If you're an IU student who has always dreamed of having a fabulous career in writing, editing, or publishing, then I have the perfect event for you! The IU Career Development Center and the IU Student Alumni Association will host a Writing, Editing, and Publishing Networking Night Tuesday, November 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the DeVault Alumni Center. Students will have the opportunity to hear five panelists discuss their careers and to network with them during the event.
Yours truly is one of the five featured panelists, along with Malcolm Abrams (editor/publisher, Bloom Magazine), Bob Kravitz (columnist, Indianapolis Star), Joel Pierson (editorial services manager, Author Solutions), and Bob Zaltsberg (editor, The Herald-Times). The event is open to all IU students, but registration required through a myIUcareers account. For more information, visit the Career Development Center's website.
By Peter Froehlich
As the recipient of the AAUP/WiSP professional development grant for staff for 2011, I am happy to report on my experiences at the meeting in Baltimore, to say thank you for this opportunity to learn more about the AAUP and the industry, and to encourage other newcomers both to apply for future grants and to attend and participate in as many annual meetings as possible.
I had high expectations for my first meeting. I hoped to network with and learn from my colleagues in subrights; to gain perspective on the industry as a whole from the presentations of experts at higher levels of experience and responsibility; to learn about collaborative publishing and entrepreneurship projects underway at member presses; and to see better how subrights fits into press and industry operations to further inform my educational and career path. On reflection, I would have to say that my experiences considerably outstripped these expectations.
The two most directly fruitful experiences for me as rights manager were attending the pre-meeting workshop on “clearing third-party permissions” and chairing the panel on “subrights and the small press.”
The pre-meeting workshop on permissions was well organized and run by Stephanie Vyce, Director of Intellectual Property and Subsidiary Rights, Harvard University Press. The workshop brought together experts from various disciplines (Law/IP, acquisitions editorial, technology, and permissions) to discuss key issues in light of our evolving business models. An opportunity not available on Any Given Day! What might have taken months of research and even longer in sustained discussions on the listserv, was covered by the group in a few hours. When the workshop concluded, we had answered many questions—framed a few important new ones—and come up with several new tools and plans for streamlining our communication with our authors toward the more efficient and robust access of IP equity for our presses.
Chairing the panel on "Subrights and the Small Press” was an additional delight and a definite value-added experience—one that I heartily recommend! From networking with experts and researching topics before the meeting, I learned about key resources, chatted up rights heroes like Laura Yong Bost, was enlightened about the services offered by Livres Canada Books, and had the pleasure of speaking with the Yoda of subrights, William Hamilton at University of Hawai‘i Press. By the time I stepped on the plane to go to the meeting, I felt like I’d received a master’s certificate in subrights strategies from some of the most gifted minds in the AAUP. On the panel and in preparing the session, I had the honor of working with and learning from: Philip Cercone, Director, McGill-Queen's University Press; Stephanie Vyce, Director of Intellectual Property and Subsidiary Rights, Harvard University Press; Sheila Leary, Director, Wisconsin University Press; and Kelly Rogers, Rights Manager, The Johns Hopkins University Press. Together they comprised nearly a century of subrights experience and kept folks glued to their seats and asking questions well in to the six o’clock hour on the last night of the conference. We discussed new ways of partnering to build tools and share information. We found inspiration in Livres Canada Books’ resources and fielded several suggestions in the session. We saw a real groundswell of interest that has carried on since then. Sixty-three member presses responded to our follow-up survey on some of the suggestions made by the panel, with roughly 80-90% favorability. I expect we will continue to work together to explore these issues, and I am very much looking forward to it.
From these two experiences alone, I found new tools, new resources, and a wealth of new contacts that will directly benefit my press and me professionally. I expect to be able to grow Indiana’s subagent base, and I will be continuing to network with 63 member presses and other contacts toward building new tools and sharing resources to streamline our permissions process and expand our subrights program.
