University of Michigan to Offer Print-on-Demand Editions of Thousands of Public Domain Books via BookSurge

The University of Michigan will offer print-on-demand editions of thousands of public domain books via BookSurge for between $10 to about $45.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The agreement gives the public a unique opportunity to buy reprints of a wide range of titles in the U-M Library for as little as a few dollars. As individual copies are sold on Amazon.com, BookSurge will print and bind the books in soft-cover form.

"This agreement means that titles that have been generally unavailable for a century or more will be able to go back into print, one copy at a time," said Paul N. Courant, U-M librarian and dean of libraries.

"The agreement enables us to increase access to public domain books and other publications that have been digitized," Courant said. "We are very excited to be offering this service as a new way to increase access to the rich collections of the university library."

Maria Bonn, director of the U-M Library's scholarly publishing office, said the reprint program includes both books digitized by the U-M and those digitized through the U-M's partnership with Google. The initial offering on Amazon will include more than 400,000 titles in more than 200 languages ranging from Acoli to Zulu.

All of the books being offered on Amazon through BookSurge are titles that remain available in their original form at the U-M Library. The U-M has been offering a limited number of titles for reprint on demand with BookSurge and other distribution partners for the past five years. A reprint "best seller" might sell 100 copies, Bonn said.

The U-M will set the list price of each book. The agreement calls for a sharing of revenue between BookSurge and the university.

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