Richard Fisher’s follow-up Scholarly Kitchen post is as generously minded as the first. But the hippo in the room—monograph funding—is mostly (if not completely) ignored. Fisher imagines a future with more reader-level sales, at lower prices, but suggests (in his only reference to the question, banished to a footnote) that the alternative is the book processing charge (BPC)—a prospect that could, to the export-oriented British sector, be financially ruinous. That may be, but the BPC—like its APC cousin—is ruinous in a more fundamental way: because it blocks access to authorship. Here the Open Book Publishers’ Lucy Barnes and Rupert Gatti, in their recent cost overview, look the hippo right in the eye:
Many of the conversations about the financial viability of Open Access book publishing are predicated on a single business model—that of the BPC—and they assume there will be no revenue when a book is published OA […] If a BPC model cannot support Open Access for books in a fair and sustainable way, it isn’t Open Access that should be thrown out—it’s the BPC model.