Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 18, 2020

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” ~Larry L. KingHow do you get things done? When it comes to academic writing there is no shortage of strategy advice available to authors, but there are also no shortcuts either. As Larry L. King stated, “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” In this week’s collection of articles from around the web we found some helpful resources for accomplishing all three of these fundamental practices in the pursuit of your publishing goals.

Beginning with topics of project management and daily writing practice, you must be writing and rewriting to move projects forward. That writing takes reading – and we have advice on how to stay focused while reading scholarly articles. Next we have writing tips from some famous writers and suggestions for writing under deadlines. Addressing some current issues in academic writing, we turn our attention to part-time PhD pursuits, research practices during Covid-19, gaps in academic communication, diversity, inclusion, and equity strategies, and an equitable transition to open access publishing models. We close the collection with information on how American Journal Experts (AJE) partners with the Researcher app to produce a new form of author services.

As you explore the strategies and resources available to improve your textbook and writing practice this week, remember there are no shortcuts. Write. Rewrite. Read. Repeat. Happy writing! [Read more…]

TAA’s new book, ‘Guide to Making Time to Write’ now available for pre-order

Guide to Making Time to WriteYou know you should be writing at least 15 minutes a day. But with all the demands on your time, how can you find 15 minutes or more to spare? And when you do find the time to write, it’s often hard to break free of the distractions and build momentum in the time that you have. We get it. Making time to write–and doing it productively–can be challenging.

So, to help you succeed, we’ve collected 100+ successful tips and strategies–and a lot of inspiration–from authors who have made the time and made it work. In TAA’s forthcoming book, Guide to Making Time to Write: 100+ Time & Productivity Management Tips for Textbook and Academic Authors, you will find just what you need to boost your productivity, adjust your routine, and focus on your writing efforts once and for all. Isn’t it time for you to make the time to write? [Read more…]

How two co-authors have worked together successfully at a distance

The UX Book: Agile UX Design for a Quality User Experience, 2nd ed.All writing projects have their own challenges and opportunities. When working with a co-author, there can be additional challenges to ensure that the manuscript is completed in a way that ultimately reflects a single published voice while covering all of the required topic areas.

In this article, Rex Hartson and Pardha Pyla, co-authors of the award-winning textbook, The UX Book 2 (Morgan Kauffman Publishing, 2019), share our experience of success working together at a distance. We have offered the following insight on how to manage issues of version control, file sharing, managing “pen” ownership, change tracking, handing off the pen, and organizing difficult text. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 5, 2020

“Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.” ~Isabelle Lafleche“Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.” Isabelle Lafleche is credited with this quote framing our weekly collection of posts. So what is your passion? Where is your courage? And what do you need to align the two?

Perhaps some of the ideas below will help build the courage or clarify your passion, or both. We have found resources on enhancing visual thinking, organizing research notes, online learning, pursuing, planning, and progressing on a PhD, and additional writing quotes to motivate you on the journey.

We’ve also found information on current issues and events in the academic writing realm including diversity and inclusion, research impact, research career paths, copyright, and Read & Publish deals. Whatever your passion, find ways to build the courage you need to pursue it this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Peter DruckerWelcome 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! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 12, 2019

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” ~John RuskinThis week’s collection of articles from around the web offers tools and advice for moving your academic writing projects forward. Whether that requires beating the summer writing blues, getting your PhD on track, thinking about the warrant for a paper, or building authority and expanding your network, this list has you covered. We also found insight on surviving the conference marathon and reasons researchers should volunteer for global evidence gathering processes.

Whatever your current writing entails, strive to make the product of your work that of highest quality. As John Ruskin once said, “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

How to actually complete your writing projects: One bite at a time

elephantIn her 2018 TAA Conference presentation, “Hunks, Chunks, & Bites: Plan Writing Projects So You Actually Complete Them!”, Meggin McIntosh shared some practical advice on tackling projects in a way that gets them done.

According to McIntosh, academics have between 20 and 50+ writing projects at any given time, but “people don’t do projects.” Projects can be broken into hunks, but you don’t do hunks. Hunks can be broken into chunks, but you don’t do chunks. Chunks can be broken into bites. You do bites! Here’s how. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: August 31, 2018

"Half of my life is an act of revision." ~John Irving“Half of my life is an act of revision.” Wise words from John Irving for all writers and ones that thread through our collection of posts this week.

We begin with discussions of how to manage multiple writing projects, interpret data visualizations, and use diary methods in qualitative research. We then share practical advice on successful publishing in journals, informed consent, fellowships, and balancing a PhD with a family. Closing out our list is the prediction that textbooks are here to stay, along with new resources including scholarly podcasts, open and interoperable annotation, YouTube videos, and open science tools.

Whether you are revising a manuscript or your writing craft this week, we hope that you will find value in some of the resources below. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Join us for 10/23 & 30 TAA Webinar on Managing Your Large & Small Writing Projects

Managing Your Large and Small Writing ProjectsJoin us Thursday October 23 & 30 from 3-4 p.m. ET for this two-part TAA webinar, “Hunks, Chunks and Bites (or How to Eat an Elephant): How to Manage Your Large & Small Writing Projects,” presented by Meggin McIntosh, PhD, President of Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. Free for Members. Click here to register
. Non-members: Join TAA for only $30. [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: How do you track your ongoing projects and manuscripts?

White Board

This is an artist rendition of Kennamer’s white board.

“I use both a very low tech and a higher tech method. In my study I have a magnetic white board with which I track major projects. This is where I keep the ‘big picture’ components of ongoing projects. There are three columns labeled project, status, and comment. When I take on a new project I write in the project name and use a combination of writing and magnets to keep up with the status of projects. I continue tracking through receiving payment for the project. [Read more…]