The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 19, 2018

"Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself." ~M. KirinThis week’s collection of textbook and academic posts from around the web begins with predictions and strategies for the coming year. It provides resources for jumpstarting book reviews, improving your writing, understanding research ethics, and protecting and expanding the public domain. Finally, it explores the impact of new initiatives like RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century, a new open access megajournal from UCL Press, Digital Science’s new citation database – Dimensions, and the Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) from Enago.

With so many changes in sight, it’s anyone’s guess where 2018 will take us, but as we explore the potential ahead, keep in mind the words of M. Kirin. “Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself.” Wishing you many great discoveries in the week ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 12, 2018

"Most writing doesn't take place on the page; it takes place in your head." ~Susan Orlean“Most writing doesn’t take place on the page; it takes place in your head.” says Susan Orlean. This week’s collection of articles is full of resources to improve those internal processes that move your writing forward. Beginning with advice on how to improve your writing practices, considering what types of case studies get published, new approaches by textbook companies, and tips for promoting self-published book series, we open ourselves up to new ideas in the writing industry. With that open mind, we continue to see trends in Open Access, the need for new approaches to style guides, the impact of libraries on the adoption of OER, and the future of the OA megajournal. Finally, we close our list this week with an invitation to an open house hosted by SAGE Research Methods in February and early March.

As you approach your writing this week, open yourself up to new ideas, new practices, and new ways of thinking and be sure to get some of that writing out of your head and onto the page as well. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 5, 2018

"Getting started on writing a book isn't as hard as it sounds. You don't need a plan and an outline. In fact, all you need are two things: time and one idea." ~Natasha LesterAs is often the case at the start of a new year, 2018 began with a wealth of change-focused and forward-thinking articles full of advice and projections for the year ahead. Specifically, our collection of posts for this week examine the end of stress for busy writers, mistakes that can hold you back as an author, and America’s public domain drought. They challenge the assumptions of trends in higher education, the value of writing self-efficacy, and what it means to be an academic. And finally, they suggest paths to success including themes rather than resolutions, tips for creating writing goals that work, a 5-day goal setting challenge, and a willingness to embrace your inner procrastinator.

Whatever 2018 has in store for you, we hope it includes progress and success in writing. After all, as Natasha Lester says, “Getting started on writing a book isn’t as hard as it sounds. You don’t need a plan and an outline. In fact, all you need are two things: time and one idea.” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 29, 2017

"Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader." ~Cheryl AllewayIn this final week of 2017, few creatures were stirring with new articles and content between the holidays, but we were able to locate a few gems for consideration as you reflect on this year and prepare for the next. For starters, looking back, 2017 was a breakthrough year for OER and a time of textbook pricing discussion impacted by continued changes in available purchasing options. In contrast, looking forward, we found articles on book marketing traps to avoid, how to maintain a healthy competitive nature, and self-care practices you may want to consider adopting in 2018.

In this season of giving and in preparation for the gift of a new year on the way, keep in mind the words of Cheryl Alleway, “Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader”, and keep writing. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 22, 2017

"All writing is rewriting." ~John GreenJohn Green says, “All writing is rewriting”. Nearing the end of the year, you may be considering what still needs to be written (both literally and figuratively) or rewritten for the year. As your writing continues into the holidays, our collection of posts this week begin with actions you can take to balance work with the holidays, effectively brainstorm ideas, and to gain more influence in academe.

We then explore some of the topics impacting textbook and academic authors including net neutrality, OER adoptions, free textbooks, qualitative research methods, and author perspectives on academic journal publishing in 2017. We close this week in the holiday spirit of gift giving (both literally and figuratively) with book ideas for the academic on your list and an article titled, “10 reasons self-publishing is the best gift you can give your book”. Whatever your holiday plans, we hope that you continue writing (and rewriting) toward an even better new year ahead. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 15, 2017

"Writing is something I do everyday. If I waited for inspiration, I'd never get anything done." ~Lawrence C. ConnollyHalfway through the final month of the year, as the fall semester comes to an end for academics, we’re often faced with a mix of emotions related to the satisfying end of one term, the upcoming holiday “break” ahead, and the new challenges that await in the new year. It can be a time of reflection, gratitude, stress, innovation, or a multitude of these and other feelings. Our selection of articles this week reflect all of them.

We begin with gratitude and praise for the family members, especially academic spouses, who support us throughout the year, and tackle the stress of stalls in our progress and ways to break through the doldrums. We then explore some of the concerns facing academic and textbook authors, such as predatory publishers and the consideration of e-books vs. physical textbooks. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 8, 2017

"Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end." ~Nona Mae KingThis week our collection of articles from around the web contains innovative practices and changes in the publishing industry, suggestions for Open Education, ways to repurpose your finished research into a journal article, academic friendships, social media impacts on author and publisher success, and actions to reduce predatory publishing practices.

As we come to the end of the first week of December, a month where many of our writing projects are faced with increased struggle as academic terms come to an end, remember the words of Nona Mae King, “Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end.” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 1, 2017

"I recommend writing standing up from time to time. It's easier to dance when you finish writing." ~Diego RamosThis week saw the end of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) and the start of December. As we celebrate the end of a momentum-filled month of writing for many, we look forward to what the final month of the year has in store. Our posts this week reflect this same end of an era, beginning of a new chapter mentality.

We begin with posts on getting over imposter syndrome, changes in member rules at COPE, and the end of the hundred dollar textbook. We then explore fresh perspectives on research topics, research and survey questions, grant review processes, and editing. Finally, we share some forward thinking ways of marketing books, researching, organizing content, and presenting textbook material to a new generation of students.

Whether you are finishing a major AcWriMo project or celebrating even the smallest movement in the right direction with your writing, consider the words of Diego Ramos, “I recommend writing standing up from time to time. It’s easier to dance when you finish writing.” and dance a little. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 24, 2017

"Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things - thoughts, ideas, opinions." ~Paulo CoelhoDuring this last full week of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, we focused on sharing ideas. In this post, we share some of the top posts of the week including information on a new publishing company, what makes a good article title, how to express authorial presence, manuscript drafting advice, student reading patterns and OER, and tips for finishing your book. Paulo Coelho reminds us that “Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.” This week, share your ideas and, as always, write. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 17, 2017

"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." ~Louis L'AmourAs we reach the halfway point of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, the posts this week reflect an increased awareness of the disruptive nature of Open Access in academic publishing, ways to increase diversity in scholarly writing, tips for productive reading and distraction resistance while writing, ways to beat your fear of writing, tools for academic writers, improving your use of comparisons, strategies for quickly tackling a writing project, and how to market your academic journal articles. Whatever you are working on this week, remember the words of Louis L’Amour and “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” [Read more…]