In other sessions, I gained perspective on my role as subrights manager and learned more about issues facing the industry. In “Press, Parent, Library” and in “Debating the Humanities,” I learned that libraries and universities across the country are experiencing many of the same financial and cultural stressors we are and are likewise casting about for answers. The fiscally isolated nature of the library as a “cost center” for the university was further enlightening; I understand now that expectations of them as customers must take this into account. In her inaugural address, new AAUP President MaryKatherine Callaway pointed out that university presses will need to “walk back” some of their independence and quietude in order to integrate more soundly with universities’ messaging and thereby better safeguard access to continuing financial support. “Presses under Pressure: Best Governance Practices for University Presses” carried on the discussion from there and kicked off our new taskforce on university relations. That universities are under increased strain to defend spending helped contextualize Callaway’s remarks and deepened what I learned in other sessions.
This “cross pollination effect” or embedded context led me to realize that one of the greatest benefits of attending an annual meeting comes from what happens between sessions—both across sessions on related topics and in the intervening breaks. (Brief nod to Wittgenstein on the space in between.) First, getting to know staff at other member presses was eye opening; the AAUP is peopled by exceptionally congenial and sharp-minded folks! Discussing their experiences in light of presentations improved takeaways from the presentations. (This content, unfortunately, isn’t included on the recordings but an approximation can be observed in the tweets from the meeting.) Next, hearing topics discussed in different sessions, in various contexts and with alternate foci, all in real time as you moved through the meeting, was independently beneficial. The aggregate effect of so many touchstone topics and studies (e.g., the Taskforce report on Sustaining Scholarly Publishing) coming up in several sessions and discussions gave rise to a gestalt for 2011 that helped me see “at a glance” what’s happening in our industry; what’s changed from last year; what folks are working on, and where needs lie for next solutions. As an early-career publishing professional, this aggregate effect was of great benefit.
Last, the business-centric sessions and talks at this year’s meeting were an added boon for me as a student of business administration. David Simon gave us a brace of what were basically b-school case studies (sans data) in his talk after the opening banquet, discussing how newspapers and television each shifted models in response to a change in underlying technology. MIT Research Affiliate, Grant McCracken held forth on innovation and organizational change in Plenary 1, citing factors influencing each and giving us strategies to stretch our organizations to compete better. In her inaugural address, MaryKatherine Callaway encouraged university presses similarly to think more entrepreneurially and behave more commercially moving forward. We examined new business models, that were up and running, in the session on “Exploring New Models for Scholarly Publishing,” and Joe Esposito not only spoke on how to judge the fitness of business models, but he also shared his analysis of the university press segment of the scholarly publishing market. As if that weren’t more than enough, in “Selling to Libraries: The New E-Book Aggregation Options” and “Mellon Publishing Initiatives: Fostering a Culture of Collaboration” we received summary reports of collaborative entrepreneurship and collaborative publishing initiatives, respectively, currently underway in the AAUP community. I learned a great deal about recent history, current initiatives, and next-generation needs, and had a spate of lectures on business from experts in scholarly publishing—as well as a few on scholarly publishing from experts in business—all in one meeting and on top of the foregoing. Very exciting!
In sum, attending the 2011 annual meeting brought tectonic shifts in our industry to better light for me. I understand where I want to go in my studies and in my career as a result, and I have more and better tools to get there. The specialized knowledge, training, and contacts I gained during the meeting will be of direct benefit to my press and me in my work as rights manager: I know a dozen new “go to” people for various issues and information; I found answers to many direct questions; I will be able to grow our base of subagents; and I look forward to continuing discussions with other member presses about out building shared resources for growing AAUP subrights programs in concert with one another. All in all, it was like gaining a year’s worth of industry experience in a few weeks! Further, hearing what other presses were up to and have gone through helped put my work at Indiana in context, and the exposure to new ideas will help inform and focus my studies and continuing professional development. On balance, the experience has brought me nearer to several goals and will allow me to bring more to and to gain more from future meetings. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities receiving the grant afforded me professionally, and based on my experiences I encourage others to apply for future grants and to attend as many annual meetings as possible.
The subject of Black masculinity and the notion of what it means to be male in a gendered, heteronormative, capitalist society have become central to the study of intersectional relations in various academic disciplines. Though a small number of books have anthologized the various possibilities of discourses concerned with the Black male perspective, no journal until now has produced focused academic writing from a broad contributor pool on this topic.
