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What publishers can learn from caterers


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Adam Gardner Peter Lang AGImagine a buffet with hundreds of tasty dishes, and a big plate in your hand. Wouldn’t it be nice if publishing was as tempting and optional as that? We think that the transformation to Open Access requires more from a publisher than just making content freely available. It requires publishers to be just as service oriented and flexible in their offers as a catering service is to their customers. We all know that the requirements to realize a book project are diverse. Does the author want an intensified copyediting? Do they need support for researching images? What kind of promotional campaign would they like to see for their project? The idea is to offer a basic publishing menu that covers the essentials, such as light copyediting, typesetting, production of eBook and print formats. In addition, the author can then add services that they think are useful for their project. Additional services might include content related services such as research for additional images or the design of a graph, publishing related services such as special binding for the print book or promotional material, or even services related to their general career as a researcher, such as a video about their research field and interests. The costs for each service item are clearly defined beforehand and are completely transparent. The author only pays for what they choose. Of course, these publishing services are only offered after the project has been accepted for publishing by a positive peer-review as well as a thorough plagiarism check. Several questions remain: which are the most interesting services to authors? How much are these services valued? In a study conducted together with the German University HTWK Leipzig, 1300 authors have provided us with answers, ranging from “why don’t I publish my work in a repository?” to “how important is a book review to me?”. This session offers a summary of the year-long transformation from publisher to catering service.

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What publishers can learn from caterers

