TAA Featured in Episode of The A&P Professor Podcast

TAA was featured in an episode of The A&P Professor podcast on April 12, “Pulse of Progress, Looking Back, Moving Forward,” with host Kevin Patton, an award-winning anatomy and physiology textbook author. Kevin’s comments about the benefits of TAA membership and invitation to attend TAA’s 2024 Conference on Textbook & Academic Authoring come in at 50:22.

In the episode, Kevin says: “With a strongly supportive network of colleagues, TAA provides many resources and active, engaging opportunities for growth and network-forming. TAA meets the needs of those interested in creating textbooks, lab manuals, workbooks, and other learning resources, as well as those who focus on academic writing, such as journal articles, dissertations/theses, monographs, and scholarly or other nonfiction works.”

When Your Inner Editor Roars

By Noelle Sterne, PhD

You’re writing along like butter, and suddenly a thunderous voice in your head rebukes: “THAT’S THE WORST, MOST HORRIBLE PHRASE SINCE . . . .” And you’re in a hammerlock of immobilization.

Such a message doesn’t have to lay you flat on the mat in a full writing block. Recognize that voice: it’s your ever-present inner editor—often old programming, parental censures, or frustrated-poet English teachers’ decrees. And it proclaims that you’ll never be a writer and you should go sell burner phones (if you don’t already).

Choosing a Knowledge Level for Your Target Reader

Your research is done. You have been thinking about getting down to writing for a while. You have decided on your format (e.g., poster presentation, peer review journal article, monograph, textbook). Maybe you have a target publisher or website in mind.

Before you start to write, think about your target reader (or conference attendee or book customer) and what their level of knowledge is. This may seem like a given but take a moment.

More Archival Topics From TAA’s Print Newsletter with Commentary From Long-Time Member Phil Wankat

Long-time TAA Member Phil Wankat has dug back into his TAA print newsletter archive, this time into the black-and-white early issues published between 1994 and 2010, finding more gold to share with you along with his brief commentary of the value of each article.

We will be adding these articles to the web page, “Articles from TAA Report Archives (now The Academic Author) with Commentary,” along with the other articles he shared from the TAA Report, over the next few months. The articles are organized into 12 categories, including Authors Needed, Bios, Contracts and Legal Comments, Diversity, Managing and Planning, Money, Production, Publishing first book, Recognition and Rewards, Teaching, Textbook Scholarship and Textbooks in Promotion Cases, and Writing and Writer’s Block.
The first set of articles we are sharing, in the Authors Needed category, include:

“Co-authoring a book originally written by another,” by Frank Silverman. “Look for a book that has an author who is retired, or close to retirement or, well, deceased,” says Wankat.

“Authors uneasy over Pearson deal.” “Big mergers ‘reduce the opportunities for new authors and even close the door on experienced authors,'” says Wankat.

Listen to yourself

Authors have some tremendous tools at their disposal. Powerful bibliographic management software as well as programs to create eye-popping bar charts are just a couple examples. Some of these tools get a lot of buzz. But there are some features of old standards that can surprise.

All of the major word processing software programs offer a Read Aloud feature. This feature reads to you the text you have written. I will speak about Microsoft Word, but these points are true for most of the other word processing programs available on computers or online.

3 Types of academic editors

There are three types of academic editors: developmental, copy, and substantive. Developmental editors work with authors to improve the overall quality of their work, including organization, clarity, grammar, and style. Copy editors focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax. Substantive editors check for accuracy in terms of facts and sources.