Spectrum, the latest addition to the Indiana University Press Journals catalog, is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary research journal whose articles focus on issues related to aspects of Black men’s experiences, including topics such as gender, masculinities, and race/ethnicity. Spectrum examines the social, political, economic, and historical factors that influence the life chances and experiences of African-descended males using disciplinary and interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives, empirical methods, theoretical analysis, and literary criticism.
“Indiana University Press is honored to partner with the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University to publish this important and timely new journal. Spectrum is an exciting addition to IUP’s strong list of journals and books that focus on the Black Diaspora,” said Janet Rabinowitch, Director of Indiana University Press.
Housed in the Department of African American and African Studies at the Ohio State University, the editorial board includes faculty from colleges across the country, with interests ranging from English and Sociology to Education Policy and Leadership.
Published semiannually beginning March 2012, Spectrum will be a space where advocacy and imagination meet in order to reveal a global, complex Black manhood from the dawning of modernity through the present time. The online version will also feature multimedia resources.
Journal Information—Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men
Editors: Judson L. Jeffries, Terrell L. Strayhorn
To order: call 1-800-842-6796 or visit the IUP/Journals website
For review copies & interview requests contact:
Linda Bannister, Marketing Manager, email@example.com, 812-855-9449
Submission inquiries can be sent to the office of H. Ike Okafor-Newsum, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are pleased to have Dan Pyle blogging for us about his experience at the AAUP conference. Dan is the first recipient of a professional development grant from the Pat Hoefling Memorial Fund. This is the last of a four-part series of Dan's blogs about the meeting:
The way scholarly publishing is done is changing rapidly, both due to economic pressures from the parent universities and because the way people read and consume information is fracturing. More and more electronic reading devices are being sold, and their market share of our content continues to grow at an exponential rate. In order to adapt to what our readers need, IU Press will have to support and grow our electronic publishing initiative, both in education and resources.
The meeting focused on collaboration with our parent university as a way to share resources and to make sure presses have a high visibility within the university. Based on feedback from our director, faculty appreciates and respects the work we do at IU Press. As far as collaboration, I feel we could be doing more with other units of the university. My suggestion earlier about working with the libraries on IU’s campuses could end up giving us more visibility to the public and also help us offset costs for digitizing our backlist.
The annual AAUP meeting was a great location to meet other colleagues in the industry and also a great place to learn what’s going on in the university press market. It seemed to me like a lot of these ideas, at least in some form, were old hat for some of the larger presses that can afford to send people every year to this meeting. It is so important for the employees at IU Press to understand how our industry is changing and what we can do to change with it. The Pat Hoefling Memorial Fund is a great way to support the continuing education of staff here at the press.
We are pleased to have Dan Pyle blogging for us about his experience at the AAUP conference. Dan is the first recipient of a professional development grant from the Pat Hoefling Memorial Fund. This is the third of a four-part series of Dan's blogs about the meeting:
The first session on June 4 was titled “Debating the Humanities.” In this session, Frank J. Donahue, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, and Bob Stein debated the future of academia, the humanities, and how those two items are related. These experts discussed the e-book and how a professor who would publish his or her work in only an electronic format would be reviewed by his peers. They thought this would be affected by the perception of the senior faculty—some universities would be fine with publication in only electronic format, while others might not see it as credible towards tenure.
Another question they discussed that I found interesting is on the subject of slicing and dicing. This is where you take parts of a book and sell it in pieces, such as chapters or parts. Bob and Kathleen found this a good practice, but Frank found it horrifying. As an author, he thinks it would detract from the overall feel for his book. This is good to know, because slicing and dicing (I’ve also heard this called chunking) is a way to make more money for the press from one book, but we need to consider how this could impact author relations. Some authors might not care for this treatment, although I think this is someplace we will eventually go.
The next session of the day was called “How Good is Your Metadata,” and this was one of my favorite sessions. Bob Oeste was an excellent presenter, and he made metadata fun and informative. He discussed how metadata was extremely important, especially for e-books. Traditional (print) books have something e-books don’t have—a physical presence. A person can pick up and read the back, front matter, etc., to find out more about the book and what it discusses. E-books don’t have that luxury because they are digital files, which is why metadata is so important. It helps the book become discovered on the web and is what will help generate sales.
