Busy TAA People: Cassandra Baker

Key Tools of Writing and ResearchTAA member Dr. Cassandra L. Baker’s first book, Key Tools of Writing and Research: A Guide for the Student Writer, was published by Kendall-Hunt Publishing in January 2020. Baker is an instructor of business management at Gwinnett Technical College and founder of Prama Publishing and Sugar Hill Research and Consulting.

“TAA was exactly what I needed to assist me in succeeding with my project,” said Baker. “I am now writing my second book. Thank you TAA! I use the resources that TAA provides to continue educating myself on publishing and the publishing industry.”

TAA Membership Marketing Manager, Eric Schmieder, is a panelist on upcoming SAGE webinar

Eric Schmieder, Membership Marketing Manager, TAAAs part of the upcoming Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo), TAA’s Membership Marketing Manager, Eric Schmieder will be participating in a SAGE Publishing webinar titled “What do Publishing Trends Mean for Academic Writers?” moderated by TAA Council of Fellows member, Janet Salmons.

Today’s landscape of academic publishing encompasses much more than the traditional journal article. While academic writers still write books and articles, forms and formats are changing. Electronic journals can include links to media, and increasingly open access journals make it easier to reach academics, professionals, and practitioners outside a specific discipline. Short, monograph length books hone in on a single topic, graphic books illustrate ideas, book sections are accessible as stand-alone PDFs, and textbooks are becoming interactive to be embedded in e-learning platforms. Researchers are finding other ways to share their work electronically, including podcasts and videos, blogs and social media. With more happening via the web versus academic conferences, longstanding silos are cracking as we move beyond geographic and disciplinary constraints. What do these changes mean for academics—when writers must do more than write?

Schmieder will be one of three panelists, alongside Rebecca Bayeck and Sharon Zumbrunn, to address this changing landscape and what those changes mean for academic writers. [Read more…]

2020 Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) is coming soon!

hand, pen, and coffeeEvery November, the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) joins with academic authors around the world to recognize and promote the month-long academic write-a-thon event, Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). Started in 2011, this event encourages academic authors to focus on daily writing habits that move their projects closer to completion.

For the past three years, TAA has expanded their bi-weekly discussions to host weekly TweetChat events at the Twitter hashtag, #AcWriChat during the month of November.  [Read more…]

How authors build structural equity and inclusion practices through open access

2020 Open Access Week - Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and InclusionThis year’s Open Access Week theme is “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”. According to Nick Shockey in his #OAWeek blog post announcing this year’s theme, “Diversity, equity, and inclusion must be consistently prioritized year-round and integrated into the fabric of the open community, from how our infrastructure is built to how we organize community discussions to the governance structures we use.”

With this in mind, the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) is exploring the author’s role in building those priorities into our work – in both open access and traditional publishing environments. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 23, 2020

“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” ~Margaret LaurenceWriting takes work. Whether starting a PhD or working on another published book or manuscript, academic authoring is work and should be treated as a professional endeavor. Margaret Laurence once said, “When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” Our writing must receive focus and time for us to be successful.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have advice on early career authoring, building an impact and brand, and current trends in publishing. As you embark on the week ahead, give your writing the focus it deserves. After all, everything else is just odd jobs. Happy writing! [Read more…]

11/5 TAA Webinar: Seven Time Management Strategies to Begin, Keep Working On, and Complete Your Projects

Mary Beth AverillMost of us have had the experience of finishing a project at the last minute or late, and not being proud of what we have accomplished. Maybe we just couldn’t seem to find the time to devote to the project or we were frequently interrupted. Procrastination is a term applied to putting things off until later, but what can we do about it? Join us Thursday, November 5, from 1-2 p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, “Seven Time Management Strategies to Begin, Keep Working On, and Complete Your Projects” by academic author and coach Mary Beth Averill, who will explore 7 proven strategies for getting started, keeping at it, and finishing our projects. [Read more…]

Authors’ suit against Cengage hits snags

In October 2019, six authors, intending to form a class action together with other Cengage authors, filed a lawsuit against Cengage alleging that Cengage’s royalty accounting for proceeds from distribution of their products through the MindTap and Cengage Unlimited business models breached the publisher’s royalty arrangements with authors. In addition to the breach of contract claim, the authors alleged that Cengage acted in bad faith towards authors regarding the two products. Before a trial could get underway, Cengage responded by asking for all counts to be dismissed, and that the attempt to form a class action be denied. [Read more…]

Building content dexterity into your textbook

all you need is lessRecently my mentor, Paul Martinelli, was talking about creating and delivering content for various audiences and in a variety of ways. As part of his lesson, he said, “Content dexterity is key. You need to be able to speak on your subject for 3 seconds, 3 minutes, 3 hours, or 3 days”. Having taught many 3-hour class sessions in more than 20 years of teaching experience, that time period certainly is comfortable for me, but what about the others?

As textbook authors, we often write the book around the expectation of class sessions. We envision the classroom audience, the common structure of classroom time where our book will be used, and the depth and breadth of coverage of concepts necessary to meet the curriculum standards of the course. We then have a tendency to structure chapters and units around those constraints.

But I question whether that approach is effective in our current educational environment. Below I offer some ways that you might want to consider building content dexterity into your next textbook. [Read more…]

Are you good enough?

writing doubtWe all have a little voice inside our head. Sometimes it is a coach, or a bully, or a nag, or a guide. The voice can be the driving force behind some of our decisions, fortunately or unfortunately. It can guide relationships, career choices, and inevitably, our writing.

Writing, editing, and researching are solitary pursuits by nature. They can be driven forward by passion and curiosity, or promoted by achieving greater heights. But they can also be way laid by self-doubt. [Read more…]

Welcome new members to TAA: September 2020

Welcome to TAAWith membership in TAA, you are not alone. You become part of a diverse community of textbook and academic authors with similar interests and goals. We are pleased to announce the addition of 19 new TAA members who joined us in September 2020.  [Read more…]