Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 19, 2021

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” ~David M. BurnsHow do you define success? As you refine your writing practice, especially in an environment constantly changing, it’s important to be able to answer this question. David M. Burns cautions, however that success does not equal reflection. “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” Success requires overcoming fear and moving forward.

Our collection of articles this week includes some practical advice on common challenges academic authors face. First is the challenge of knowing our readers, their preferences, and their expectations so we can meet them. Second is designing the research and dealing with a revise and resubmit decision on a submitted manuscript. Third is employing new tools and methods to our work. Fourth is maintaining successful habits and avoiding the effects of burn out. And, finally, is the need to deal with changes in the industry as they relate to publishing processes, book proposals, rights retention strategies, and self-publishing options.

There is no shortage of challenges authors face in the writing process, but the way forward is to move through the challenges and to define success somewhere short of perfection. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Is self-publishing right for you?

woman on laptopI have previously written about the rise of self-publishing. The phenomenon has made quite an impact on the world of publishing this past decade. It has transformed some areas of fiction to a significant degree. But in your area of the world, is it right for you? There are some key topics to consider as you make some important decisions. [Read more…]

7 Ways to share your dream of publication

I feel like makin' dreams come trueSharing your dream with others is one way to help that dream become a reality. There are two primary benefits that can be realized by sharing your dream. The first is accountability. The second, shared ownership. Regardless of which or both benefits you seek, sharing your dream is essential.

In this article, we’ll explore seven ways that you can share your dream of publication to increase your overall success. [Read more…]

What is your dream worth?

cost of a dreamIt’s one thing to have a dream. It’s another to do the things needed to achieve it. Every dream, including your dream of publication, comes at a cost. That cost will be different for every dream and every dreamer, but there are some common realities to all of them, perhaps the most important being that it is possible to pay too much for your dream.

To avoid paying too much, you must first identify what your dream is worth and measure the likely costs of achieving it.

So, what is your dream worth? Unfortunately, only you can determine the answer to that question. And you must answer that question before you can answer the bigger cost question of “Are you willing to pay the price for your dream?” To help you evaluate the value of your dream, let’s explore how to measure the costs of pursuing a dream. [Read more…]

The rise of self-publishing

You'll work hard for the things you wantSelf-publishing has been on an upward trajectory for over a decade, but has gained exponential strength even more recently. What is happening in publishing and the wider world to drive this?

In this post, I will look at self-publishing and the factors powering it. I will compare it to traditional publishing. My next two posts will examine the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, the finances of each, the skills needed to succeed in self-publishing, and the nuts-and-bolts of what needs to be done to self-publish. [Read more…]

Will getting published achieve what you think it will?

publishing successPeople want to be published. Whether it is a journal article, textbook, monograph, dissertation, or something else, the urge to be published is palpable with many scholars, researchers, and academics. I work with many people and they all have different motivations: tenure, career advancement, to have their work disseminated, financial rewards, and more. Many have a sense of urgency to them.

But will getting published achieve what you think it will? [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 30, 2020

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” ~Mark TwainMark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Writing is a continuous search for the right word, the right fit, and the right connections.

As textbook and academic authors, that search for what’s “right” may be in the relationships with co-authors and editors. It may be what’s right from a social justice perspective. It may be what’s right in our preparation, process, and delivery of content. Or it may be what’s right for publishing our work.

No matter what’s “right” for your writing this week focus on finding what’s truly right instead of settling for what’s “almost right”. The lightning has a much stronger impact than the lightning bug. Happy writing! [Read more…]

What academics need to know about writing for a trade audience

While the books I represent generally are for a trade audience, and are available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon and independent bookstores, a number of my authors are academicians, and also have written for more academic audiences. Very often, that is how their book career began. Today, more categories, such as neuroscience, education, learning, botany, history, and more, are crossing over from academic/textbook to trade, as those authors are able to reframe their material or generate a new spin for an alternate receptive audience. [Read more…]

Copyright, Covid, and the Virtual Classroom

CopyrightWith the fall semester fast approaching, faculty are intensively preparing for the 2020-2021 academic year, in the face of continually changing information and circumstances. A number of our higher education clients have had questions about copyright issues relating to the transition of traditional in-person classes to online or hybrid formats. We have also been reviewing software agreements for various services that allow institutions to shift more of their offerings online. Here we discuss four common issues we have encountered. Although the answers are seldom black-and-white, we thought it would be useful to share some of the questions and possible approaches to them:

1) When can copyrighted third-party materials (including text, photographs, video, and music) be used without permission or licenses in online teaching activities? Can college libraries scan and provide digital access to print reserve materials? [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 15, 2020

“Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.” ~Lindsey Vonn“Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.” This advice from former World Cup alpine ski racer and four-time champion, Lindsey Vonn, frames this week’s collection and is, perhaps, exactly what we all need to hear in our efforts to move forward from the chaos that has dominated our lives and academic communities over the past couple of months.

A little more than two months since the first round of US-based closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing a new “normal” emerge in the wake as transition to virtual instruction, cancellation of in-person events, and an acceptance of unexpected change has led people to a new way of living, learning, and working. And it can’t be in a perpetual state of pause.

There is something to be said for a state of consistency in what we can maintain – such as the approach to drafting a research paper. There is also a need to eventually, and perhaps now, summon the courage to reassess and rebuild our lives. There are also a number of new opportunities that have been uncovered as a result of the unexpected disruption to life as we knew it only a few short months ago.

All of these things are addressed in this week’s collection of articles from around the web. While there’s no doubt that life has changed quickly, it is up to you to determine if you will let that change be a positive way for you moving forward. Happy writing! [Read more…]