Happy New Year! Best wishes from Acadrive team!
Yes, yes, this will be an ordinary post which majority of you compile at the end of each year and promise to do better from January 1st.
But I’ll try making it as engaging as possible!
This is the biggest challenge of 2018. The challenge which migrated into 2019.
As some of you may know, both me and Matt Parsons work on an illustrated book of articles about cars-and science. “Introduction to Academic Driving”.
The book will explain / popularize science – politics, economics, philosophy, sociology, physics, astronomy, etc – on automotive examples. Emphasis on social sciences. We see the book as a 65K words long artefact containing 35 illustrated articles. The manuscript has been fully completed in 2018 and we search for a proper agent / publisher today. And this doesn’t come easy.
More than 50 literary agents we contacted said “no”. Because they’re not interested in the topic. Around ten publishers said “no”. Because they don’t know how to sell the “cars-and-science” product.
Buuuuut, the book will be published. This is inevitable. Hopefully in 2019. The issue remains unclear who will publish it and whether we’ll fulfil our maximum plan (i.e. publishing in a renown house or getting support from the car manufacturers. As for the latter, there are some positive signals coming from Japan and Germany. More details to follow soon).
Meanwhile, Matt and me started working on a second book. “Advanced Academic Driving”:
This is the biggest 2018 surprise.
In July, the Drivetribe team added me to a group of cool chaps – the Moneybox – whose content is interesting to read. And who can even earn a couple of pounds for their writings. Matt joined the Moneybox in September. It appeared that apart from being a marvellous illustrator, he is also a skilful blogger. Consider following him:
What makes me especially happy is that the Drivetribe team found my English readable and digestible. For those, who are not aware: I’m not a native English-speaker and I’m not living in an English-speaking country. For sure, my written language has a lot of flaws. Buuuuuuut, I was invited to the Moneybox!
The Real Life
This is the thing which significantly undermined my Drivetribe progress in 2018. I have a lot of things to do in the real life. For those, who are not aware, I’m employed as an Assistant Professor at Lazarski University (Poland) and Coventry University (UK). This year I finished a book on geopolitics and started another (to be published in 2019). I kept on working on academic articles (four ~9K words articles in 2018). I won the scholarship to go to Canada. I also did some lecturing on a daily basis. Finally, as a Deputy Dean, I co-managed a department which counts ~2K students and hundreds of teaching staff. This distracted me from the Drivetribe a lot.
Btw, is there anyone interested to get a British degree in Poland? Comes much cheaper than in the UK:
I see this as a success in 2018.
It is very important to see your reader. And to promote your publications respectively. Those of you, who regularly interact with my publications, might have noticed that they are “nerdy”. I often take some abstract theories or discoveries and explain how they work on examples from the automotive industry. And promote my content assertively on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other media.
This approach not only makes me happy (as I continue “lecturing” on the Internet), but also makes my students engaged. Some of them have already informed me that my articles on Aristotle and Machiavelli helped them to pass the “Political Philosophy" (the module is run by a different lecturer). There are also other students, from my High School, who learn English while reading my articles. They try finding my errors (because there are a few). They also become more motivated to learn English as they see my Drivetribe blogging achievements.
In 2019, I would like to expand the students’ readership further. The book, when published, will definitely help me.
I also hope to catch attention of numerous other people, who are not students any more, but strive to explore the world. Like the majority of you.
This is one of the biggest failures of 2018.
My soon-to-become cameraman had a lot of plans about launching the Academic Driving channel on Youtube. And converting my articles into videos. We even bought a 4K camera and started working on scenarios. But the progress stalled as both of us got consumed by other activities. The real life issues (see above).
The only youtube video we managed to do was for the Carfession Shell competition:
The Academic Driving
This is a success!
Our tribe with Matt counts today 14,390 members. Its content was liked 12,8K times and viewed ~1 million times. We are happy to have gained some hardcore readers, who check out for updates regularly. We are happy that our articles are often promoted to the verticals and – occasionally – to the Drivetribe homepage. Sometimes even Mr. James May drops in to comment (what is a super-boost to everything we do)!
So, consider joining the Academic Driving yourself:
Thanks for staying with me up to this point. Now, what do you think of my (our!) failures and achievements? Please, share your reflections / recommendations below.