Sustainable Book Publishing as a Service at the University of Michigan

Jason E. Colman, Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library

A wide variety of the scholarly output of a university is not a good fit for the programs of commercial publishers and university presses. From conference proceedings to technical manuals to monographs aimed at niche audiences, this work struggles to find a sustainable dissemination strategy. To solve this problem, Michigan Publishing Services has developed both a house service publishing imprint, Maize Books, and several imprints branded by University units, all running on the same technical and financial infrastructure. With an emphasis on Open Access plus for-fee Print on Demand and EBook options, these imprints recover the costs of their production via a combination of workflow efficiencies and a menu of rechargeable services that allows staffing to be scaled to meet emerging needs.

This brief case study will detail Michigan Publishing Services’s program for books as it stands today, explain its approach to sustainability, and offer a few thoughts about its impact and future growth at the University of Michigan.