punctum books welcomes submissions from authors working in any field in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and fine arts/design, and outside of the university proper as well. We are especially interested in neo-traditional and unconventional scholarly work that productively twists and innovates upon academic norms, with an emphasis on books that fall length-wise between the article and the monograph—id est, novellas, in one sense or another, although we honestly welcome any work, longer or shorter, that would qualify as “smart, stylishly written, and weird.” You want to unleash a 900,000-word academic tome upon the world? Send it to us and we’ll seriously consider it. Want to write a 1-page monograph? Ditto. Works that take formal risks and/or engage with supposedly outmoded or antiquarian genres are also extremely welcome (for example, the florilegium, the breviary, the bestiary, the inter-office memo, the telegram, the reel-to-reel tape, the book of hours, etc.). We are also open to publishing the proceedings of small symposia of highly creative quality that take up any variety of humanities and para-humanities assemblages, and in gonzo avant-garde fashion (and yes, we know “avant-garde” is a suspect and even an exhausted term, but we are also hoping to rehabilitate it). Proposals for essay volumes that are creatively conceptualized and expertly curated around specific themes, subjects, debates, approaches, and the like are also welcome. We also direct you to see our imprints HERE, where you might also find a welcoming harbor for your work.
MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSIONS // If you would like to contact the Co-Directors in charge of Acquisitions with a book proposal, write to Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (firstname.lastname@example.org), and provide an abstract [~500 to ~1,000 words] detailing your idea. If we like the idea, we’ll ask for a more detailed formal proposal, which will then be reviewed by members of our Advisory Board with expertise in the proposal’s subject area(s). After (and if) formal proposals are green-lighted, completed manuscripts are reviewed by 1–2 experts in the author’s field(s), who decide whether or not to recommend publication, typically contingent upon revisions. In general, we follow the AAUP’s guidelines for “Best Practices for Peer Review,” but we are also an author-centered press and we are open to authors choosing the sort of review process that they feel will best serve the development of their work: double-anonymous, single-anonymous, open and transparent, online and crowd-based, etc. Philosophically, we feel that open-access publishers should be embracing more open forms of review, and our feelings accord fairly well with the opinions expressed HERE, HERE and HERE.
We receive an overwhelming number of book proposals and aim to publish approximately 40 titles per year. In order to manage as best we can the flow of proposals as well as our production schedule, our preferred procedure for the submission of completed manuscripts is for authors to send those to us any time between May 1 and August 31 of each year. We communicate our decision about which titles we will publish in October and November. At that time, authors of manuscripts accepted by the press are instructed to re-prepare their manuscripts according to our guidelines for submission of final manuscripts:
Prospective authors can, of course, send us brief proposals any time they like (as explained above) and if you absolutely have a burning manuscript on your hands that you are itching to send to us in a month other than May, June, July, or August, feel free to do so; we just can’t say for certain whether we will have the adequate time necessary to review it immediately. But who can say? We believe in serendipity as much as we believe in organized schedules.
All works published by punctum books are licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, go HERE. We are also open to authors choosing their own Creative Commons license or other form of Copyleft licensing.
Regarding the Costs of Publishing Your Book // punctum is one of the very few Open Access (OA) presses in the world that does not charge what are known as Book Processing Charges, because we feel they are inherently anti-democratic and exacerbate the historic inequities of academic publishing, yet they are fast becoming the standard protocol for Open Access publishing. If you are curious to know more about this, as well as about how much it costs to create an academic book, see Frances Pinter, “Why Book Processing Charges (BPCs) Vary So Much.” punctum operates largely without any external (public or private) economic support, although we are currently in a pilot partnership with UC-Santa Barbara (UCSB) Library around Open Access Books in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and they are lending us critical technical and staffing support. But if any of our authors are situated at universities in countries where funds have been made available (such as in the UK, through Research England, or in the US, where university funds for OA publication are increasingly being allocated in varying degrees), we do ask that authors at least inquire through their own channels if any funds are available to help defray the cost of producing an Open Access title with punctum. With the advent of “Plan S” in Europe, which many university systems in the US may benefit from, more and more funding is going to be allocated for the support of open publications. Authors who have access to support for OA publications help us to publish even more books than we normally would be able to, and on behalf of authors who have no access to any funding whatsoever. These charges are typically tailored to the editing and design requirements of a given project, but usually fall anywhere between $3,500 and $5,000 per book (in other words, these charges do not have a profit margin built in, as they often do with commercial academic publishers and even university presses who increasingly have to justify their bottom line — we follow the lead of ubiquity press in this matter). Again, Book Processing Charges are not a requirement and we never even raise the issue until after we have made a decision to publish any given manuscript — our decision to publish your book is solely based on the merits of your ideas and writing, and if a project excites us and is well executed and given a thumbs-up during our review process, we are going to publish it no matter what.
IMPRINT SUBMISSIONS // If you are interested, more specifically, in one of our Imprints, such as Brainstorm Books, Dead Letter Office, Electric Press, or Thought Crimes (among others), contact that Imprint’s director or editor (contact information for Imprints available HERE).