What Attendees Have To Say

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2017 Textbook Awards Ceremony

Who We Are. The Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) provides a wide range of professional development resources, events, and networking opportunities for textbook authors and authors of scholarly journal articles and books.

Writing and Developing Your College Textbook

 Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts

TAA Conference Program 

The following sessions are presented by track and in alphabetical order by title.  

Academic Track    Textbook Track     General Track     Roundtables      Robert Christopherson GeoPrimer


Academic Track


Special Featured Speaker: Wendy Laura Belcher

Writing a Journal Article in 12 Weeks: Inspiration, Concepts, and Success

In this presentation, Princeton University Professor Wendy Laura Belcher will share her inspirations for writing and concepts featured in her best-selling book Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Belcher’s 12-week process, which has helped tens of thousands of academics around the world to get published, is a revolutionary approach to enabling academic authors to overcome their anxieties and produce the publications that are essential to succeeding in their fields. This presentation will highlight key strategies for being a productive academic author and provide insight and inspiration for you as authors, educators, and writing mentors.

Presenter: Wendy Laura Belcher is an award-winning author, academic editor, international lecturer, and professor. She designed one of the first publication focused writing courses for graduate students and junior faculty in the nation, and for ten years has conducted such courses at the University of California, Los Angeles, and in research institutions around the world, including those in Norway, Malawi, Sudan, and Egypt. These popular workshops are based on her twenty years of experience as an academic editor, including eleven years managing an ethnic studies press and the peer-reviewed journal of record in the field, Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, as well as on her two master’s degrees in the social sciences and a doctorate in the humanities.


Choices, Time, Timing, and Consequences: Selecting Types of Academic Writing Spanning Your Career

Given that academic writing is central to your career and given that there are many different venues for academic writing, how do you choose where to spend your time and energy at different stages in your career? This session is designed to illustrate a typical academic writing career path that accounts for the upsides and downsides of each writing type from journal articles to book reviews to books.

Presenter: Dannelle D. Stevens, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Portland State University, Oregon, has coauthored three books framed around different ways to assist faculty in their complex roles as scholars and teachers. In her role as PSU Faculty-in-Residence for Academic Writing in the Office of Academic Innovation, she created and facilitates the Jumpstart Academic Writing Program involving more than 100 faculty practicing and publishing academic writing. Stevens is widely published in journals and presents academic writing workshops nationally and abroad.


Grants 101: The Basics to Getting Your Project Funded

Do you want to get your project funded and would you like to learn how to go about it?  Then this presentation is for you.  Whether you are interested in a project development or a research grant, and whether you are considering a government agency or a private organization as potential grantors, join us for an introduction to the world of grant writing! Learn strategies that will support the successful completion of the five stages of a typical grant writing process: planning a grant proposal, writing it, learning from rejection, re-submitting, and getting a project funded.  Stemming from the published literature and the presenter's experience (both as a grant writer and reviewer), these strategies demystify the grant writing process and portray it as a systematic, dynamic, and fulfilling undertaking.

Presenter: Claudia Sanchez is Professor of Bilingual and ESL Education, Department of Teacher Education, at Texas Woman's University. She has secured grants in the amount of over $4 million dollars and has served as grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education. Claudia is a member of the editorial board of the TESOL Journal and a council member of the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA).


Increase Your Writing Skills and Publishing Success: Tips, Tricks, and the Secret Sauce

This interactive and practical workshop introduces proven and powerful strategies to infuse new approaches and success into faculty's writing skills and publishing records. Gleaned from Kathleen's more than 15 years of coaching and teaching faculty and doctoral students, this motivating and informative session will include specific techniques, strategies and templates to accelerate faculty writing productivity. We will re-examine and transform key writing practices as well as chart a personalized, focused publishing agenda and plan.

Presenter: Kathleen P. King is Professor and Program Director of Higher Education & Policy Studies at University of Central Florida, Orlando. Her major areas of research include transformative learning, technology innovations, leadership, faculty development, and diversity. In 2011, she was inducted into The International Continuing and Adult Education Hall of Fame. As an award winning author who has published over 30 books and 150+ articles, Kathleen is a popular keynote and conference speaker, mentor, and professor.


