Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 23, 2021

“To teach is to learn twice.” ~Joseph JoubertOne of the most unique and rewarding features of textbook and academic authoring compared to other genres is the intentional sharing of learned knowledge with others through our writing. In addition to authoring, I have had the opportunity to teach college level courses for nearly two decades and continue to be amazed at how much I learn with each class I teach and with each book or article I write.

This week is no exception as the preparation of this article has opened my eyes to a citation revision strategy, improving conceptual framework development through theoretical alignment, and new opportunities in publishing through the pandemic, in the digital age, for dissertation publication, and in self-publishing and open access arenas.

Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice.” This week I challenge you to learn something new (or learn something old in a new way) and then teach it through your writing so you get to learn it again through your own voice. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The nuts-and-bolts of self-publishing

nuts and boltsSelf-publishing is on many aspiring authors’ lips as they decide how to bring their work to fruition. But how do you actually self-publish? What is involved with it and what are the steps? My last two posts have discussed the rise of self-publishing and considering whether it is right for you. Now let’s dive into the nuts-and-bolts.

Some brave souls or DIY type people might truly self-publish: that is create a publishing company, find an editor, find a typesetter, find a printer, contact Amazon, etc. This is all possible, but most people use a self-publishing partner like Kindle Direct,  IngramSparkSmashwords, or many others. For this post, let’s assume you want to use a self-publishing partner so as not to reinvent the wheel. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 11, 2020

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” ~Elmore LeonardHow do you write? Why do you write? Who do you write for? And, are those answers clear in your writing practice? As authors in varying disciplines, we each have a unique style, purpose, and audience, so finding our voice is important. Elmore Leonard once said, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” Our collection of articles from around the web offers additional advice on developing your own writing rhythm.

First, we are presented a challenge to explain our research in plain language, offered ways to build confidence in our nonfiction writing, and provided answers regarding the PhD trajectory. Next, we explore the structure of a literature review, how to overcome discouragement as an author, and rules for writing clear and persuasive prose. Finally, we discuss why authors should know their target audience, how open access diversifies readership, and the steps required to self-publish a book.

This week, challenge yourself to not let proper writing get in the way of your voice. If it sounds like writing, rewrite it. Focus on your audience, your purpose, and your style of communicating your message. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Can I help you in any way? Self-publishing

Can I help you in any way? Self-publishing“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 self-publishing. [Read more…]

Can I help you in any way? OER

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. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 23, 2018

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~Albert SchweitzerThis week’s collection of posts from around the web includes advice on writing for impact, ways to reduce fear of theory, changes in the affordability of textbooks, and an author’s perspective on self publishing from a dissertation. We also found articles on invited keynotes, more creative presentation delivery practices, and a new podcast for PhDs.

Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” At TAA we are grateful for our members, followers, and supporters who light a flame within us every day. Happy writing! [Read more…]

10 Things independent authors should invest in to be successful

Indie publishingDuring her 2018 TAA Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Independent Publishing: Securing a Return on Your Investment, A Practical Approach to Indie Publishing”, Margaret Thompson Reece shared benefits of independent “indie” publishing options, including greater control and distribution options, flexible pricing, and easier editing. Also, royalty payments for print on demand books are about 30% of the retail price.

These benefits, however, are not without cost. Below are the ten investments Reece said authors must make to be successful book publishers. [Read more…]