Interesting Publication

J B Krygier jbkrygier at
Thu Oct 6 08:14:23 EDT 2005

On Oct 5, 2005, at 11:41 PM, Scot Kamins wrote:

> I think it's hilarious that you guys are using "profit" and "academic 
> publishing" in the same paragraph - especially when you're talking 
> about the share that goes to the author!

Academic publishing exists in part to validate academic
research: a faculty member often needs to publish a book
or two to get tenure.  The book needs to be favorably
reviewed by peers and published by an academic publisher
with a good reputation.  In essence, this indicates that
the faculty member's work is intellectually valid.

A good example of this is Satterfield's book on the
Modern Library.

The sales of such books are going to be low - primarily
to libraries and a few scholars.  But the point is not
to sell books, but to validate research.  The profits are
low also.  Thus a bit of a crisis in academic publishing, as
it exists in a world where, increasingly, all that matters
is profit, and academic publishers (especially those
affiliated with universities) don't make much money.

My publisher is a private academic publisher, and the
book can be used as a college text.  Thus it can actually
turn a profit if courses adopt it (about 8-10 faculty have
done so so far), and students are forced to buy it.  I
get about $4-5 for each book sold, to give you an idea of
the big bucks that will be rolling my way!

john k.

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