Announcing a research project to study how many academic books Amazon sells to libraries.
The best way to increase D2C sales is to work in increasing the traffic to your site. Without traffic, there can be few sales. Unfortunately, the university press community has paid little attention to building Web traffic.
This is an announcement of a university press research project, which includes a link to a survey we hope every book publisher will fill out. The project is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The focus is on how university presses can sell books, both print and digital, directly from their Web sites. The project report will cover current practices and recommend courses of action.
The question addressed here is not whether we in the academy should “take back publishing” from the commercial scholarly publishers, but rather what the options for doing so might be, and whether any of those options seems feasible at the moment.
The university press world is operating under circumstances that are somewhat tighter than they were even a few years ago. While most presses now publish ebooks, ebooks in themselves do not provide a strategic path to growth.
The University of Missouri saga has many lessons for publishers of all types. But perhaps the harshest lesson is that we’re in a tough business.
The university press world is well established, but it is worth considering how one would go about a new press today. The key is not to do what the established presses do already, and do very well.
A report by the AAUP outlines the business models available to university presses and makes a case for ongoing subsidies by parent institutions.
A new collection of essays in the Journal of Electronic Publishing focuses on various issues facing the university press world today, but perhaps does not consider the possibility of presses taking on a more central role in their parents’ strategy.