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I'm in the middle of writing a book on a subject matter that covers both aspects of the research and general practice knowledge. I'm wondering to submit it to a publishing company that mainly publishes journals; or send it to a book publisher which is very respectable in the industry. There are two aspects to this:

Price: Generally speaking, the books that are published by research-based publishers (e.g., Springer) are way more expensive than normal reference books.

Reputation Vs. Reaching the Masses: Obviously in terms of reputation in academia, research-based books are considered more seriously; however I'm losing reaching the masses of people who can benefit from it, as a normal reference book.

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    What is your exact question? Also think of what kind of answer we could give. If you want to know which type of publisher you should go for, the answer can only be "it depends on what you want". – Maarten Buis Feb 4 '15 at 11:09
  • @MaartenBuis I found the topic dilemmatic, and I pointed out the two factors on this. As an academic, do we we care about reputation or we want to reach the masses through our book publications. – o-0 Feb 4 '15 at 11:12
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    Different academics aim at different things, even the same academic aims at different things at different times. Both are valid aims. Pragmatically, it also depends on the state of your carreer. If you don't have tenure yet, I would choose to focus on projects that increase my academic reputation. When you have tenure you can afford to make more balanced decisions... – Maarten Buis Feb 4 '15 at 11:18
  • @MaartenBuis Can you please turn this into an answer so that I can vote it up? – jakebeal Jul 12 '15 at 12:24
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Both are valid aims:

  • Academics are paid for doing academic research, that is our job.
  • Academics are often (partially) paid for by tax money, so it is perfectly legitimate to communicate what you did with that money back to the general public.

There is usually some specialization: Some academics are good researchers but awful comunicators, so they won't write books for the general public and that is a good thing. Even those academics that are good comunicators will also publish more narrow academic works: the point of communicating with the general public is to communicate what scientific work you have done, so some scientific work needs to preceed the work aimed at the general public. Finally, it also depends on the state of your carreer: If you don't have tenure yet, I would choose to focus on projects that increase my academic reputation. When you have tenure you can afford to make more balanced decisions.

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