Annual Report 2012-2013
letter from the Director August 1, 2013 Dear TCU family, During this past academic year, TCU Press experienced a variety of transitions, challenges, and achievements, but overall it had a strong and productive year. From June 2012 to May 2013, we published nineteen books, several of which won prestigious awards, and reprinted eleven others. Furthermore, we received 75 queries and proposals and extended contracts for nine new projects. The Press also launched its eBook initiative, which released more than 45 digital editions to over twenty eBook vendors, including Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble. Press staff covered a lot of miles this year. In addition to book launches and signings, the Press was represented at the Southern Association for Women Historians Conference, the Texas State Historical Associationâ€™s Annual Meeting, the Texas Book Festival, the San Antonio Book Festival, and the Association of American University Presses Annual Meeting. The Press also met with countless TCU faculty, staff, students, and parents at Frog Alley during football season, at the TCU Holiday Gift Market, the TCU Orientation Essentials Fair, and at Bookish Frogs events. We also saw two new additions to the TCU Press staff. Kathy Walton joined as editor, while Rebecca Allen became the new marketing coordinator. The Press also had the help of many strong interns, including a funded graduate student, twelve undergraduate interns, and three students from Paschal High School. The staff has worked hard to increase awareness of the Press and its mission around the TCU community as well as the community at large. Expanding its digital presence has been a key focus of this objective. In addition to redesigning its website, the Press has developed its social media presence via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr. These accounts, in various stages of development, help TCU Press reach a wider audience while expanding its searchability online. TCU Press has many notable strengths, including a dedicated staff, loyal friends and supporters among the faculty and community, and an established niche in Texana and Southwestern literature, history, and culture. Yet its most important strength is that the TCU Press imprint is highly regarded and recognized among publishers and readers alike. Our books are respected, and it is this respect that continues to attract prominent authors. Happy reading,
Dan Williams Director, TCU Press
“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Spring 2012 »» »» »» »» »» »» »» »»
Essays on the Presidents: Principles and Politics by Paul Boller Alexander O. Brodie: Frontiersman, Rough Rider, Governor by Charles H. Herner† Dave Parsons: New and Selected Poems by David Parsons, 2011 Texas Poet Laureate Major Moments: Life-Changing Lessons of Business Leaders from the Neeley School of Business at TCU by Rix Quinn & O. Homer Erekson The Chicken Hanger by Ben Rehder The Texas Legation Papers, 1836-1845 edited by Kenneth R. Stevens* Spies, Politics, and Power: El Departamento Confidencial en México, 1922-1946 by Joseph A. Stout Texas, My Texas: Musings of the Rambling Boy by Lonn Taylor†
Fall 2012 »» »» »» »» »»
To Hell or the Pecos by Patrick Dearen The Street: A Journey into Homelessness by B. J. Lacasse* A Texas Jubilee: Thirteen Stories from the Lone Star State by James Ward Lee Fair Park Deco: Art and Architecture of the Texas Centennial Exposition by Jim Parsons & David Bush The Wright Stuff: Reflections on People and Politics by Former Speaker Jim Wright edited by James Riddlesperger Jr., Anthony Champagne, & Dan Williams »» Log Cabin Kitty by Donna Rubin, illustrated by Susan Halbower* »» Jan Seale: New and Selected Poems by Jan Seale, 2012 Texas Poet Laureate
»» Cedar Crossing by Mark Busby »» Between Day and Night: New and Selected Poems 1946-2010, Miguel González-Gerth edited by David Colón »» Limo by Dan Jenkins & Bud Shrake »» Hometown, Texas: Young Poets and Artists Celebrate Their Roots by karla k. morton »» The Norton Trilogy by Jack August*
Coming in Fall 2013! »» »» »» »»
The Harness Maker’s Dream by Nick Kotz* Many Rivers to Cross by Thomas Zigal Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo! Football Comes to TCU by Ezra Hood Tails on the Hill: Stories about a Family and Its Dogs by Carol Thornton, illustrated by Vicky Williams Harrison »» Texas Chili? Oh My! by Patricia Vermillion, illustrated by Kuleigh Smith »» Law in the New West: The Story of Snell & Wilmer by Jack August* »» Wars within War: Mexican Guerrillas, Domestic Elites, and the United States of America, 1846-1848 by Irving W. Levinson (Revised eBook edition)
*These titles were subvented to offset production costs. † These titles were partially subvented to help offset production costs.
“TCU Press books represent local and regional community collaborations, reflecting projects that are most worthy of note for readers across the country. . . . TCU Press is one of many jewels in the TCU crown of achievements.” ~June Koelker, PhD Dean of the Library
Award Winners 2012
Calvin Littlejohn: Portrait of a Community in Black and White, by Bob Ray Sanders, was featured at the Arkansas Literary Festival.
