UNT Press shows print can prosper

UNT Press shows print can prosper

UNT Press shows print can prosper
July 12
17:47 2017

With digital media soaring in the world of news and literature, the UNT Press is helping the printed word thrive through their publications.

Founded in 1987, the UNT Press has published more than 300 books, making them one of the leading printing presses in the country. With distributions throughout the country and even internationally, the potential reach of aspiring authors is remarkable.

To get published, authors must meet certain criteria to ensure they will do well in the peer review process. After the book is acquired at the discretion of the press, assistant director and managing editor Karen DeVinney steps in.

“I edit the manuscripts and work with the author on making their writing clearer and more correct,” DeVinney said. “I then send the manuscript files to a book designer who typesets the pages. After more review and tinkering, the book is ready for the printer.”

DeVinney then passes the manuscript off to production.

The press publishes around 16 books a year, with the entire process of publishing a book taking almost a full year.

“I enter the process about six months before we expect to receive the printed book,” marketing manager Elizabeth Whitby said. “I communicate with the author regarding their marketing ideas and desires, then I create a marketing plan using the author’s ideas and my own.”

Some of Whitby’s duties include designing book rights, scheduling social media posts, creating newsletters and any other duties involving promoting the author’s book.

As a marketing manager, her job can include making exciting connections considering the vast reach the printing press has.

“My favorite part of the job is probably pitching books to media outlets, like radio and TV shows,” Whitby said. “We occasionally get some really exciting calls—earlier this year, someone from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon called and asked for one of our books for a possible segment.”

The press not only helps potential authors, but also current students in need of academic sources for classes. The UNT Press can be an excellent local resource for students looking for reliable scholarly sources when it comes to papers for class, or even just out of curiosity.

“University presses sometimes publish books authored by a handful of their alumni or faculty, which UNT Press has done a couple of times,” Whitby said. “Generally speaking, university presses focus on publishing scholarly works, which benefits students who need to do research or write papers.”

Though some of the world may view the printed word to be “dying,” experts and students in the field know that to be false.

“I’ve heard that since I started in publishing and it has not happened,” DeVinney said. “People want the tactile experience of a print book, and studies show that readers retain more information from a printed book than from a computer screen.”

Whitby agreed that at the end of the day, people want a tangible experience.

“A lot of people would rather pay more money for a product they feel is unique, ethically sourced or of higher quality than pay less for something quick, convenient or cheap,” Whitby said. “Similarly, a lot of people would rather buy a print book than an e-book.”

On the other hand, a media presence is still vital to any printing press.

English senior Javier Garza said that while print media is still alive, it needs to have a good online presence to sustain itself.

“In today’s digitally-integrated world, print media can’t survive without publishing articles online,” Garza said. “There will always be people who enjoy reading a physical newspaper and who will pick one up if they can, but more often than not, you’re going to have people reading individual articles online. I don’t think print media is dead, it just has to exist online too in order to survive.”

Featured Image: On the second floor of Willis Library is the UNT Press office, where scholarly, academic and general interest books are published by the university. UNT Press is the newest of the university publications in North Texas and seeks to help writers develop their skills by publishing the first books of many authors, as well as those works relevant to the organization’s mission. Katie Jenkins

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Kayla Henson

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