The University Of Georgia Press
Meet The Press: The state’s oldest and largest publishing house, the UGA press was founded in 1938. Based in Athens, it puts out some 75-80 new books each year with a fulltime staff of 24.
Mission Driven: “The press’s mission is to publish high quality, peer reviewed scholarly and general interest books in the humanities, the social sciences and natural sciences. We also publish creative and literary works for a national readership and books about Georgia and the South for a more local audience,” says Director Nicole Mitchell. The press also is a partner in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
Author, Author: Mitchell says authors – of both fiction and nonfiction – from all around the world solicit the press about publishing works in their field. Often, the press’s editors will commission works they feel are needed.
Top of the Charts: One of the press’s perennial bestsellers is Snakes of the Southeast, coauthored by UGA professor of Ecology Whit Gibbons and Mike Dorcas from Davidson College in North Carolina. “The all-time bestseller is UGA Professor Kenneth Coleman’s Georgia History: An Outline published in 1978,” Mitchell says. “We’ve sold more than 40,000 copies and it’s still used in classes.”
Sea Change: Conven-tional wisdom holds that the printed word will never go out of style, but that isn’t stopping the press from making forays into the digital world. “We are in the process of moving into ebook publishing to better serve the scholars, students and general readers who prefer to read books in digital and searchable formats,” says Mitchell, who adds that the press recently inked a deal to make its works available on Kindle, Amazon’s wireless reading device.
Finding Funding: UGA provides the press with 30 percent of its operating expenses. The remainder is derived from book sales, private gifts, grants and sales of subsidiary rights. Mitchell says the press’s 22 member advisory board, chaired by Craig Barrow III of Savannah, has helped boost the portion of the annual budget provided by private funding to 9 percent in just four years. Savannah’s Wormsloe Foundation is a major supporter, and Georgia Power funds a graduate internship with the press for a student from UGA’s Grady College.
Buy the Book: Though the press’s main clients are book wholesalers and retailers, interested parties can order books directly from the press’s website and online booksellers, or visit traditional bookstores. The press has some 1,000 books in print – many older volumes are now available via print on demand.