RedShelf’s new blog feature, Independent Publisher of the Month, spotlights our independent and self-publisher partners. We hope to give our readers a glimpse into the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of independent publishing that has been facilitated in recent years by the rise of easily accessible eBooks.
This month we talked to Beth Golub, President and Editor of Prospect Press. Prospect Press is a digital-first higher education publishing company specializing in content for Information Systems and Computer Science courses. Working with RedShelf, Beth utilizes both our digital vendor space and Print-on-Demand capabilities for publishers.
“When starting Prospect Press,” Beth said, “I saw an opportunity to continue serving the Information Systems curriculum, especially courses that are under-served with textbooks.” Beth worked in the publishing industry for 27 years before starting Prospect Press, which gave her invaluable insight into the nuances of the Information Systems content market. Because Information Systems is a relatively new discipline, textbooks for courses are constantly evolving to remain useful and comprehensive. Although the market is smaller than for other disciplines, Beth knew she could succeed in this niche area by virtue of her knowledge in the field and the available textbook options.
Due to the specificity of the market, the issues that usually plague independent publishers - difficulty with marketing and distribution - are not as much of a concern for Beth. She said that because the roster of Information Systems professors is small, it’s a well-defined customer base, which makes it easier to disperse her material for consideration. Distribution can also be a challenge, she said, but working with RedShelf to get Prospect Press’ material into campus bookstores has helped a lot. “With a digital-first model, it’s important to be able to have a channel that’s on campus, and to have the Print-on-Demand option,” she said.
Prospect Press’ digital-first model is one of the unique options in independent publishing today. Beth says she enjoys the flexibility that independent publishing provides, particularly for courses like Information Systems that are constantly changing. “[Independent publishing] allows me to be more nimble, and react faster,” she said. “If I see a book I want to do, I can, and I can react quickly to a new course if I see an unmet need there. If a professor has a new idea for content, I can hop on that with a quick turnaround. Overall, it makes it easier to go after new markets.”
Today, Prospect Press publishes new editions of previously-released textbooks, but will also begin carrying first editions in the near future. These first edition textbooks will be aimed at smaller, more specialized Information Systems courses, the kind that Beth founded Prospect Press with the intention of serving. With her entrepreneurship and eye for new, emerging markets, we love having Beth as one of our publisher partners, and we’re very happy to feature Prospect Press in this month’s Independent Publisher Spotlight. Like and follow Prospect Press on Facebook today!