Royalties from Open Access

I was very pleasantly surprised to receive this week the download stats and a check from Athabasca University Press. I edited the second edition of the Theory and Practice of Online learning and it was copy edited and now promoted, sold and distributed by Athabasca University Press. I documented the reason for releasing the book under a Creative Commons license as one of Alan Levine’s Amazing Stories of Openness see Terry’s Amazing Story of Openness

During the first year of distribution 404 copies were sold and at 5% of net sales, my royalty check was for $636. During that year 26,497 chapters or copies of the whole book were downloaded at no charge. This means  1.5% of readers choose the paid route- This may be underestimated  as some readers probably downloaded more than one chapter, or more than once. In any case, this $600 is about the same range of funding I have come to expect from the other 5 academic type books I have authored or co-authored. But of course, the fame and glory from 26,000 PLUS readers is unmeasurable!

The download links for the full book and each chapter are accessible here

I also received a report on individual downloads during the past 4 months (one year after release)

The report below illustrates the different download stats for each chapter over the 4 months. The data is not included as a popularity contest, but illustrates the value of having a distribution mechanism that provides readership data at granularity below the full book -especially useful for edited books.

Apr|May|Jun|Jul 2009

number of unique downloads;   CHAPTER #; First Author
75   Front_Matter
74   Table_of_Contents
61    Foreword
79    Introduction
361   1_Ally-Online_Learning
405  2_Anderson-Online_Learning
112    3_Conrad-Online_Learning
533    4_Kanuka-Online_Learning
101    5_Davis_etal-Online_Content
177   6_Elliott_etal-Online_Content
137   7_Fahy-Online_Content
119    8_Cao_etal-Online_Content
159  9_Anderson-Online_Content
191    10_Caplan_etal-Online_Courses
62    11_Ambrock_etal-Online_Courses
78   12_Annand-Online_Courses
160   13_Parker-Online_Courses
314   14_ Anderson-DeliveryQualitySupport
89   15_Huber_etal-DeliveryQualitySupport
103    16_Anderson_2008_Fabbro_etal-DeliveryQualitySupport
100    17_Anderson_2008_Hughes_etal-DeliveryQualitySupport
115    18_Anderson_2008_Hurst_etal-DeliveryQualitySupport
1780    WHOLE BOOK _Anderson_2008-Theory_and_Practice_of_Online_Learning
————————————————————
Total (including chapters and front/back matters)= 5385

So, thanks to all who have read and downloaded the text, a bigger thanks to those who purchased a hard copy (still time left!!) and the biggest thanks to the authors of the chapters- I owe the later group a beer!

Terry



One Response to “Royalties from Open Access”

  1.   John Hilton III Says:

    Thanks Terry — it is great to see some hard numbers on scenarios like this. The “fame and glory” factor is an important one for many authors — often more important than the royalty check!

Leave a Reply