How do I know if my project should be a web project or a book project?
This would be a good time to query Jacob Pomrenke and Cecilia Tan while you gather information for your proposal. Some questions we would be asking: Is the information best presented as narrative essays or would it be greatly enhanced by the addition of photos, audio, film or TV clips, interactive charts, etc? Are you thinking of a previous SABR book as a model for your project? Does your project fit into the ideal size guidelines for a book (100,000 words to a max of 200,000 words and a max of 50 photos) or would it be larger/smaller? Digital presentation is more flexible, and there are some definite advantages to presenting over the web instead of a book.
What are the advantages of a web project over a book?
Web projects can incorporate more than just “book” material. Although web projects can also include articles, bios, and game write-ups, they could also possibly use work from (for example) the Oral History committee, the Pictorial History committee, audio and video from various sources, and so on. This may be best presented in a form other than the printed page. Large amounts of stats are also better presented in an online format than in print.
Web projects may allow us to incorporate more types of media and research, and also provide a platform for marketing efforts. Marketing SABR’s books has always been constrained by book industry legacy systems, where very few books break through to make an impact. Marketing magnet features on the website, by comparison, may be more effective at marketing SABR as a whole and attracting new members.
Book-based projects have done so much to spur growth of the BioProject and Games Project committees, but haven’t always benefited some of the other committees in the same way. Online projects also are infinitely sharable and can provoke more engagement and discussion in the online sphere than books. With more people spending more of their time and energy online, it’s important for SABR to expand our digital footprint. The SABR website enjoys more than 4 million pageviews every year, and your work has the potential of reaching an immensely larger audience on the web than in print.
Who can I talk to with questions about the proposal process?
We encourage you to solicit feedback on your proposal to strengthen it, in particular Jacob Pomrenke and Cecilia Tan. Please note that this communication is intended to help strengthen proposals and not an opportunity for “lobbying” for a project. Please do not contact Editorial Board members trying to lobby for a slot. Put your best energy and information into your project proposal so that the entire Editorial Board may evaluate it fairly.
If the book program has been so successful, why change it?
It’s true. Since 2011, SABR’s Digital Library program has produced more than 75 books and while we’re sure we will publish many more with the same successful formula, we are also looking forward to creating more interactive and content-rich digital projects to reach a new audience and keep the organization thriving for years to come. Books are a valuable format, but there are many other ways to present and display compelling research, especially in the modern media landscape. By diversifying the types of research projects we support, SABR can stay more relevant and better serve our members as both researchers and readers. By making a transparent path to publication and a systematic submission process, our hope is that research efforts that might have not have come to light in the past will be inspired.
My research project would involve both SABR members and non-SABR members. Is that OK?
We have accepted projects where not every person involved was a SABR member. The project leaders should be active SABR members, though. We are also open to — and encourage — collaboration with other organizations and institutions. For example, one upcoming research project we accepted is through a partnership with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
I prefer to work alone on my research. Can I still publish my book with SABR?
We don’t categorically rule out single-author projects, so you are welcome to submit a proposal. But please understand that SABR’s publishing program does emphasize collaborative projects that provide opportunities for multiple members and multiple committees to work together. Also, please note that SABR is not a traditional royalty-paying publisher. SABR’s chapters, committees, and member research are undertaken on a volunteer basis.