I read this article about the impact of university presses on their local communities today. It combines my longtime interest in publishing with my new interest in urban planning, the creative class, and third spaces. Near the end, there is a paragraph that lists ways we can support university presses:
Buy books from UPs, for yourself and as gifts, ideally directly from the publisher’s website to give them the greatest share of revenue.
Here’s the thing:
We chose a university press title for book club this month. I was really proud of that. After looking for the book in a bunch of local stores, I went to the publisher’s website and ordered a brand new hardback copy. And I waited.
I waited 10 days.
A week before our book club meeting, I sent an email to customer service, asking to track the package. No response.
The next day, I sent the same email. No response. I didn’t get a response until the following Monday, the day before our book club meeting, after I’d already gotten the ebook with some Amazon credit and read it on my Kindle. I was told the UP’s warehouse was backed up on orders. Later that day, I received confirmation for two-day delivery.
Two-day delivery. The day before book club.
For book club publicity purposes, we like to take group photos with the book cover on display. Luckily, one of the members had a hard copy, so we didn’t have to take a photo with the book cover on my iPad screen.
Of course, she got her copy through Amazon Prime. Two-day delivery. A nice used copy.
When I got home from work today, my brand new, full-priced copy was waiting for me.