Some people have commented on how “prolific” I am with a new book coming out just a year after the Atlas of New Librarianship. What they don’t realize is that I actually finished writing the Atlas at the beginning of 2010. That also included doing all the illustrations and maps. It then went into a 13-month production cycle. Along the way there was printing out 1,300 pages of paper, stripping of all of Word’s automated indexing, and burning CD’s. It got me to thinking there must be another way.
So here is a behind the scenes in FAQ form of what lead up to the publishing of Expect More:
Who is the publisher of this book?
Short answer: I am. The paper book was created and is distributed by CreateSpace, a self-publishing platform. For that reason they assign the ISBN and show up as the publisher in places like Amazon. Same with the eBook and Smashwords.
What is Riland Publishers then?
It was useful to create a legal entity to process payments and do tax stuff, so Riland is a sole proprietorship that my wife and I run. That’s why the URL is riland.org.
A combination of my sons’ names Riley and Andrew.
Why not use MIT Press and ACRL like you did with the Atlas?
Let me be VERY clear. I love ACRL and MIT Press as publishers. They do their work very well. The Atlas is a beautiful published piece, and I am still blown away they could make what is basically a coffee table book for $55 when every other library-oriented publisher I’ve worked with can’t seem to get the cost for a paperback under $75. Margy Avery and Katherine Deiss are brilliant, and absolutely committed to scholarly communication and forward thinking. They have also been very supporting of this effort and I could not be doing this without their ideas. I am also convinced that publishing with MIT Press and ACRL was instrumental in my promotion to full professor last year.
So why self-publish?
I was looking for more control over the process, a better return on investment, faster production, and to get an inside look at new possibilities in publishing (including the reality of selling ebooks). I also do a lot of talking about everyone being a producer and consumer, and I wanted to experiment more with the production side of publishing.
Why Smashwords for the eBook?
It is DRM free, and supports most eBook formats. I’m also hoping they will distribute it to other eBook stores like Barnes & Noble’s online store. Thanks Buffy Hamilton for the pointer.
Why CreateSpace for the Print Book?
I was intending to use Lulu.com for my on-demand printer, but CreateSpace has better tools and frankly better Royalty arrangements. They also have direct posting of my book into Amazon’s stores that I felt was important to reach the general audience.
Should we expect more books from Riland Publishing?
Anything is possible, but right now my intention is not to build yet another publisher. I look at this as a place for my self-publishing efforts. However, it would be great to use it to publish the work of promising students and librarians as well. We’ll see.