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The University Press in the Twenty-First Century, Darrin Pratt

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  • 1. The University Press in theThe University Press in the Twenty-First Century: A ViewTwenty-First Century: A View from the Westfrom the West Darrin Pratt, DirectorDarrin Pratt, Director University Press of ColoradoUniversity Press of Colorado
  • 2. Who We AreWho We Are • 133 total members of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) • 31 Western members of the AAUP (23% of total) – 23 university presses within the lower 48 – University of Alaska & Hawai’i Presses – 4 Western Canadian university presses – 2 scholarly publishers not associated with universities (Getty & RAND)
  • 3. UP Books PublishedUP Books Published • 1,048 new titles published by Western university presses in 2007 • 5,800 new titles published by all university presses in 2007 (Western presses = 18%) • 276,649 total new titles and editions published in 2007 (university presses = 2%, West = 0.3%)
  • 4. Western Members of the AAUPWestern Members of the AAUP • Abilene Christian Univ Press (1984) • The University of Alaska Press (1967) • The University of Alberta Press (1969) • The University of Arizona Press (1959) • Athabasca University Press (2007) • Baylor University Press (1897) • Univ of British Columbia Press (1971) • University of Calgary Press (1981) • University of California Press (1893) • University Press of Colorado (1965) • Eastern Washington Univ Press (1992) • Getty Publications (1982) • University of Hawaii Press (1947) • University of Nevada Press (1961) • University of New Mexico Press (1929) • University of North Texas Press (1988) • University of Oklahoma Press (1928) • Oregon State University Press (1961) • RAND Corporation (1948) • Rice University Press (2007) • Southern Methodist Univ Press (1937) • Stanford University Press (1925) • University of Texas Press (1950) • Texas A&M University Press (1974) • TCU Press (1966) • Texas Tech University Press (1971) • Texas Western Univ Press (1952) • University of Utah Press (1949) • Utah State University Press (1972) • University of Washington Press (1909) • Washington State Univ Press (1927)
  • 5. Founding DatesFounding Dates • The oldest university press in the country is Johns Hopkins University Press (1878) • The oldest Western university press is the University of California Press (1893) • University Press of Colorado (1965)
  • 6. Founding Dates (cont.)Founding Dates (cont.) • Prior to 1900 2 (6%) • 1900–1924 1 (3%) • 1925–1949 8 (26%) • 1950–1974 13 (42%) • 1975-1999 5 (16%) • 2000+ 2 (6%) Total 31
  • 7. Western Members of the AAUPWestern Members of the AAUP by Founding Dateby Founding Date • University of California Press 1893 • Baylor University Press 1897 • Univ of Washington Press 1909 • Stanford University Press 1925 • Washington State Univ Press 1927 • University of Oklahoma Press 1928 • Univ of New Mexico Press 1929 • S. Methodist Univ Press 1937 • University of Hawaii Press 1947 • RAND Corporation 1948 • University of Utah Press 1949 • University of Texas Press 1950 • Texas Western Univ Press 1952 • The Univ of Arizona Press 1959 • University of Nevada Press 1961 • Oregon State Univ Press 1961 • University Press of Colorado 1965 • TCU Press 1966 • The Univ of Alaska Press 1967 • The Univ of Alberta Press 1969 • Univ of British Columbia Press 1971 • Texas Tech University Press 1971 • Utah State University Press 1972 • Texas A&M University Press 1974 • University of Calgary Press 1981 • Getty Publications 1982 • Abilene Christian Univ Press 1984 • Univ of North Texas Press 1988 • E. Washington Univ Press 1992 • Athabasca University Press 2007 • Rice University Press 2007
  • 8. All University Presses by SizeAll University Presses by Size • Sales up to $1,499,999 31 (44%) • $1,500,000 - $2,999,999 13 (18%) • $3,000,000 - $5,999,999 17 (24%) • $6,000,000 and above 9 (12%) Total 70 *Just 70 presses who reported to annual statistics
  • 9. Western University Presses by SizeWestern University Presses by Size • Sales up to $1,499,999 9 (52%) • $1,500,000 - $2,999,999 2 (11%) • $3,000,000 - $5,999,999 5 (29%) • $6,000,000 and above 1 (5%) Total 17 *Just 17 Western presses who reported to annual statistics
  • 10. Western Members of the AAUPWestern Members of the AAUP by Sizeby Size Up to $1,499,999 • The Univ of Alberta Press (1969) • University of Calgary Press (1981) • Univ Press of Colorado (1965) • University of Nevada Press (1961) • Univ of North Texas Press (1988) • Texas Tech Univ Press (1971) • University of Utah Press (1949) • Utah State Univ Press (1972) • Washington St. Univ Press (1927) $1,500,000 - $2,999,999 • The Univ of Arizona Press (1959) • Texas A&M Univ Press (1974) $3,000,000 - $5,999,999 • University of Hawaii Press (1947) • Univ of New Mexico Press (1929) • Univ of Oklahoma Press (1928) • Stanford University Press (1925) • University of Texas Press (1950) $6,000,000 and Over • University of California Press (1893)
  • 11. With Non-Reporting Presses IncludedWith Non-Reporting Presses Included • Sales up to $1,499,999 21 (68%) • $1,500,000 - $2,999,999 3 (10%) • $3,000,000 - $5,999,999 6 (19%) • $6,000,000 and above 1 (3%) Total 31 *Best guesses based on my knowledge of the remaining presses
  • 12. Our Current ChallengesOur Current Challenges • Maintaining operational funding • Making up for declining unit sales • Dealing with the impact of the digital age
  • 13. FundingFunding • The university press business model is not-for-profit • No university press in the country generates an excess from its book publishing operations alone
