The Corner Office: Pressing Forward Into Digital Publishing
Recently named the new director of University of California Press (UC Press), Alison Mudditt is now at the helm of one of the largest university presses in the nation. Mudditt, who brings more than 22 years of experience in academic and scholarly publishing to her new role—most recently serving as executive vice president at SAGE Publications Inc.—says the industry is being transformed by technology, and she underscores the role that new digital products and business models play in the field.
"The emergence of new online products and business models, evolving customer expectations and competition from outside the traditional industry are but a few of the potential threats to all players in the market," said Mudditt. "Matched with the external challenges are a wide set of internal questions about the optimum ways to structure and resource the Press in order for us to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of our authors, readers and markets."
Mudditt spoke with Book Business about how technology is impacting the UC Press and the industry as a whole.
● How will your years in the education/STM publishing sectors be applied to the university press world?
Alison Mudditt: I have always held a firm belief that education and scholarship matter, both for enriching us as individuals and for improving society as a whole. After over 20 years in the business, I remain passionate about the business of academic publishing, and the twin pillars of nurturing the best work from the best scholars, and disseminating this for global impact. There are, sadly, fewer and fewer organizations left where these values have the opportunity to thrive in the way they do at UC Press—an organization that is both committed to scholarship and has the global resources to advance and disseminate it.
● What is UC Press' e-book strategy?