Woman preparing a book for self-publishing with Sciendo

Academic self-publishing is a major new trend in scientific and academic publishing. Across all genres of book, the number of self-published books has grown rapidly in recent years and now represents over 30% of all e-book sales.

A significant proportion of these are academic books. In 2017, one of the first book self-publishers stated that academic books had accounted for 38% of the books they had published.

The advantages of academic self-publishing

For authors, there are three main advantages of academic self-publishing.

Firstly, academic self-publishing gives the author far greater control. A recent survey of 25,000 academic researchers found that 77% of respondents wanted more control over the publishing process. Academic self-publishing gives authors more control over their book’s content and appearance, and also enables them to create books that are more experimental.

Secondly, academic self-publishing is fast. In traditional book publishing, it typically takes a year or more for an academic book to move from proposal to publication. Establishing contact with multiple academic editors in different publishers can be time-consuming. Securing a contract to write a book can be complex, take several months in itself, and be one of the main challenges of publishing an academic book. Self-publishing can be a faster and more efficient route. Authors that want to share their work quickly, or write to their own schedule without taking a sabbatical are likely to find this option more appealing.

Many academic book authors would also like to earn more from publication. When publishing with Sciendo, an author receives 70% of the net proceeds from all sales, also known as “Net Revenues”. There is a definition at the end of this post.

Academic self-publishing benefits authors that want to retain more control and to publish more quickly, with the added benefit of higher royalties.

Getting the most from academic self-publishing

With authors in control of their content, a reputable academic self-publishing partner such as Sciendo will provide all of the services required to market and distribute an academic book professionally. However, academic authors that self-publish have complete freedom to promote their own work using existing contact networks, blogs, social networks, Twitter and YouTube, all of which can help to expand the audience for a book. Sciendo also offers add-on services to help to maximize the reach and impact of a book.

In some cases, it makes sense to use peer review or copyediting service when self-publishing. Whilst an author may lose complete control of content, rigorous peer review provides promotion committees the confidence that a book is academically sound and copyediting can improve the quality of the final manuscript.

Sciendo is a world-class pioneer in academic book publishing. We are a part of the De Gruyter Group, which publishes more than 1,300 academic books each year. To learn more about our full range of academic self-publishing services, click here.

What are Net Revenues?

Net Revenues means sales price paid and received less payment processing fees, retailers’ and other distributors’ discounts, print-on-demand costs and delivery fees, costs due to erroneous or fraudulent transactions, credit card charge-backs and associated fees, refunds, bad debt, and any VAT, sales or other taxes charged to a customer or applied with respect to sales to a customer, as well as manufacturing and shipping costs for print-on-demand Book sales.