Academic Publishers: A Semi-Completish Taxonomy

So, I know I talk a lot about academic publishing, how it isn’t trade, how nobody loves us because we’re dry, dusty, and boring, etc., etc., etc.

But, of course, I’ve been speaking imprecisely.  It might be forgivable because everybody else does it, it might be understandable because, well, it doesn’t get more academic than the smallish university press with a well-defined audience, but there’s a lot of variety in academic publishing, with a bushel and a half of differences between publishers who get called “academic.”

And so, with the understanding that I’m inevitably going to leave a few people out in the cold—no, I’m not snubbing you, yes, I can be slightly forgetful, yes, I will edit this/later editions—here’s a list of what people might mean when they think of “academic publishing.” Continue reading

Soliciting is a crime

If anyone in the audience has any experience with publishing humanities/social sciences journals and wouldn’t mind talking about it/passing along information from The Inside, I’d appreciate it.  Being a semi-former academic, most everything I hear about them can more-or-less be summarized by saying that they’re evil, make obscene profit margins, and keep hard-working scholars down.  Granted, it may be that we book people are just nice, but I suspect there’s more to the story than you hear from outraged Gruniad opinion writers.

Or I hope there is.  If not, then I’m in the wrong line of work.