Plan, Propose & Publish an Edited Book

An edited collection allows you to publish your own writing together with material from other thinkers in your field. Pulling examples from her experience as an editor and as chapter contributor, Janet Salmons will explore strategies for creating a focus and proposing it to a publisher, calling for chapters and selecting the ones to include, and coordinating a review process. Janet has edited two very different books: a 2-volume handbook of research and a collection of cases. While she and co-editor Lynn Wilson used a conventional strategy for the handbook of research, for the second book she took a hands-on, collaborative approach. She invited researchers to develop case studies that highlighted research methods, and asked each author to offer critiques of other cases, creating rich dialogue within the book. In addition to drawing on her own lessons learned, Janet will share success strategies from other editors.

Presenter: Janet Salmons is an independent researcher, writer and consultant through Vision2Lead and on the doctoral faculty for Walden University. She wrote Doing Qualitative Research Online (2016) Qualitative Online interviews (2015), Online Interviews in Real Time (2010), and edited the Cases in Online Interview Research (2012) for SAGE Publications, and a Handbook of Research on Electronic Collaboration (2009) for IGI. She is co-director of Path to Publishing, with Helen Kara. 


10 Tips to Enhance Your Writing & Take the Stress Out of Polishing Your Work

Writing successfully is the core of being an author. To write successfully, we need to communicate information effectively. The key to effective communication is to focus our writing on our reader's interests and needs. By participating in this session you will learn ten basic tips you can use to help you communicate effectively and polish your work at the same time.

In this session we will discuss: How do you overcome writer's block? What simple strategies can you use to finesse your writing so that you submit the best possible product? What are different writing genres and text types? What language and style should you use to enhance your product? What techniques can be used to cater for readers’ interests and needs? The overall goal of this session is to help you polish the skills you have developed as a writer and to enhance your ability to communicate effectively with your readers.

Presenter: Robert Barlow has been an author for 24 years having written ten successful textbooks with three currently in print in the fields of Legal Studies and Business Studies. He had a distinguished career as a high school teacher and administrator as well as lecturing in Macroeconomics, International Business and Education at Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW. He was a member of the state Economics examination committee for eight years. Robert has been awarded a prestigious Australian Government Parliamentary Teaching Fellowship.


Strategies for Collaborating with Multiple Authors

This presentation will focus on how authors can co-write and co-edit with multiple colleagues at the same time. The three-part design strategy of developing an idea, writing for acceptance, and revising for press (DWR) will be shared. An honest conversation about workload, equity issues, and the allocation of resources and responsibilities will be examined. Authentic stories of collaboration with a focus on individual styles will be addressed as well as how to work collaboratively and electronically with co-authors. Incorporated into the presentation will be different types of writing projects: books, journal articles, e-books, or magazines. To that end, the electronic tools of collaboration (and what to do when you are rejected) will be highlighted for the novice as well as experienced writer. The goal of the session is to offer useful, practical information regarding strategies for collaboration with multiple authors at the same time, thereby, enhancing production of scholarly work.

Presenter: Audrey Cohan is a Professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York. She teaches courses on the foundations of education to both undergraduate and graduate students including change of career teachers. With Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld, she has co-edited a five-book Breaking the Mold series on innovative practices. As co-authors, they received a TAA Most Promising Textbook award for Serving English Language Learners in 2016.

Presenter:  Andrea Honigsfeld is Associate Dean and Director of the new Doctoral Program focused on Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities at Molloy College in New York. Before entering the field of teacher education, she was an English as a Second Language teacher in New York City. A Fulbright Scholar and sought after national presenter, Andrea is the coauthor or coeditor of over 17 books on education.


Weeding and Harvesting the Most Appropriate Journal for Your Work: Successful Strategies from Novice and Experienced Academic Writers

Unsure about how to weed through over 22,000 journals to find the right outlet for your manuscript? Frustrated with the time-consuming process? Come to this interactive session to learn about the systems developed by both novice and experienced researchers in dealing with the challenges surrounding the weeding process. We will share strategies we have found useful in searching for the right journals and staying organized in such searches. Willing audience members are welcome and encouraged to share strategies that have worked for them as well.

Presenter: Laura Jacobi is an Assistant Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato in the Department of Communication Studies. Previously, Laura taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her research pursuits include communication pedagogy, interpersonal communication and spiritual communication. She has published book chapters on spiritual communication and has a recent publication on online learning in i.e. inquiry in education.

