Academic Books: How to Choose a Scholarly Publisher
Your initial audience will include acquisition editors and editorial boards of presses, but your ultimate audience consists of other scholars, students, and the general public. According to research conducted by Xi Niu and Brad Hemminger and a separate study by Carol Tenpoir, Rachel Volentine, and Donald King, academic researchers search online and read a mixture of print and electronic resources. Same goes for students and general readers according to a University of Utah textbook survey and a Pew Internet & American Life survey.
Daily: journals (print or online), web pages, email
- humanists and social scientists read books more than health scientists (Tenopir, 2012)
- teaching-intensive academics utilize books more than research-intensive academics (Tenopir, 2012)
Annually: conference proceedings
- Read for pleasure, current events, and research
- Prefer print, but depends on reading purpose
- Get book recommendations from family and friends first, then bookstores, and librarians
Choosing a Press or Publisher. Look for Subject Match, Marketing, Quality of Books, and Negotiate the Publishing Contract
- Association of American University Presses Directory 2014 byCall Number: Z475 .A88 (ARC)ISBN: 9780945103318Publication Date: 2014-02-15This comprehensive directory offers detailed information on the publishing programs and personnel of the more than 130 member presses of the Association of American University Presses. Its many useful features include a convenient subject guide indicating which presses publish in specific disciplines; separate entries for each member press that include complete addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and email addresses of key staffers within each press as well as details about their editorial programs; guidelines for submitting manuscripts; and information about AAUP corporate partners.
- Association of American PublishersAlphabetical listing of AAP Members.
- Alternatives in PrintOnline directory of alternative periodicals and book publishers.
- Scholarly Publishing byCall Number: Z286.S37 S333 2002 (LVL 1)ISBN: 0471219290Publication Date: 2001-11-16This book offers readers a well-rounded and accurate account of the amazing and unpredictable sequence of inter-related events experienced by the field of scholarly publishing in the 20th century. Examining the related worlds of book, journal, and electronic publishing; information technology; and library advances, this is the first work to record the trends of the modern history of the information/knowledge transfer process. Using an analysis of the past 100 years, it also makes predications regarding future trends and the roles of the publishing and library communities in tomorrow's information marketplace
- The Academic's Guide to Publishing byCall Number: OnlineISBN: 9781847877703Publication Date: 2005-01-01This definitive guide to successfully publishing social science research demonstrates that completing a project is only the first phase of research. Dissemination is the second phase, and it requires specific skills and knowledge. The Academics' Guide to Publishing: explains the different ways in which research can be disseminated: in journals, books, reports, the Internet, popular media, and conferences; demonstrates how the structures, practices and procedures involved work - making them easily understood and transparent; and situates research in the larger and changing context of Higher Education. For postgraduates or academics in the social sciences The Academics' Guide to Publishing provides essential guidance on how to secure a job, how to gain tenure, how to survive research assessment exercises, and how to obtain promotion.
- Publishing from Your Phd byCall Number: OnlineISBN: 0566091623Publication Date: 2010-12-28Publishing from your PhD precisely focuses on providing early career researchers with emotional and collegial support that is often not available in academe. It seeks to dispel nepotistic notions of superiority that places Professors and such on a pedestal. It specifically clarifies the difficulty in having written the PhD thesis genre and rewriting it to suit the genre of journal articles. It does not deal with the 'how' of academic writing in general.
U of U faculty, by means of U Policy 7-003, own the copyright in traditional scholarly works. As rights holders, individual faculty members can negotiate the terms of a publishing contract. When presented with a publishing contract, remember that you are a professional writer and author even if your title is professor, librarian, researcher, or academic. As a rights holder and professional author, you have significant bargaining power.
First off, don't transfer or assign all of your copyrights. There are five copyrights and you can choose which ones to give to the publisher. The most relevant ones would be to copy/reproduce and to publicly distribute. These two are needed to publish something, i.e. to make it public. And you don't have to transfer or assign them. You can establish an exclusive or even non-exclusive agreement where you retain rights and contractually provide permission to the publisher to engage in the rights surrounding your manuscript. If you plan on translating your work, then don't transfer your right to prepare a derivative work, i.e. adapt.
- prepare derivatives
- distribute publicly
- display publicly
- perform publicly
If publishing with a university press, watch for the copyright registration clause. The contract might say that the registration will be in the author's name, but this is misleading. If the press has asked for an assignment of all copyrights, which they normally do, then the press is the rights holder. Presses need all rights in order to list themselves as a copyright claimant in a U.S. copyright registration record. A registration record is needed for any copyright infringement lawsuit.
Look for and negotiate these other fair publishing contract terms as outlined by the Authors Guild Fair Contract Initiative:
- Ask for half of net proceeds for royalties on e-books and ask for quarterly payments
- Establish a fixed amount of time instead life of copyright (which is life of the author + 70 years)
- Both the author and publisher should decide on a manuscript's acceptability (not just the publisher), but the author should have final say
- Strike non-compete and/or option clauses
The Book Division of the National Writers Union also has good resources and tips on negotiating.
Get Help Choosing a Press or Publisher
295 South 1500 East, Room 5103
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Need help? Contact us
Schedule a Research Consultation
More Subject Guides