Searching for the Sustainable History Monograph—A New Publishing Pilot

John Sherer, University of North Carolina Press

James Kessenides, Yale University Library

Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Susan Burch, Middlebury College

Picture of books on a shelf.

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

This session will take place at the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting | Conference on American History in Washington, D.C. Read the full abstract and speaker information here.

What if your book publisher told you that they had just invented a new tool that could create up to a 16-times increase in getting readers for your work? This tool could help your history book be used in college courses while reducing the burden of student textbook costs. It could make sure that your book was in every university library in the country. And in Europe. And throughout the English-speaking world. It would help distribute your book into regions of the world where university presses have never been able to reliably reach. It could be accessible to independent scholars, and high school students. You would receive a report summarizing where your book was being read around the country and the world. And you would get feedback from readers about how they discovered your book and how they were using it. Oh, and this tool actually speeds the production time for your book so instead of waiting up to a year after you deliver to your press, it could be ready in as fast as 4 months. Would you want the press to use this tool for your book? Would you at least want to learn more about it?

Open Access (OA) is usually perceived by historians as living on the fringes of traditional publishing. It’s been considered a method only used by esoteric, specialized books that the marketplace won’t support. But the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot seeks to make the affirmative case about why every historian should consider publishing in a way that retains what’s best about university press publishing (the intensive editorial and marketing work) while dramatically improving on the areas where presses struggle (sales and distribution). This session will talk about the pilot, and why 24 high-quality university presses have agreed to participate.

Posted: February 25, 2020
Tagged: Conference, Previews, Professional Development, Around the Profession