Presenter: Dannelle D. Stevens, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Portland State University, Oregon, has coauthored three books framed around different ways to assist faculty in their complex roles as scholars and teachers. In her role as PSU Faculty-in-Residence for Academic Writing in the Office of Academic Innovation, she created and facilitates the Jumpstart Academic Writing Program involving more than 100 faculty practicing and publishing academic writing. Stevens is widely published in journals and presents academic writing workshops nationally and abroad.

Presenter: Kristen Eis Cvancara is an Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato (USA) in the Department of Communication Studies. Her areas of research include interpersonal communication and social influence. She investigates the use of verbal aggression among romantics, siblings, and in parent-child relationships. She earned a Fulbright Scholar Award in 2012 to live in Finland and investigate sibling communication patterns and bullying behavior in schools. She has published research in the Journal of Family Communication, Personal Relationships, Communication Quarterly, and Communication Teacher.


What Big Data Could Mean to You

If you think Big Data is a phenomenon mainly of interest to scientists studying genomes or weather patterns, think again! It has grown to influence nearly every discipline, across the sciences, social sciences, and even the humanities – for instance, literary scholars recently used data analysis to determine that some of Shakespeare’s works were likely co-authored with other Elizabethan playwrights. Big Data also has positive and negative implications for broader society, as it finds its way into algorithms effecting marketing, business, public policy, and political campaigning. CCC’s Christopher Kenneally will share his perspective on how researchers and publishers are confronting the Data Dilemma. Learn about the challenges in collecting, curating, maintaining, and analyzing data; how CCC is developing solutions to support searching and analysis of published data; and how the push to analyze large datasets is sparking new copyright questions in the US and Europe.

Presenter: Christopher Kenneally of the non-profit Copyright Clearance Center is host of “Beyond the Book”, a weekly podcast series (www.beyondthebook.com) on the information industry that helps knowledge professionals realize the full potential of their works, while encouraging respect for intellectual property and the principles of copyright. Prior to joining CCC in 2001, Kenneally was an independent journalist, contributing regularly to the Boston Globe and New York Times, among many other publications. He also reported for WBUR-FM (Boston); National Public Radio; and WGBH-TV (Boston), and is author of The Massachusetts Legacy and Massachusetts 101.


Textbook Track


A Lion Tamer’s Guide to Writing Textbooks: High Performance with Minimal Injury

An apprentice lion tamer in his youth, Kevin Patton reveals insights about success in textbook authoring that parallel what makes a lion tamer successful. According to Kevin, grit is essential, but so are specific tricks and strategies. And although poop is unavoidable, it can be managed. In this session, rookie textbook authors and veterans alike will expand their vision of the profession of textbook authorship and come away thinking differently about their own adventures in publishing.

Presenter: Kevin Patton, Professor Emeritus, St. Charles Community College, has been a professor and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology (A&P) for several decades. He currently teaches in a master's program that trains general biologists and medical professionals to be A&P professors. He is a President Emeritus of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) and was the founding director of HAPS Institute, a continuing education program for A&P professors. He also publishes several blogs and websites related to teaching and learning, including TheTextbookAuthor.org.


Bringing Textbooks to Life: Strategies for Developing and Designing Content for a Mobile Generation

How can textbooks support deeper student engagement and promote more effective learning? What steps can textbook authors and editors take to organize and design content to support learning?

Building a more engaging textbook is not always a matter of adding digital bells and whistles. Basic concepts of learning design can be applied to the organization and presentation of content in printed texts, too. This panel will share some current research in the science of learning and explore its application in both print and digital mediums. We will also share details of an ongoing case study showing how an author has put these ideas into action in planning a new edition of a major textbook.

Presenter: Michael Greer is an educator and editor who has been working in higher education for over 20 years. He has conducted a number of usability studies on college textbooks, published on textbook design and usability, and studied the ways in which students read and use textbooks. He worked as a development editor at Pearson for 15 years before starting his own company, Development by Design. Michael teaches online courses in editing and publishing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is editor for the journal Research in Online Literacy Education. Michael is a frequent contributor to the Beyond the Book podcast series, where you can hear more of his thoughts on students, learning, and the design of educational materials.

