Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 8, 2020

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” ~Simon SinekWhy? The simplest and, at the same time, most complex question we can ask of ourselves in any situation. Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

Our collection of articles this week includes a number of applications of the “why” in our work. From designing and publishing research to prioritizing and progressing on projects, in determining career paths after the PhD or looking at the future of publishing models, and finally, in how we conference and collaborate with others in our academic circles.

As you examine your writing projects this week, ask yourself why they’re important to you. The answer is what will drive them forward to completion. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Join the TAA Authoring Community – Get $10 off for a limited time

With membership in TAA, you are not alone. As a TAA member, you become part of a diverse community of textbook and academic authors with similar interests and goals. Each new member enriches the community experience by expanding its breadth of knowledge and creating more opportunities for networking and collaboration.

Discover all of the member resources available to you to help you navigate your path to writing success, including:

  • Live webinars and more than 250 on demand presentations
  • A templates and samples resource library
  • Textbook and academic writing grants
  • An online member community
  • More than a dozen downloadable eBooks on writing and publishing, social media for academics, grant writing, and more.
  • A professional directory of academic coaches, editors, attorneys, indexers, accountants, and more, offering discounted rates exclusively to TAA members
  • Discounted rates on the association’s publications, Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing, Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts and Writing and Developing Your College Textbook

Now through June 30, you can use promo code PSAVE10. Join Today! [Read more…]

TAA Webinar: A Crash Course in Creative Commons Licensing

Did you know that over 1 billion works — including scholarly articles and a growing number of academic textbooks — have been licensed with a Creative Commons (CC) license? Though widely adopted, these continually-updated, legally-enforceable tools remain a mystery to academic writers. Many authors are unaware of the permissions afforded to them through the CC licenses, and many are unaware of permissions afforded to users when a specific CC license is applied to their work by an open-access publisher.

Join us and presenters Danielle S. Apfelbaum, Senior Assistant Librarian at Farmingdale State College, and Derek Stadler, Assistant Professor at LaGuardia Community College, Monday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “A Crash Course in Creative Commons Licensing”, to understand how copyright and the CC licenses work in concert to protect author rights while communicating additional permissions to users, identify and interpret each of the six CC licenses, determine how CC-licensed materials may or may not be used without permission in traditional and open publications, and select a license should attendees wish to openly license their work.

This webinar is open to members and non-members in our effort to support writers during this difficult time. Register here

Navigating “permanent whitewater”

permanent whitewaterI was listening to a podcast series by the National Association of Independent Schools called the Trustee Table (I highly recommend it by the way).  A guest on one episode used the term “permanent whitewater” in regard to what he was experiencing in his field.

The phrase has really stuck with me since I heard it. It applies in so many ways to so many aspects of what we are all experiencing. [Read more…]

Crafting compelling conference proposals with the LASTT Model

Light bulbs with LASTT spelled outWhether you’re a seasoned scholar or you are just now embarking on your academic career, presenting at conferences can provide invaluable benefits and experience. For some, conference presentations are an important part of a well-rounded tenure and promotion portfolio. For others, these venues serve as a vital catalyst for connection and collaboration. Yet, despite the numerous benefits of presenting, there’s relatively little guidance on how to craft a compelling conference proposal.

Sure, there are scads of resources that promise to guide presenters through the process of assembling a knockout slide-deck or delivering a masterful speech. But what good are all of these resources if you can’t get out of the slush pile of proposals to begin with? To get on the program, you’ve got to get past the reviewers, and that’s no small feat. [Read more…]

3 Important steps to reconceiving your dissertation as a book

book with lightbulbEarly career academics and newly minted PhDs in the humanities and social sciences often want to turn their dissertation into a book. While this is a laudable goal, it is important to keep in mind that university presses seldom publish unrevised or lightly revised dissertations. Instead, they seek books that grow out of dissertation projects and are substantially more developed. Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz’s TAA webinar offered terrific advice about the big picture of moving from dissertation to book. TAA members can review her webinar for an overview of the whole process.

Where most writers get stuck, I’ve found in my work coaching academics for the past decade, is in the early stage of reconceiving their project. Taking the following three steps can help you shake off the familiar old conception of your work that you’ve lived with for years and chart a new map for a truly book-worthy project. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 24, 2020

Never Give UpA common theme has surfaced throughout this week in various places. Perhaps it’s that we’re at that point in January where many are giving up on their New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps it’s because in my academic circles most students are past the point of getting their money back for the semester. Perhaps it’s because there are so many reasons to quit and so many opportunities to start something new in the modern world. Whatever the reason, perhaps you’ve figured out that the theme that has emerged this week is perseverance.

Our collection of articles from around the web share this theme as well – whether you are working to finish an article or dissertation, are considering innovative research with inherent risks, or you’re battling bureaucratic obstructions in your pursuits. Whatever challenges you are facing this week – never give up – PERSEVERE!

Olympic gold medalist, Kerry Walsh, once said, “That wall is your mind playing a trick on you. You just need to say, ‘One more step, I can do this; I have more in me.’ You will be so proud of yourself once you push yourself past your threshold.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

Embracing an imperfect writing practice: Ebb and flow, organization & persistence

Julie Peterson Combs is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University. In addition to maintaining an active research agenda, she has written over 84 journal articles, seven book chapters, and co-authored four books including The Trust Factor: Strategies for School Leaders (Routledge).

Here Julie talks about the evolution of her writing practice and how ebb and flow and persistence can win the day.

TAA: With two decades of academic writing experience, how has your writing practice evolved and what have you learned? [Read more…]

Preparing for ripples, waves, and tsunamis in textbook and academic publishing

wavesRecently, we’ve seen shifts from print to digital, the rise of open educational resources and open-access journals, the consolidation of large publishers into mega-publishers, fundamental changes in how authors are compensated, and other significant changes to the nature of authoring. As we wait to see which of the ripples coming over the horizon dissipate and which become large—perhaps overwhelming—waves, what can we authors do to remain afloat?

Three main strategies can help academic and textbook authors continue to succeed as changes in textbooks, journals, or scholarly publications come along: vigilance, honing core skills, and agility. [Read more…]

Publishing in 2019: Charting new waters

compass over waterDuring her 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Publishing in 2019: Charting New Waters”, intellectual property attorney, Brenda Ulrich identified some of the legal aspects facing authors who are publishing in 2019 and beyond.  

Whether working with a traditional publisher, self-publishing, or exploring open access options, contracts and copyright laws are still important. And as Ulrich notes, in many cases, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Below are some of the aspects for consideration as you continue your publishing journey. [Read more…]