TCU Press responds to digital movement with e-books

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    TCU Press will follow the digital movement by selling e-books nationally and internationally through Barnes & Noble and Amazon. 

    Facing the possibility of closure due to financial troubles in early 2010, TCU Press will soon publish e-books as part of the digital shift.

    Dan Williams, TCU Press director, said the staff spent the past two years working on the e-book initiative, converting many of their previously published content to electronic formats.

    “It’s just a precarious, unstable time in publishing," Williams said. 

    The launch of a new website is also part of the digital conversion. Users would be able to discover both hard-bound and electronic books through the site, Williams said. The new website will also feature a new look and interface for better functionality.

    In addition, TCU Press will sign an agreement that allows e-books sales to more than 20 well-known vendors, Williams said.

    "Our function is not necessarily to sell books and make a profit," Williams said. "Our function is to support the university's mission in the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge."

    Sales in hard-bound books from TCU Press over the past two years have about broken even, according to Williams. Specific financial numbers were not released by Williams, who said that TCU Press is an academic press, not a commercial press.

    Melinda Esco, TCU Press production manager, said that once they start selling e-books the TCU Press hopes to see a spike in income. 

    Along with a new digital focus, TCU Press strived to become more involved on campus.

    Esco said multiple student interns from the English department work at the press. Over the past couple of years, TCU Press has facilitated book launches at the Mary Couts Burnett library, book signings, and book sales at the TCU Holiday Market and Frog Alley.

    According to Esco, a book launch is scheduled with former university professor Paul Boller’s book titled “Essays on the President: Principles and Politics” this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in the library.