Monthly Archives: November 2012

Day 5: UP Week Blog Tour Round-Up

November 11-17 marks University Press Week 2012! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


New York University Press: “Celebrating the regional pride of University Presses”
Author and New York Times editor Connie Rosenblum talks about writing and publishing local with a university press to reach a broad audience: her own book on the Bronx, essays on the city, and neighborhood real estate profiles have all been published with NYU Press.

Columbia University Press: “Sheldon Pollock on the Importance of University Presses and the Role of Universities” and “Jennifer Crewe on University Presses: Who Are We? What Do We Do? And Why Is It Important?”
Sheldon Pollock, professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia, underlines how publishing is critical to the university’s purpose as a transmitter of knowledge, and how the collaborative “South Asia Across the Disciplines” series serves as a model for the university-press relationship. In a separate post Editorial and Associate Director Jennifer Crewe discusses how university presses fill the economic gaps in publishing: publishing first-time authors, serious nonfiction, books for upper-level courses—even establishing new fields of scholarship.

University of North Carolina Press: “John Sherer on returning to university press after years in NY trade publishing”
Press Director John Sherer explains the logic behind his return to UNC Press after two years in trade: while “the metrics of advances and print runs” aren’t the same, there’s still just as much, if not more, room for risks and rewards and editorial freedoms at the smaller scale.

University of Alabama Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Author Lila Quintero Weaver voices her gratitude toward UA Press for their focus on a variety of content, from memoirs like hers to vital scholarly writing. And Jennifer Horne, former UA Press Managing Editor and the co-editor of two books on Southern culture, praises the experience, quality, and continuity of the university press publishing process to create “that wonderful package we call a book.”

University of Virginia Press: “Open for Business”
Author Catherine Allgor tells the story of her three volumes of early America scholarship: the first, published with UVA Press; the second, by a major publishing house; and the latest—back again with UVA, where “the integrity of the ideas and the commitment to making the best book we could drove every decision.”

Oregon State University Press: “University Presses: Through the Eyes of an Intern”
OSU Press intern Jessica Kibler explains how mixing words with music inspired her excitement over the digital experimentation taking place at university presses like OSU, and her relief as a lover of well-made books that digital and physical publishing “don’t have to cancel each other out,” but can build on each other in myriad ways.

Day 4: UP Week Blog Tour Round-Up

November 11-17 marks University Press Week 2012! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


Princeton University Press: “A Conversation with the Co-owner of Labyrinth Books”
Local independent bookstore owner Dorothea Von Moltke speaks with Princeton’s Jessica Pellien on what university press books mean for her business: “our focus throughout the store and nowhere more than with university Press books is to give books a long life … they just need to still seem relevant to a deeper understanding of our past, present, or future.”

Indiana University Press: “University Presses: An Essential Cog Within Our Society’s ‘Sophistication Machine'”
Former IU Press intern Nico Perrino compares UPs’ role in scholarship to loading docks at a factory, a stage in a theater, or tables at a restaurant: a basic necessity for sharing the creative products of scholars and authors with the world. (And a special shout-out to Indiana UP for organizing this week’s blog tour!)

Fordham University Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Press Director Fredric Nachbaur wrote his post in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction wrought on his home city of New York and native state of New Jersey, reflecting on how the work of university presses and their authors have, in times of tragedy, helped us understand the events of the moment.

Texas A&M University Press: “The Value of a University Press”
TAMU author and Houston Chronicle business columnist tells the story of how he came to write and publish a book with the Press, a book that itself told the story of his father’s journey from an electrician with a hobby to a foundational practitioner of nautical archaeology—and the role the Press played in that story of a man and a fascinating field of knowledge.

Georgetown University Press: “We speak your language!”
Press publicist Jacqueline Beilhart was inspired by a journalist’s offhand comment to canvass AAUP members on their commitments to publishing language acquisition materials in Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs). The resulting list of languages whose learning is supported by university presses (scroll…scroll…keep scrolling…) is a clear testament to how uniquely this kind of publishing connects us across place and time.

Friday’s leg of the tour begins at New York University Press.

Day 3: UP Week Blog Tour Round-Up

November 11-17 marks University Press Week 2012! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


The University of Chicago Press: “Scott Esposito on Wayne Booth”
To read literary critic and editor, Quarterly Conversation, Scott Esposito’s persuasive case for the enduring importance of Wayne Booth’s Modernist Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent is to know that it is the power of the ideas we publish that is  “why university presses matter.”

The University of Minnesota Press: “What Was a University Press?”
Read excerpts from Press Director Doug Armato’s recent plenary talk at the Charleston Conference, by all accounts a stimulating exchange of ideas between Doug, California Press Director Alison Mudditt, and the conference’s overflowing audience of librarians and publishers.

The University of Illinois Press: “Write for the World”
Musician and writer Stephen Wade (author of Illinois’ Fine Print* selection, The Beautiful Music All Around Us) riffs on the words of former UI Press Editor Judith McCulloh and celebrates university presses’ “commitment to humane scholarship” as embodied in such storied projects as the Music in American Life series.

