University of Chicago Press

The State of the University Press
August 1, 2014

When Alison Mudditt took over as the new director of the University of California Press a little over three years ago, after spending nearly a quarter-century working in the scholarly publishing space for commercial houses like Blackwell and Taylor & Francis, to say she had her work cut out for her would be a tragic understatement

How Important Are Library Sales to the University Press?
June 23, 2014

In the comments section of a recent Scholarly Kitchen posting by Rick Anderson, a now-familiar point of controversy was raised: to what degree do university presses rely on libraries as customers for their books? It's a commonplace assertion that, contrary to longstanding popular belief, libraries are not in fact the primary customers of university presses, and this assertion was made again in the comments. Rick expressed his belief that while this is true of university press publications generally, it's probably not true of scholarly monographs specifically, and that the decrease in libraries' share

London Book Fair 2014: Excellence Award Winners Revealed
April 10, 2014

Publishers from Belorussia, Pakistan, India, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, the U.S. and China were among the winners of the first London Book Fair International Book Industry Excellence Awards, given in association with the Publishers Association and presented at the fair yesterday.

Revisiting Scott Turow's Laudable Lament and Why There is Hope
July 8, 2013

Watching C-Span’s Book TV the weekend of July 5, I picked up their May 30 interview with Scott Turow, President of the Author’s Guild. While he was pitching his forthcoming book, Identical, Peter Slen led him to revisit his NY Times OP Ed piece, “The Slow Death of the American Author.” Peter Slen, by the way, in the tradition of C-Span’s Brian Lamb, has got to be one of the smartest and most resourceful TV interviewers in the book world.

Copyright Law: We Have Created a Monster. How we did it, and how to work around it.
April 12, 2013

The Supreme Court clarified early in April in Kirtsaeng v Wiley that the “first use” doctrine in copyright law applied to any work lawfully manufactured anywhere in the world and purchased anywhere in the world. This ruling upset many in the publisher world, and relieved many in the library and bookseller world.

First use means that after purchase of a legally manufactured copyrighted work, the user can resell, rent or loan the work without permission of, or royalty payments to, the copyright holder. The used book and library markets, for example, are built on this foundation. Kirtsaeng was purchasing textbooks printed abroad more cheaply and reselling them in the U.S. Wiley lost on its claim that first use should also apply to the first U.S. sale of books manufactured and purchased abroad.

As Scott Turow, President of the Author’s Guild (of which I am a member), saw it in a New York Times op ed on April 7, “The Slow Death of the American Author,” the Kirtsaeng case was only the latest nail in the coffin awaiting authors. It cut off an additional revenue stream, since secondary sales do not pay royalties.

New e-Book Editions of Journals Offer Convenience of Digital Content in the Context of Complete Issues
March 4, 2013

The University of Chicago Press is proud to announce the launch of e-Book Editions for all of its journal titles. Chicago Journals e-Book Editions are complete issues that can be accessed and downloaded individually. The new e-Book Editions are meant to offer the best of both worlds by combining the convenience and speed of digital accessibility with the integrity of the complete issue. The e-Book Editions home page on the University of Chicago Press website emphasizes that, “although we have transitioned swiftly from print to digital online aggregators, the editorial process of thoughtfully compiling and releasing content collated into issues remains intact.”

Publishing in Chicago
March 1, 2013

Disparate. Collegial. Decentralized. Collaborative.

If Chicago publishing professionals agree on one thing about the city's publishing scene, it's that it is not easy to characterize. About to celebrate 175 years as a major publishing hub (Chicago's first publisher, Robert Fergus, set up shop in 1839), today the city is ranked second in the printing and publishing industry, behind New York.

Some of the area's earliest publishers still survive, among them Rand McNally (est. 1856). Many houses are long gone, for example Reilly and Britton, which published L. Frank Baum's beloved Oz books. Some, like Scott, Foresman & Co. have been absorbed by other publishers. In fact, if Chicago publishing professionals lament one change that has taken place over the past decade or so, it is consolidation, to which a number of local publishers have fallen victim.

Mo Yan and the Oklahoma Connection
October 12, 2012

The naming of Mo Yan as the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Literature was not just a honor for the Chinese writer. It was also a coup for an American university press already poised to release one of the next of Mo Yan’s novels to be published in English translation.

Spirits were high at the University of Oklahoma Press on Thursday after the news broke. “We are certainly pleased to stand in the glow of Mo Yan’s achievements

Librarians and publishers still have problems with e-books
August 21, 2012

The e-book may be the future but it is not yet working, according to librarians and scholarly publishers speaking to the annual meeting of the Special Libraries Association in Chicago in late July.

‘Where are we? In the Wild West,’ Rebecca Vargha of the University of North Carolina’s Library told the meeting during her discussion about ‘e-books: promises and realities’. She noted: ‘I don’t think there is an optimal model yet. Students and instructors are dissatisfied with the content and the interface of e-books.’