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Book Processing Charges Explained

Book processing charges cause a lot of confusion for authors. They can often catch authors wanting to publish their Open Access book by surprise, deterring them from the publication process. Although an author’s Open Access book is made freely available online, the costs of the production processes for the book still need to be covered. In this article, we explain book processing charges, why they are necessary, and how you can access funding on your road to publication.

What are book processing charges? 

Book processing charges (BPCs) are payments made to a publisher to cover the costs involved in publishing a book Open Access. They are usually fronted by an author’s funding body or institution. Fees are generally paid after the initial pre-check of the author’s book submission is complete. (See our full guide on publishing your Open Access academic book).

Book processing charges often cause confusion because of their varying rates. In a study of eight European countries, the price of publishing a Monograph ranged from as little as 500 to a maximum of €18,500. Such uncertainty surrounding BPCs can lead to misunderstandings between publishers and authors.

Why are book processing charges necessary? 

Book processing charges are necessary since Open Access publishers do not generate high income from sales of print copies. Open Access publishers also incur certain costs during the production of Open Access books. BPCs are designed to cover these costs.

At MDPI Books, book processing charges cover the costs of various integral production processes. These are peer review, plagiarism checks, manuscript formation, English editing, online hosting and marketing/promotion. In summary, they ensure that a dedicated team of professionals and academic experts can help transform your manuscript into a legitimate and fully realised Open Access book.

These costs are not arbitrarily priced; they reflect the significant time and resources that are invested into your Open Access book to ensure its quality and academic integrity.  

Our transparent approach to book processing charges 

Here at MDPI Books, we value transparency when it comes to book processing charges. If your manuscript is accepted, all fees must be paid thereafter, usually within 30 days of your institution or funder. We send the invoice immediately after submission, prior to peer review. In the event of rejection, we will provide a refund. 

We publish our academic books as Gold OA. This means the final published versions of our books are made permanently and freely available worldwide under an Open Access license (Creative Commons license) immediately upon publication. (See our guide on the different kinds of Open Access).  

For accepted Monographs, MDPI Books applies a charge of approximately €8,500. Prices may vary as they are dependent on the number of pages in your book and required services. Our charge for Edited Book chapters is only 1200 CHF (approx. €1,275). These charges go a long way in bringing your book or chapter to life. 

How to find funding to cover book processing charges 

Securing funds to cover the costs involved in publishing your academic book Open Access can be difficult. This is because Open Access book publications are not as well established as Open Access journals. Yet MDPI Books offers support in helping you find funding for your academic Open Access book.

Our first piece of advice would be to contact your institutional librarian. They are a good point of contact for acquiring funding from your institution or elsewhere. Furthermore, your institution may have a special fund to support you in publishing your book as Open Access.

Other funding options 

As well as your associated institutions there are also other funding options to cover book processing charges. Your country may have specific funders that are willing to help. For example, in Switzerland, there is the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). They fund research for authors or editors affiliated with a Swiss institution. In the UK, on January 1st, 2024, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) updated their Open Access policy to allow funding applications for “in-scope” Monographs, Book Chapters, and Edited Books. There is also Knowledge Unlatched, which offers a crowdfunding model supporting a variety of Open Access book packages.

If you already have active grant funding, you may be able to go through your funder and get permission from them to use grant funds to make your book Open Access. There are also “grant-making” organisations set up to aid you in covering publication costs, such as the Wellcome Trust.

There are also options if you’re a researcher from a low-income country. Publishing houses such as IGI Global may be able to aid you in accessing funding. These are vital sources if you have exhausted all efforts to secure funding from funding bodies.

MDPI Books is here to help 

There are a multitude of options when it comes to finding funding for your Open Access book. Yet we understand how difficult it can be to source the necessary information and choose the right funding option for you.

MDPI Books has a dedicated team of professionals with extensive knowledge of Open Access book publishing. Whether it be our Commissioning Editors or Project Manager, we have experts to help you access funding.

Feeling uncertain about going forward in your search for funding to cover book processing charges? We’re more than happy to share any funding experience we may have and assist you in your search. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via our support page if you have any questions.  

If you have acquired funding and are ready to make your academic Open Access book a reality, submit a proposal with MDPI Books today 


Sam Rye
7 June 2024Posted inOpen Access Book Publishing
Post authorSam Rye