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IS IT HARDER TO PUBLISH
ACADEMIC BOOKS IN THE
DIGITALAGE?
Dana Beth Weinberg, PhD
Professor of Sociology and Director of t...
Scholarly Needs and Publishers’
Decision-Making
• How has the book
market and digital
disruption affected
academic publish...
Academic Publishing and Academic Jobs
• Hiring, tenure, and promotion
• Dissemination of scholarship
• Peer review publica...
Academic Publishing and the Book
Industry
• Niche books with relatively small audiences
• Reputation for intellectual qual...
Major Changes in Publishing from
Digitization
• Ebooks, reprints, and print on demand (POD)
• Indie publishers and indie a...
The Book Explosion
Bowker’s Books in Print (ISBNs)
Original Titles 2002-2012
0
50,000
100,000
150,000
200,000
250,000
20022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Titles in ...
BUT Some Things Have Changed Less
Academic and University Press Titles
9,377 9,353 10,184 10,349 11,657 10,643 11,589
18,987
15,409
13,987 13,088
2,018 2,42...
Pursuing more popular topics?
• Analysis of trends in academic publishers’ titles by BISAC
heading showed no steady trend ...
Academic and University Presses
4,718
5,402
5,960
6,910 7,032 7,056
6,232 6,467
13,187
8,539
6,992
6,055
2007 2008 2009 20...
Conclusions
• Academic publishers are publishing more titles now than
in the early 2000s. Some of these new titles may be
...
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Is it harder to publish academic books in the digital age?

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Dana Beth Weinberg examines publishing industry trends and how these are affecting publication of scholarly books.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Is it harder to publish academic books in the digital age?

  1. 1. IS IT HARDER TO PUBLISH ACADEMIC BOOKS IN THE DIGITALAGE? Dana Beth Weinberg, PhD Professor of Sociology and Director of the MA Program in Data Analytics and Applied Social Research Queens College-CUNY http://danabethweinberg.com Eastern Sociological Society Digital Mini Conference March 17, 2016
  2. 2. Scholarly Needs and Publishers’ Decision-Making • How has the book market and digital disruption affected academic publishers’ decisions about the kinds of books and authors in which to invest?
  3. 3. Academic Publishing and Academic Jobs • Hiring, tenure, and promotion • Dissemination of scholarship • Peer review publication outlet
  4. 4. Academic Publishing and the Book Industry • Niche books with relatively small audiences • Reputation for intellectual quality • Potential competition from trade publishers for more popular types of titles
  5. 5. Major Changes in Publishing from Digitization • Ebooks, reprints, and print on demand (POD) • Indie publishers and indie authors • Distribution • Retailers • Electronic journals, archives, and changing role of the college library • Discoverability of books
  6. 6. The Book Explosion Bowker’s Books in Print (ISBNs)
  7. 7. Original Titles 2002-2012 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 20022003200420052006200720082009201020112012 Titles in Print 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 20022003200420052006200720082009201020112012 Titles in Ebook Only 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 350,000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 All Titles B5 Publisher Large Publisher University or Academic Press Institutional Publisher Traditional Audiobook Publisher Self-Published Author Unmatched
  8. 8. BUT Some Things Have Changed Less
  9. 9. Academic and University Press Titles 9,377 9,353 10,184 10,349 11,657 10,643 11,589 18,987 15,409 13,987 13,088 2,018 2,427 2,312 3,574 3,068 2,846 3,100 3,529 5,399 4,034 3,594 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Titles Published 2002-2012 Print Ebook Only
  10. 10. Pursuing more popular topics? • Analysis of trends in academic publishers’ titles by BISAC heading showed no steady trend changes by subject.
  11. 11. Academic and University Presses 4,718 5,402 5,960 6,910 7,032 7,056 6,232 6,467 13,187 8,539 6,992 6,055 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Titles by Seasoned and Debut Authors 2007-2012 seasoned author debut author *With the data starting in 2002, debut authors are defined starting in 2007 as having their first book published in the reporting year.
  12. 12. Conclusions • Academic publishers are publishing more titles now than in the early 2000s. Some of these new titles may be reprints or ebook versions of previously published works. • They are publishing steadily in the same subject areas, suggesting that they are staying to their established niche markets rather than pursuing more popular subjects. • There may be a slight decline both proportionately and overall in opportunities for new authors to publish. This is a trend to watch.

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