Christmas Posting Dates

Book Depository Blog

RSS

 

  • Cambridge University Press

    Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40

    Cambridge University Press is the oldest printer and publisher in the world, having been operating continuously since 1584, and is one of the largest academic publishers globally. Its purpose is to further the University's objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research worldwide.

    Richard Fisher is Executive Director of Academic and Professional Publishing at Cambridge. He worked for many years as a Cambridge University Press commissioning editor in history and politics, and has also been much involved with public bodies in the UK like the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy, and The Royal Historical Society, of which he is currently a Vice- President.

    Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Richard Fisher: The primary market of the Academic and Professional Books Group of Cambridge University Press (NB that we publish extensively for schools and ELT/ESL, and also publish large numbers of academic journals) is as it says on the tin, academic and professional. We publish over 1400 new academic books each year, from publishing centres in Cambridge, New York, Melbourne and Delhi. We have a small annual programme of books with wider retail or popular aspirations, but our main focus is firmly on faculty, librarians, students, professionals and practitioners. Our sales, marketing and distribution operation is emphatically global, as is our author base, and roughly half of our book sales are made in North America. The majority of our publishing (about 60%) is focussed on the humanities and social sciences, but we are very unusual for a University Press in having also a substantial programme in STM, with historic strengths in areas like maths and physics (as befit's Isaac Newton's own university!)

    BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    RF: At the university and research level, attrition in institutional funding on both sides of the Atlantic, with the continued squeeze on library budgets, with constant pressure from (e.g.) scientific serials and other forms of (increasingly) on-line information. This will be exacerbated as we enter the promised recessional squeeze. The global 'H&SS' community has not yet developed viable and sustainable models for on-line publication of extended material, and there is a huge paradox in that there will actually be more scholarly books published in 2008-09 than ever before, whilst simultaneously large parts of the community are wracked with a sense of doom, especially at the 'humanities' end. Sorting out that future is a massive priority, and a massive challenge. The Digital Revolution has, of course, proved a massive opportunity for even the most traditional publishers. Cambridge University Press is good at the 'invisibles' of publishing, like bibliographic information, and our content is now accessible in more forms to more people than ever before. The capacity to publish very short-run-paperback-impressions of backlist titles (our 'Lazarus' programme) has also proved hugely popular. Nearly 7000 titles have now been brought back into print, and this short-run stream now represents nearly 15% of our overall book revenues globally.

    BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    RF: Academic or pedagogic excellence is the most important thing, but that's a necessary but not a sufficient condition for publication by Cambridge University Press. Each has to be 'fit for purpose', and pitched at an appropriate and viable audience, whether of students (textbooks), faculty (monographs), medical, engineering or legal professionals (practitioner works). Graduate students at Masters' or doctoral level are a hugely important audience for Cambridge University Press books, especially of our paperback strands like Cambridge Companions, Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, and Cambridge Introductions to Literature. We publish over 1400 new academic books each year, across a vast range of subjects, and each has to make its own way in the marketplace. Rigorous peer review remains absolutely central to what we do. We do very little, nowadays, of what used to be called 'in-tray' publishing: the large majority of Cambridge University Press books have been actively commissioned by our acquisitions editors around the world.

    BD: What books are you most proud of having published?

    RF: I am still a part-time editor in the History of Ideas, and look after scholars like Quentin Skinner (his most recent book, Hobbes and Republican Liberty, published in February) and John Pocock. The latter's Barbarism and Religion about Edward Gibbon sequence is, by any reckoning, one of the great solo scholarly projects of recent times. The single book I think is perhaps the best I have ever published is Saint Anselm by the late Richard Southern (once nominated by The Observer as 'The Historians' Historian').

    For Cambridge University Press as a whole, our tally of Nobel Prize -winning authors went up last year to something like 57, with the prizes awarded to the International Panel on Climate Change (for peace) and to Leonid Hurwicz (for economics). We are also the only publisher with access to Charles Darwin’s letters and have just published two books to mark the bicentenary of his birth in 2009: Origins: Selected Letters of Charles Darwin 1822-1859 and Evolution: Selected Letters of Charles Darwin 1860-1870. That's not too shabby!

    BD: What books are you working on right now?

    RF: In the course of 2008-09 I shall publish new books from Quentin Skinner, John Pocock, Stephen Greenblatt, Jack Goody, Jim Tully, Pierre Rosanvallon and Gareth Stedman Jones, inter alia. I immodestly think that's quite a distinguished, and saleable, cohort.

