My print publication plans for the dissertation have become derailed.
Back when we made the fossil fuel divestment brief at U of T, we printed paper copies for the members of the committee considering the question and for U of T libraries and archives at the Toronto Reference Library’s Asquith Press.
Years ago, I attended a session on academic publishing led by representatives from some major scholarly presses. They said, among other things, that authors would have to pay about $8,000 out of pocket to have an index made; that authors need to apply for government grants to help pay for publication, and won’t be published if they don’t get them; that the process of getting a dissertation published will take about two years; and that the resulting trade paperback will be so specialized and expensive that only a handful of university library systems would ever buy it.
I wrote my dissertation because I think the contents are important and ought to be widely discussed. As such, it was always my plan to release it for free through whichever distribution channels might reach the most people.
I did plan to make paper copies at the Asquith Press, partly as thank-you gifts for major supporters and partly to donate to libraries and other organizations. Unfortunately, I learned on Saturday that “due to staffing changes within our department” the Asquith Press won’t be printing anything until May, and perhaps not even then. They referred me to some alternative printers, but the first one that got back to me wants $1,361 plus $168 shipping for their minumum order of 50 copies, which is about twice as many as I need even at a stretch.
Perhaps I will make one copy urgently to give to someone who wants it promptly on paper, then review the alternative printers to see if any can make the number of copies I want at a suitable price, and if not wait four months or more for Asquith to be back in service.