Jan Seale: New and Selected Poems, the latest addition to the Texas Poets Laureate Series, has been named a poetry finalist for the Writers League of Texas Book Award.
Devils River: Treacherous Twin to the Pecos: 1535-1900, Texas Tales Illustrated: The Revolution, by Mike Kearby, by Patrick Dearen, received the West Texas Historical illustrated by Mack White, received the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Juvenile Western Nonfiction. Association’s Rupert Richardson Award for Best Book on West Texas History. TCU Press also received a Will Rogers Medallion Log Cabin Kitty, by Donna Rubin, illustrated by Susan Award for Outstanding Merit/Excellence in Halbower, received the Texas Institute of Letters Printing and Publication. H-E-B Award for Best Children’s Book. Ben Rehder, author of The Chicken Hanger, was featured Fair Park Deco: Art and Architecture of the Texas Centennial at the Texas Book Festival. Exposition, by Jim Parsons and David Bush, is a finalist for the 2012 Book of the Year Award in Architecture. Fair Park Deco received an honorable mention by the Texas State Historical Association’s Ron Tyler To Hell or the Pecos, a novel by Patrick Dearen, was a Award for the Best Illustrated Book on Texas finalist for the Will Rogers Medallion Award for History and Culture. Western Fiction. Richard McCaslin, author of Fighting Stock: John S. The Texas Legation Papers, 1836-1845, by TCU Professor “Rip” Ford, received the Texas State Historical of History Kenneth Stevens, won the Will Rogers Association’s Kate Broocks Bates Award for Medallion Award for Western Nonfiction. Historical Research. Grace and Gumption: The Women of El Paso, edited by Marcia Daudistel, and Patrick Dearen’s Devils River were both recognized by the San Antonio Conservation Society’s Publication Awards.
“The benefits of a university press are many. The TCU Press enhances the academic prestige of the university by winning awards of excellence for its books. These awards extend the reputation of TCU to audiences who may not be aware of the quality of TCU as a university. “ ~June Koelker, PhD Dean of the Library
eBook initiative TCU Press has continued its progress on its eBook initiative, converting and/or producing approximately 45 digital titles. This initiative has begun to open new revenue streams for the Press. The Press’s most popular eBooks for the 2012-2013 year were novels: The Chicken Hanger by Ben Rehder, Baja Oklahoma by Dan Jenkins, and A Woman of the People by Benjamin Capps. In addition to agreements with aggregators like Project MUSE, EBSCO, and eBrary, TCU Press’s distribution agreement with Texas A&M University Press includes distribution to national and international vendors, including Amazon, Apple, Google, and Barnes & Noble.
TCU Press has also joined with entrepreneur and TCU professor Michael Sherrod to promote eBook distribution via Add+Libra, a pilot project. The idea is to provide a decentralized content distribution system that should create new revenue opportunities for publishers, new discovery opportunities for readers, and enhanced revenue for distributors. The system is entirely centered around eBook distribution. The project has not officially launched yet, but TCU Press’s files have been uploaded and await the launch.
“Ben Rehder knows how to tell a good story… . Rehder offers impressive descriptions of the harsh terrain and the Anglos’ ambivalent attitudes toward illegal immigrants… . By skillfully handling multiple plot threads and infusing his narrative with suspense and mystery, Rehder puts a human face on the problem without resorting to preachy, didactic rhetoric. The Chicken Hanger is a good story and a worthy addition to the growing body of novels about Texas.” ~Texas Books in Review
Events & Activities 2012
Texas, My Texas Book Launch in the Mary Couts Burnett Jeff Guinn’s Evening with James Ward Lee at the Dee Library at TCU J. Kelly Alumni Center at TCU Texas, My Texas book signing at Marfa Book Company, The Texas Legation Papers book presentation at the Texas Front Street Books, and The Twig State Archives in Austin Marcia Daudistel and Lonn Taylor signings at TSHA Annual Meeting
The Texas Legation Papers Book Launch in the Mary Couts Burnett Library
The Chicken Hanger discussion and signing at Murder The Wright Symposium, hosted by the TCU Dept. of by the Book in Houston, Boerne Public Library, Bee Political Science Cave Public Library, and Barnes & Noble in the Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio Jan Reid, Jim Lee, Paul Boller, and Jim Wright signings at the TSHA Annual Meeting Major Moments Book Launch in the Mary Couts Burnett Library The Wright Stuff Book Launch in the Mary Couts Burnett Library Fair Park Deco Book Launch in the Hall of State at Fair Park The Wright Stuff Book Launch hosted by UT Dallas The Street Book Launch at the Presbyterian Night Shelter Gala at the Fort Worth Club
Super Saturday Storytime at Barnes & Noble at Hulen Center, featuring Donna Rubin and Log Cabin Kitty
Log Cabin Kitty presentations at Log Cabin Village
Cedar Crossing reading and signing at BookPeople in Austin
Karla Morton appeared on Good Morning Texas to talk Bookish Frogs Annual Kick-off Dinner, featuring Mary about Hometown, Texas and her “Little Town, Texas” Tour Volcansek and A Century of Partnership Potluck Dinner, featuring Lonn Taylor and Texas, My Texas
