TAA Member Community

Member Spotlight

The Textbook & Academic Authors Association's Member Spotlight program highlights members and their accomplishments. If you are interested in being highlighted or nominating another member for the spotlight, please complete this form.

By participating you agree to have your information included on the TAA website, in the enewsletter, on the blog, and on the association's social media pages.

Spotlight on:

Dr. Olga ZbarskayaDr. Olga Zbarskaya, OZCREDO President

I am both a textbook & academic author.

My writing discipline: human resources, management, operations management, public relations, social work, educational psychology, educational leadership, creative thinking and problem-solving

My most recent publications: Brainstorm!: Practice for Unrestricted Imagination and Original Thought (2017) (ABC-CLIO/Praeger LLC, Santa Barbara, CA), Mind Booster Art (2017) (OZCREDO INC, Brooklyn, NY). Other publications.

What are you currently working on?
I just finished the children's book/textbook on creative thinking Unbelievable Adventures of Dr. Credo. Parents and educators alike will appreciate this book for the way it creates a fun learning experience involving technology, astrology, physics, and even psychology, making it an ideal complement to many school lessons and a great addition to classroom libraries. I also founded OZCREDO: Center for Creative Thinking and Unlimited Possibilities, a consulting company that provides comprehensive tools, training, workshops, and coaching on creative decision-making and problem solving.

Share a recent accomplishment.
My textbook Brainstorm!: Practice for Unrestricted Imagination and Original Thought became a unique resource for mental health professionals to help their patients to overcome multiple issues as well as a text for students in fields such as psychology, art, leadership and development, educational leadership, early childhood education, and structural organization. I have been invited to many colleges, institutions, and academic settings to present on the topic. This textbook is used internationally (10+ countries) by academia and various professionals. Please see "Testimonial" here.

Laurence Haughton (researcher and writer of six bestsellers including It's not the big that eat the small small it's the fast that eat the slow, wrote to me: "For twenty years I've researched and written about leaders who can think faster, change faster and make speed their competitive advantage. The best of the best are, without exception, more creative, more original and incredibly imaginative. Now in your new book Brainstorm you explain what to do to help every person and every organization be more creative. Brainstorm is loaded with specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely advice in short it's totally SMART. Congratulations and thank you."

What is your favorite textbook writing tip or strategy?

  • Trust your curiosity and capture your ideas
  • Build conflicts into your concept
  • Tailor ideas to the specific attributes and interests of your students
  • Provide reliable references. Use real places, evens, conversations, and research trips
  • Engage your students with your thoughts by leaving room for imagination
  • Encourage your students to see different perspectives on a concept or issue
  • Promote scientific curiosity, logical problem solving, higher-level thinking questions, invention, cooperative problem solving, respect for other cultures, and believing in yourself.

What is your best TAA experience so far?
It's a privilege to be part of an organization that cares about the quality of academic and scientific books/textbooks. Thank you!

Spotlight on:

Takiyah AminTakiyah N. Amin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Davidson College

I am an academic author.
My writing discipline:
Dance studies
My most recent publications: Article: "Arts in Society Redesign: A Learner-Centered Approach", by Delane Ingalls Vanada, Dean Adams and Takiyah Amin, published by The International Journal of Arts Education; Book Chapter: "African American Dance Revisited: Undoing Master Narratives in the Studying and Teaching of Dance History" in Rethinking Dance History: Issues and Methodologies (Routledge.)

What are you currently working on?
Completing a book project that explores the work of Black women choreographers during the height of the US-based Black Power and Black Arts Movements.

Share a recent accomplishment.
Appointed as Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Davidson College.

What is your favorite textbook writing tip or strategy?
I am an advocate of the daily writing habit -- at least 30 minutes a day is a game changer for academic writers in terms of productivity and reduced anxiety.

What is your best TAA experience so far?
The webinars and newsletter are amazing!

Spotlight on:

Jose CarmonaJose A. Carmona, Spanish Instructor, Pasco-Hernando State College and Latin American Culture Instructor, Columbia College

I am a textbook and academic author.
My writing discipline:
ESL, education, global studies, Spanish
My most recent publication: Globalizing the Curriculum with the Latino Literature of the United States

Globalizing the Curriculum
What are you currently working on?
17 manuscripts; here are some:
1. Global Advocacy in the Classroom
2. Lifeless: 300 Words or Less Macabre Short Stories
3. Snow Dancing in New Jersey, a Novel
4. Several poetry books
5. Muffin's War, non-fiction
6. Siberian Huskies: 10 Lessons and 10 Nuances Nobody Talks About

Share a recent accomplishment.
I have just been named to Marquis Who's Who in America.

What is your favorite textbook writing tip or strategy?
Everyone says that writers should write every day. I go beyond that to identify that the planning time in your head while waiting for an appointment, driving to work, or sitting in bed at night counts as much for your daily writing time. I have done my best writing this way.

What is your best TAA experience so far?
My best experience was attending and presenting at a TAA conference a few years back. Meeting people and sharing ideas were the highlight of the conference for me in addition to the great workshops.

Spotlight on:

Sig DastidarSiddhartha (Sid) Dastidar, Associate Professor (Adjunct), Columbia University

I am a textbook author.
My writing discipline:
Business, economics, finance
My most recent publication:
Capital Markets and Investments: Essential Insights and Concepts for Professionals (1st ed.)

Capital Markets and Investments
What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on getting the word out regarding my recently published textbook. It is designed to accompany introductory/ intermediate finance classes that discuss the financial markets.

Share a recent accomplishment.
Getting my book out in finished form in August. I underestimated the work that publishers usually have teams to do - index, typesetting, proofing, getting endorsements/reviews, cover design, basic distribution strategy. Doing all this really took away from the focus/ pleasure of finishing the book.

What is your favorite textbook writing tip or strategy?

  1. Don't forget why you are writing and what it means to you. During the process, you will have choices, and this will help you decide which way to go.  
  2. Do consider self-publishing, unless it contradicts (1). But, there is a lot of grunt work and details involved here; be prepared for that.
  3. I first started by creating a draft Table of Contents, with some sense of how long each chapter was going to be. I then started working on multiple chapters (each chapter was a separate word document) to break the monotony. For most chapters, the last 30% will take up 80% of your time, so having 70% of the manuscript done quickly really gives you a lot of energy and self-belief.

What is your best TAA experience so far?
The staff! They are a pleasure to interact with...truly awesome!

powered by MemberClicks