TTU Press Hosts Book Sale In New CoMC Building

Texas Tech University Press wrapped up a week-long open house and book sale on Friday for the nationally recognized Association of American University Presses’ University Press Week.

Barbara Brannon, marketing manager at TTU Press, said the reason for having the event was to celebrate multiple anniversaries.

“We are celebrating 25 years,” Brannon said. “This is our silver anniversary membership in the AAUP.”

According to Brannon, university presses have been around since the late 1900’s, but 75 years ago they gathered together with a common interest and formed a professional organization known as AAUP.

Brannon said there is often a misconception about the TTU Press relating to university publications such as The Daily Toreador.

“We specialize in publishing books for the scholarly world,” Brannon said. “We also do a lot of regional publishing about books that are about our part of the state.”

Brannon said they have books that have won awards,  as she pulled a book off the shelf called “Llano Estacado: Island in the Sky.” This book describes Lubbock and its surrounding regions, which, she said, won an award for the best-illustrations for a book on history and culture in Texas in 2011.

Despite their awards, Brannon said, she thinks a lot of the public is unfamiliar with TTU Press.

“I’m afraid we are one of the university’s best kept secrets,” she said.

Robert Mandel, director for TTU Press, said this is a common problem among university presses.

“All university presses suffer because a lot of people don’t know what we do,” Mandel said.

According to Mandel, the purpose of University Press Week was to make the TTU Press more visible around campus.

“The purpose of the week is to increase public awareness about what we do for the university and the culture at large,” Mandel said.

Additionally, he said, one of the main purposes of university presses is to publish books of scholars and researchers that commercial publishers will not publish because they will not be financially viable.

According to Mandel, university presses publish 5 percent of books in a given year and only account for 1.2 percent of book sales, but they also account for 20 percent of all book awards.

“The importance about university press books is that they are books of importance,” Mandel said. “It’s the book itself, not about the commercial value.”

With a 25-75 percent discount on all books available at the sale, people had an opportunity to find books on a variety of subjects at a great price.

Brannon said hosting the sale in the remodeled Media and Communication building played a huge role in how they might be perceived.

“Our expectations are to be in a newly renovated space that will support our image as being an important and integral part of the university’s mission,” Brannon said.

With the sale taking place on campus rather than their last office on 4th Street, Mandel said, he has already noticed an increased presence of people at TTU Press.

“I think in the short time we’ve been here, we’ve had more professors drop by than we had in the five years before,” said Mandel.

“The proximity is only going to help raise visibility.”

Matt Moczygemba
Contributed to The Hub@TTU by Jour 3312

About Matt Moczygemba
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