Academic book – increase reach

Academics write books to circulate their research and to popularise their subject of study. There are established academic publishing routes for the academic book but these do not rule out the parallel use of self-publishing channels. It’s possible to publish an academic book through an online publishing platform, even to publish as open source on a research website, AND to use print on demand to publish with a cover price and to earn sales income for the author or authors.

Publishing an academic book as open access in PDF or EPUB format – to further the cause of learning or to fulfil a contract (e.g. for the receipt of a grant) – shouldn’t preclude a print edition with a cover price. Authors should check that they are retaining rights to publish such editions and not handing over those rights to platforms that don’t have any reach in the book trade.

Publish everywhere – translation, multiple edition

Also, authors should hold on to translation rights so that they can respond positively to interest from publishers who are willing to go to the expense of translating their work for new regions. Or authors may collaborate with a translator (perhaps a fellow academic in another region) to publish their own work in another language.

Publishing a print edition through the book trade widens the availability of an academic book to individuals, including students and teachers with no access to academic publishing networks. It also provides easy access to a hard copy for librarians, through their usual electronic searching and ordering services.

Reaching out

Often ‘paid for’ may reach the parts that other book services can’t, including librarians and bookshop managers on campus. Sometimes a ‘free’ edition may not be accessible to a potential reader, either because there’s a platform of some kind hosting the edition which is itself inaccessible or because of geographical reach.

Academic authors can call on a service such as Into Print to take care of the production – the correct resolution for illustrations and photography, the clear layout of tables, the correct presentation of footnotes, references, bibliographies, indexes and contents lists. The text can be in non Western languages and character sets, such as Arabic or Tamil. A good example is Marianne Bentzen’s Neuroaffektive Bilderbuch which has been published in a number of languages.

This production workflow takes your book smoothly through to PDFs (of cover and internal pages) for you to approve for print and distribution. Distribution is to 17,000 libraries and book resellers. They will all receive an alert to the new book, its content and the intended audience.

Knowledge production

Some authors may not be academics themselves but possess knowledge in their professions that teachers and students would find educational. Into Print can point to some successful text books and provide guidance about writing books for a school or higher education audience.

Into Print also creates interactive PDFs and EPUBs so the same document can be repurposed for open access electronic versions, which will contain live hyperlinks to external URLs and to internal bookmarks. So working with Into Print can result in free and paid for electronic editions, and print editions.

The print edition becomes available for short print runs, for example to put in delegate bags at an academic conference, and to fulfil orders through the book trade.

In a best possible scenario, the book finds its way on to a curriculum as a recommended student text and achieves a measure of financial success, as well as increasing the sum of knowledge in the world. Win-win.

Make libraries your allies when self publishing

Libraries are places where people meet books and their authors. They are often where young people first develop a liking for particular books, and perhaps particular authors. There are many different types of library and the most important for authors who are publishing their own work are: public libraries (for books with general appeal e.g. fiction, children’s illustrated), academic libraries (for books aimed at students or teachers) and legal deposit libraries (who have a right to a free copy of all books published in the UK).

Meet your public in public libraries

More interesting is how you can make libraries your allies when promoting your book. They are directly in touch with the reading public and the professionals and volunteers who work in them are book-loving and book-promoting and on your side. Authors are exotic attractions. Not everyone has written a story, let alone a book. Libraries want to attract families out for a weekend visit by putting on events and other attractions (hot drinks and home-made cakes often feature). 

So look out for libraries that are holding story-telling events and inviting local authors to take part. You can use the occasion to promote your book and the library will often provide a table for you to sell your books during the event. At Into Print we ship authors’ books into the libraries or direct to the author to provide stock for sale to the public.

Libraries are also great spaces for book launches. If you collaborate with your library, it may help with event organisation and invite a local audience – a book club or school depending on your book genre – to add to your own efforts at launch promotion.

Photo of author Angela Taylor seated in front of book displays in her local library. Angela is signing copies of her book Izzy's Quest for Gold.
Angela Taylor at a library launch of Izzy’s Quest for Gold.

Reach teachers and students

Academic libraries are the allies of authors who have written a student text book or a scholarly work. The academic librarian’s job is to obtain the books that their clients (students and teachers) need to do their work effectively. At Into Print we do our best to assist the librarian by providing as much information about your book as possible. We’ll encourage and help you, as author, to write short and long summaries, and a list of helpful keywords. Timing can also be important so it’s good to use the calendar so that information about your book is in front of the right people at the right time. You may wish to send copies to your contact list in advance of publication so that, on publication, you’ve got academic recommendations and reviews lined up to bolster the credentials of your work.

Knowledge bank

At Into Print we publish in the UK under the Paragon Publishing imprint and so we send a copy of your book to the British Library, and to the other legal deposit libraries on request. We do this on your behalf and at only the cost of doing so i.e. the print cost and the carriage cost. It’s a small amount in the debit column of being in the business of publishing and you get the satisfaction of having your book on public record.

Connect with librarians

So be nice to librarians. They can easily order your book – their databases are supplied with full searchable details. Also, the librarians’ trusted library suppliers are connected to Into Print’s print on demand service. In institutions of learning and in large businesses, librarians source digital versions of your book (also on their databases) and account for any in-house copying of printed works. This copying is enabled by large-scale licensing agreements with collecting agencies. Into Print will connect you to these agencies so that you will benefit from any such use of your work.

Take your own Photographic Journey

Author Chris Halliday has launched his book Strathspey Myths and Legends – A Photographic Journey. The local bookshop has quickly added it to its window display to entice Christmas shoppers to the attractive mix of photos, maps, illustrations and tales from the mountains.

Photo through the shop window of Strathspey Myths and Legends, Chris Halliday's photo-based book.
Strathspey Myths and Legends, 216mm x 280mm landscape format, colour softback, 144 pages, £25.

We’re told that the local newspaper has reviewed the book favourably; Waterstones in Aviemore will stock it and so too Visit Scotland in the region’s tourist information centre. 

If you take photos, you may have visualised a book based on your work. Into Print can help you self publish a photo-based book with worldwide distribution. It’s not easy to compete with books that are TV-spinoffs or have celebrity backing. But you’ll know if there’s a local or specialist interest in your photos – birds, trains, castles, churches, landscapes and more.

We print hardback or softback premium colour in portrait or landscape formats, which present your photographs to the standard required by book retailers, libraries and, most importantly, readers. If you’d like to know more, request further information via our form or email our editors – intoprint@live.com

Strathspey Myths and Legends appreciation

In this beautiful book, Chris Halliday has re-united the rich lore of Strathspey with the places that gave it birth. His evocative photographs, personalised maps and focused storytelling style make this an irresistible invitation to explore and enjoy. In addition the use of the civil parishes as markers makes sense of both the geography and the culture. It’s  a labour of love which people of this area and far beyond will love.’ Donald Smith, Director, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland. 

Illustrations : Gwen Walker

Photography: C.J.Halliday 

Available from Waterstones.