The University of Nebraska Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
UNP’s Bison Books Manager Tom Swanson looks at how the Bison Books imprint embodies the regional commitments of university presses and how presses such as Nebraska give us “a voice for our place.”

Syracuse University Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Laurence Hauptman (SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, SUNY New Paltz, and scholar of Native American, New York, and Civil War History) explains what university press editors and staff meant to his development as a scholar and author, and to the development of essential fields of research in Northeastern Native American history.

Thursday’s leg of the tour begins at Princeton University Press.

Mapping Our Influence

Back in August, we asked member presses to think about their work in a new way: geographical impact. What better way to show university press “contributions to culture, the academy, and society” in the modern, global publishing economy than to visually illustrate their reach? This was the idea behind the Mapping Our Influence project.

Using the Google Custom Maps tool, we developed an iconographic key to represent authors, subjects, and other points that might be plotted. The simplicity of the Google Maps construct allowed us to imagine a variety of maps: a season’s worth of titles, a disciplinary list, a regional focus. But of course, soon maps started rolling in—38 to date—and the virtual pushpins took on a rainbow of new meanings.


Melissa Pitts, director at University of British Columbia Press, piloted the Maps project with Valerie Nair, Assistant to the Publisher, and the press’s current work-study student. UBC Press mapped authors and subject matter from the latest season, and then got creative with adding events and awards. (Their map is here.) Clusters of pins color the Vancouver and Toronto areas, scattering thickly across Canada and down through the US, reaching west across the Pacific to Japan and New Zealand, east across the Atlantic to northern Europe and Israel.

And yet, with markers blooming like party balloons or bright speech bubbles—“we’re here! and here and here and here!”—across the globe, Pitts notes that the map is most definitely a work in progress. It currently represents 2011 and 2012 publications, which Pitts plans to continue to expand with new seasons. She’s considering integrating it into the publication process for each new book, carrying it beyond University Press Week.

Future iterations, possibly to be used in meetings with the university administration, may build off of other presses’ ideas—like that of University of New Mexico Press.

New Mexico’s map is a monochromatic blue: 367 pins representing libraries around the globe that have purchased 2012 publications. (See the map here.) Unsurprisingly, the US has transformed to a sea of blue, with outliers marking off libraries around the globe, both public and university—in Peru, South Africa, Malaysia, China…the list goes on.

“We did consider several options including maps showing the locations of our authors or the subjects of our recent books (or a combination of several metrics),” writes New Mexico director John Byram. “The problem was capturing and representing data that succinctly reflected the Press’s global footprint most dramatically. A map showing the location of libraries who purchased our new books in the last calendar year seemed to offer the best opportunity to represent the influence we have as a publishing operation both for scholars and for the general public.”

Like Pitts, Byram has plans to update the map; he’s already shared it with the press’s faculty advisory board and the university administration. Temple University Press Director Alex Holzman has done the same: “It’s become my favorite new toy in presentations to both administration and faculty. Temple’s been emphasizing its international presence in recent years and I’ve been saying that our books have a presence on every continent except possibly Antarctica. Saying it is one thing; all these pins provide a fabulous graphic showing it. I also think the map is a great acquisitions tool. What author doesn’t want to daydream about people around the world reading their work?”

Holzman is referring to the unique elements of the Temple map: the press also mapped 2012 authors and subjects, but on top of that, two more colors to denote, first, countries where local publishers have licensed rights for their particular languages, and second, every country where Temple books have been purchased. (Take a look here.) The former, language rights, pop up in Brazil, India, South Korea, and more; the latter, purchases, truly cover the globe—and from 2012 titles alone. Says publicist Gary Kramer, “we were happily amazed at the extent of what we were able to cover with just this one year of data”. And Holzman is already brainstorming new maps for the coming years: “I could think of a few—course adoptions come to mind—but I’ll let Gary and Brian [who plotted the map] take a break first!”

Day Two: UP Week Blog Tour Round-UP

November 11-17 marks University Press Week 2012! All week long, presses around the Web will be hosting special posts as part of a UP Week Blog Tour. The Digital Digest will be following the tour with a daily round up.


The MIT Press: “Thoughts for the Day After University Press Week”
MIT Editorial Director Gita Manaktala surveys some of the major shifts in scholarly publishing, from a university press at the leading edge of many of those transitions.

The University of California Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Rachel Lee (UC Press Library Relations Manager) looks at why university presses should matter to librarians: as a “partner engaged in work that sustains academic research.”

The University of Hawaii Press: “Why University Presses Matter”
Barbara Watson Andaya (Professor of Asian Studies, University of Hawaii; Editorial Board Member, UH Press) examines the importance of university presses for smaller disciplines and developing fields of knowledge. The UH Press editorial commitment to Southeast Asian Studies, publishing both within the English-speaking world and reaching out to the local region, is a snapshot of the “global university press.”

Wilfrid Laurier University Press: “University Press Week Feature: R. Bruce Elder”
Film scholar Elder (whose latest book Harmony & Dissent is WLUP’s Fine Print* selection) discusses the urgent need for a humanistic study of technology; and holds up the university press monograph as the form best suited to support this kind of sustained intellectual endeavor.

