Open Access Textbooks

[Skip Navigation]

University Press of Florida Book Acquisition

Current Processes

The standard process for routing a manuscript through the University Press of Florida (UPF) processes involves a series of steps (see Figure 1). When a proposal is received, it is routed to the acquisitions editor who works with the appropriate list. The editor decides whether to invite or reject the proposal. If the proposal is in an academic area in which UPF does not publish, it is generally rejected on the grounds that it is not a good fit for the list. If the Acquisitions Editor believes the proposed project will make a valuable contribution to the UPF list, the manuscript is invited. The Acquisitions Editor reviews the manuscript, gives feedback to the author, and works with the author to shape the manuscript if it is not yet ready to go out for peer review. Once the editor determines that the manuscript is ready, it is sent out for review.

The peer review process serves two purposes, the first of which is to evaluate the manuscript to identify weaknesses that require further development and to give general feedback on the content. The other purpose is to determine the market for the book, including the potential for course adoption. Payment is usually $125 per review, and readers are generally allowed six to eight weeks to review a manuscript. Readers may choose to remain anonymous, to the extent that state law allows. If peer reviews are overwhelmingly negative, the manuscript is generally rejected. If reviewers are split or find the manuscript promising but lacking in some respects, it is returned to the author with instructions for revisions and the Acquisitions Editor works with the author to develop it further. If reviews are positive, the manuscript is presented to the Editorial Board for approval.

Figure 2. The standard University Press of Florida manuscript routing process.

The UPF Editorial Board is comprised of representatives from each of Florida’s universities, and they must approve all UPF publications. Prior to the editorial board meeting, board members are presented with a dossier of projects. The dossier includes editorial comments, title budgets, reader reports, and various other miscellaneous information related to each project. The Acquisitions Editor creates title budget using set models. If the board approves the manuscript for publication, UPF holds an internal post-board meeting and finalizes publication plans. All managers and the director need to sign off on the project before moving forward with the project. As managers fill in costs, they also sign off on the project.

In the post-board meeting, the Acquisitions Editor discusses project specifics with production, marketing, editorial, and acquisitions staff. The team reviews the title budget, determines the schedule, and discusses open issues. Once everything is finalized, the Acquisitions Editor produces a contract and sends it out for the author’s signature. The contract is then co-signed by the UPF director, and the business department receives a copy of the contract when it is signed. Royalties are processed on an annual basis. Order processing follows a standard procedure.

Next the author prepares the manuscript and artwork according to UPF Guidelines (see http://upf.com/MSGuidelines.pdf and http://upf.com/MSGuidelinesArt.pdf), obtains any necessary permissions, and fills out the promotional questionnaire. Acquisitions then launches the project into production and the Editorial, Design, and Production department finalizes the schedule with the input of the Marketing Manager. Design and Production evaluates the artwork and recommends changes, if necessary. The Project Editor locates the appropriate copy editor from the UPF pool and manages the project through production. The cover is designed and the book is copy edited, designed, indexed, proofed, and printed. Authors are responsible for indexing and proofing their own manuscripts. Marketing and sales activity takes place, including sales meetings with representatives and distributors, and metadata are added to the feeds. Finally, the book is published and the copyright paperwork is submitted.

OGT+ Processes

When a proposal is received for an Orange Grove Text Plus (OGT+) manuscript, it is routed to the OGT+ liaison at UPF (see Figure 2). The liaison assesses the text and, if she determines that the text is a good candidate for the OGT+ imprint, she creates a digital book file. This file contains the proposal and manuscript (if it already exists), the author’s Curriculum Vitae, a title budget, notes about the title’s potential for course adoption, and any additional information that might be pertinent to the evaluation of the text. A Digital Routing Sheet is created for UPF management to sign off and comment on the project as it proceeds through the various stages.

The Acquisitions department fills in acquisitions costs on the title budget, including costs of peer reviews. Acquisitions also fills in a set overhead cost based on the estimated amount of work involved to produce the text. This overhead cost generally falls into one of three tiers: (1) new book (highest cost), (2) book that requires significant work (middle cost), or (3) new to OGT+ book (lowest cost). Each department manager reviews the manuscript and adds estimated costs to the title budget. The manager of Editorial, Design, and Production department reviews the text, estimates editorial and design costs, and requests manufacturing costs from the print-on-demand (POD) printer, Integrated Book Technologies (IBT). These figures are all entered into the title budget worksheet. The Marketing manager enters marketing costs and sets the price. As with the standard manuscript process, all managers and the director sign off on the project before moving forward. As managers fill in costs, they also sign off on the project.

The worksheet automatically generates the number of books needed to sell to break even. Depending on that number and anticipated sales, a subsidy requirement may be added. The Business manager and UPF Director review title budget and sign off on the project.

Figure 3. The Orange Grove Text Plus (OGT+) processes for adding an existing text to the collection.

If necessary, the Editorial, Design, and Production Manager locates and contracts with copy editors or packagers who have experience in textbook publishing and who can work with files of types UPF does not usually work with or have the software to handle (LaTeX, for example). The design department designs the cover and does any other design work that might be required for work with non-standard texts. The Production department produces low-resolution and high-resolution Portable Document Format files (PDFs) of the book. The Production manager attaches the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to the book, sends notification of the ISBN and final data to other departments, and submits print-ready files to IBT. When the book is ready to go live, the IT manager contacts IBT and asks them to add the book to the shopping cart.

The Business department must:

  1. Determine the break-even point based on title budgets, after which the sales income is split with The Orange Grove, place those figures into their system, track when books reach the break-even point, and generate payment and statements for the Orange Grove once break-even is reached.
  2. Process two sets of POD reports: One for books sold through The Orange Grove site (for which IBT owes UPF money) and one for books sold through UPF (for which UPF owes IBT money).
  3. Process additional royalties
  4. Perform miscellaneous other tasks related to processing subsidies, fees, invoices, etc.

Funded by Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)