The size of a publishing house is not a true indicator of its capability or potential. However, in case of academic writing, the reputation of the best academic presses is often well-deserved. Academic presses have a completely different way of functioning from popular trade publishing houses. A reputed academic publishing house definitely has more to offer than a smaller counterpart. Here are some of the advantages such publishing presses might offer.
The Best Academic Presses Will Always Verify Content Before They Print It
Academic publishers have a responsibility to their readers to provide correct and verified content. Their books are used as textbooks and supplemental reading material for researchers and scholars. The information they provide is used to further knowledge. If there are any factual discrepancies detected in their books, it may permanently harm their reputation. This is the reason why the best academic presses have a panel of experts to review all the content before it is published.
For authors, this means their books end up containing flawless information. Panel reviews at the top academic publishing houses can be a stringent affair, with every bit of data examined and verified. If there are any inaccuracies in the manuscript, they are not only identified but you also get suggestions on how to fix them. Since these publishing houses create a panel of the best minds in the field, you get the benefit of their expertise.
For universities, colleges and research institutes, the best academic presses offer high-quality textbooks with information that comply with course directives. Furthermore, the material contained in these textbooks is guaranteed to be accurate and up to date. For distributors and book sellers, the top academic publishers provide a consistent flow of reading material that has an assured market. You can rely on these publishers to provide you with books that will be not only acceptable but also coveted by students and educational institutions.
In contrast, a smaller press might not be able to afford such a distinguished pool of luminaries to review their content. They might have a panel but it might not be an expert panel. Some smaller presses might not even bother with an expert review. Since they know their sales are not going to be high and that the books will be limited to a very small group, they can get away with unverified data. This is why most of the smaller presses are not held in high esteem.
An exception to this rule would be academic presses that are associated with a university. University presses have the knowledge-pool of the university to draw from. However, in this case, their area of expertise would be limited to the subject scope of the university. Also, they may very often limit their author base to people from or associated with the university.
Some of the Best Academic Presses Offer Marketing Assistance Along With Books
A book might be brilliant with respect to content and writing, but it will not reach its intended audience if it is not marketed properly. Proper marketing does not just mean aggressive promotion. It also means promoting it in the right circles. The best academic presses will start planning the marketing of the book as soon as they sign a contract with the author.
This often starts with informing their distributors of the upcoming book and its content. They may get the author to speak in seminars and events pertinent to the subject. They might participate in book fairs and similar events and display the book prominently. They may also contact universities, colleges, and other institutes that offer that discipline. This helps in creating awareness and a market for the book before it is even printed.
The best academic publishers have a presence in the international market. This means a larger audience for the book which, in turn, increases the author’s chances of success. For distributors and book sellers, the best academic presses might offer marketing materials to promote the books at the point of sale. Again, these might be provided well before the book reaches the stores. These might be in form of posters, flyers, and suchlike. In short, they help the suppliers to highlight the book and increase sales.
Smaller academic presses normally do not have a high enough budget to market the book effectively. As an author, it might mean you need to invest your own time and money in promoting your book. Distributors and book sellers might find that the book is not selling as well as it could without your intervention. That little extra that pushes a slow-selling book into a best-seller might be lacking with smaller presses.
The best content and the most active promotion cannot help a book if it does not reach the store shelves on time. Smaller academic presses rely on external distribution systems but the leading academic book publishing houses make sure they have their own network. They invest in warehouses and distribution points that are strategically located. Once the book is launched, it is sent to these warehouses for speedier deliveries.
Timing the book’s arrival in the market can make all the difference in the sales. It also means better customer satisfaction for suppliers. They are assured of well-timed stock that can be replenished in short order. Higher sales figures mean better profits for the stores, the publishers and the author.
The Best Academic Presses Offer Better Incentives and Reimbursement to Authors
As the previous points state, the best academic presses ensure higher sales for their books through strategic marketing and streamlined distribution channels. This increased profit is offered to authors in form of royalties.
All publishers have two ways in which they can reimburse the author for the reproduction rights of his book. This can be in form of a onetime payment. This is a lump sum paid when the contract is signed where the author signs over all ownership of the book to the publishers. There are no more payments as the name suggests.
The other way is in the form of royalty cheques that the author gets every year after the book is published. These are based off the profit the book makes. The author gets a pre-decided amount from the sale of each copy of the book. Most small presses prefer paying a lump sum. This might be a better deal for authors who are not anticipating large volumes of sale. However, with the kind of marketing the top academic book publishers invest in, royalties end up paying the author more than a single payment. Also, these payments keep rolling in for as long as the book sells.
The best academic presses also offer added incentives to authors in form of an advance at the time of signing the contract. While this advance is based off the royalties that are anticipated in the future, it does help the author to focus on the book without getting distracted by finances. Some of the leading academic book publishers might even have a spread-out advance plan where the author gets paid every time a certain percentage of the book is submitted. Smaller presses generally do not offer authors such incentives.
Working with the best academic presses offers everyone concerned a high degree of accuracy in content. They provide extensive marketing support and maintain customer satisfaction through services rendered efficiently and effectively. This is something smaller academic presses cannot always provide.