Presenter: Kevin Patton, Professor Emeritus, St. Charles Community College, has been a professor and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology (A&P) for several decades. He currently teaches in a master's program that trains general biologists and medical professionals to be A&P professors.He is a President Emeritus of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) and was the founding director of HAPS Institute, a continuing education program for A&P professors. He also publishes several blogs and websites related to teaching and learning, including TheTextbookAuthor.org.


Creative Self-Help for Textbook Authors

Mary Ellen Lepionka, lead author of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook, 3e, has developed practical suggestions for textbook writing through her experiences working for publishers and their authors, troubleshooting their print and online textbook projects. Her aim in writing this book, in addition to helping you succeed in the textbook publishing industry, was to help you develop textbooks on your own when development help from publishers is not forthcoming for any reason. In this session, Mary Ellen will share practical advice and will model a creative problem solving approach that you can customize to create your own useful tools for success in your textbook enterprise.

Presenter: Mary Ellen Lepionka of Gloucester, MA is a retired publisher, author, editor, textbook developer, and college instructor with a Master’s in anthropology from Boston University and Ph.D. work at the University of British Columbia. In 1990 she worked in higher education publishing as a developmental editor of college textbooks, principally for Houghton Mifflin and Pearson Education. Between 2002 and 2011 she established Atlantic Path Publishing as a retirement business and published two editions of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook and related titles. She presently is an independent scholar writing a history of Native Americans on Cape Ann.


So You Want to Write a Textbook! Lessons Learned and Advice Sought

This session is designed to be for those considering writing a textbook and those who are seasoned textbook writers. We begin the panel with some of the lessons learned by new textbook authors for the benefit of those interested in becoming authors. Answers to questions such as: If the authors could do it over again, what would they do differently? How long is it really going to take? What kinds of electronic resources should I be using? How do I maintain motivation? We will also discuss questions regarding publishers such as: Who is the right publisher for this book? Should I have a lawyer review my contract?  Who are all these editors? After sharing some personal stories and reflections, the panel will seek advice from seasoned textbook authors in the audience. We look forward to informative discussion and networking during this session.

Presenter: Laura Frost is Professor of chemistry and Director of the Whitaker Center for STEM Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is co-author of an introductory chemistry textbook which is in third edition. As Whitaker Center director she gives many invited talks on subjects including applying the science of learning to effective classroom instruction, using a guided inquiry approach in the STEM classroom, and implementing classroom assessment techniques. Dr. Frost will moderate this panel session.

Presenter: Brent Blair is an Associate Professor of Biology at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is currently writing his first textbook, Environmental Science: Ecology and People for Oxford University Press, designed for introductory environmental science courses. He currently serves as the co-director of Xavier’s environmental science program and director of the Gender and Diversity studies program.

Presenter: Dave Dillon is counseling faculty and an Associate Professor at Grossmont College in San Diego. He authored a textbook for a Study Skills and Time Management Course titled Blueprint for Success in College, and is working on a second edition.  He is currently serving as co-chair of the California Community Colleges Education Planning Initiative Student Services Portal Steering Committee.

Presenter: Rick Mullins is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is currently writing his first textbook, Organic Chemistry: A Learner-Centered Approach for Pearson Education, designed for the two-semester organic chemistry. He currently serves as the Director of Undergraduate Research at Xavier, coordinates the Xavier MCAT Prep Course and is a Councilor in the Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society.


The Digital Book Report 2017

This annual update provides authors with the big picture of trends and events that shape the educational publishing industry. This year's focus includes newly collected survey data indicating how publishing trends, such as digital platforms and work-for-hire, are affecting authors.

Presenter: June Jamrich Parsons is an author, educator, digital book pioneer, and co-author of the 2012 TAA McGuffey Award-winning textbook New Perspectives on Computer Concepts. She co-developed the first commercially successful multimedia, interactive digital textbook; one that set the bar for platforms now being developed by educational publishers. Her career includes extensive classroom teaching, product design for eCourseware, textbook authoring for Course Technology and Cengage, and Creative Strategist for MediaTechnics Corporation. She holds a doctorate in instructional technology, earned CCP (Certified Computing Professional) certification, and is a member of the TAA Council of Fellows and the Association for Computing Machinery.


