Interesting article in SSP”s Scholarly Kitchen by Joseph Espisito, “The POD Booby Trap and the Lure of Open Access Books.” Espisito discusses “the booby trap” of open access, stating, “The unfortunate, unstated premise of those who fall into the POD booby trap is that they really don’t and can’t believe in the emerging primacy of digital text. The trap is set for anyone who thinks that print is superior for enough readers to make print a long-term viable option. This is highly doubtful. E-books have already reached the tipping point. In just a couple months, Apple has sold millions of e-books from its online bookstore, millions that come on top of the tens of millions sold by Amazon for its Kindle and Stanza brands. And Google Editions haven’t even launched yet. No more make-believe. If we want the cultural advantages of broad dissemination of scholarly texts through open access, then let’s step up and pay for it. Authors, department heads, university provosts, granting agencies — all of these have a stake, or claim to, in the distribution of academic material. Let the stakeholders fund the stake.”
Let the stakeholders fund the stake. This sounds exactly like a plan that Frances Pinter from Bloomsbury Academic is trying to promote. She spoke about it at the O’Reilly TOC conference and I had a follow up interview with her in March. She’ll be keynoting on this exact topic at The Charleston Conference in November.