Would you buy a book from this man?


My book, The Digital Scholar, has finally come out. When I was looking round for a publisher year ago, it was an absolute requirement that they do open access (at least one chapter of the book is a rant against academic publishing models). Bloomsbury Academic offered this and are also a reputable publisher and handled the process very well. In a rare demonstration of putting my money where my mouth is, going for an open access publisher means the royalty is much reduced from previous publishers, so it's not a path to riches, but I accepted long ago that writing academic books was somewhere on a par with flying kites in terms of being a route to money.

The paperback and hardback came out a few days before the Kindle version. The paperback is officially £17.99 but discounted on Amazon – [the Kindle version is a whopping £42! I've asked if this can be lowered because it is self-defeating. I'm not sure if this is an Amazon or a Bloomsbury thing. I've written before that what you want to encourage on Kindle is an iTunes type behaviour – impulse buying and a 'might as well have a look' attitude. A £42 price mark rules this out.]

UPDATE -the Kindle price has since fallen to a more reasonable £11.42. See next post

The open access version is released under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license. Apparently it has to go through a different QA process so hasn't been released yet. I am assured it will be available by the end of the month. In many ways it is the OA version that I see as the real release. It also marks another reason why the Kindle pricing won't work – at £5-£10 you may opt for the Kindle version for convenience, rather than converting the HTML to ebook format. At £42 it's worth doing the conversion.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see whether open access increases sales and/or citations compared with previous books I've written. My hunch is it won't make much difference to the former (that's life in the long tail for you), but it will see a reasonable increase in the latter. And, if one accepts citations as a metric of scholarly impact (which is not entirely without contention), then as an academic that is surely what counts.


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