IN DEPTH: All About ICSC Press

PURPOSE: Why we created ICSC Press

Welcome to a new kind of academic press: the creative kind. The ICSC has long been recognized as a clearinghouse for information on the field of creativity. To expand this role, and to more actively disseminate original and rigorous work, the ICSC has launched its own publishing imprint, ICSC Press. The press will support ICSC’s vision: “Igniting creativity around the world: facilitating the recognition that creative thinking is an essential life skill.”

The goal of ICSC Press is to produce high-quality work that contributes to expanding our understanding of creativity and supports effective creativity practices.

To accomplish this goal, ICSC Press will serve as a vehicle for members of our community and other creativity professionals to publish and disseminate their original thinking, in book, ebook, and other forms.

The challenges we want to address:

  • How to give assistance and endorsement to our new thinkers, to help them build their platforms?
  • How to provide those interested in creativity with rigorous and well-conceived literature and support material?
  • How to spread an author’s work as rapidly and as widely as possible?
  • How to give voice to authors who may only reach a small audience?
  • How to do all that while supporting the ICSC’s vision to ignite creativity around the world?

PROCESS: Our Publishing Model

A Publishing Platform. In what ways might a creative thinker get a book published?

Traditional publishing has its place, and its problems: up to two years from manuscript to bookshelf; the increasing need to have a “platform” before getting a book deal; and the difficultly in getting a publisher for books for a small (under 5,000) audience. Self-publishing is easy, but lacks the cachet of a publisher’s stamp of approval (and not to mention quality control).

ICSC Press will use a different standard for selecting works to publish: excellence in writing, thinking, and contribution to the field, regardless of potential audience size, book length, and intended use (e.g., textbooks, trade books, workbooks, etc.). As with any reputable press, ICSC Press books will be professionally curated, selected, edited, designed, published and distributed. This is a publishing platform that will help our authors build their platform.

Igniting Creativity. One sure way to ignite creativity is to put the work of our best teachers, thinkers, and practitioners into the hands of a wide audience. Inexpensive distribution of ICSC Press e-books helps accomplish this, and also should drive sales of printed books, ICSC training, and degree program applications.

Rapid Publishing. Instead of two years, how about six months? Four factors will increase our speed to press: accepting manuscripts only in final (OK, nearly final) draft; using a standard template for most titles; distributing first (and sometimes only) in electronic formats; and using Print On Demand (one at a time) services for print versions.

Wide Distribution. ICSC Press will publish all titles in multiple electronic forms, including PDF, Kindle, ePub (for Nook and other devices), and iBooks (for iPad), with electronic versions being very inexpensive to purchase. Under this model, the author’s reach should be orders of magnitude larger than with print alone. Print versions will also be available for most titles.

PERSONS: The authors who fit us best

Our Authors. The authors best suited to ICSC Press are: ICSC Faculty, ICSC Graduates, CPS and creativity practitioners, and other academics and creativity professionals who want to make a contribution to the field while bypassing the lengthy academic and trade book publishing industry.

Primary Author Benefits. Like other presses, ICSC Press books and other products will be professionally selected, edited, designed, published and distributed. Unlike other presses, ICSC Press provides a venue for titles with a limited audience and for shorter works that would be difficult to place with a traditional academic publisher. ICSC Press books will also be faster to press than traditional publishing, and will have wide and inexpensive electronic distribution. And unlike self-publishing, ICSC Press represents an endorsement from an authoritative source.

Additional Benefits. Some other features of ICSC Press: periodic updates to the works are easy and encouraged; the press’s web site will provide support for each title; every title supports the field of creativity and Creative Problem Solving, with some of the profits being used to fund the press; for ICSC graduates, ICSC Press is a good first opportunity to publish; and for all writers, ICSC Press provides professional publication and authorship credentials from a curated source, without the costs and limitations of self-publishing. And, we’ll pay the industry standard 15% royalty on sales, too.

