City Spotlight: Publishing in Chicago
Academic and University Publishing
Chicago is home to a number of academic and university presses that are based in such prestigious institutions as DePaul, Loyola and Northwestern. Of course, no discussion of academic publishing in Chicago—or academic publishing in general for that matter—would be complete without the juggernaut University of Chicago Press, the country's largest university press. Editorial Director Christie Henry finds in Chicago a cohesive, collaborative publishing community. With its unique position in the city, the University of Chicago Press, which this year will publish about 350 new titles, has devoted some of its resources to publishing books that focus on the region. "We made a strategic decision to more fully engage in regional publishing about a decade ago," Henry says. "For us, being the Chicago home team has meant significant advantages. It's wonderful to be here and understand the meat and bones of Chicago."
Chicago is home to more associations than any U.S. city outside of Washington, DC. The American Bar Association, American Dental Association, American Library Association, American Medical Association, for instance, are all headquartered here. Association publishing is big business in Chicago, with associations publishing myriad books, journals, newsletters and other publications. Although publishing may not be associations' primary mission, the hundreds of titles Chicago-based associations issue every year speak to the ever-growing importance of the practice to their members. Just as with trade publishers, association publishers are navigating the print–digital transition. "Like everyone else," says J. Michael Jeffers, publisher at ALA Editions, the publishing arm of the American Library Association, "we are trying to figure out what our customers want and in what format."