    *****

    These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Cambridge University Press titles:


  • Boydell & Brewer

    Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40

    Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Michael Richards (Boydell & Brewer): Despite an increasingly successful trade list, the heart of Boydell & Brewer remains its academic programme. Founded by a historian and a Chaucer scholar, the company continues to publish books for academics in the fields of history, literature, music and cultural studies. Along the way we hope to also inform and entertain that most elusive of beings, the "interested general reader".

    BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    MR: More and more publishers are heading towards the mainstream, which leaves a wealth of interesting material for us to publish. The challenge, as always, is finding those specialists who need our kind of book and ultimately making niche publishing pay.

    BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    MR: A book, or its author, should always have something new and challenging to say.

    BD: What books are you most proud of having published?

    MR: It's impossible to narrow 30 years of publishing and thousands of titles down to just a handful of "greatest hits". Recently, one might point to Thomas Beecham: An Obsession with Music by John Lucas, a superb biography about an important musician that was turned down by its original publisher because it wasn't enough of a mainstream title. Or Leprosy in Medieval England , the culmination of a lifetime's scholarship by Carole Rawcliffe which dispels many of the popular myths about the disease.

    At the other end of the scale, our 7 volume edition of the Entring Book of Roger Morrice and the ongoing 9 volume edition of the Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti are exactly the sort of projects that Boydell & Brewer was born to publish. They bring a wealth of material to students and researchers that previously could only be accessed by hours of trawling through archives.

    In the end, though, how can one choose between Medieval East Anglia and The Bayeux Tapestry, our much needed reissues of The Dukes of Valois Burgundy and translations of the various Grail legends, Nelson’s lost letters or a study of Handel's Operas?

    BD: What books are you working on right now?

    MR: Our next big music book will certainly be Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents by Felix Meyer and Anne C Shreffler, published in November 2008 to coincide with the modernist composer’s 100th birthday.

    Also 100 years old next year but sadly no longer with us, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin is celebrated through a fascinating series of personal recollections in The Book of Isaiah, for publication in May 2009.

    Our lists in German and Spanish cultural studies grow ever more impressive, and a key title for the Autumn 2008 is The Companion to Spanish Cinema by Bernard Bentley - the first detailed study written in English for English readers.

    Finally a 2009 highlight from our core publishing area, medieval history: The Medieval Cook by Bridget Anne Henisch looks at the world “celebrity” chefs in the great aristocratic households and the peasant wife making the most from scarce resources and even what you might expect to enjoy as street food in that time.

    *****

    These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Boydell & Brewer titles:


  • Y Lolfa

    Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40

    Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Lefi Gruffudd: We publish a wide range of books from Welsh interest, joke books and books for Welsh learners, but we now mainly focus on popular biographies and fiction. Our new Alcemi imprint targets the literary market in Wales and beyond, and we’ve just published Death of Justice, the autobiography of Michael O’Brien, an innocent man imprisoned for 11 years in the infamous Cardiff Newsagent Three murder case.

    BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    LG: Developing Welsh-based authors is a challenge, especially with the London dominated media, but devolution and the recent funding expansion for Welsh publishing give some hope. Competing with mainstream publishers is always difficult...

    BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    LG: The promotion of Welsh culture, history, and language is the basis of the company’s existence and influences most decisions (and we only publish authors based in Wales). But the marketability of a book and its author are also a key factors.

    BD: What books are you most proud of having published?

    LG: This year we published the prize-winning biography of Gwynfor Evans, the first Plaid Cymru MP and its president for 40 years: Gwynfor Evans: Portrait of a Patriot. As well as winning the Welsh Book of the year award, it represents how far Wales has come in the past half a century, politically and culturally. We’re also proud of Solva Blues, the autobiography of the Welsh Bob Dylan – Meic Stevens.

    BD: What books are you working on right now?

    LG: We’re quite excited to be working on the autobiography of Roberto Martinez, the Catalan manager of Swansea City. As well as bringing Swansea city back into the limelight, isn’t he also one of the best managers in British football? Alcemi is also about to publish Twenty Thousand Saints, the first English novel by a fabulous young Welsh author Fflur Dafydd, on lesbian nuns, being marooned without any men on Bardsey Island, privacy and intrusion.

    *****

    These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Y Lolfa titles:


    Posted by Mark Mark

    Categories: publishers, Y Lolfa

    Write a comment | Comments: 0

  • Nelson Thornes

    Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40

    Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Rachel Lindsay: Nelson Thornes is one of the UK's leading educational publishers providing engaging and creative blended learning resources of the highest quality that support teachers and motivate students of all abilities from Primary through to Higher Education. We listen to, and understand the needs of our customers and offer a wide portfolio of effective curriculum resources specifically designed to enhance and enrich the teaching and learning experience – truly bringing learning to life.

    BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    RL: As an educational publisher, there is a huge amount of curriculum change at the moment, including Key Stage 3, A Level and the introduction of the new Diplomas this year, as well as GCSE and NVQ's next year. Our challenge is to continue publishing engaging and motivating resources across the board whilst maintaining the high standards expected from AQA (Britain's largest examination board) that means our new A Level, GCSE and Diploma resources are exclusively endorsed.

    BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    RL: We are constantly looking to develop resources that are engaging and stimulating, whatever the subject area. In the ever-changing field of education we need to respond quickly to meet the needs of new qualifications. For example, our new CACHE resources have been written specifically for the new CACHE Level 2 and 3 in Childcare and Education qualifications. As the only publisher officially endorsed by AQA, our A Level resources are designed to raise standards and complement all teaching styles and learning abilities. We are currently developing new GCSE level resources with AQA in preparation for the major curriculum changes next year.

    BD: What books are you most proud of having published?

    RL: Our AQA A Level resources are truly innovative in their use of the latest technology to provide a totally blended solution to A Level teaching and learning. At the other end of the spectrum, Teaching Today, by Geoff Petty, will be re-editioned for the fourth time next year, and has proved itself as an indispensable text for all teachers. We are also proud of the strong relationships we have built with specific Sector Skills Councils, such as the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) which endorses our hugely popular Hillier’s Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology books.

    BD: What books are you working on right now?

    RL: We are currently completing our suite of AQA endorsed A Level texts, the AS student books were published this spring with A2 following throughout the autumn and into next year ready for September 2009. We are also well underway with work on the new AQA endorsed GCSEs where we have secured many leading authors who are members of the relevant senior examining teams. Plus re-editions of Teaching Today, the new NVQs and Diplomas, so all in all, we are extremely busy!

    *****

    These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Nelson Thornes titles:


  • Frances Lincoln

    Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40

    Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Gail Lynch: Our list is so diverse, we have many different markets -- we publish travel guides, photographic books, gardening books, books on design, interiors, stationery, children's books. I would say anyone with an interest in the great outdoors, especially the British great outdoors, should look to us for inspiration. But we have plenty for indoor types, too!

    BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    GL: Again, the diversity of our publishing is very important. We don't have all our eggs in one basket. We're not usually competing head-to-head with the big publishers. Our children's books, for instance, sell to schools and libraries as well as through bookshops, website and special interest groups. Our adult list includes some quite specialist titles, but never so specialist that they don't also attract some inquisitive general readers. The challenges are the same as they always have been -- creating well-produced books and getting them out into the world, whilst hanging onto some margin!

    BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    GL: Books come to us from many different sources -- if a book is properly written and well-designed, and we think people will be interested enough in it to buy it, and will feel rewarded for buying it, then we'll publish it. But there has to be a magic ingredient. If I told you what that is, I’d have to kill you.

    BD: What books are you most proud of having publishing?

    GL: I haven't been with the company very long, but there's no escaping the fact that we're all very proud to be the publishers of Wainwright's walking guides to the Lake District. Since the BBC has been showing documentaries about Wainwright's walks, the sales have been fantastic. But our MD bought the rights before the television interest, because he believed in them. Wainwright has become a phenomenon now -- there is Wainwright Ale, a Wainwright rose, a Wainwright bus, a Wainwright bridge -- and we're delighted to be involved.

    This month, we're publishing We Are All Born Free, with Amnesty International. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, children's artists each illustrated one of the articles of the Declaration and the results are published in a stunning children's picture book, that manages to be moving and educational as well as highly entertaining. We're extremely proud to be publishing that, and to have sold co-editions in 28 countries and 30 languages.

    BD: What books are you working on right now?

    GL: In the sales department, we're getting ready to start selling our spring list to our trade customers. I don't know that I should be singling out favourites, but we have a couple of books designed to get familes outdoors, which we're very excited about: The Family Kitchen Garden and Go Wild!

    My own personal favourites on the children's list are What Mr Darwin Saw, by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom, and Crocodiles are the Best Animals of All by Sean Taylor, with illustrations by Hannah Shaw. You'll have to wait until Spring 2009 to see them. Watch this space!

    *****

    These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Frances Lincoln titles:


  • Showing 46 to 50 of 121 results < Previous 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next >
  • Can't find what you're looking for? Try our below.

Book Depository Team
Publisher Blogs