24 May 2021

It’s Book Day! Better Posters is here!

It’s been a long time coming.

Today is the official release date for the Better Posters book.

Better Posters book in box.

The Better Posters blog started in 2009, inspired by in large part by Garr Reynolds Presentation Zen blog. Reynolds’s blog made the transition to book in late 2007. As my blog kept going, I quietly entertained the hope that maybe I might be able to write a book to do for conference posters something like what Reynolds (and many others) did for oral presentations.

Somewhere along the way, I even wrote out a partial incomplete outline for what a book might contain.

Flash forward to sometime in 2017. Nigel Massen from Pelagic Publishing contacts me about the potential for... a book on conference posters! I send him my crappy outline. Despite its crappiness, Nigel assures me that all books start with a crappy outline. I manage to convince him I can actually do this.

I start writing it in earnest in the first few months of 2018, and submit it on time on Halloween 2019. So yes, the writing and organizing and figure making and emailing people to ask if I can show their posters took well over a year. (In my defense, I was teaching a full course load while writing the book, too).

But proving that if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done, I was furiously making some fairly significant changes even on deadline day.

The original plan was to release the book in the first quarter of 2020. which would be in time for the normal summer conference season for academics. 

I don’t know if we would have made target, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed that plan. There was just no way to release the book during a pandemic. The book got pushed back a couple of times until today.

After more than three years, it’s a little hard to believe that other people can now read this thing. It doesn’t quite feel the books that inspired it. When you have to write 80 thousand words, you just get too tired to emulate anyone else and what you get represents you and your voice, for good or bad.

I have more to say on the creation of this book, but for now, I will just say that if you get it, I hope you find it useful.

If you’re interested, the book is available in both paperback and ebook versions for Kobo, Kindle, Nook.

If you cannot buy a copy of the book yourself, you might recommend it to your university library or local community library.

Photo by Anita Davelos.

04 May 2021

Type of scientific papers, very specific niche edition

Last week, Randall Munroe started a whole thing with one of his xkcd cartoons, “Types of scientific papers.”

People were inspired to make different versions for their field, then sub-field, then sub-sub-field, so I took the meme to it’s logical conclusion.

Types of scientific paper that Zen Faulkes has co-authored