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.
Templates & Samples Resource Library
The following templates, worksheets, checklists and samples have been gathered from experienced textbook and academic authors and industry professionals to assist you with your own writing.
NEW! Workflow Chart Template
NEW! Grant Requirements Matrix Template
This template was contributed by Juli Saitz, Managing Director of Ankura Consulting. It allows you to track your royalty statements over time by net units, net sales, and royalties earned to better understand how and where your books are selling.
This template was contributed by Kevin Patton, author of Anatomy & Physiology (9e), who uses it to track his workflow. Available in both landscape and portrait, each row is a chapter or section and columns track items such as chapter number/title, research, reviews, copyedited draft, etc.
This document, which includes a sample letter you can adapt in requesting permission to use copyrighted material, was contributed by Elsa Peterson, a freelance editor and author of Copyright and Permissions: What Every Writer and Editor Should Know. Peterson stresses that most publishers will have a standard permission request letter so if you are working with a publisher that is what you should use, but if you are self-publishing a work, or need permission to display something on your website, for example, this sample letter illustrates the basic elements to be included in the letter. The document also includes real-world negotiating angles associated with such a letter.
This template was contributed by textbook author Lorraine Papazian-Boyce, author of ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding: A Map for Success, who keeps hers open on her computer at all times as a way to track the progress of her textbook.
When two co-authors have a falling out, their joint work can be tied up indefinitely unless they are able to work out a settlement. This is often next to impossible for authors who have become adversarial, said Stephen E. Gillen, Partner at Wood Herron & Evans, who contributed this Specimen Collaboration Agreement Template. The shotgun clause is a way of establishing a fair buy out by one of them of the other’s interest.
This sample, contributed by Lorraine Papazian-Boyce, author of ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding: A Map for Success, includes the four major sections of a textbook proposal including the Overview, Competition, Detailed Book Outline, and Supplemental Information.
This template, contributed by Steven Barkan, author of Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, provides the six proposal sections he uses when writing a textbook proposal, along with his author bio (in section 5, "The Author).
This template, contributed by Lorraine Papazian-Boyce, author of ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding: A Map for Success, can be used to create a competitive analysis, one component of most textbook proposals. It includes a grid to list 4 or 5 competitive textbooks across the top and the topic areas of your proposed book down the left hand side so that you can show how it compares to the competition.
This is the template of a magnetic whiteboard used by textbook author Mike Kennamer to track major projects. The whiteboard contains three columns labeled "project", "status", and "comment". When he takes on a new project, he writes the project name on his whiteboard and uses a combination of writing and magnets to keep up with the status of projects.
This sample author questionnaire by Focal Press, contributed by Sheila Curran, author of Documentary Storytelling and Archival Storytelling, is a sales and marketing tool that illustrates the information the publisher needs to know about you and your book and your professional memberships, including possible places the book might find an audience, i.e., professional associations, annual meetings, specialized schools or areas of study, etc.
This sample market review questionnaire, contributed by Lorraine Papazian-Boyce, author of ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding: A Map for Success, contains two parts: a Text Description, which thanks the reviewers, includes a 1-2 paragraph summary of the conceptual approach, lists the number and names of sections, special features in the text, and supplemental features in the text; and a Reviewer Questionnaire containing 10 questions to ask to focus the reviewer on the content of the chapters.
This chart template, contributed by Erin Comeaux, a Grants Coordinator with Pasadena Independent School District in Pasadena, Texas, and Jennifer Travis, a Professor of Mathematics at Lone Star College-North Harris, keeps track of each grant requirement, as well as the solicition/RFP page number or URL, paragraph number or URL, and who is responsible for drafting each requirement, to make sure all the grant's instructions are being followed.
These two templates, contributed by Margarita Huerta, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Clinical Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, are designed to help you maintain successful writing collaborations. The Writing Collaboration Planning Template helps you plan big picture tasks (e.g., how much writing you are expected to produce each year), details (e.g., breaking down the sections of your typical writing piece), and developing a plan of action (e.g., when you will approach your colleagues). The Writing Collaboration Progress Template tracks your progress as a team (e.g., How many manuscripts did you publish this year, how many conference presentations were completed, how many grants accepted?; who will take lead on specific manuscripts?; and when you will you meet?). Listen to Huerta's TAA audio conference, "Thriving in Academia: How to Create and Maintain Productive Writing Collaborations", for more information on how to use these templates.