The Life Cycle of a Textbook: Psychological and Legal Challenges

Textbooks have their own life cycles, from conception to first editions, to (if the book is successful) later editions and versions. Textbooks are characterized by both continuity and change, as they adapt to (and sometimes shape) developments in the field and the market, new authors are added, and senior authors retire. These passages involve not only psychological issues but also legal challenges, including the development of collaboration and succession agreements among co-authors and the negotiation of revision, step-down, and retirement provisions in agreements with publishers. What psychological and legal issues should be addressed at different stages of a textbook's life cycle? What potential pitfalls should be avoided? Join veteran publishing lawyers Zick Rubin and Brenda Ulrich for an interactive panel session focused on these issues. The session will be addressed to a wide range of textbook authors, whether they are in the early, middle, or late stages of their textbooks' life cycles. Veteran textbook publishing executive and consultant Sean Wakely will serve as moderator and commenter, with special attention to the way that changes in publishing models and digital platforms affect the life cycle of textbooks. 

Presenter: As an author of psychology textbooks, Zick Rubin has personal experience with the life cycle of textbooks, including issues of succession among co-authors. As a publishing lawyer, he has worked with many authors on the legal issues related to these transitions. Before becoming a lawyer, Zick was a professor of psychology at Harvard and Brandeis Universities. He is a partner in the law firm of Rubin & Ulrich, LLC, which specializes in publishing, copyright, trademark, and higher education law.

Presenter: Brenda Ulrich is an intellectual property attorney who focuses on publishing and higher education.  Brenda represents authors negotiating publishing agreements, agency agreements, and joint author agreements and helps authors to resolve publishing disputes. She also advises colleges and universities on the development and implementation of intellectual property policies and on navigating the thorny copyright questions related to classroom and online teaching in the 21st century. She is a partner in the law firm of Rubin & Ulrich, LLC, which specializes in publishing, copyright, trademark, and higher education law.

Presenter: Sean Wakely is Vice President of Product and Editorial at FlatWorld. Sean possesses extensive higher education publishing experience gained by working at Cengage Learning, Thomson Learning, Pearson Education, and Houghton Mifflin’s college division. He’s held positions as a sales representative, college acquisitions editor, professional books editor, editorial manager, and, just prior to founding Academic Author Advisers, was a senior executive for Cengage Learning’s global product planning team and National Geographic Learning group. He is also coauthor of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide.


Wanna Get Away? Maybe Now You Can: Parting with Your Publisher

Are you interested in learning your options regarding parting with your publisher? In this session Steve Gillen, intellectual property attorney and partner with Wood, Heron & Evans, will talk about buyouts as a strategy for separating from a publisher that you are frustrated with or just plain tired of dealing with. Steve will demonstrate how to calculate what your contract is worth and explain how to find leverage in your negotiation, what to expect from your publisher, and what to watch out for.

Presenter: Steve Gillen teaches Electronic Media Law at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Steve worked for nearly 20 years in publishing prior to entering private practice in the middle 1990’s. He is presently a partner at Wood, Herron & Evans (a 145-year-old Cincinnati law firm focused on intellectual property) where he concentrates his practice on publishing, media, and copyright matters. Steve is a long-time member of the TAA Council and a regular speaker at TAA conferences. He is also the author of Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts and coauthor of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide.


Your Royalties: The View from Inside

When authors find mistakes in the calculation of their royalties, they wonder what could have possibly gone wrong. This session will give a broad overview of the complex systems many publishers use for tracking sales of books and other electronic content.  We will talk about the necessary balance of good data, human judgment, input, and technology needed to properly calculate and report royalties to authors.  At the end of this session, authors will have a better understanding about the types of mistakes they may find in their royalty statements and how to address them.

Presenter: Juli Saitz, CPA is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura Consulting Group. She leads the contract and royalty compliance practice at Ankura and has extensive experience serving clients including several textbook authors as well as multi-national corporation licensors. Her work in this area includes developing and implementing royalty compliance programs and performing audits of licensees around the world. Saitz has helped authors and corporate clients recover millions of dollars in asserting their audit rights related to licensed copyrights, trademarks and patents. She is focused on the shift in the publishing industry to electronic content delivery methods and adaptive learning platforms. In addition, Saitz has served as a damages expert in matters involving royalty disputes in the publishing industry.


