We did this a few years back, then got busy, then got very very busy, then got not so busy (but decided to enjoy that), and are now the busiest we’ve ever been, but thought (for a variety of reasons) to put this out there again…
We don’t want to actually make money out of this, because when you do, things get significantly more complicated. They become high maintenance so to speak – with taxation, copyright and distribution logistics to worry about. Although some view us as a literary endeavour, we are in truth a covert educational project designed primarily to get non-scientists to immerse themselves a little more into this science thing. This, we think is working, at least if you use our contributor lists as a gauge.
With the “not worrying about money” baseline in mind, we seem to be left with two options. They are: (1) get a bonafide publisher to worry about such matters for us, and distribute the journal via the standard publishing routes, or (2) rely on third party online self printing/publishing services (like Lulu or Cafepress), which allow you to send in the “finished” product in electronic form and then sit back whilst computer fairies and gnomes produce physical books based on online requests to purchase. To avoid the money stuff, we simply add zero dollars on top of the base fee charged by said service.
To be honest, we’re not sure which is best.
(1) seems to gain us more clout and a wider distribution, and may be doable, because in a surreal but fortuitous twist of fate, we have been proposition by a variety of agents and publishers over the last 3 years. The problem here is that we do lose a fair bit of control (for instance, said publishers tend to be only interested in the humour pieces – maybe that’s o.k, although it does sort of defeat the intent of the SCQ?). Anyway, as always a chance to discuss this with others is key – maybe even a small press or two can be led our way.
(2) seems to be more fun and likely much quicker, primarily because we, ourselves, get to design things like this:
As well, we can ask our readers to participate by choosing their favourites from the past year. For example, we can also ask our readers for suggestions on two quotes to grace the cover of the book – one profound, one not so much – to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject heading: quote.
Anyway, like a lot of things in the sciences, it’s all about the data you get back and the sample size recieved, so send us a few quotes, tell us your favourite pieces from the past year, and let us know what you think in general about this book business.