Q&A: What is the first step in launching my idea for an academic book project?

Q: I have an idea for an academic book. What is my first step in launching this project?

John Bond, Publishing Consultant, Riverwinds Consulting:

“Whether it be an academic monograph, textbook, or other type of book, the first step is to solidify ‘The Idea.’ This process has several components. My recommendation is approach this in a stepwise fashion:

Ethics International Press seeking proposals

Ethics International Press is seeking proposals for English-language academic books and edited collections in several writing fields including philosophy, religion, law, business, environment, and politics.

Proposals should primarily be for scholarly books, including text/reference books, but they are also accepting adapted Doctoral theses and collections selected from conferences. View the book proposal form.

Writing with open ears

It’s time for a new edition of Doing Qualitative Research Online! I previously wrote how I began the process of updating and enhancing this book. Every time I write or update a book, I promise myself that I will do better next time and not end up with chaotic versions or incorrectly-labeled figures. I was approaching this project in a systematic fashion, reading through the 2016 edition with fresh eyes, making minor changes, and taking notes about steps to take for more significant additions to content.

I was confidently moving along, and then…boom! The world changed! Whether we’re grappling with school closures, isolation, illness or spending our time cancelling all the travel we had planned, it is hard to escape this pervasive pandemic. And for researchers, the impact is nothing short of profound.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 6, 2020

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we are presented with contradictions to norms and new thoughts on old processes in academic writing. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” These words from Ralph Waldo Emerson remind us to be open-minded, to face challenges, contradictions and reviewer comments with receptiveness rather than defensiveness.

Consider the benefits (rather than the distastefulness) of book blurbs, discussion on the discussion section of your papers, and ways to detect the crap in your research process. Examine what research looks like without a “publish or perish” mentality, for indigenous students, and when reflecting your work in your lifestyle choices – even the clothes that you wear. Finally, open up to the possibilities of open peer review and returning to academia from industry.

Academic environments are deeply rooted in tradition but are facing dramatic changes in process and perception. New ideas can bring with them resistance and opportunities. When faced with contradiction to your beliefs or work this week, consider the opportunity and resist the urge to feel persecuted. Happy writing!

TAA’s 32nd Annual Conference session spotlight: Revising your manuscript at the macro & micro levels

Erin McTigue, academic writing coach and workshop presenter, will present “Efficiency with Style: Revising Your Manuscript at the Macro & Micro Levels” at TAA’s 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference. The conference will be held in Old City, Philadelphia, June 14-15, 2019.

McTigue, who after achieving tenured professor at Texas A&M University moved on to start her own business focused on mentoring and coaching academics in writing and productivity, will conduct an interactive session where participants will take a messy draft of their choice and apply 3 macro-level revision strategies to hone overall logic and organization of the manuscript. Next, working at the micro-level, McTigue will walk participants through 3 revision tools for coherence and writing style. Participants will leave with both a sequential approach and individual tools for transforming their future drafts with efficiency. 

Prepare to be inspired at TAA’s 2019 academic authoring conference!

It’s time to register, make your travel plans, and prepare to be inspired at the Textbook & Academic Authors Association’s 32nd Annual Conference! The conference will be held June 14-15, 2019 at the beautiful Wyndham Hotel located in charming and historic Old City, Philadelphia.

TAA’s conference features sessions presented by veteran authors and industry experts who will share their knowledge, tips, and strategies to help you increase your publishing success. You will have opportunities for hands-on instruction, interactive Q&A, one-on-one mentoring, and peer learning on a wide range of authoring and publishing topics.