AAUP-Impelsys Program Offers New E-Publishing Solutions

Earlier this summer, AAUP was very pleased to announce a new membership benefit under an agreement with iPublishCentral, a self-service e-content platform from Impelsys.

Member presses have a long commitment to serving the needs of scholars across every field of study. As scholars move to online practices as heterogeneous as their disciplines, AAUP is pursuing new benefit programs that will ease the process of experimenting with and adopting the right e-publishing solutions for scholarly presses.

The iPublishCentral services range from book-marketing widgets to direct e-book sales to consumers. These flexible service menus offer a broad range of ways for content to be discovered by and delivered to readers. The new AAUP-Impelsys program provides discounted monthly iPublishCentral fees to our members. In addition to the negotiated discount scale, Impelsys is offering AAUP members a special inaugural deal: waived fees for the first 12 months of contracts signed by June 2010.

The MIT Press, a cutting-edge adopter of several electronic publishing solutions, chose iPublishCentral to power their direct-to-consumer e-books store. E-books at the MIT Press currently offers approximately 450 titles from all of the Press's publication fields and categories (trade, monographs, illustrated, and text.) Gita Manaktala, MIT's Editorial Director, reports that they have seen a broad range of interest across all of these fields and categories.

MIT uses iPublishPortal to sell both perpetual access and time-limited e-books—a "rental" model the Press has just recently rolled out. MIT launched the e-books store in March 2009 with an intended audience of individual consumers. The biggest surprise, Manaktala says, has been the interest from libraries in purchasing single-title e-books through the site. Increasing reliance on patron requests to drive e-book acquisitions could be a factor in this library market, where turning to the press directly may be faster and easier than sourcing the title through aggregators.

MIT Press continues to work on the site's features, layouts, and e-book offerings, and has yet to undertake a major marketing push for their e-book store. Throughout the process of building and tinkering with the new site, Manaktala says Impelsys has been "really responsive and good to work with. Their team is sophisticated and helpful, and interested in making this a success."

In July and August, Impelsys hosted four webinars to introduce their services and the new AAUP benefit program to member publishers. More than 20 AAUP members attended these online sessions and have been favorably impressed with what they have seen. The iPublishWidget capability allows for branded, dynamic marketing across web sites, social networks, and blogs. iPublishView-Inside, with fully-searchable text and publisher controls on browsing, is an additional tool for providing what numerous e-publishing experiments have shown in recent years: online content that breeds both interest and sales. Sameer Shariff, CEO of Impelsys. believes that this is a particularly important tool for scholarly publishers to reach readers across the globe: "Increasingly discriminating readers will access sample pages and make quick, convenient purchases from anywhere in the world, further strengthening the financial position of university presses."

Web demos can be arranged for any AAUP member that is curious about these services. Impelsys will also be attending the Frankfurt Book fair, where interested presses can arrange a direct meeting. Use the online registration form or contact Ray Alba to set up a Frankfurt meeting or with other questions about Impelsys services. AAUP members can learn more about the AAUP-Impelsys program and pricing scale through the members web site [password required]. Impelsys also offers an online "Learning Center" for press staff to delve deeper into the functionality available.

To talk about AAUP's current e-publishing programs with Impelsys and Tizra, or suggest new program ideas, members are invited to contact Brenna McLaughlin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .