Policy Press Shorts: Why flexible publishing increases the options for authors

Victoria Pittman

Victoria Pittman

By Policy Press Commissioning Editor, Victoria Pittman.

Is it a journal article? Is it a monograph? No, it’s a Policy Press Short!

It’s certainly not a new thing for publishers to be thinking about the best format to suit authors and their content or to suit market needs. Neither is the idea of a short book in any way unique. So it’s perhaps not surprising to see different format options being presented to authors, particularly when they are making use of digital developments which continue to change the way we publish content.

Policy Press Shorts logo

Our new Policy Press Shorts format is designed to give authors another option for publishing their work with more flexibility on length and benefits such as less time in production and a low-priced eBook. Other developments in mid-form publishing include Guardian Shorts, Palgrave Pivots, Princeton Shorts, Cornell Selects and the options draw attention to opportunities for flexible publishing which are exciting for both authors and publishers alike.

With an upper limit of around 40-50,000 words in most cases, these shorter books arguably have the same credibility and citation value of a longer monograph but without the same time commitment. Mid-form publishing provides authors with a new option – an opportunity to publish writing and research which doesn’t fit within the conventional book or journal length. The shorter length allows the publisher to commit to a quicker production schedule and fast publication whilst still giving the project the attention it deserves and providing the author with the same route to market.

 

So why is this happening now?

The fact that publishers are specifically offering this format could be linked to factors such as the decline in sales of traditional length monographs or the changing pressures of academia reducing the time authors have available for book projects. Another important reason is the development of digital publishing. Not only have digital formats started to remove some of the economics of paper but digital printing and advances in print on demand have increased the viability of short print runs and digital-led publishing. This means a low-priced, shorter book can be an option where it might not have been before and it allows publishers to be more flexible with the solutions they offer their authors.

 

Why publish in this format with Policy Press?

As a small team with a mission to make a big impact, we are particularly excited about encouraging a format that enables faster publication so that research and ideas can reach their audience quickly and without compromising on quality. Our Policy Press Shorts will deliver original ideas and make a difference in a concise, easily accessible way. Written by experts in their fields, from leading academics, social commentators and professionals to the best emerging scholars, the new formats will allow high quality peer-reviewed content to reach our readers quickly, with a maximum of 12 weeks in production. The titles will be available as eBooks for use on your PC, tablets or other devices but also include a print on demand option in either hardback or paperback (depending on the core market) for those who prefer a hard copy. They will be between 60pp and 150pp (20,000 and 50,000 words) and will be available for both personal purchase and for libraries and institutions through the usual channels.

Our Shorts will not only offer the opportunity to publish research (which might be longer than an article but shorter than a traditional monograph) but also inspiring social commentary providing insights on topical issues and handbooks and guides which will have an impact on policy and practice in key areas of society. These different types of content will all benefit from reaching their audience quickly and in this accessible format. Policy Press Shorts will fall into three broad categories:

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As a not-for-profit University Press, Policy Press is part of the scholarly community and understands the needs and pressures of academia. At the same time, we are a specialist social science publisher with an established reputation for reaching out into practice and policy and making a difference with our high quality books, journals and other resources.

 

How to become a Policy Press Short author

If you would like to write a Policy Press Short please get in touch with Victoria Pittman (v.pittman@bristol.ac.uk) or the relevant editor for your subject area. Find details here.

For more information visit the Policy Press Shorts page on our website.

 

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