OK, “neopublishing” is an unattractive coinage (I’m not talking about the defunct French DVD reissuer Neo Publishing), but I wanted some way to point to an approach that doesn’t renounce print, doesn’t encumber digital versions with crippling restrictions, remains agnostic about F/OS – OA, and in general embraces the affordances of digital media rather than eschews them. A quick Google survey reveals no uses of “neopublishing” apart from the DVD company, so it’s as good as original with me, here.
So if you’ll granted me the neologism, I saw a good post this morning that recounted the process of using Kickstart to fund an art-book publishing project. Using Kickstart to neopublish a textbook would entail different processes, but one stands to learn a great deal just from reading through Craig Mod’s detailed analysis of how he prepared the book and the Kickstart funding. Were one to Kickstart a textbook, for instance, one could offer sponsorship tiers for a single chapter (slightly higher tier for a chapter that the donor chooses), for a print copy, a digital copy, and so on. And granted the high cost of textbooks and interest that schools have in encouraging neopublished resources, plenty of departments could certainly shake loose a few pounds, dollars, rupees, forints, drachmas, whatever, to ensure that a reputable F/OS textbook would be available for their students.
Brooke said he’s working on a proposal; Kelvin has some useful queries and advice in the comments to my original post; Tim Bulkeley, who has been more media-active than almost anyone I can think of (Mark Goodacre is the other candidate — no surprise that he and I take a different view of “gateway’ sites, as we have for years), is on board, which is very encouraging. It’s too early to say, “I love it when a plan comes together,” but it’s exciting to sense that something for which I’ve been lobbying since 2005 if not before might have sufficiently broad support actually to take shape. So if not yet “comes together,” I’ll reprise my 2005 post and say, “Let’s push things forward.” There’s no excuses, my friend.