General Track


32 Ways to Promote Your Book & Increase Sales

Academic authors are often not used to promoting their own work and publishers may not offer much more than a flyer and discount code. In this session, the presenter will offer guidance for working with your publisher to build a promotion plan and timeline and will share over 30 strategies for book promotion that can increase both pre-sales and overall sales once the book is released. Topics will include building momentum for the book before its release, effective social media engagement, creating a book website, designing bonus materials, how to find and promote directly to the right audiences, leveraging your personal and professional networks, and more. Examples from the presenter's recent book launch will be shared as well as templates for audience members to create their own materials. The presenter, who promoted her book while also working full-time, will also share her experiences regarding time saving strategies for promotional activities.

Presenter: Katie Linder is an avid writer and researcher with a passion for connecting audiences with research on student learning. She learns like it's her job and helps others to do the same with a weekly solo podcast, a weekly essay series, and her new book The Blended Course Design Workbook: A Practical Guide. Katie is also the Oregon State University Ecampus research director and an associate editor for the International Journal for Academic Development.


Academic Self-Publishing - No Longer a Pioneer's Path

This presentation will provide information to academic authors as to how they can self-publish, without having to charter unknown pathways that self-publishing has previously been associated with. Focus will be on bibliometric indicators, peer review, and social media tools.

Presenter: Having served for 18 years as the Director of 7 International Scientific Societies, and in the UK for an international academic publisher, in his position as SVP Academic Publishing at Lulu Press, Daniel Berze has launched Glass Tree Academic Publishing, providing academics with a platform to self-publish their academic content.


An Update on Open Educational Resources (OER)

This session focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of the rapidly evolving open educational resources (OER) movement.  We'll discuss OER's roots and why it can be an attractive source for educational content; where to find open resources; non-profit and for-profit business models for delivering OER; how instructors and institutions evaluate and develop open resources; and OER's influence on teaching and learning. We'll wrap up with some predictions about the future of the OER movement and its growing impact on textbook authors and publishers.

Presenter: Sean Wakely is Vice President of Product and Editorial at Flat World Knowledge. Sean possesses extensive higher education publishing experience gained by working at Cengage Learning, Thomson Learning, Pearson Education, and Houghton Mifflin’s college division. He’s held positions as a sales representative, college acquisitions editor, professional books editor, editorial manager, and, just prior to founding Academic Author Advisers, was a senior executive for Cengage Learning’s global product planning team and National Geographic Learning group. He is also coauthor of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide.


Brand U: Establishing and Promoting Your Professional Brand

This Branding Boot Camp is a must for busy writers and academics. You're out there every day creating content to help others learn and grow, but how much time are you spending marketing yourself!? Learn how to build your personal brand by building community and extending your brand voice with digital tools like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Linked In, video marketing, blogs and more. This workshop, led by brand guru and video producer Amy DeLouise, is ideal for new and established authors alike, as well as anyone reinventing themselves in today's digital landscape.

Presenter: Director/Producer Amy DeLouise is a leader in the field of digital storytelling and has garnered more than 40 industry awards for creative excellence. She teaches video courses on Lynda.com and her book The Producer's Playbook: Real People on Camera (Focal Press/Routledge) offers tools for success with non-actors on camera. Amy is a sought-after speaker at such conferences as the University Film and Video Association, GV Expo, Content Creator World, and the National Association of Broadcasters.


Getting the Best Index for Your Book

Stephen Ingle, founder and CEO of WordCo Indexing Services, will provide an overview of how indexes are created, as well as how to evaluate indexes for quality. Topics covered will include: What factors affect the quality of an index? What are the steps involved in creating an index (including publisher workflows)? What kind of indexes do different types of books (including digital books) require? How can one evaluate the index manuscript received from the indexer? Steve will also open the discussion for audience Q&A. 

Presenter: Stephen Ingle is founder of WordCo Indexing Services, located in Norwich, Connecticut. After graduating from Yale with a degree in German literature, Steve earned master’s degrees in German and Russian Area Studies. He began indexing full time in 1991. Steve has served on the national board of the American Society for Indexing (ASI) and has presented multiple times at ASI national conferences. 