The University Press of Florida: “Hands-on Education”
Three UPF interns—Claire Eder, Samantha Pryor, and Alia Almeida—reflect on what they brought to and what they’ve learned from their work at the Press. From falling for a book as its marketing campaign is developed, to seeking and finding greater challenges and strong mentorship, to the delights of “Death, Deformity, Disembowelment, [and] Dismemberment”, the day-to-day work of university presses is revealed through fresh eyes.

Wednesday’s leg of the tour begins at The Chicago Blog.

Spotlight on Fine Print*: The Story of “The 36 Hour Day”

Fine Print* (*and digital!) is an online gallery of titles—books, journals, online collections, and reference works— from AAUP members, developed in celebration of University Press Week 2012. Presses were asked to select one title from their full catalog of publications that they felt exemplifies the work they do. Here, Johns Hopkins University Press—with 134 years of history to choose from—shares how they made that decision.

by Jack Holmes, Director of Development, Johns Hopkins University Press

It is easy to imagine that all the presses participating in the AAUP Fine Print* project had difficulty selecting just one publication to represent a legacy that might include decades of publishing, numerous subject areas, various formats, and many distinguished achievements.

Cover: A. Journal of MathematicsThat was certainly true for us at the Johns Hopkins University Press as we considered our Fine Print selection. We might reasonably have chosen the American Journal of Mathematics, which J. J. Sylvester founded in 1878 and which remains a centerpiece of our journals publishing program. We thought Project MUSE, the highly regarded online collection of journals and books, would be a compelling choice because it represents the innovation and success not just of our press but of the broader community of university presses, libraries, and scholars who collaborated to create it and work to sustain it. We could have chosen any of several discipline-changing titles, from Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology to Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms, to highlight the capacity of key scholarly works to revolutionize how we think about certain subjects. We could, of course, sensibly select one of our best sellers. And it turns out that our best-selling title also gives us one of our best stories to tell.

Cover: 36-Hour DayThe 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss, by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins, is indeed JHUP’s best-selling book, with more than 2.5 million copies sold in the five editions published since it first appeared in 1980. It has been called a legend, a bible, and the best of its kind. We are proud to include it as the Johns Hopkins University Press title in the AAUP’s Fine Print* collection.

How The 36-Hour Day landed on the JHU Press list, how it almost never found a publisher, and how it ties our press to esteemed friends and colleagues at Johns Hopkins also adds up to a good university-press story, one that we believe echoes the shared mission, values, and aspirations of all AAUP’s member presses.

By the late 1970s, Alzheimer Disease was becoming increasingly known but remained barely understood among the general public as the cause of dementia and memory loss in older patients. Managing the condition medically within psychiatry or geriatric departments was becoming more common, and the psychiatry department at the Johns Hopkins Hospital was one of the first in the nation to establish a special unit for patients with dementia. As growing awareness of the disease brought more frequent requests for advice and information, two members of the program staff at Hopkins, Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins, collaborated on a short booklet advising caregivers on understanding the disease, helping the person with dementia, and coping with the challenges of the caregiver’s role. The booklet was mimeographed repeatedly by the department, and requests for copies continued to increase. With the department overwhelmed by requests, Mace and Rabins explored the possibility of expanding the booklet into a book, but they were turned away by numerous commercial publishers who didn’t see a market and found the topic depressing and uncomfortable.

In the lore of our Press, JHUP author and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Paul McHugh, advised that Mace and Rabins “talk to the Press.” The 36-Hour Day found an appreciative home here, and our press embraced the mission of publishing trusted, expert medical information for general readers. Our successful series, Johns Hopkins Press Health Books, with some fifty similar books available in print and digital formats, is part of this legacy.

While the good The 36-Hour Day has done in the world is arguably beyond measure, we can point to at least some of the numbers that suggest the scale of its impact and success: five editions published since 1980, the most recent in 2011; sales in excess of 2.5 million copies, not including mass market paperbacks, which were published for three of the five editions; praise and affection generated over the years that easily matches those sales figures; massive review attention and numerous awards from both professional and advocacy organizations; strong e-book sales and an audio-book edition in production. With dozens of books about Alzheimer Disease now available for general readers, The 36-Hour Day remains the leading resource for caregivers, one of the few titles that B&N will never allow to go out of stock.

For all of us at JHUP, The 36-Hour Day and its success are a somewhat larger-than-life expression of the hope we always have when we publish a book or journal under the Johns Hopkins imprint. We want to deliver knowledge, discovery, and expertise to the people who need it. We want to publish works that have an impact, whether on a small circle of scholars in a dedicated field of study or on the hundreds of thousands of readers who are informed and comforted by a book like The 36-Hour Day.

That is our aim with 200 new books each year and with every new issue of the 80 journals we publish. But few works the Press has published match the reach and impact of The 36-Hour Day, and we salute and thank our friends and colleagues, Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins, for their exceptional work and achievement.

Fine Print* slideshow There are stories behind every title in the Fine Print* gallery. Browse the slideshow and immerse yourself in the breadth and depth of university press publishing.