Permafree on Amazon: How and Why to Give Your Book Away, Plus My Results – Side Hustle Nation

“Why go through all the trouble of writing a book, only to give it away?

Answer: To build an audience.

As we’ve seen in case study after case study, doing business online becomes much easier and much more profitable if you have a built-in audience who loves your work.

I made the case that having a “permafree” book on Amazon is the equivalent of guest blogging on steroids. It’s one of the most highly-trafficked sites in the world, which means the potential to get tens of thousands of eyeballs on your book. You’ll never find a bigger “guest posting” opportunity.

And like a good guest post, your free book can lead people back to your site to learn more about you and opt-in for additional useful content….”

Open Access-Monographien – Rudolf Mumenthaler

English Translation (Google): Open Access Monographs

“Es wirkt ja schon widersprüchlich, wenn eine Monographie zu Open Access zunächst geschlossen publiziert wird und erst in einem Jahr unter einer CC-BY-Lizenz freigegeben wird. Ich kenne allerdings dieses Dilemma auch aus Autorensicht und möchte mich vor diesem Hintergrund zur aktuellen Kritik am Praxishandbuch Open Access äussern.”

English Translation (Google): “It is already contradictory if a monograph on Open Access is first published in a closed version and is only released in a year under a CC-BY license. I know, however, this dilemma also from authoring and would like to express myself against this background to the current criticism of the Praxishandbuch Open Access.”

hybrid oa monographs was RE: OA funds

“University of Michigan Press recently did a study of our imprint — started a decade ago as an OA-to-read-online, purchase print or downloadable ebook “freemium” model like MIT Press’s approach. We found that while some books lost money and others made money the overall picture was one where the “direct” costs of production could be covered by the sales of print and downloadable ebooks. 

These “direct” costs are around half of the actual costs of publishing books (they don’t take account acquisitions editorial activity, for example) so the picture was not ultimately of a sustainable approach for high investment university press books, but workable for titles with a more lightweight workflow. Of course electronic reading behavior keeps changing so assuming that readers of an OA book on screen might still buy print is a risky proposition.

This is perhaps a rather convoluted reply, but I think it illustrates that the question about sustainability of “freemium” models conducted without subventions doesn’t have an easy answer. There are case studies where it may seem to work, but there are others which tell a more nuanced story….”

How Change Happens and Open Access | From Poverty to Power

“OUP took some risks with this book, notably agreeing to go Open Access from day one. That is a huge leap from the traditional publishing model of publishing only the hardback for a year, then deciding when to go into paperback. Some people, particularly cash-strapped students used to reading on screen, are likely to take the OA route, but OUP hoped the buzz around open access would generate some sales, or people would start reading the pdf, and then see enough to buy a copy.

So what happened? Turns out that Open Access doesn’t harm book sales and if anything, promotes them. So far, OUP has sold 3,500 hardbacks and Oxfam has distributed a further 1,500 of a paperback edition at events, to staff etc..

Obviously, there’s no clear counterfactual as all books are different, but OUP are pretty convinced that OA has generated more of a buzz than a simple hardback ever could. It’s certainly better than I’ve had with any of my previous books.

The Open Access numbers are also really interesting (at least to me): 5,700 downloads of the full pdf, mainly from the Oxfam site; over 2,000 book views on Oxford Scholarship Online; and 115,000 page views on Google Books, with the average visitor reading 10 pages. Somewhere in between comes the £2 kindle version – just a couple of hundred so far.

So big tick on Open Access, and props to OUP for being willing to take the risk. Glad it’s paid off so far….”

Publishing in Open Access increases usage and has no effect on book sales

“Open Access publishing has no negative effect on book sales, and increases online usage and discovery considerably.

This is one of the conclusions of OAPEN-NL, a project exploring Open Access monograph publishing in the Netherlands. OAPEN-NL’s final report, published yesterday, gives recommendations for research funders, libraries, publishers and authors….”

Does publishing a book as Open Access affect print sales?

Abstract:  While open access publishing for journals is well established, open access monograph publishing is taking longer to gain momentum. This is in large part due to the financial challenges involved in publishing monographs. Publishers are concerned that the availability of a free open access edition will cannibalise print sales and therefore the publisher’s ability to recoup the costs involved in producing a book i.e. peer review, editing, typesetting, technological infrastructure, sales, marketing and staff. But is that really the case? Or does the availability of the open access version mean wider access to the book, all round the world and to new audiences, and in some cases increased print sales as a result of the greater visibility? This article will look at some statistics from the OAPEN-UK / Jisc project that has been investigating open access monograph publishing during the last five years. As part of its research, the project ran a pilot comparing open access monograph download figures with print sales of comparable books to assess what the effect on print sales actually is. It will also review the Knowledge Unlatched pilot, which made 28 books by a range of publishers available as open access, with some interesting results. The outcome of these pilots will be compared with UCL Press’s own experience since launching as the UK’s first fully open access university press in June 2015, along with some examples from other open access publishers.