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Cookbook for Open Access Books

Nordhoff, Sebastian (2018). Cookbook for Open Access Books. Berlin: Language Science Press.

  • Short title : Cookbook

Nordhoff, Sebastian (2018). Language Science Press Business Model. Berlin: Language Science Press. 

  • Short title: LSP Business Model

This resource comprises two connected texts, both written by the founder and director of Language Science Press Sebastian Nordhoff. The first text (Cookbook) is an Open Access book in its own right, aimed at academics who would like to set up a press and want to learn more about business models, accounting, marketing, and other business operations. 

With extensive detail, the guide focuses on the Open Access publisher’s workflow and day-to-day operations. The guide addresses issues such as editorial and production workflows, marketing and distribution as well as handling relationships with authors, reviewers, and the whole academic community, and, in the case of university presses or New University Presses, with the university that is the sponsor. At the heart of the guide is an account of how Language Science Press (LSP) was set up in a period spanning 2012 to 2018. Though parts of the guide are based on the German context, much of the advice is applicable to presses in many different contexts and academic cultures. It remains one of the most comprehensive guides on best practice in OA book publishing. 

Cookbook is accompanied by the LSP Business Model document that details LSP’s own business model, again in considerable detail, for the benefit of others. It includes LSP’s business data and a 5-year spreadsheet that can be used by prospective publishers to calculate revenue/cost projections. The LSP Business Model has an interesting format in which initial assumptions and projections are juxtaposed with the actual outcomes, which not only provides valuable insight into the practical realities of establishing a new publisher but is also helpful for evaluating the entire business strategy of the press.