“If I publish my book in open access, I won’t sell any copies anymore,” is what you hear many authors say. However, the contrary appears to be the case. By now, many publishers have discovered that online publishing actually increases sales. The Internet is used to discover books, not to read them.
If a book is available worldwide, any potential reader can see it and thus a larger group will be inclined to buy it ( long tail-effect). There aren’t many readers who wish to print out an entire book, but if it is interesting enough to read, they will be more willing to buy it. Or as the publisher Tim O’Reilly says: "An author's worst problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity."
After the cries of ‘publish or perish’ we are now hearing more and more ‘index or perish’. This shows that visibility is crucial. It is therefore important to speak with the publisher at an early stage about making the material accessible and to include this in any agreements. After all, as long as no agreements have yet been signed with the publisher, the author retains the copyright.