My Love Letter to a Press

Oh, University of Chicago Press, let me count the ways in which I love thee. . . . Ah, scratch the pseudo-archaism. I love this press for many reasons but the one I’m blogging about today is their embrace of the digital. UCPress rocks the ebook world and other presses should be following suit. Here are three key reasons why they’re awesome. You might even say that I’ve gone ‘ape’ for their ebook policies. Maybe you’d be right!

  1. Availability: The press isn’t only making new releases available in electronic format, it’s tackling some of its backlist. I’ve been able to grab a number of books that were useful to me and choose from all the major electronic formats, including a short-term rental option. You can even browse their ebook listing separately from their regular catalogue with just a click of a radio button (upper left part of the History Catalogue web page.
  2. Pricing: You can rent most any digital title from the University of Chicago Press for only $7USD. You can purchase a lot of fabulous titles even more cheaply. Germano’s Getting It Published (2e) only set me back $5.13 via Amazon. Booth, Colomb & Williams The Craft of Research (3e) runs even less. And every month? They offer a new ebook for free.
  3. Essentials: Chief among the Press’s electronic offerings are a number of key reference titles, especially those aimed at students and junior scholars. Booth et al., Becker’s Writing for Social Scientists, Lipson’s Cite Right (2e) and other reference works abound on their ebook list. When you’re comfortable with annotating and searching digital texts, going digital isn’t only cheaper, it can be much more efficient!

Of course, while the University of Chicago Press has won my admiration, I’m not ready to be monogamous. I’m happily enjoying ebooks from other academic presses: Oxford University Press recently had a great deal on the Lockwoods’ The Siege of Washington so I know they’re reaching out to the ebook readers. Sad to say, though, they don’t seem to be nearly so digitally-savvy as Chicago, at least not yet – there’s no easy way to find their ebook catalogue nor do they seem to have a sustained digital pricing policy.

What press is your favourite these days and why?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “My Love Letter to a Press

  1. I’m starting to hate reading on the kindle. I hate the interface. I should be able to CLICK on the damn footnote and hop to it, not have to scroll and WHERE the hell are the page numbers! SIGH because I do LOVE having a book at my fingertips. I’m liking google e-books WAY more

  2. J Liedl

    I’m very accustomed to my Kindle now; it took my one afternoon of marking up an interesting but non-critical text with highlights, annotations and following through on notes to get my fingers clued into the keyboard. (I suspect I’d have more trouble with the Kindle Touch, mind you – I love my keyboard Kindle).

    I adore reading on my Kindle. I have a couple of pleasure-reading favourites to which I return. I just finished an eight-book fiction series that was pure pleasure to plow through on a little ereader instead of lugging each thick paperback around all over town. Now I’m onto this history of the Siege of Washington which is just a wonderful read!

    Googe ebooks is nice, too – my problem is that I have problems untangling my library from the wider world of Google. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to save something I’m reading when I click to “Save This to My Library”. That’s irritating, especially when I have to backtrack to rediscover the text I’d been reading!

    I guess the truth is that for any of the options, there’s a bit of a learning curve. I started mine when I was heading on a trip by myself so I had time to explore the functions. I imagine it would have been a lot harder to catch onto had I done that with the kids in tow but we all didn’t travel together until I’d mastered my ereader!

  3. Ink

    I don’t have a favorite press yet but this was an interesting post (always pondering how technology is changing publishing). Also, “I’m not ready to be monogamous” = LMAO!