Publishing with the ASA-SIAM Series vs. Self-Publishing
Self publish or use an established publisher—that is the question. If you’re thinking about writing a book, or have already written one, you may be trying to make this choice. As you decide, consider the features offered by the ASA-SIAM Series on Statistics and Applied Probability:
Review process—When you publish with the ASA-SIAM Series, your work goes through a peer-review process at the proposal stage, and again at the manuscript stage in some cases. The proposal review focuses on whether and how the proposed book would fit the existing market in your topic area, providing you with a sense of the expected success the book would have should it be published. Peer reviewers also make suggestions for areas of the book that can be strengthened or revised to make the book more attractive to its intended readership. Since our reviewers know they will remain anonymous to the authors whose work they review, they feel free to point out both the strengths and the weaknesses of a given project. And to many readers, a book having had a peer review adds credibility to the project.
At the manuscript stage, some of our books go through another round of review, if the book proposal didn’t include a draft manuscript or the author(s) wanted additional feedback. Our authors have told us repeatedly how helpful reviewers’ comments are to them at this near-final stage as they work on polishing the text.
Copy editing—Generally, a press that accepts works for self-publishing prints a book from camera-ready copy, which means they print a book exactly as you provide it to them. At no charge to the author, the ASA-SIAM Series copy edits every book we publish. Our copy editors are experienced with technical publications and adept at addressing grammar, punctuation, style, and format issues for both native and non-native English speakers. This extra layer of attention to a manuscript helps authors achieve a more polished final product, and author involvement at the proofs stage ensures nothing changes without author approval.
Marketing/visibility—Our marketing staff creates a marketing plan for each book we publish, combining our own marketing methods and venues with those suggested by authors on a questionnaire we supply. Articles like the one you’re reading now are only a small example of the many methods we employ to advertise our books widely. Publishers are uniquely able to buy and trade mailing lists that contain tens of thousands of addresses, print brochures and mailing pieces, and place space ads in journals—strategies that individuals and self-publishers are not in a position to do easily. The money and time expended to employ these marketing strategies are the concern of the publisher, which leaves our authors free to conduct their usual business of research, teaching, and writing.
Distribution—This may be the Achilles’ heel of self publishers, since a self-published author usually needs to store and ship his or her own stock, a costly and time-consuming enterprise. Publishing with the ASA-SIAM Series means you’ll never have to worry about handling orders of your book, since your publisher does that for you. We ship books directly to customers in North America from our inventory in Philadelphia, and we also have a distribution partner (Cambridge University Press) that supplies our books to customers outside North America so they can use their local currency and receive their order from the nearest warehouse.
The sum of what the ASA-SIAM Series can offer yields a lighter workload for you as an author and the potential for increased credibility, visibility, and distribution of your published book over a self-publishing option.
Contact Sara Murphy, series acquisitions editor, at Murphy@siam.org for more information about how to publish with the ASA-SIAM Series.