A couple of colleagues and I were thinking about publishing a book. I have heard repeatedly that people who go with a traditional publisher don't get any royalties, they transfer the copyrights, and on top of that, the book ends up being sold for a lot of money (which is something we're against as people from developing countries don't have access to them). Thus, after a short discussion we all agreed that going through the traditional means is no longer necessary. We're all skilled in LaTeX so we don't need the services that publishers usually provide for formatting the book. As a matter of fact, we're not planning on making any profit either, so we're very excited about the opportunity to provide the book as an open document. There are a few issues though:

  1. We want the book to have a digital object identifier. Is it easy to get one? Does it cost something?
  2. We want it to be indexed by major online databases like Google. Is it hard to do this?
  3. We want to make sure is cited by Scopus, Google scholar, and the web of science. Do we need an ISBN for this or the doi is enough?
  4. And we're thinking in having a "living" document, that will be frequently updated. Will it become really messy to do this?
  5. Do we need an ISBN and a bar code for anything if this will be in electronic format alone?

So I'm looking forward to getting as much information as possible in this new exciting journey of self-publishing.

  • What is your question? Jun 21, 2016 at 20:58
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    Here is a bit of info about DOI Registration: doi.org/faq.html and List of DOI Registration Agents: doi.org/registration_agencies.html . Since a DOI can be associated with a URL, have you considered hosting a blog or website? These would Satisfy 1,2, possibly 3, and 4. Jun 21, 2016 at 21:07
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    @Dirk We don't want to go through a traditional publisher because of the transfer of copyright and we're really into having this as an open-source document. So that's definitely not an option. I've seen tons of documents in the web (mostly on LaTeX documentation) that has a date and these documents get updated from time to time. I guess you can call them living documents?
    – aaragon
    Jun 21, 2016 at 21:17
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    Each of your questions 1-5 can and should be asked independently. Some people may need the answers to all 5, but others may need the answer to only one, and asking one question at a time makes it easier for people to find that question they need. It also makes it much easier for people to answer - what you're asking for now is a complete guide to digital identifiers for self-published books, which is a little bit too much to ask (too large a scope; see the help center). You're welcome to link the posts to one another if you want to make it easier for others to find them as a group.
    – ff524
    Jun 21, 2016 at 21:34
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    "How do I self-publish a book in engineering" is too large in scope for a single question. (And someone else trying to self publish a book might have different issues they want to take into consideration.) The StackExchange model is all about focused, specific questions, so please write one question per post. (You can of course write multiple posts, each with one question.)
    – ff524
    Jun 21, 2016 at 21:51


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