  1. 1. What publishers can learn from caterers
  2. 2. 2 OA taken seriously: Who is our customer?
  3. 3. 3 The publisher as a service provider A new concept of publishing: from selling content to selling services Does not need to imply vanity publishing  example TÜV – companies pay to get a quality certificate Programme and profile are still crucial: it‘s like the comparison between McDonald‘s and fine dining
  4. 4. 4 Preparing the kitchen
  5. 5. 5 What do we really offer? ...a full menu of services! • need to break services down into small bites (tapas!) • make them visible • only order what you intend to eat!
  6. 6. 6 Marketing Flyers Standard PDF Print Send to authors Send to author contacts HTML Non standard Conferences Book at conference Flyer at conference Meet the editor event Book a speaker’s slot Own Product Page Author’s texts Professional marketing texts Multimedia Elements … … --- E-Mailings, Review offers, Book PR, Social Media postings, Facebook campaign, SEO, … Visible for the author up to now Visible for the author in the future so they can choose
  7. 7. First idea Research Writing Manuscript ready for submission Reviewing process Publication Disseminating Increasing Impact promoting 7 Expanding the Customer Touch Points Traditional Publisher Tasks Offer new service items that fit the needs of the author – what can be added as options to the process?
  8. 8. 8 Publishers are used to doing a mixed calculation: A* “Highlight“ titles subsidise weaker B and C titles Every book project has a P&L The costs for each individual title with its different requirements needs to be calculated Plannable costs need to be identified at the outset In the best cases, workflows and accounting are flexible enough to adapt to author needs through the publishing process Publishing costings – how does it work now?
  9. 9. 9 Building Menus Not all books are the same so why should the service offering be? Different options for authors Fixed price menu À la carte
  10. 10. 10 Menu prix fixé Typesetting ISBN DOI Print formatting Layout Compile ToC Discovery Image rights Cover design Copy editing Plagiarism Peer review etc…..
  11. 11. 11 À la carte Video Translation Data visualisation Colour or high-res images Infographic Non-standard print prep Companion web site Enhanced marketing Full index compilation Image editing & manipulation Wider dissemination Support with data curation Book launch Complete rights clearance etc….
  12. 12. 12 What do our customers really want? Before putting this into practice, we asked the customers – our authors – what they think of the idea Survey completed by 1,200 mainly HSS authors from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, UK and USA in 2018 Study was managed and analysed by Henrieke Schröder (HTWK Leipzig) and Anne Kempen (Peter Lang)
  13. 13. Main country of publication 13 Germany USA France and Belgium UK Switzerland Austria Poland Spain Italy Other European Countries Includes Russia, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, Asian nations and African nations
  14. 14. Demographics 14 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Subject Areas 90-100 years 80-90 years 60-79 years 40-59 years 25-39 years Age distribution
  15. 15. Career status 15 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 Undergrad Student Postgrad Student Academic/Teaching Assistant Professor Employee (outside an academic organisation) Other:
  16. 16. Why do you prefer publishing with an academic publisher instead of using other publication options e.g. institutional repository? (multiple answers possible) 16 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Reputation of the publisher Print title Embedded in Program Marketing Peer Review Availability in book stores Archiving Reputation of the editors Stipulation Other
  17. 17. When collaborating with publishers, which of the following is problematic? (multiple answers possible) 17 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 Book is not published on time Restrictions concerning the cover Lack of transparency Other Changing point of contact Long processing time No assistance in typesetting Limited marketing support No assistance for proofreading
  18. 18. Which of the following services do you view as essential? Please select your top 5. 18 Designated contact person 12% Marketing of my book as part of general marketing activities 11% Creation of a print book 11% Complete formatting of the manuscript by the publisher 10% Proofreading and correction services (e.g. typos) 10% Distribution of title information to various trading partners, as well as indexing services (such as Scopus) 6% Control of manuscript formatting (e.g. formatting of headlines) 6% Individual cover according to my wishes 5% Creation of a PDF version 5% Detailed reading / editing of the manuscript 4% Social media marketing for my book 4% Clearance of reprint rights for images in the manuscript 4% Quality control of the pictures 3% Creation of an individual flyer / other materials for my book 3% Creation of an ePUB / Mobi version 3% Postprocessing of the pictures 2%
  19. 19. If you are seeking funding for your publication, which of the following institutions would you contact? Please determine the order of importance. Institute or University 1.7 Public research financiers (e.g. country, federal, EU) 2.4 Non-profit research financiers (e.g.foundations) 2.7 University Library 3.6 Private research financiers (e.g. enterprises) 3.7 I don‘t know 3.8 19 Average on Scale 1-5
  20. 20. Academic publications are often supported by publication subvention. If one of your publications has required funding previously, what were the costs? (regardless of the publisher, for a monograph, approximately 300 pages) 20 Country of Publication No of answers Average amount Switzerland 40 4.955 € France 57 2.890 € Austria 24 2.839 € Germany 446 2.309 € USA 94 1.838 € UK 62 1.833 € Total amount including VAT
  21. 21. Example Germany 21 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 No of answers in percent Subvention in Euros
  22. 22. How much do you expect to pay for an Open Access publication of your title covering all publishing services? (for approximately 300 pages, CC-BY licence, OA from 1st day of publication / "Gold Open Access") 22 Country No of answers Average amount Avg. amount subvention Switzerland 40 2.679 € 4.955 € Österreich 26 2.008 € 2.839 € France 66 1.675 € 2.890 € Germany 446 1.387 € 2.309 € USA 99 754 € 1.838 € UK 68 750 € 1.833 €
  23. 23. Example Germany 23 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 No. of answers in percent OA fee in Euros
  24. 24. Take aways part 1 Publishers still rely on reputation Print book is highly valued Language improvement is important to authors Authors want to have a designated contact person Marketing services are essential Library is not yet seen as a institution to go to for publication funding Authors are not yet aware of a realistic pricing for Open Access publishing 24
  25. 25. Willingness to pay for specific services Challenges Not all possible services could be queried in the survey  a selection had to be made Selection of services: Selection of services was based on the voting of in-house editors It reflects a mix of traditional and more modern publishing services It does not include basic services such as copyediting, typesetting etc. as they would always be part of the offer to the author 25
  26. 26. Services included in the questionnaire Assistance in finding funding for your publication Creation of an index Customized Cover (for example with purchased images) Support with high resolution images and reuse permisions Creation of an infographic Individually designed book flyer Video production about the book‘s topic Social media marketing Advertising on Google Offering book copies to suitable press partners Display of the book at conferences Printed postcards Delivery of book usage statistics 26
  27. 27. Willingness to pay for specific services 27 0 € 100 € 200 € 300 € 400 € 500 € 600 € 700 € Median France Germany Austria Switzerland UK USA
  28. 28. Take aways part II Authors from different countries have very different ideas about which price to pay for which service Authors value services by the benefit it brings to them and not by the actual production costs (e.g. video production for € 215) Pricing needs to be designed for end customers gross prices are relevant price sensitivity is high price thresholds have to be kept in mind 28
  29. 29. Post prandrial musings • Language correction, the print book, personal contact and marketing are deemed indispensable by authors • There is a huge disconnection between reality (the subvention level paid) and perceived cost/value (the OA fee) • More than anything else, this illustrates why OA is taking off so slowly amongst academics • The funding landscape for OA monographs is still not clear, and academics generally do not consider the university library to be a funding source • Pricing experience and expectation varies tremendously between countries, but academic publishing is generally global in scope • Perceived value of options is not in line with actual cost e.g. video 29
  30. 30. 30 Are you ready to serve your authors? Adam Gardner
  31. 31. Which aspects are particularly important to you when publishing a book? 31 Weighted Average 2.89 2.91 3.50 3.66 3.71 3.81 I would like my book to be a best seller. I want the publishing process to be as quick as possible. I would like to have a nicely printed book. I would like my book to be easily discoverable online. I would like it to be widely read and cited. I want everything to be linguistically correct.