Planet of the Apps

An Exploration of Mobile Reading During the rush to convert backlist books into digital forms a few years ago, I was in the office of a fellow university press director. He showed me his impressive new website that offered e-books for sale directly to consumers. When I asked if he was selling illustrated books this way, he pointed to a pile of books in the corner, his “problem children,” and said he would have to deal with those later. Full article >


Society of Biblical Literature's Online Books Program

New Initiative Expands the Boundaries of Scholarship The 2011 publishing frontier is, for most of us, about all things digital. As new tablets proliferate, how do we translate physical books and printed materials into mobile-friendly files and apps? And how does the digital book balance with the physical? How will university presses respond to new reader demands fostered by commercial-minded Amazon, Google, and Barnes & Noble? Full article >


Positively Third Avenue

A Review of John B. Thompson's Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century John B. Thompson's excellent book, Merchants of Culture, subtitled The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century, brought to mind many images both from this, the twenty-first, and from the last century, when I began my career as a publisher working for commercial houses. Full article >


Joanna Hitchcock, Director, Retires from Texas

Interview with an AAUP Institution Joanna Hitchcock is a past president of the Association of American University Presses and a founding member of the Texas Book Festival Advisory Committee. She is a graduate of Oxford University and began her publishing career at Oxford University Press in London; she came to Austin from Princeton University Press, where she worked in the marketing department and various editorial positions before being appointed executive editor for the humanities and assistant director. Full article >


E-book? What E-book? Which E-book?

Identifying Our Products In the running for least glamorous issue in digital publishing, this glossy world of apps and gadgets and social media, is the question of how to assign identifiers to e-books. The ISBN has been a workhorse standard in the book publishing industry, clearly identifying print format products throughout a large and changing supply chain, and often serving an unofficial role as a primary work identifier in publishers' internal systems. As digital book products, formats, devices, and sales models proliferate, the manner of identifying these has become as cloudy as defining them. Full article >


Books for Understanding News

New Home for Books for Understanding! Books for Understanding has a "new" home at the domain AAUP has rolled all of the Books for Understanding bibliographies and resources onto a separate web site to provide long-term flexibility for the program. Please update any links you might have to Books for Understanding lists or pages, simply replace the URL pattern "" with "" Full article >


Newly Updated Books for Understanding Lists

Just in time for the centenary of Ronald Reagan's birth, AAUP has updated our Books for Understanding bibliography on Reagan's life, presidency, and political legacy. As always in February, to mark Black History Month, AAUP has added new titles to one of our original Books for Understanding resources on Race Relations in America.


California Welcomes New Director

In January, University of California Press welcomed its new director, Alison Mudditt. Alison, who brings more than 22 years of experience in academic and scholarly publishing to the position, took over from Lynne Withey, interviewed in the Fall 2010 Exchange.


Mellon Grant Awarded to Art Publishing Initiative

A five-year, $1.2 million Mellon Grant will fund the Art History Publishing Initiative, a collaboration between Duke University Press, Pennsylvania State University Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, and University of Washington Press. The goal of the initiative, which will publish 40 first books by art history scholars, is to make art historical scholarship more widely accessible in both print and electronic forms.


2010 PROSE Awards

The 2010 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence, or PROSE Awards, were announced on February 3, 2011. AAUP congratulates our 18 members, who garnered more than 60 awards or honorable mentions. The top honor, the R.R. Hawkins Award, was given to Yale University Press for Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, by David Eltis and David Richardson. View all the 2010 honorees here:


MLA 2011

The 126th Modern Language Association Annual Convention took place in downtown Los Angeles, January 6-9. This was the first MLA Convention to be held in January instead of the last week of December. Considered to be the largest gathering of teachers and scholars in the humanities, the 2011 MLA Convention was bustling with over 7,000 college-level educators and graduate students from the United States, Canada, and abroad. Full article >


2010 Charleston Conference

For 30 years, Charleston, SC, has played host to a conference of librarians, publishers, and vendors marked by its collegiality and spirit of common problem-solving. The 2010 Charleston Conference was no different, though the size of the event is beginning to outgrow its host spaces. Many interesting and relevant sessions were held, a number featuring AAUP members, such as the AAUP Library Relations Committee panel, and several panels on Patron-Driven Acquisitions. For video highlights from a variety of panels, visit the conference website at