Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 9, 2021

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” ~Chinese ProverbAcademic and textbook authors are in a unique position of being both active learners and teachers (even if not in official teaching positions) through our writing. In order to make contributions to the field, we must continue to explore, learn, and grow in our discipline, but through our writing and contributions, we also write with the intention of teaching others.

This week’s collection of articles has some great resources for continuing to learn to be a stronger writer. We begin with designing an ethical study, overcoming writer’s block, taking notes, and mapping your research design. We then look at strengthening our manuscripts and the revision process. Finally, we explore industry trends of email newsletters, version of record, open access, and hybrid publishing.

A Chinese Proverb says, “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” This week, I challenge you not only to continue opening doors for others through your written teachings, but also to find some new doors to enter yourself whether in your discipline or in your writing and publication processes. Happy writing! [Read more…]

For dissertation writers: When your partner wails, “I never see you anymore!”

student working on dissertationYou’re knee-deep or, more accurately, file/notecard/article/laptop-deep in your dissertation. You don’t hear anything around you—refrigerator opening, kids tussling, clothes washer whirring. You don’t even hear your name called for dinner. When you come up for air, you realize that your partner hasn’t spoken to you for days. When they do, it’s only to wail, I never see you anymore!” [Read more…]

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…]

Welcome new members to TAA: March 2021

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 161 new TAA members who joined us in March 2021.  [Read more…]

2021 TAA Textbook Awards Ceremony is available on demand

Textbook AwardsOn March 19, 2021 the Textbook & Academic Authors Association celebrated 44 authors across 25 winning titles in the 2021 Textbook Awards program. The ceremony included recognition of each title and video acceptance speeches from more than half of the award-winning authors.

Watch the entire ceremony on demand below or directly on YouTube. [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…]

In between writer and author

writing deskHave you heard the recent song from American Idol and country music singer, Scotty McCreery? It’s called “In Between” and it’s a fun song that I think a lot of people can identify with because we tend to see ourselves as not all of one particular thing or another. It’s also quite fitting in a world where we often label people in a specific way and once identified as such, find it that much harder to see them as anything different.

As many problems such thinking can cause in our world of relationships, it can be that much more devastating when labels or identification is self-imposed, especially when that assigned identity is less than what we want to be known for. This is particularly true for authors (whether early in their career or even sometimes after being published) where we are quick to claim the title of “writer” but slow to call ourselves an “author”. Even more often, it seems that we identify somewhere “in between”.

So what are you? Are you a writer? Are you an author? Or are you somewhere in between? [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…]

The nuts-and-bolts of self-publishing

nuts and boltsSelf-publishing is on many aspiring authors’ lips as they decide how to bring their work to fruition. But how do you actually self-publish? What is involved with it and what are the steps? My last two posts have discussed the rise of self-publishing and considering whether it is right for you. Now let’s dive into the nuts-and-bolts.

Some brave souls or DIY type people might truly self-publish: that is create a publishing company, find an editor, find a typesetter, find a printer, contact Amazon, etc. This is all possible, but most people use a self-publishing partner like Kindle Direct,  IngramSparkSmashwords, or many others. For this post, let’s assume you want to use a self-publishing partner so as not to reinvent the wheel. [Read more…]