So just to summarize, there are two facts that are often overlooked when we discuss how university presses generally recover the costs of publishing their frontlist of new titles and how they might finance open access for monographs:
- A very large portion of a university press’s sales are not to academic libraries. Libraries are key to a university press’s overall success, and our model doesn’t work without them, but our model also depends on other revenue sources;
- Most of a university press’s annual revenues derive not from sales of new books, but from sales of previously published titles collectively known as the "backlist," which are generally those titles that were published more than twelve months ago. The sales of these titles may adversely be impacted by the availability of open access formats as readers transition to digital.