More than a Button: Getting Open Textbooks into Print. (Office Hours Summary)

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More than a Button: Getting Open Textbooks into Print, a co-presentation with Open Textbook Network (OTN), was a great success! Guests spoke from a variety of perspectives, helping us learn more about print-on-demand (PoD) services for open textbooks. PoD sounds straightforward enough, but as we got deeper into the topic we discovered so many complications—from pricing to bookstore relations to spine widths and beyond. 

This month we were joined by Amanda Wentworth (OER Publishing Coordinator, SUNY), Jonathan Lashley (Senior Instructional Technologist, Boise State University), and Elizabeth Mays (Director of Sales and Marketing, Pressbooks). Brian Mosher (Director, Chemeketa Press) was supposed to join us but had to step back due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Amanda Wentworth is responsible for helping faculty get their books into print. She has seen first hand the great benefits of PoD. Many of the campuses in the SUNY network are rural and have limited internet access. Being able to facilitate offline access through printed books is immensely important to members of the SUNY student community. 

Elizabeth Mays of Pressbooks and a faculty member teaching online for Arizona State University told us about the different PoD providers. She also elaborated on some of the surprising difficulties that go into sharing print copies with students like communicating to students that PoD or online copies are available outside of campus bookstore.

Jonathan Lashley rounded out our panel, adding his perspective as a designer, stressing the importance of considering the visual communication cues of a book as object. Jonathan is currently working on the covers for Introduction of Philosophy, a massive open textbook project made up of nine books that all need beautiful covers. 

As always, your participation is vital to Office Hours, and we thank you for it. Let us know what you thought of this session. Tell us about your experience getting your book into print. What were the challenges? What were the surprises? We would also like to know about the topics you’re interested in. Make Office Hours topic suggestions and add your comments on the Rebus Community platform.

Read the transcript here.

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