I am happy to report that based on this discussion, IU Press is where we need to be with metadata. We are sending ONIX feeds from our database, which provides all the metadata we have to most of our distribution chains.
Jabin White, president of content management at ITHAKA, talked about how metadata could one day change the way the internet works. He discussed something called “the Semantic web,” and this is the idea that one day the information on the web will be all tagged and be relational to other items. The example Jabin gave is that if he were to search for himself on a web browser, he might get 100,000 hits, and all of these would definitely not be him. However, in a semantic web, he could search for “Jabin” and “Ithaka,” and because there is a relationship between him and that business, the internet search would be able to discern more concise results.
The Internet is very far away from this, but Jabin believed that eventually information would start to be tagged and coded with metadata. He said it would become as important as copyediting to university presses. This will make searching for information easier and more productive, and with semantic metadata, a person looking for something within our books would be able to find it at the paragraph level.
The next session I attended was the second plenary of the day called “Press, Parent, Library." It covered how universities and presses would need to collaborate in the future. The reasons for this were predominantly budget constraints at the university level, which affects how much money a university can give to the press. One of the main collaborative efforts they focused on in this session is the library and university press working together on projects.
Based on this session, I had an idea that IU Press could collaborate with the Wells Library here to digitize our backlist. If the library could subsidize scanning and digitization of IU Press’s content, we in turn could give the library open access to all or some of our titles. I felt this would be beneficial for both parties, and perhaps we could take advantage of UITS expertise to get the backlist digitized by it for a lower rate. All of this would have to happen at the director level, but it’s worth suggesting.
The next session was “Presses Under Pressure,” and I found this talk useful as well. University press leaders and university administrators chaired this session, and gave what I feel are many helpful suggestions for university presses to work well with their parent universities.
One suggestion was developing a strategic plan to move forward. MaryKatherine Callaway, director of Louisiana State University Press, suggested that this task should not be led or written by the director. This way the university can get a different perspective from the other employees on how to handle some of the problems facing the press. This planning should include everyone at the press and should focus on long term development and growth.
Another suggestion was to have an advisory board of faculty that meets with the director. The suggested interval for the group to meet was twice a year. Faculty qualities for the board should include an appreciation of the press, knowledge in their area, the ability to work well with others, and not be a quagmire in traditional publishing practices. The terms for faculty serving on the board should be rotated in order to get fresh ideas.
Presses are in a tough position today, and the more we can align our goals and needs with Indiana University, the more we can serve and be helped by our parent institution.
The last session of the meeting I attended was on professional development, and was entitled “How to Get Noticed by Your Boss: Strategies for Growth and Professional Development in University Press Publishing." I felt that a lot of the advice was common sense—tell your boss when you make a mistake so you and he/she can figure out how to fix it, take initiative on solving problems, volunteer for tasks, and help your boss by filling in areas where he/she is weaker.
One of the items I was surprised by is that everyone on the panel said that Twitter was the way to get noticed by people in your field. I tried Twitter when it first came out, and I didn’t really understand it. Since coming back from this meeting, I have created a Twitter account for professional development. Even though I haven’t really said much (I’m still trying to figure out what I have to say that’s relevant and important on Twitter), I have different organizations and individuals in our industry following me so they can hear what I have to say.
So far I have read several interesting articles that people have linked to in their Twitter posts. At the very least, it’s a way to stay current and educated on what people are writing and saying in our industry.
We are pleased to have Dan Pyle blogging for us about his experience at the AAUP conference. Dan is the first recipient of a professional development grant from the Pat Hoefling Memorial Fund. This is the second of a four-part series of Dan's blogs about the meeting:
The day started off with Grant McCracken, an IU Press author, giving the first plenary entitled “Innovation and Organizational Change.” He talked mainly about “the shapeless problem,” and how it takes creative people to give shape to the problem and solve it. His lecture was not specifically geared to university publishing, but it seemed like McCracken had an overarching concept, which could bridge many different industries. Mostly it seemed like he was trying to emphasize how important creative thinking skills are in today’s economic environment because technology is changing at such a rapid rate.
