfully building collaborative authoring relationships

collaborationDeveloping a collaborative relationship with other authors can be both rewarding and challenging. For many, writing is an individual effort, so how do you determine when it is beneficial to partner with one or more other authors on a manuscript? To learn more about the advantages of author collaboration, we sought the insight of several TAA members who have been successful in developing manuscripts with co-authors.

Q: What are some advantages of finding a collaborator?

A: Drew Curtis, co-author of Abnormal Psychology: Myths of ‘Crazy’“Collaboration offers numerous benefits, which is why most academic disciplines encourage it. [Read more…]

Who can I get to write that chapter?

Woman thinkingYou are all set. The approach to your topic is inspired. A firm table of contents has been finalized. Your book proposal is great. And you now have a contract with a respected publisher!

But, who is going to do all this writing? You have probably carved out specific chapters that you will write. You may have spoken with some colleagues that like the project and said they would be glad to help out. You have a list of likely people to write other key chapters, but you will need more contributors. How do you go about identifying and asking people to contribute to your book? [Read more…]

Q&A: How do you phase out a co-author?

Textbook PublishingQ: How do you phase out a coauthor who is now retired and with whom you have worked with for many years?

A: Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide:

“The best way to phase out a co-author is to bring in a new co-author and increase the proportion of a new content, but so long as the book has original content contributed by the original author, that coauthor has a legitimate (and legal) stake in the book. Publishing industry standards for textbooks call for a gradual reduction in the royalty split, reflecting the reduced contribution, proportionally, to revisions. [Read more…]