This Excel spreadsheet, contributed by Jennifer Travis, PhD., a Professor of Mathematics at Lone Star College, is a powerful yet simple tool for improving writing productivity by recording, analyzing, and sharing your writing time. Watch Travis' TAA webinar, "Track Your Way to Dissertation Success," for more information on how to use this writing log.
This checklist, contributed by Charles Howlett, Associate Professor of Education at Molloy College, outlines the most important items needed for a book review evaluation, including tone & substance, contribution to scholarship, demonstrates knowledge of field, fulfills objectives, balance, quality of editing, references/bibliography, accuracy & appropriate citations, illustrations/charts, and your overall recommendation to readers.
When writing an academic grant proposal, your audience is your number one priority. This sample audience persona, contributed by Ami Hanson, Editor & Content Specialist for Elite Research, LLC, can help you write a persona or persona(s) for your readers by creating people who would read your document, and then writing them a whole story. "Include their demographics, their attitudes, and the reasons they're reading your document, and then write your document as if these people were reading it, and include or exclude information accordingly," she said. Watch Hanson's TAA webinar, "'It's All Greek to Me: Translating Statistical Writing", for more information.
This is a checklist of classic things to accomplish during the grant discovery, preparation and submission process, broken down by sequence of events, tasks and help aides, contributed by Grantmaker Jay Matteson.
These are grant application cover sheet and project description samples, contributed by Richard Hull, former executive director for the Texas Council of the Humanities. Listen to a recording of Hull's TAA Audio Conference, "How to Seek Funding From State Humanities & Arts Councils", for more information.
This checklist contributed by Claudia Sanchez, an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Texas Woman’s University, provides a road map to successful grant applications. Listen to her TAA Audio Conference, "Tips for Writing Successful Grant Proposals", for more information.
This worksheet, contributed by Ami Hanson, Editor & Content Specialist for Elite Research, LLC, can be used to organize the rationale, action and benefit use persuasion, information and persuasion, or PIP, method. "Because people tend to remember the first and last pieces of information they read, this is a great way to stand out from other proposals," she said. Watch Hanson's TAA webinar, "'It's All Greek to Me: Translating Statistical Writing", for more information.
This formula, contributed by Sonja K. Foss and William J. Waters, authors of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation, can help you frame your research program or agenda in three simple steps. Watch Foss & Waters' TAA Webinar, "Generating & Refining Research Ideas," for more information.
This worksheet, contributed by Sonja K. Foss and William J. Waters, authors of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation, should be completed before you begin work on your study or at least before you begin writing your article. That way, say Foss and Waters, you'll be sure that you have a well-designed study that is aligned and internally consistent. Watch Foss & Waters' TAA Webinar, "Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing Your Academic Article But Were Afraid to Ask," for more information.
This document, contributed by Sonja K. Foss and William J. Waters, authors of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation, shares five questions you should answer "yes" to when assessing whether you have a good plan for your study. Watch Foss & Waters' TAA Webinar, "Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing Your Academic Article But Were Afraid to Ask," for more information.
Most articles in a journal actually share the same deep structure. This worksheet, contributed by Sonja K. Foss and William J. Waters, authors of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation, can be used to make your article match a particlar journal's deep structure, making the reader respond to that article most favorably. Watch Foss & Waters' TAA Webinar, "Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing Your Academic Article But Were Afraid to Ask," for more information.
This goal-setting model, called “The Pyramid of Power,” was contributed by Susan Robison, a psychologist and faculty development consultant with Professor DeStressor, who uses it in her "Create Your Ideal Life (Peak performing professor)" workshops. Many people operate with their goals as a huge top, with a very narrow bottom or no bottom at all, says Robison. “The goals are floating around up in the air and they aren’t anchored to anything,” she said. “The Pyramid of Power reverses that, anchoring your goals.” The Pyramid of Power has four elements: Purpose Statement, Mission Statement, Vision Statement, and How to Make Your Vision Come Alive. Robison is the author of The Peak Performing Professor: A Practical Guide to Productivity and Happiness.
To write well, effectively, and consistently, we must be at ease. Sometimes we don’t know the right questions to ask to reach the comfort in which we can do our best work. These 9 questions, contributed by Noelle Sterne, author of Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles, published by Rowman & Littlefield Education, will help you recognize your preferred work times and settings—those in which you’ll probably be most productive and least exhausted. View a PowerPoint teaser of Sterne's book.
If you have a template, sample or checklist to share, please contact Kim Pawlak at Kim.Pawlak@taaonline.net or (608) 687-3106.