Posted Thursday 3 December 2009
Kingston University has launched its own commercial publishing arm which will bring out books on a wide variety of topics ranging from human rights to memoirs. Known as Kingston University Press (KUP Ltd), it will publish mainstream books which aim to bring academic ideas to a much wider readership, unlike more traditional academic university presses. This strategy will complement the University's strong commitment to widening participation and providing access to higher education for all.
Dr David Rogers, Head of the University's School of Humanities and KUP Ltd director, initially came up with the idea for a publishing arm five years ago. "It's been a long road but we were utterly convinced that by setting up a press we could disseminate what's going on in the academic world to the general public and therefore contribute to wider debates," he said. "One of our first books, for example, is on sustainability, which is highly topical given the United Nations' Climate Conference in Copenhagen next week."
The official launch of KUP Ltd, at a central London bookshop this week, was attended by a wide range of published and prospective authors and academics. "It's important to stress that we are not a vanity publisher," Dr Rogers said. "Submissions will be judged solely on the quality of the writing, and we will treat every incoming manuscript with the seriousness it deserves. We will nurture authors at every stage of the publishing process with strong editorial support, which is something that too few publishers now do."
KUP Ltd will publish across a broad range of subject areas, drawing on expertise in the University's creative writing and publishing studies programmes and reflecting the work of its centres of excellence, such as in human rights, suburban studies and life narratives. As it fosters quality writing, it will favour titles which lend themselves to a wide distribution in the book trade in the UK and internationally. Around 10 books will be published each year. "We will run on a business model and have to make ends meet, but our long-term aim is not to increase the number of books we publish or to turn a big profit, but to work constantly on improving the quality of the books we produce," Dr Rogers added. "We want to work closely with academics in the University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture to ensure that the design of our books is also first class."
Highlights from the Autumn list, announced at the launch, include the memoir The Sound of Turquoise by Gill Gregory; popular philosophy with Finding Our Sea-Legs: Ethics, Experience and the Ocean of Stories by Will Buckingham and Sustainability in Practice From Local to Global: Making a Difference, Editors: Nicola Corrigan, Sarah Sayce, Ros Taylor.
KUP Ltd hopes to provide work placements to students on a wide range of courses throughout the University, from creative writing to business and design.
Further information on the books, and for prospective authors, is available by visiting the KUP Ltd website.