Knowledge is for Sharing: Support Us!

Support Us Jun 25, 2018

We’re a not-for-profit Open Access academic press, and we’re dedicated to making outstanding books that are free for everybody to read. We don’t charge authors to publish with us. We don’t put our content behind paywalls. If you believe in open access publishing, now you can support us easily, with a couple of clicks!

We’ve set up a Patreon account, which allows individuals to pledge a monthly donation of their choosing to Open Book Publishers. It can be as much as you want (think big!) or as little as the cost of a cup of coffee. Your donation will go towards the publication of more open access books, growing the store of open access knowledge available to the world.

If you’re already convinced, you can go straight to Patreon and sign up here! But if you’d like to know more:

Why It Matters

Under a traditional, closed-access academic publishing model, printed volumes typically cost £60-£80 and lifetime sales are estimated to be around 200-400 copies. They are primarily sold to university libraries. This is an extremely limited circulation: as a way to make knowledge widely available, traditional academic publishing is not working, and public access to books is severely restricted as a result.

Our books are available to read for free online and to download as a PDF, and our titles are typically read by, on average, around 4,000 people per title per year, from all over the world.[1] Readers benefit from access to knowledge,[2] and authors benefit by knowing that their books are being read widely, and are more likely to be used and cited. Open access also helps to prove the value of academic work in the humanities and social sciences: if our research is widely and publicly available, we can argue more persuasively (and accurately) that it makes an important contribution to society.

Why We Need You

In order to cover our modest costs and expand our publishing programme, we have four main sources of income:[3] sales of our paperback, hardback, and digital editions; our Library Membership Scheme; title grants;[4] and donations.

We are seeking to grow this final category with our new Patreon membership scheme. We think there are people out there – hopefully you! – who value the work we do and believe in the open access model. With our new membership scheme, you can demonstrate that support in a practical way.

If we have just 100 patrons who pledge $7 a month (£5 a month) for a year, that will pay for the publication of a new book from start to finish!

What You Will Fund

We publish on average two new books a month; they are all rigorously peer-reviewed, beautifully made, and completely free to read and download in their entirety.

We have produced more than 120 top-quality titles by some of the world’s leading scholars, including Noam Chomsky, Amartya Sen, and Ruth Finnegan.

We’ve had nearly two million readers from all over the world (and growing every day) and we don’t charge them a penny. Our authors don’t pay to publish with us either.

All the money we make goes into creating more books for everyone to read.

What You Will Get

Primarily, you’ll know that you’re making a meaningful contribution to the work we do. Every Patreon donor is important to us because we know you support our aims and share our values enough to contribute!

If you pledge to support our work on Patreon, you will:

  • Gain access to our OBP Patron feed
  • Be listed on our website as a supporter (if you’d like to be)
  • Be directly responsible for the creation of new books

If you believe knowledge should be available to everyone, regardless of cost, join us on Patreon!

If you don’t wish to commit to a regular monthly payment, you can still give a one-off donation via PayPal.


[1] For more information about how we collect our readership statistics, click here.

[2] See our earlier blogpost for more information about how open access allows books to be read by those who are most interested in the material, not just by those who can afford to buy it.

[3] To find out more about our publishing model, see this blogpost from 2015 (the figures have changed slightly since then, but the basic model remains the same).

[4] We ask our authors to seek funding for publication wherever possible, but publication is not dependent on grant money being obtained: the quality of the work is the only criterion.

Lucy Barnes

Lucy Barnes is Senior Editor and Outreach Coordinator at Open Book Publishers.