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Douglas W. Portmore

I agree with all of Marcus's points, although I should probably disclose that I'm writing such a book for Cambridge's Elements series. Different projects are ideally done within different word lengths. And, thus, some projects are better suited to be published in the form of a short book than in the form of either (a) 2-3 journal articles published in different journals or (b) one long monograph that's roughly the same length of six or seven journal articles combined. To my mind, then, it's bad that the norm has been to publish every project in either the form of a ~30 page journal article or the form of a ~180 page monograph.

Peter Furlong

I agree with Marcus and Douglas on this. I recently reviewed a book in the Cambridge Elements series, and it worked perfectly as a short book. In fact, it made me want to track down Elements books in areas I haven't done any work in. I really like that publishers have started doing more small books, and I hope the trend continues.

Jakub Macha

I agree that there should be places for publishing works of all different kinds of lengths. I see, though, several problems. Some publishers charge too much for very short books (e.g., Brill charges 100$ for a 50p book, Springer Briefs books are for 50$). Moreover, Springer sells separate chapters of such books (for 30$ each). Authors are forced to write very short chapters (2k words) that must be more or less standalone papers (with an abstract and keywords). I find this structure awkward - intended rather to maximize the publisher's profit than to communicate philosophical ideas.


Recently I signed a digital contract with a good and well known publisher to write a monograph for a book series. After stages of review and revision, they say that they will publish my book as a stand alone volume or they will find other book series for publishing my book. I do not know which option to choose. Please share the impilcations of choosing the options (stand alone or book series) listed by them. I would also like to know whether the contract promising to give one time payment holds good at this stage. From the contract I understand that it was signed between me and the publisher for writing a work which may be published in the book series. Please help.

trying to help

I cannot image which publisher is behaving as you describe. What is this one time payment you mention? Is that instead of royalties?
It does not sound like a University Press. That is not how they generally operate.


For maintaining confidentiality, I don't want to disclose the name of the publisher but they are well known publishers. They promised to make a one time payment instead of royalties. I would like you to help me to decide whether to go for stand alone volume (of my technical content related to Engineering) or to find other book series with the same publisher.

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