The next session I attended was one of the most interesting to me in regards to e-books. The session was appropriately called “E-books Basics,” and covered topics in rights management for e-books (basically making sure your wording covered electronic rights, which ours does), as well as statistical information from the University Press of Kentucky. Dean Blobaum, Electronic Marketing Manager at University of Chicago Press, also spoke about Chicago’s digital program, which covers Bibliovault and some of its marketing techniques.
According to John Hussey, Marketing and Sales Director at the University Press of Kentucky, e-books are the one area of our business that is growing. We should focus more on e-book development and promotion in order to maximize this growth. The University Press of Kentucky is aggressive in its e-books program, and it has put time and resources towards marketing and producing e-books for a large portion of its books (50-90% of its list is digital in some form). In July 2010, income from e-books made up 1.4% of Kentucky's total revenue. In February 2011, the income was up to 11.4%, a huge increase. John admitted that this was a high month for them, however in April 2011 Kentucky's e-books sales were down to 5-8% of total revenue.
John also explained what is selling in electronic form. Top areas that are selling on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook (the two largest distributors of e-books) are military history, pop culture, global topics, and the backlist. John further mentioned that the main demographic for buying e-readers is not youth, but the baby boomer generation. Baby boomers find the device enticing because of the flexibility with font size. The adjustable font opens the e-books up to a demographic that might not have bought a book from us because the type was too small for their eyes to read. E-readers solve this problem.
The two main reasons a book sells on these readers are good metadata and media spikes. The example John gave was a book Kentucky publishes called The Dentist of Auschwitz. John explained that this was an older book, not one of Kentucky's best, but the metadata for it was very robust, which made discovery of the book possible. Kentucky also has a book that was highly publicized called Beetle. This drove sales up for that book as well.
In this same session, Dean Blobaum had some interesting things to say about Chicago’s workflows regarding electronic books. I’d like to offer the disclaimer that Chicago also houses Bibliovault, which was a Mellon grant-funded project that it now offers to client presses as a digital repository. The press does digital asset management for all of this content, including conversions to various e-book formats. Chicago has a completely developed infrastructure to handle e-books, which gives it a definite advantage in working in the electronic market.
Dean echoed some of the information John gave in the session, mostly about what is selling. Dean also said that $9.99 for an e-book is an attractive price, but it’s not the only number that sells. Books above that price also sell well in the market. Chicago also rents all of its e-books for 30 days for a flat rate of $7. Electronic books account for 6% of the website sales for Chicago.
Chicago also gives away one free e-book a month to as many people who sign up for it. The press does this because it has a lot of e-books available and it also gives people a chance to try e-books out without having to invest any money into it. Chicago also will sometimes use an author’s old book to promote a new one, or give away the first book in a series to promote sales for the entire series. I think this makes sense, and once we get the backlist to support this, I think this would be a great marketing asset. For a person to get the free e-book, he/she has to submit an e-mail address to download the file, and Chicago uses this to build a mailing list for promotion. After 22 months of free e-books once a month, Chicago had built an e-mail list of 29,000 active e-mail accounts.
The next session was the second plenary for the day, entitled “Back to the Future of Copyright.” The speakers for this plenary were both lawyers, and they talked about the different ways copyright law has evolved in the past, and how it needs to evolve again due to the new technologies changing the way content is distributed and duplicated. Jon Baumgarten, Intellectual Property Partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, likened this to the invention of the copy machine. Before that invention, it was impractical to make a copy of a book—you had to copy it by hand. Because of the copy machine, copyright had to be more strict and careful about how to handle the new technology.
The next session I went to was entitled “Regional Digital,” and it covered what types of electronic work different presses are doing within their regional trade books. Mark Simpson-Vos, senior Acquisitions Editor at University of North Carolina Press, talked about how it was necessary for their press to collaborate with other folks. The press had hoped to publish the Encyclopedia of North Carolina digitally, but due to budgetary constraints and lack of technical knowledge within the press, it collaborated with the State Library of North Carolina that had the technical infrastructure to help the press get this digitized. The digitization of this book is currently in process.
Mark’s press also experimented with extra media content in its Kindle edition of William Ferris’s book Give My Poor Heart Ease. This book is about Mississippi blues, and the Kindle version featured some of the music from the artists. UNC Press also did a backpacking book, which featured an author-component website where the author showed video on how to pack a backpack properly, and other items of interest to the book. The author volunteered to do this, as he had skills as a filmmaker and wanted to help promote the book.