PRESS: Where we will sell

Local and Global. Some ICSC Press titles will be distributed and sold to students in ICSC’s programs, such as Creativity Rising, the press’s first title, which will be used in CRS 559. First distribution of e-books will be made to the ICSC and creativity communities through social media. Then, in support of the ICSC’s mission to ignite creativity around the world, electronic copies of ICSC Press products will be widely and inexpensively distributed, in all possible formats, worldwide. Print versions will be made available for sale to libraries, to the academic community for adoption as textbooks, and to the trade, for sale at Amazon.com and other online merchants. And, we may have some creative marketing ideas, too.

PRODUCTS: What might we publish and sell

Books, e-books, and more. ICSC Press begins its life as a publisher of electronic and printed books related to the study and practice of creativity and Creative Problem Solving. It is expected that it will soon evolve into publishing a variety of supporting materials, including workbooks, worksheet collections, tool cards, posters, smart phone apps, and other things we can’t yet imagine. As you might imagine, we’re open to your ideas on this.

PUBLISH: How to publish with us

Provide Proof: Request for Case Studies. ICSC Press plans to publish a collection of case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of creative process, Creative Problem Solving, FourSight, and related methodologies and tools. This curated and edited collection will be targeted primarily to creativity practitioners, for these possible uses: (a) to learn more about the successes in our field, and how others achieved those successes; (b) to provide concrete evidence to others that our discipline has value; (c) as classroom cases studies, when teaching creative process and problem solving. A little extra guidance on what we’re looking for: stories are good; stories with hard evidence are better.

Prepare to Impress Us: Request for Manuscripts. ICSC Press wants to read your completed and polished manuscripts, which we could accept and publish post-haste. Important note: the two most crucial factors in our accepting (or not accepting) your manuscript are: great writing and thinking; and having appeal for some audience that we can identify.

  1. What is it? Provide a working title for the book.
  2. What is it about? Provide a brief description of the book and its purpose.
  3. Who is it for? Describe the book’s target market (no, it’s not “everyone”).
  4. What’s different? Describe any competing books and your book’s advantages or unique qualities.
  5. Who are you? Tell us everything you think we should know, especially your credentials, and why you are the right person to write this book.

Pitch Us: Request for Proposals. While we can only commit to completed manuscripts, we would love to hear about your well-clarified projects that are either in development or about to be. This is especially important for things that are not books. If you follow the guidelines below, we should be able to tell you whether the completed work might be a good fit for ICSC Press.

  1. What is it? Provide a working title for the book, or tell us what the thing you’re proposing is.
  2. What is it about? Provide a brief description of the book (or thing) and its purpose.
  3. Who is it for? Describe the target market (no, still not “everyone”).
  4. What’s in it? For books, provide an annotated table of contents (a table of contents with a sentence or two describing each chapter). For other things, describe it as best you can.
  5. How long is it? For books, estimate the length of the chapters, or the length of the entire book, if possible. Note that ICSC Press will consider works that are shorter than traditional book length.
  6. What’s different? Describe any competing books/things and your product’s advantages or unique qualities.
  7. When will it be ready? If we said we liked it, when would you have it completed?
  8. Who are you? Tell us everything you think we should know, especially your credentials, and why you are the right person to do this.

Provoke Us: Request for Ideas. Is there a gap in the market that you think ICSC Press could address? It doesn’t have to be something that you want to create yourself; it might be something that you’ve wanted to buy and use (it doesn’t have to be a book), but haven’t been able to find in the marketplace. For example: “What I really could use is a brief and beautifully-designed guide to CPS for Teachers.”

PITCH! How to contact us

Thank you for your interest in ICSC Press. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts, pitches, and ideas. To reach Paul Reali, Managing Editor, use one of these methods:

  • Talk: 716-253-1871
  • Chat: skype paulreali 
  • Email (to ask questions, and the best way to submit manuscripts): editor@icscpress.com
  • Purchase: Directly from our web store, and very soon at other online retailers