Link of Week: University Presses

An online interview goes into the different practices of university presses versus commercial publishers and what larger publishers can learn from them.

The Huffington Post posted an interview with Peter Dougherty, the director of the Princeton University Press, about the press’s success and growth. Over a century old, the press has evolved from being a publication aimed at only the university to attaining a global reach through digital library subscriptions and e-book adaptions. Dougherty explains how university presses tend to get overlooked and considered specialized and academic-oriented, which was true in the past, but these days they all also publish more general titles as well. He adds that university presses get overlooked in traditional advertisement spaces, such as larger bookstores and news paper columns, that a lot of their revenue and reviews come from online sources, and how imperative maintaining healthy relationships with book blogs and reviewers is for publicity.

Smaller university presses, Dougherty also mentions, are forward-thinking, and their approach to creating online digital libraries that can be accessed through subscriptions is something that larger publishers should pay attention to. Princeton University Press wants to allow anyone to access a number of titles for a set-fee, both academic and otherwise, which is much different than the typical process of publishers’ charging for one book.

Other major institutions interested in the future of digital publishing that larger publishers can learn something from include Stanford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Yale University Press, and Oxford University Press. The unity of the shifting approach to include digital publishing, and how these presses are going about handling this shift, says a lot about the direction of publishing’s possible future.