Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 1, 2022

Jane Yolen once said, “Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing… the rest will follow.” As authors, hopefully we all “love the writing”, but that doesn’t mean that writing is easy or that the things needed to support our writing efforts come naturally.

In this collection of articles from around the web, we found advice on common essay writing mistakes, time management processes, and tackling writer’s block. We also found a review of open data in research over the past decade and funding advice for using kickstarter as authors. Finally, we found marketing tips for assessing the competition on Kindle and examples of quality book trailers.

As you write this week (or support your writing with other authoring tasks), love what you do! Happy writing!

Collaborating across differences: Reflect on writing habits in co-author processes

Most research and academic writers today produce publications within co-author relationships—making collaborative writing a key feature of our professional lives. In their recent study of team science, Barry Bozeman and Jan Youtie determined that more than 90% of sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) publications are co-authored (Strength in Numbers 2020). Even in historically single-author fields like mine, writing studies, co-authorship is on the rise.

This revolution in co-production of publications means that individual writers must both learn the craft of writing but also the art of writing in relationship with others.

Working on K-12 curriculum and instructional materials? A new copyright licensing solution enables use of high-quality published content

Teachers, schools, and districts are increasingly demanding higher quality curriculum and instructional materials to meet the needs of their students and remain compliant with state and local standards.

High-quality published content that is current, personalized, local, diverse, equitable, and inclusive is vital for creating these materials. Unfortunately, securing copyright permissions for such content brings licensing challenges, especially when attempting to secure these permissions on an individual basis at scale.

Tips for anxious writers: Philosophy, a labor of love

If you struggle with writing anxiety, I want to assure you that it is possible to learn to love writing. Such love is the foundation and motivation for a healthy practice. Saying that it’s important to love your work and calling it “a labor of love” might suggest that I’m getting distracted by woo-woo new-age goals, so I want to be clear that my goal is to help anxious writers write more productively, any emotional benefits are secondary. It just so happens, however, that people often manifest high-level performance because they love what they’re doing and consequently spend a lot of time and effort on it. I imagine that anyone in academia has met at least one scholar who did good work and was truly, genuinely excited by and interested in the ideas they were pursuing.

Publishers sue Shopify for harboring book pirates

In December of last year, five major textbook publishers filed a lawsuit against Shopify in federal district court in the Eastern District of Virginia claiming that Shopify wrongfully facilitated infringement of their copyrighted textbooks and registered trademarks by maintaining an ecommerce platform it knew to be hosting repeat textbook pirates and frustrating the publishers’ attempts to get them taken down.

The publishers are Macmillan Learning, Cengage Learning, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson Education. Their complaint lists more than 3,400 copyrighted works and 20 registered trademarks that have been infringed and asks for an injunction barring Shopify from further facilitating the claimed infringements, statutory damages of more than half a billion dollars, and reimbursement of plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 18, 2022

How do you see yourself as an academic author? What is your purpose in writing? How does your writing matter in your discipline? How do you know when you are successful?

These are some of the questions addressed in the articles curated from around the web this week. We’ve also found advice on branding and marketing yourself and your work and the risk and reward of innovation in publishing.

As you write this week, consider the reason and the audience for your words. Happy writing!