One might think that all other problems fade into the background when there’s a recession, but for university presses, that’s certainly not true. Questions about changes in education funding and student habits rear up alongside concerns about preparing for the digital future; still, the country’s economic woes are plaguing university presses, and the stress is not likely to disappear anytime soon.
With a battered economy dragging down just about every retail sector, a salient fact making headlines has been the ability of discounters to maintain sales growth—a sure sign that the “Wal-Mart Effect” has permeated every corner of the business world, and that raising prices is probably not the way to realize profits. This leaves cost-cutting, which, for obvious reasons, book publishers would like to pursue aggressively without sacrificing either product quality or valued employees. Here are some tips from a cross-section of the publishing world for reining in costs without sacrificing too much in the process.