I think adding additional content that costs the press money would be a premature venture for us at this time. We could look at this in the future once we’ve got a large digital program already in place.
The last speaker in this group was Pamela McClanahan, Director of Minnesota Historical Society Press. The press was able to get some grant money from the state to fund the development of an online encyclopedia, and it also partnered with a local television station to help with production of its book trailers, which can be found on YouTube.
The press also developed an application to dovetail with a book called Dad’s Eye View. This covered most of Pamela’s presentation. MHS Press decided to work with a firm to develop the app, and originally it had planned on giving it a price of $2.99, and the app would be included with the book. However, it turned out that the press's app was rejected from Apple because the Apple Store has a policy against selling anything that is promoted by a non-Apple product. MHS Press decided to give the app away for free, and you can download it in the app store under “Dad’s Eye View.” The app cost $30,000 to develop, and because of the policy in the Apple Store, the press was unable to recover any of the cost for this app.
The last session I attended was on the “Mellon Publishing Initiatives: Fostering a Culture of Collaboration.” Panelists talked about the different publishing initiatives that the Mellon Foundation has funded for their respective presses. In all but one case, the grants had already been spent. The funding that I found most easy to understand was the First Books initiative. This is where the money was spent to fund publication of a new scholar in his/her field. All of these grants involved collaborating with other organizations.
The panelists discussed the benefits of collaboration, such as having more resources, making publishing in an expensive subject possible (like history), and helping younger scholars gets published. Difficulties included communication, quality, and staff turnover.
One of the grants, called Quadrant, was used to provide funds to visiting professors at the University of Minnesota. While they were there, they were encouraged to publish, but it was not necessary. However, several books are in process from this collaboration between parent university and press.
We are pleased to have Dan Pyle blogging for us about his experience at the AAUP conference. Dan is the first recipient of a professional development grant from the Pat Hoefling Memorial Fund. This is the first of a four-part series of Dan's blogs about the meeting:
First off, I’d like to thank Indiana University Press for instituting the Pat Hoefling Memorial Fund. I think it behooves us to remember our colleague through furthering the education of IU Press staff, and I am honored to be its first recipient.
My primary goal at this meeting was to learn more about e-books, e-publishing, and tertiary subjects related to those fields, such as metadata and integrated e-pub workflow. This last item is the most important to us at IU Press, since the “how to” of e-books is the stumbling stone we keep tripping over. We know we have to do it, but what is the most efficient way? No matter how you slice it, creating e-books:
I’m hoping to learn some ways to make IU Press more efficient in our approach to this workflow, so that we can maximize the benefits of the e-market while minimizing our investment of time and money into this workflow.
In her inaugural address at the AAUP meeting, MaryKatherine Callaway said that university presses’ longstanding policy of “keeping our head down” and simply going about our business as publishers had been a decades-long “misstep” with dire current consequences for our standing in our respective campus communities. We must move campus relations up on our list of priorities in order to reintegrate with on-campus messaging, bring due light to our accomplishments, and increase opportunities for our presses. To support AAUP member presses in this, Callaway established a new Taskforce on University Relations:
Chaired by Garrett Kiely of Chicago, this group will identify ways to build better relations with our parent institutions, ways to remain relevant, and thereby help ensure our survival. We aim for practical results as well as theoretical ones. The task force will work to develop a tool kit for directors that will provide an ongoing resource, determining best practices for university presses and covering the wide array of evolving issues we face with our governing bodies.
In this session chaired by Peter Dougherty of Princeton University Press, directors, experts, and advisors alike rolled up their sleeves to get some topics on the table. Discussion included:
Standout remarks came from James T. McGill, (Advisory Board Member, The Johns Hopkins University Press and former Senior Vice-President for Finance and Administration, The Johns Hopkins University). In addition to insider tips on speaking to an advisory board, he said in sum: “You guys are on a burning platform,” and universities are no longer in a position to catch us if we fall.
McGill advised university presses to continue to reach out to form strategic alliances and joint ventures with other presses, such as UPCC, to shore up our both our respective and collective positions in the industry, against the likes of Wiley-Blackwell, Ashgate, SAGE, and Amazon.