12 Authors share practical advice with TAA conference attendees

As an exclusive bonus for attendees at TAA’s 2021 Virtual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, twelve textbook and academic authors have shared practical advice through a series of “How To” videos on topics relating to scholarly writing, time management, productivity, publishing, online presenting, and more. Each video is a brief 5 to 10-minute segment packed with information to move your writing practice forward.

We’d like to thank the following authors for sharing their expertise.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 3, 2020

Welcome to 2020! This week I want you to consider what your vision for the new year and new decade is. What does that vision look like for your individual writing goals on textbook and academic projects? What does that look like for the publishing industry at large? How can you plan now to accomplish those goals in the coming days, months, and years?

This week’s collection of articles begins with a look back on 2019, looks at the difference between free and OER when discussing textbooks, offers suggestion on how to select the right planning and project management tools, and considers the abolition of academic prizes. As we begin this new year of textbook and academic writing, I encourage you to remember the words of Peter Drucker, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Happy Writing!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 8, 2019

As we reach the end of the first full week of November, more affectionately known as Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) for most of our readers, we want to remind you of the importance of reading to improve your writing efforts. In fact, Samuel Johnson once said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” This reading time may be immersed in discipline-specific journal articles, or in items such as the ones below that help improve your overall writing craft and understanding of the authoring industry.

This week our collection includes resources from SAGE MethodSpace’s AcWriMo focus on writing and publishing books, ways to address worry for writers, establishing a plan B (or C), determining your contribution to the literature, maintaining an appropriate writing voice, questioning our assumptions in publishing innovations, and exploring alternative textbook options, including OER.

Remember as you move forward in your writing this week, it is more than acceptable – it’s even necessary – to take time to read to broaden your understanding of both your discipline and your craft, in order to improve your results as an author. Happy writing!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 27, 2019

Isabel Allende once said, “I don’t think of literature as an end in itself. It’s just a way of communicating something.” In reflection on this quote, TAA member Caroline Eisner commented on our LinkedIn page, “Allende seems a strong proponent of the idea that writing needs to communicate something TO SOMEONE, a strong appeal to writing with audience awareness. As if, without that awareness, literature doesn’t exist? Just thinking out loud here.”

This week’s collection of articles addresses similar thought, with focus on what publications matter at what stages of your career; the idea that writing is more than technical skill, but rather a capacity to apply knowledge; and the ability to use our skills as examples to others through mentoring or models. As more colleges try classes without textbooks, discussed in our final article, it’s right to consider whether literature is an end in itself or just a way of communicating something.

As you write this week, consider your audience and your form of writing. Are they aligned and do they communicate the ideas you intend to share with those for whom they are intended? Happy writing!

Can I help you in any way? OER

“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on a question about publishing options in either Open Textbook format or through self-publishing methods.

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 26, 2018

Several weeks ago, I saw a woman at my son’s karate dojo with a shirt that read “Excuses don’t burn calories.” This became the inspiration for this week’s quotable image, “Excuses don’t get it written.” Beginning this week’s collection of posts from around the Web is the topic of procrastination. Following that are strategies for reading, writing, revision, and data analysis. We then explore the problems of success, and close with some Open Access Week related content on OER and equitable participation in open research.

Whatever you’re working on this week, don’t put it off. After all, excuses don’t get it written (or burn calories). Happy writing!