Bookish Frogs Annual Kickoff Dinner at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, featuring Jim Parsons & David Bush and Potluck Dinner, featuring Paul Boller and Essays on the Fair Park Deco Presidents Potluck Dinner, featuring Jim Lee and A Texas Jubilee “TCU Press deserves credit and thanks for cultivating and encouraging the literary resources of our state.” ~Russell L. Martin III, SMU, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 6
Digital Presence The primary goal of growing TCU Press’s digital presence is to increase brand awareness, not just of specific titles, but of the Press as a whole. Growth over the last few months has been strong and steady. TCU Press expanded its digital presence by redesigning its website, rejuvenating its Facebook and Twitter activity, and cultivating Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr as additional social media platforms. While Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr are still in strategic development, we have begun to collect important data about the website and Facebook page. In the past year, the TCU Press website has been completely redesigned. Just since mid-March 2013, the Press’s website has had 1,230 unique visitors. Of all visitors to the site, the average time spent browsing the website is just under two minutes, which is impressive considering TCU Press books are not sold on its website. However, further improvements will continue into the new year. The Press is now focusing on creating and adding individual book pages for every one of its titles. These pages will then link to a shopping cart on the Texas Book Consortium website in a separate window, so that TCU Press shoppers may continue to browse on TCU Press’s site until final checkout.
In addition to utilizing the Facebook page to disseminate news and announce events, we have used various holidays and celebrations to engage our followers and cross-promote our publications. Such promotions included Women’s History Month, National Poetry Month, St. Patrick’s Day, and even Jackie Robinson Day. The page has garnered 271 likes. The page’s average weekly reach is 480.
“TCU Press makes a unique and valuable contribution to our university, the wider Fort Worth and North Texas community, and academic scholarship. . . . The fine work by TCU Press makes our university known and respected beyond campus.” ~Kenneth Stevens, PhD Professor of History
Goals for the future »» Enhance awareness of TCU Press’s prestige as an academic publisher, and thus enhance the university’s reputation. • Update and expand the website • Increase number of campus and community events and collaborations • Grow social media presence • Realign personnel and workloads • Improve internship standards and procedures »» Increase sales • Broaden eBook production by converting more of the backlist into ePUB formats • Develop new strategies for marketing and promotions Like most publishers today, TCU Press is at a crossroads. The entire publishing industry is undergoing a profound paradigm shift from the printed page to the computer screen. Right now, everything is changing, but no one knows exactly what the future will look like. Cultural theorists and futurists are predicting that the current revolutionary transitions in publishing and communication will be as deep and as profound as those that occurred after Gutenberg began to print. To ensure its future, TCU Press must anticipate and adapt. The publishing industry is in chaotic transition, but there is opportunity in this chaos. To take advantage of these opportunities, TCU Press must develop the capacity to function efficiently in both old and new business models, and this will require development and growth. TCU Press is currently a four-person operation (director, editor, production manager, and marketing coordinator), and two of these people (editor and marketing coordinator) are currently working at 80% time. Moreover, TCU Press is entirely dependent on student interns. In order to take advantage of the potential in online sales, it will need to enlarge its staff, adding a fifth person, an associate editor who not only would help with the editing process but also help with metadata collection. With heavy workloads and high production costs, the current staff can only react to the demands and exigencies of current deadlines. TCU Press must be proactive in its approach to the future. This past year TCU Press made considerable progress in enhancing its visibility on campus, and this progress must continue. Rather than be perceived as a satellite program on the margins of campus, TCU Press must clearly demonstrate that it is a vital part of the university’s academic mission, that it not only disseminates new knowledge but also that it is a dynamic learning laboratory for faculty and students all across campus. Rather than be assessed merely by its sales, TCU Press should be judged by its contributions to TCU, the community, and the region.
“TCU Press plays a vital role by encouraging original research about the Southwest and by stimulating the authorship of literature that reflects its history and culture. The entire region is richer because of the Press’s dedication to this mission.” ~Patrick Dearen, author and journalist