Book Launch Program Details


Book Launch is a program led by ODEE, designed to create a community of digital book authors at Ohio State using a cohort model. This program is committed to creating digital textbook resources using the iBooks Author app that can be made available to students at Ohio State and to educational institutions across the country. This results in lowering the cost of education for students, and providing high-quality educational resources authored by Ohio State’s exceptional faculty, staff and students.

Two cohorts will take place each calendar year. Each 5-month cohort cycle is timed to publish finished projects immediately prior to the start of a semester. Summer cohort participants begin in July and produces texts for use in the following Spring semester. Winter participants begin in January and create books ready for use the following Autumn semester.

Book Launch wordmark

As a member of a Book Launch cohort, participants receive

80 hours of ODEE Digital Publishing Support

Each Book Launch participant receives:

  • Project guidance and management
  • Guidance in maximizing ODEE services
  • Recipient-centered support and guidance throughout the cohort period
  • Timely and responsive communication
  • A co-produced project plan
  • A co-produced assessment and completion plan
  • Visual design guidance and some production support by ODEE staff

$500 (requires $500 department match)

Possible uses include:

  • Copyrighted content licensing fees
  • Training
  • Cost recovery work for additional design, coding, development needs



Will the books be free or for cost?

  • If you'd like to charge a fee for your book, we'll work with you to determine a price and distribute revenue to your department. Many authors choose to make books available at no cost to the reader. In most cases, we'll encourage authors who create these free books to consider applying a community-oriented usage license, such as those provided by Creative Commons. 

How will profits be divided?

  • Currently, Apple retains 30 percent of each sale from its bookstore, distributing the remaining 70 percent of sales to The Office of Distance Education and eLearning, in our capacity as publisher. ODEE then transfers the full amount to the author's department for distribution. To participate in Book Launch, we require a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to be signed by ODEE, you, and your department chair and fiscal officer. In that document, we will describe in detail your individual revenue sharing scenario. Typically, faculty authors and departments work together to develop a mutually acceptable profit sharing plan. This agreement will be completed prior to the start of book development, during the first few weeks after acceptance into the Book Launch program.

What happens if I can't complete my project on time?

  • Although special circumstance may exist in some cases, we generally expect authors to commit to full participation in Book Launch activities, which are designed to create a finished project by month 5 of each cycle. If for some reason you are unable to publish your book by the end of Book Launch, we will typically ask that the full amount of the cash stipend be returned to ODEE ($500). We'll work very hard to facilitate a completed book, and will choose projects that we believe have a high probability of success. Some factors that indicate this to us are:
    • At least 50 percent of content already developed and in final draft stage
    • Some evidence of a support team within your home department or college (students, staff, others willing to read and contribute to your project)
    • Past success creating or contributing to digital projects

I don’t know if I can have everything ready by the deadline. Will there be another opportunity? 

  • Yes! Book Launch cohorts happen twice a year - one starting in January for publication by Autumn semester, and the other beginning in July to publish by Spring semester. Please reach out to us at any time for help preparing for an upcoming Book Launch before starting your iBooks project! We've found that projects typically take several months to complete, with or without our help. We'd love to be involved in your project whether you participate in Book Launch or not, and can offer limited support, training and consultation to all digital book authors at Ohio State.

I don't have a Mac, and I've never used iBooks Author. How can I participate?

  • iBooks Author expertise is not required to join Book Launch. A MacBook Air will be provided to each Book Launch author to use throughout the 5-month cohort, in addition to access, training developed by Digital Publishing staff, 1:1 consultations and group training.

I understand that iBooks can only be viewed by readers using an iPad or a Mac, but not all of my students have these devices. What can I do?

  • It's true that these books are limited to viewing on an iPad or Mac running Mavericks. However, we'll work with you to develop strategies for providing an alternate version of your text to students if needed. In many cases, this means developing an ePub version of the book in conjunction with the iPad/Mac-compatible iBooks version. We will help you develop a workflow that allows for this, and we'll also provide production support for everything you produce as a part of Book Launch (within the allotted 80 hours of ODEE support). It's also possible to publish your book as a PDF, to reach an even wider audience.

Book Launch program goals include

  • Using a cohort model, to foster and support a large number of high quality digital book projects, to reach students at Ohio State and beyond
  • To establish Ohio State as the national model for digital book production and distribution in higher ed
  • To increase student engagement
  • To reduce the cost of textbooks and other course materials to students
  • To enable anyplace/anytime learning through purposeful technology use

Moreover, recipients have the potential to build individual and departmental knowledge and efficacy around creation of these resources.

