Why I love my publisher

My book, A Philosophy of Cover Songs, was published by Open Book Publishers. They are, as their website says, “a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run by academics who are committed to making high-quality and prize-winning research available to all, and… the hub of choice for a rapidly increasing international network of scholars who believe that it is time for academic publishing to become fairer, faster and more accessible.” They were my first-choice publisher for the book, and my experience with them has been great.

The title of this post is a deliberate contrast with how I felt about my earlier book, but OBP has far exceeded my expectations. Here are a few reasons why.

Open access

My primary interest in OBP was their commitment to open access licenses. Every barrier between the pique of interest and getting a copy will reduce the overall readership, and what I want most for my book is that people will read it. Traditional publishers too often price academic books so that they die in obscurity. Unlike predatory OA presses— and some traditional publishers who offer an OA option— Open Book Publishers does not charge any publication fees.


The referee reports which OBP commissioned on my book were thorough and helpful. I made lots of small improvements on the basis of them.

The copy editing was also good.


I wrote the book in LaTeX, because that’s my word processor of choice. Although OBP’s default workflow starts with Word documents, they were happy to let me complete the thing in LaTeX.

There’s a print-on-demand print version of the book which is nicely produced. The interior images are in colour— something I might have taken more advantage of if I’d known beforehand.

The whole process went quickly and smoothly, so that the book was in print before one of the papers that inspired it.


The person in charge of marketing at OBP was great. She asked me for suggestions of where to solicit reviews and what outlets to notify, but she also followed lots of leads without any prompting from me. The episode of Pretty Much Pop which discusses my book resulted from her prompting; it was a great experience, but it’s not something that would have occurred to me.

"A Philosophy of Cover Songs"

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