The State of the Industry
… We often run an art evaluation before proceeding into production, and for high-end color titles, we will run a press test to ensure the settings and color-management system is in place.
What is the overall market like right now for university publishers?
… From the perspective of the University of California Press, I can tell you we have been through significant changes over the past five years, some very difficult times adjusting to our authors' needs … combined with effectively addressing the shifts in the marketplace.
University presses have as their core mission the responsibility to publish and disseminate the results of scholarly research and writing. Theirs is a symbiotic relationship between the academy and the world of university presses. Trade and other categories of book publishers would not be interested in many of the titles that we publish.
Our financial mission is to function as a nonprofit, which establishes a different modus operandi from a for-profit trade publisher. To help offset the inevitable losses of a scholarly publishing program, we also publish serious general-interest titles, a series of natural history guides, and even a cookbook, to help 'balance the books,' so to speak.
We are now doing much better in many respects.
How is the University of California Press incorporating electronic publications into its business?
Our journals division is more active in this realm than our book division. … In the book division, we archive most titles and make portions available in a variety of ways. For example, we participate in BiblioVault, in the California Digital Library, several other digital libraries or activities, plus our own Web site.
Part of the electronic activity is to make information available in such a manner that disseminating it in electronic form is convenient to our customers, and as an aid to scholars, researchers and students. Part of it is to participate in a new method for marketing our titles.