Published 29 September 2020

Digital and print publication

This section focuses on the digital and print publication of your book, providing a few essential hints to help you identify suitable publishers, predict and avoid delays, reduce cost and minimise the time it will take you to publish your manuscript.

It is in everyone’s interest to have your book produced as quickly and accurately as possible to achieve timely dissemination of new research and ideas. One way of ensuring this is to have clear discussions with the publisher regarding the editorial and production requirements.

Digital formats: Various digital formats are available. It is important to be clear about what you would like and to know if the publisher offers this output, as not all publishers offer all formats and there may be additional costs depending on the business model.

PDF (Portable Document Format)Most publishers will offer the book in this format. It is widely used and accessible though will have a limited search function.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)You may want your book to have website integration, in which case you will require an HTML output to be produced. Some publishers will offer this but it may also be possible to have this on certain OA hosting sites.
EPUBBy far the most searchable format and compatible with eReaders, this format allows greater accessibility to visually impaired readers and the ability to read the book offline.
Kindle file formatThe format used by Amazon, which allows the same functionality of an EPUB.

Persistent identifiers (PID): Previous ways of measuring the success of a book, through sales and traditional citations, are not as appropriate for open access books, for which usage data and altmetrics are more important. To clearly identify an online work and facilitate measurement of usage in both scholarly and non-scholarly environments, it is essential that a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is assigned to your book and preferably to every chapter as well. Similarly, you should check that your publisher works with standardised identifiers for authors and other contributors, such as ORCiD or ISNI, to ensure that credit for your work is allocated to you.

Can readers get a print copy? Most publishers will offer a print version through their distribution services. If the publisher offers print-on-demand (POD), then your options for trim size may be more limited than publishers may previously have been able to offer. This standardisation of the trim size will mean that the title will be printed consistently and easily every time it is purchased through a POD service.

Metadata: Be clear in your discussions from the outset about the title, sub-title and other bibliographic information about your book. This will allow the publisher to promote and disseminate your book’s metadata sooner, thus increasing the discoverability of your book, and the increased use of your work. Consider publishers who engage with standardised metadata (See Metadata).

Last edited on 29 September 2020, at 16:59 (+0000)