Time-saving Tech Tips: Optimizing Your Production

In this session we will explore small actions that can make big differences in your day-to-day writing. Eric will introduce you to some simple - and often free - apps for editing, organizing, and creating your next manuscript; show you how to make small adjustments to your routine with tools that you are probably already using; and offer some on-the-go techniques for efficient communication, development, and general accomplishment as an author. Join us for time-saving tech tips that you will want to put into practice right away!

Presenter: For over 15 years through the North Carolina Community College System and North Carolina State University, Eric Schmieder has taught thousands of students to be more efficient using computer technologies. His experience both in and out of the classroom environment has made him an effective leader, speaker, and author in the industry. Attending his third TAA conference this year, he is excited to share some tips for using technology to improve your writing.


Roundtables


Becoming an Academic Author: The First Year

Academic writing is a genre in a class of its own. The characteristics, style, tone, and content are unlike any other form previously encountered by beginning scholars. While learning to become an academic author, it is an enormous transition from simply consuming academic material to producing it. Three novice academic authors chronicle their first year of this transition, including challenges, shifts in perceptions, and victories. Additionally, the presenters will offer advice to other new doctoral or academic writers and their mentors so that they can learn the successful strategies to be implemented as part of a mentoring program to develop prominent scholars in your field.

Presenter: Kathy Ewoldt is a former special education teacher and a current doctoral student. Her doctoral studies focus is on students with learning disabilities. Her research interests include K12 students with disabilities taking online courses, special education teacher retention, and students in urban environments. She is currently a graduate assistant in the Department of Educational and Clinical Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a participant in Project CULTURED, an OSEP Sponsored Leadership Program.

Presenter: Heike Rüdenauer is a Ph.D. student in special education at UNLV in Las Vegas. Her research interests include family advocacy, social justice, functional communication, and culturally responsive teaching strategies. Her background is in early intervention services, social work, democracy development, and multicultural education. Heike currently teaches as graduate assistant, and she is a scholar under Project CULTURED; an OSEP sponsored leadership program.

Presenter: Kristin Withey is a doctoral student completing research on campus under a project funded by U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs Leadership Program. A teaching graduate assistant, Kristen's doctoral focus is on early childhood special education in urban environments, including emerging bilingual students. Specifically, she is interested in young children with social and emotional delays, inclusive programs, investigating environmental adaptations, and teacher attrition. 


Independent Publishing for Academic Authors, a Great Opportunity! But Is It For Me?

Reasons for entering the hectic world of independent authorship include: opportunity to test new pedagogy, add income, and increase visibility. Are any of these reasons appealing enough to jump into the fray? Independent publishing is achievable. The number of books published by independent authors is rising at a surprising rate. Independently published books are predicted to represent 20% of the e-book market in 2016. But, is this opportunity a good option for academic authors? From an author's point of view, working with established publishers is complex as the industry struggles to make profit. But, what should be considered before taking the leap into independent publishing? Six key questions must be asked. They fit the formula of W(5)H, Who, Why, What, When, What If and How. Who my target reader is must come first. Unless readers are drawn in by the writing, they will not buy a book at any price.

Presenter: Margaret Thompson Reece, physiologist and CEO at Reece Biomedical Consulting mentors pre-med and medical students who struggle to navigate medical science. Her independently published books are Physiology: Custom-Designed Chemistry (2012) and Inside the Closed World of the Brain (2015). At MedicalScienceNavigator.com she offers study strategies for learning anatomy and physiology. In her past life she was a Senior Scientist in academic medicine in New York and Massachusetts and Chief Scientific Officer at Serometrix LLC.


Publishing Contracts Q&A

Bring your questions for this open-discussion roundtable. Session moderator Steve Gillen, a 36-year veteran of haggling over contract terms between publisher and author, will offer information and insight into what is or may be negotiable and what is likely off the table.

Presenter: Intellectual property attorney Steve Gillen teaches Electronic Media Law at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Steve worked for nearly 20 years in publishing prior to entering private practice in the middle 1990’s. He is presently a partner at Wood, Herron & Evans (a 145-year-old Cincinnati law firm focused on intellectual property) where he concentrates his practice on publishing, media, and copyright matters. Steve is a long-time member of the TAA Council and a regular speaker at TAA conferences.


