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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?