Other goals include:

  • Connect to university personnel with a wide range of technology expertise
  • Collaborate with colleagues to support and learn across disciplines
  • Contribute to the growing body of knowledge investigating ways technology can impact student engagement, faculty efficiency, and anytime/anyplace learning

Book Launch authors partner with ODEE staff and each other through a 5-month process to identify project goals and objectives, receive training on relevant technologies, engage in a collaborative project review process, and publish a finished text by the end of month five.

Recipient Expectations

  • Participating authors will be asked to commit to several events, including 2 one-day iBooks Author Bootcamps and (at least) monthly 1:1 meetings with the Digital Publishing team
  • All book projects are required to publish by the last month of each cohort (this means one book, although proposals for a series of books are encouraged)
  • Project text is expected to be at least 50 percent complete at the start of Book Launch participation, with the understanding that the remainder of the text for the book (or the first book in a series) will be completed by midway through (month 3) of the 5-month cycle
  • Collaborate with ODEE during the entire cohort period (at minimum, once per month and additional group work)
  • Work with ODEE staff for agreed-upon ODEE design production services through completion
  • Complete a signed agreement between author, department and ODEE describing project goals and revenue sharing model (if needed) prior to receiving Book Launch stipend and hardware loan
  • Co-produce a project plan prior to receiving Book Launch stipend and hardware loan
  • Participate in the Book Launch outcome assessment, as well as any additional project-level assessment from ODEE
  • Manage personnel and costs associated with the project
  • Locate and hire potential employees in a timely fashion for expertise not provided by ODEE
  • Oversee expenditures associated with the project
  • Participate in Idea Labs to collaborate with other Book Launch participants
  • Engage in at least one Idea Lab meeting during a subsequent Book Launch cycle
  • Contribute to description of experience in digital and/or print media
  • Provide a final report/document/artifact showcasing project development and outcome(s)
  • Present at an ODEE-sponsored event
  • Adhere to institutional policies
    • Obtain appropriate human subjects approval (such as Internal Review Board or IRB), if necessary
    • Obtain copyright clearances, if necessary
    • Include reasonable ADA compliance, in accordance with Ohio State guidelines
ODEE Expectations
  • The Digital Publishing team and ODEE will offer close guidance and production support throughout the project lifecycle. Additional book formats (ePub, PDF) will be supported with the majority of work effort spent on producing books in the iBooks format.
  • Digital Publishing staff and ODEE will provide project management and training support both 1:1 with individual participants and in a group setting.
  • All books will be distributed through the Apple iBooks Store or other vendor as appropriate, using the official Ohio State Digital Publishing account(s). 

Funding Stipulations

  • All books will be distributed through the Apple iBooks Store, using the official Ohio State Digital Publishing account. While many authors choose to distribute books at no cost to the reader, those who wish to assign a purchase price will enter into a revenue sharing agreement with the ODEE.
    • Book sale price, if any, will not impact selection decision.
    • In the case of a book with a purchase price, department will receive 100 percent of revenue distributed to ODEE from Apple. Digital Publishing staff will consult with author and department to determine appropriate sale price as needed.
    • Department will agree to further share book revenue with the faculty author. The terms of this relationship will be agreed to prior to the finalized project plan and before book production begins.
    • Staff and student authors are not eligible for revenue sharing with the department.
  • Author, department chair or dean, and department fiscal officer will be required to sign an MOU with ODEE prior to the finalized project plan and before book production begins.
  • A 1:1 (ODEE:Department) ratio of in-kind support toward the project, is required.
  • $500 will be provided after a project plan is approved by Digital Publishing staff and author. 
  • Projects that are not completed by the end of the cohort cycle will be asked to return the full ODEE financial contribution and reapply to participate in the next cohort.
  • Funding may be used to secure faculty/staff release time, support a student employee, travel to a conference, buy necessary software and licenses, offset the cost of licensing fees for book content and acquire specialized training.
  • Funding may be used for limited hardware and peripheral purchases.
  • ODEE staff is available to provide limited production support as part of its 80 hour time commitment, and can consult in locating and hiring qualified individuals for additional production work.
  • Funding may not be used to reimburse or pay for a graduate student’s tuition and/or fees.
  • Funding may not be used to upgrade a lab space.
  • Completed work may not be retroactively funded.

Note, application indicates acceptance of expectations, eligibility requirements, and funding stipulations.


For more information about Book Launch or questions regarding digital publishing, contact Ashley Miller, ODEE Digital Publishing Coordinator