Can I help you in any way? Courses and workshops

Can I help you in any way? Courses and workshops“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 textbook writing courses or workshops.

Recently one of our visitors came onto the chat “looking for textbook writing courses or workshops that could help [them] to develop [their] textbook” and asked, “Could you suggest any place where to look for those kind of workshops?” [Read more…]

Textbook Writing 101: An Interview with Michael Spiegler

Michael Spiegler

Michael Spiegler

Michael Spiegler is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Providence College. A successful textbook and academic author for more than 40 years, he is the author of 16 textbooks, including Personality, now in its 8th edition, and Contemporary Behavior Therapy, now in its 5th edition, both of which have been groundbreaking as textbooks and in redefining essential conceptual perspectives in their fields. Spiegler has also authored a professional book, 14 book chapters, and 21 articles and has delivered more than a 120 professional presentations.

As a sponsored presenter in TAA’s workshop program, Spiegler offers a textbook authoring workshop entitled Textbook Writing 101. Here he shares some of his textbook writing insights and tips. [Read more…]

You’ve reached your maximum number of textbook pages, but lack content. Now what?

Q: “I am writing a book under contract and my chapters have been running so long I have already written the maximum number of pages negotiated with my publisher, yet have only fulfilled half the overall content promised. How should I approach this with the publisher? Should I renegotiate the overall content covered in the book or engage in some major editing?”

A: Laura Taalman, mathematics textbook author:

“This may not be an issue with you, but are you sure that YOUR page count is the same as theirs? Depending on what program you use for your writing, and what kind of format the graphic designers and compositors will use, your count may be very different from what they will be counting. Maybe your problem can magically go away?” [Read more…]

What are some of the rewards of textbook writing?

Q: “What are some of the rewards of textbook writing?”

A: Erin C. Amerman, author of Exploring Anatomy & Physiology in the Laboratory, 1e (2010):

“Authoring a textbook from scratch is, naturally, an incredibly laborious process. It means often working 80-hour work weeks, giving up weekends, and facing occasional scathing comments from one’s peers. For me, it also meant that my daughter’s first intelligible sentence was, ‘Mommy, work, book.’ Without a doubt, textbook authoring demands sacrifices. Given all of this, one may wonder why anyone ever bothers to undertake such a massive task. The answer lies in the many rewards of textbook writing. In my opinion, the biggest such reward is the ability to create something brand new, something that will enhance the learning experience of students and make a positive impact on their education. As professors, we all have the opportunity to touch our students’ lives, but textbook authoring offers one the opportunity to do this on a much grander scale.” [Read more…]