Writing Successful and Engaging Titles and Abstracts: Invitations to be Read

What leads others to read your work? An often undervalued and overlooked entry point is how you have crafted the title and abstract. Busy academic scholars may not read on when the title is obtuse and the abstract is vague. In this session we will examine successful titles and abstracts and, then, begin to write an engaging title and abstract for something that you are currently working on. 

Presenter: Dannelle D. Stevens, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Portland State University, Oregon, has coauthored three books framed around different ways to assist faculty in their complex roles as scholars and teachers. In her role as PSU Faculty-in-Residence for Academic Writing in the Office of Academic Innovation, she created and facilitates the Jumpstart Academic Writing Program involving more than 100 faculty practicing and publishing academic writing. Stevens is widely published in journals and presents academic writing workshops nationally and abroad.


Writing Your Book Solo or With Coauthors

Textbooks and monographs can be written by single or multiple authors. Both solo and coauthored writing have advantages and disadvantages, some obvious and some not so obvious, and we will explore the pros and cons of both alternatives. Then we will discuss guidelines and tips for the coauthoring alternative including building a coauthoring team, the characteristics of good coauthoring teams, establishing roles for each coauthor, formalizing those roles and responsibilities, ensuring that coauthors are doing their jobs, and maintaining a productive and congenial relationship among coauthors. We'll also cover writing edited books which involve many coauthors but do not fit the typical coauthoring process, employing contributors (who are not authors per se) for some of the writing, and looking to the future and planning for someone(s) to continue a successful multiple edition textbook.

Presenter: Michael Spiegler, Professor of Psychology at Providence College, is an academic and textbook author with leading psychology textbooks, including Contemporary Behavior Therapy (6th ed.) winner of the McGuffey Award in its 5th ed., and Personality: Strategies and Issues (8th Ed.). He has presented more than 30 workshops and intensive courses on textbook writing nationally and internationally. He is a consultant/mentor to college textbook authors in diverse disciplines. Michael is active in TAA governance and has been elected to the TAA Council of Fellows.


Your Online Brand as an Author

This roundtable discussion will focus on ways to use online tools and services to brand yourself as an author. When was the last time you Googled yourself? What would you find if you did? If people search for you online, do they know what you want them to know? Topics of discussion will include LinkedIn profiles, Amazon author profiles, publisher website representation, and options for developing your own website to promote your writing. Led by Eric Schmieder, this will be an opportunity to share your best practices, make sure everyone at the table knows your online brand, and to pick up some inventive ways to grow your online reputation as an author.

Presenter: For over 15 years through the North Carolina Community College System and North Carolina State University, Eric Schmieder has taught thousands of students to be more efficient using computer technologies. His experience both in and out of the classroom environment has made him an effective leader, speaker, and author in the industry. Attending his third TAA conference this year, he is excited to share some tips for using technology to improve your writing.


Featured GeoPrimer Presentation


Providence—Historical Richness, Diversity, Built on 7 Hills

We gather in Providence, Rhode Island, located at the head of Narragansett Bay, along the Providence River. Providence founded in 1636, was one of the early local colonies, and Rhode Island was first to renounce Britain. Providence was the 9th in population at the end of the Revolutionary War. Today some 178,000 live in the city and 1.19 million in the metropolitan area, working their way through a thousand streets laid out before the automobile. Peak city population was 30% higher in 1940. Providence features 25 official neighborhoods. Prov was a center for jewelry and silverware industries in the 1960s, now in decline, with gentrification of many factory buildings. While in Providence, enjoy quahog (clams used in chowder), some gaggers (hot wieners smaller than a hot dog), a grinder (submarine sandwich), johnnycakes (corn meal cakes fried like pancakes), coffee milk (coffee syrup and milk), some fried dough and pizza strips, or 125 Dunkin’ Donut shops.

Presenter: Robert W. Christopherson is Professor Emeritus of Geography at American River College (1970-2000). He is the author of the leading physical geography texts in the United States and Canada all published by Pearson Prentice Hall. He and his nature photographer wife Bobbe have completed twelve expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions since 2003, gathering information and photos for his books, Geosystems, 9/e, Elemental Geosystems, 8/e, Geosystems Canadian Edition, 4/e, and Applied Physical Geography, 9/e.


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