I was disappointed to see the North Carolina Historical Review’s otherwise positive assessment of Andrew and Alex Lichtenstein’s Marked, Unmarked, Remembered conclude with the suggestion that “the main flaw of the book” is that “academic publishers generally have great difficulty reaching a widespread public audience.” As director at West Virginia University Press, which published the… Continue reading A response to the North Carolina Historical Review
The current system of scholarly publishing is dying, and dying fast. Academic print books are dying. Several presses have closed and almost all are struggling. Not all presses will survive. Most of the presses will die.
I’m pleased to host the blog’s first guest post, by John Hussey, senior key accounts sales manager at Ingram Content Group, a leading book distributor. Here’s John: In 2014, I penned an article for Against the Grain titled “Academic Publishing Is Not in Crisis—It’s Just Changing” in which I described the transformation of university press publishing… Continue reading Guest post: Academic publishing is not in crisis—it’s still just changing
Here are some of my favorite statistics about university press publishing: One university press has closed since 2010. 83% of scholarly monographs find a publisher. 70–80% of faculty prefer print for book-length reading. 20–25% of university press sales are to libraries (down from approximately 70% in the 1970s). At the University of California, 7% of… Continue reading Emplotting the recent history of university press publishing
I spend a lot of time thinking about the disconnect between people who do the work of scholarly publishing and people who write about it. Detached contemplation and analysis have their (important) place, but the insights of information science types, think tankers, and other observers of scholarly communication often strike me as difficult to square with… Continue reading The making of a successful university press book; or: What information science misses about publishing
Open access (for books anyway) has been slow to take. Currently about one percent of new scholarly books are OA, most of them presumably in the UK, where OA is often a matter of policy. That small return is based on an enormous investment of time, effort, and resources. I think it was the wrong… Continue reading The wrong moonshot
This piece was originally posted on the University of Nebraska Press blog as part of UP Week in 2013. There are lots of ways of telling people you live in the middle. Here’s mine: When I zoom all the way out on my phone’s GPS, the blue you-are-here dot pulses between the “d” and the… Continue reading Publishing, region, and place