Monday, June 22, 2009

Humanities Publishing: all kinds of everything

I have no doubt that we are rapidly moving into an environment of tiny initial print runs (if there is any print run at all) followed by print-on-demand, combined with some form of electronic delivery. For most books in the humanities and social sciences, I think that will work well — at least until disciplinary departments come to their senses and ask whether the “book” ought to continue as the standard criterion for scholarly evaluation. We now have the technology to produce scholarship in these new formats, although there are still serious questions about how to deliver it to the user. I am going to teach one of my fall courses using the new Kindle DX, and I’ll report later on how that goes. But the real question at the moment is what business model there is to sustain university presses in this new environment? I don’t think the answer is clear.

Stan Katz, more here.

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