  • 14. Funding (cont.)Funding (cont.) • 7% = average portion of operating budget from parent institution funding for all presses in 2007 • 30% = average portion of operating budget from parent intstitution funding for small presses (sales under 1.5 million) in 2007
  • 15. Funding (cont.)Funding (cont.) • The percentage of state budgets spent on higher education has declined over the past twenty years (www2.nea.org)
  • 16. Funding (cont.)Funding (cont.) • 2% decline in average institutional funding for UP’s from 1989-2007 –$302,236 per press reported in 1989 –$487,500 per press reported in 2007 –$302,236 = $499,400 in 2007 dollars
  • 17. Funding (cont.)Funding (cont.) • Flat as a percentage of operating budget • All presses: – 1989 = 7% – 2007 = 7% • Small presses (up to 1.5 million): – 1989 = 28% – 2007 = 30%
  • 18. Funding (cont.)Funding (cont.) • 68% of UP’s in the West are the category (sales to 1.5 million) that relies on institutional funding for 30% of their operating budget • Funding issues have hit Mountain West university presses particularly hard: – Arizona was the only Mountain West state in the top 25 in terms of state higher education funding across the 50 states in 2007 – University of Idaho Press closed due to lack of funding in 2004 – Utah State University Press currently threatened with loss of funding & closure
  • 19. Declining Unit SalesDeclining Unit Sales • Over the past 30-40 years, average unit sales of scholarly monographs have declined precipitously – 1970s: 2,000-3,000 copies = typical print run/sales – Today: 300-500 copies =typical print run/sales – 75%-90% decline in unit sales – UPC average unit sales: • 1986-1996: 1,677 • 1997-2007: 719 (57% decline)
  • 20. Declining Unit Sales (cont.)Declining Unit Sales (cont.) • Reasons for this decline – Shrinking academic library market – Increasing number of books being published in the U.S.: from 37,692 in 1971 to 65,796 in 1997, an increase of 75% *Note: Bowker has changed their calculation method twice since 1997 (in 1998 and 2003 or 2004), so 2007 reported output of 276,649 can’t be directly compared *For more detail on the above, see Books in the Digital Age by John B. Thompson (Polity Press, 2005)
  • 21. University Press Sales 1989-2007University Press Sales 1989-2007 • 16% decline in net sales ($$) from 1989- 2007 (adjusted for inflation), all presses – Small group (up to 1.5 million) only category to show an increase (8%) when adjusted for inflation over the same period – Group 3 (sales of 3-6 million) hardest hit with a 21% decrease when adjusted for inflation over the same period
  • 22. Open AccessOpen Access • Movement toward Open Access began as an effort to combat high pricing on STM journals • University presses can’t afford to give away content: 83% of budget, on average, comes from sales revenue • Journals programs at university presses particularly threatened
  • 23. Open Access (cont.)Open Access (cont.) • Ave. total cost of a new book at UPC = $36,000 • Average print bill = $5,000 • Ave. cost of peer review, editorial, production, distribution, and marketing = $31,000 • Ave. institutional funding per new title = $7,000 • Average sales required to break even = $29,000 (81% of total per book cost)
  • 24. Our OpportunitiesOur Opportunities • Strength of regional publishing • Cooperative ventures • Digital experiments and initiatives
  • 25. Regional Publishing / TourismRegional Publishing / Tourism • National Parks – Yellowstone Story, Volume 1(#9) – Geysers of Yellowstone (#10) – Explorer’s Guide to Death Valley National Park (#11) – Yellowstone Story, Volume 2 (#19) • Gift Shops – Rocky Mountain Flora (#2) – Colorado Flora (#7) – Mammals of Colorado (#13) – Amphibians and Reptiles of Colorado (#21)
  • 26. Cooperative arrangementsCooperative arrangements • University of California Press (system-wide) • University Press of Colorado (consortium of 8 universities and colleges) • University of Nevada Press (system-wide) • Texas A&M University Press (marketing and distribution consortium for 8 Texas presses)
  • 27. Cooperative Arrangements (cont.)Cooperative Arrangements (cont.) • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is currently funding cooperative publishing enterprises at university presses in the United States oriented around the publication of first monographs in underserved fields • 4 cooperative monograph ventures funded in early 2008: – Slavic Studies: University of Wisconsin Press, Northwestern University Press, and the University of Pittsburgh Press; – American Literatures: New York University Press, Fordham University Press, Rutgers University Press, Temple University Press, and the University of Virginia Press; – South Asian Studies: Columbia University Press, the University of California Press, and the University of Chicago Press; – Ethnomusicology: Indiana University Press, Kent State University Press, and Temple University Press
  • 28. Digital Initiatives & ExperimentsDigital Initiatives & Experiments • Rice University Press (born digital) • Athabasca University Press (born digital) • Mellon funded digital experiments: – Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2008) – Archaeoinformatics.org (2009)
  • 29. Digital Initiatives (cont.)Digital Initiatives (cont.) • University Press of Colorado lead on Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph project that includes 4 Western presses – University Press of Colorado – Texas A&M University Press – University of Alabama Press – University of Arizona Press – University of Florida Press – University of Utah Press