Anyone who knows me knows I love to read (almost as much as I love Disney). So, I was excited when I found out that I could get a free book each year in exchange for writing a book review for NACADA. The process for doing this is very easy and they help you out every step of the way. You do have to be a member of NACADA in order to request a book and write a review for them, but if you are, it is a really simple process.
The first step is to go to http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Journal/Book-Reviews.aspx and check out the “List of available books”. I try to go and check out the list every month or so, to see if there is a book that is of particular interest to me or that I think might interest one of my colleagues. You can only do this once per year, so make sure you find a book you are really interested in reading. There are usually at least 10 books to choose from and the topics are wide ranging, from books on policy and teaching/advising methodology to novels.
Once you find a book you are interested in reading, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will send you your book and instructions for completing the book review. You must read the book and submit a draft of your review within three months. If you can’t meet the deadline, you can request an extension, return the book or pay replacement and handling costs, so make sure you set aside time to read and write your review (I did a lot of my reading on my lunch hour).
I was really nervous the first time I wrote a book review for NACADA, I was afraid it would be terrible and that I would do it all wrong. It turned out to be a lot less stressful than I expected. They give you really clear guidelines about what they are looking for with regard to content of you review as well as length. You send it to them and then they will send it back with some corrections/suggestions. Once you approve the changes, they publish the review in the next issue of the online Journal and send you the link to your review so you can see the final product.
I encourage anyone who is a NACADA member to take advantage of this opportunity. Writing a book review for NACADA gives you the chance to get a free book, get yourself published in the NACADA journal, and engage in professional development through both reading the book and writing the review. I learned a lot both of the times I have done this and am looking forward to doing it again.
For those who are not NACADA members, keep in mind that you can always write a book review for the ACADAOS blog or any other professional organization that you might belong to that publishes book reviews. No matter how you go about doing it, make sure you log the points for the Professional Development program through ACADAOS!
Written by Stephanie Elliott