Lately, I've been wondering if academic books can be crowd-source funded in such a way as to make them more accessible. (Particularly as some specialised academic books can cost as much as £200.)

Basically, an author would propose a book idea, citing its contribution to the field, potential contributors, and (importantly) qualified editors and reviewers. Interested people could pledge money towards paying the editors, reviews and the author.

The names of individuals or institutions pledging money towards this research should be made public, for transparency.

Once the book is completed, the people who pledged can get a number of copies (based on the amount that they pledged). After a certain amount of time, the book becomes available to the general public, at an affordable price using on-demand printing services, or discounted electronic editions.

I'm curious to hear peoples' thoughts about this idea.
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