4 Ways to pay it forward as an author

pay it forwardThere seems to be a growing trend in society – one that is quite heartwarming amidst other news – for people to use the gifts and rewards of their own lives to “pay it forward” for the success and advantage of others – even strangers. Perhaps you have been the recipient of one of these acts of kindness at a local drive-thru where the person in front of you paid for your order. Or maybe you have had someone in your life take extra time to encourage and teach you – selflessly helping you pursue your dreams and goals.

If you think about it, there have likely been a number of times when unexpected offerings of assistance have come your way without any expectation of repayment. Those gifts have perhaps brought you, in part, to where you are today as an author. So, how can you “pay it forward” to the next generation of authors? I offer four possibilities below. [Read more…]

Specifying the end: Project management as applied to writing

Is project management really an essential writing process? While academic authors certainly recognize that writing requires many unique processes, each deserving attention, we rarely think beyond research, drafting, and revision. Yet, how well we manage projects can make or break the outcome. Case in point, if you miss the deadline for a special issue, it hardly matters how well your paper was aligned with the editor’s vision! Even when outcomes are not so dire, project management allows you to work in a calmer and less reactive manner, thus allowing for greater creativity.

Within formal project management, the tools can be roughly broken into “project definition tools” and “implementation tools.” In general, project definition tools are procedures that help you determine the scope, the tasks, the time frame, and the budget (i.e., time). Implementation tools are those that help you work smoothly. Here I focus on the former. [Read more…]

How two co-authors have worked together successfully at a distance

The UX Book: Agile UX Design for a Quality User Experience, 2nd ed.All writing projects have their own challenges and opportunities. When working with a co-author, there can be additional challenges to ensure that the manuscript is completed in a way that ultimately reflects a single published voice while covering all of the required topic areas.

In this article, Rex Hartson and Pardha Pyla, co-authors of the award-winning textbook, The UX Book 2 (Morgan Kauffman Publishing, 2019), share our experience of success working together at a distance. We have offered the following insight on how to manage issues of version control, file sharing, managing “pen” ownership, change tracking, handing off the pen, and organizing difficult text. [Read more…]

2020 Textbook award-winning insight (Part 4): Co-authoring

Textbook Excellence Award WinnerWe recently reached out to winners of the 2020 TAA Textbook Awards and asked them to answer some questions about why they made the decision to write their textbook, strategies they used for successful writing, advice on contracts, editing, marketing, co-authoring, and more. We will be sharing their answers in a series of posts over the next few weeks.

This fourth installment of the five-part series focuses on working with co-authors. [Read more…]

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…]