It’s officially University Press Week! The Association of University Presses encourages everyone to celebrate and acknowledge how university presses all over the globe positively impact scholarship in a variety of ways. The theme for 2022 is “Next UP” which emphasizes the constant evolution and advancement of university presses. Keep an eye on our blog this week for the UP Week blog tour!
Welcome to Day One of University Press Week! This first day on the UP Week blog tour is about highlighting newcomers/early careerists in university press publishing, so I was asked to contribute a post about my experiences at UTP so far.
My name is Grusha and I’m the Digital Marketing Coordinator here at UTP. My entry into the book publishing world started a little over a year ago. I am a fairly recent graduate from the University of Toronto, where I studied English, Book and Media, and Creative Expression and Society. My subjects of choice already indicated that I might pursue a career in publishing, although I wasn’t positive that this is what I’d end up doing. After a brief internship in the tech field where I did some marketing and editing, I saw an opening for my current role at UTP. My interest was piqued because the role would combine two of my interests: marketing and books. At UTP, we keep students in mind for a lot of our marketing because many of our books are textbooks or books that can be used in courses. Coming into the press as someone who just got out of school was nice because I have a fresh student perspective to offer in terms of what aspects of a book would be appealing or useful in a classroom setting. We’ve published books by professors whose classes I’ve been in!
University presses are fascinating, fast paced, and incredibly collaborative environments. I’ve found a really genuine collegiality within this industry so far which makes me feel supported and also allows me to constantly learn from the other people I work with. There are several things that I’ve learned specifically about the University of Toronto Press (most of which would also apply to many other UP’s) that surprised me. I did not expect our press to have as wide of a reach as it does, nor did I expect that so many of our authors would be from places outside of Canada. For example, I’ve gotten the chance to communicate with and market books by authors who are professors at universities in Virginia, which is where I grew up. I didn’t expect something like that to happen and it definitely made me appreciate the wide reach and appeal that UTP has to authors from all over the continent and even all over the world.
Due to the global nature of many large university presses, we really serve as institutions of inclusiveness and unity. In the spirit of this year’s theme of Next UP, this will hopefully continue to happen, and we will expand our ability to publish work that starts so many meaningful conversations across and within communities. We publish a wide array of books that cover histories and contemporary issues/topics in countries all over the world and this gives opportunities to authors with incredibly diverse backgrounds and identities (we have quite a few Indian authors/books on India which was another point of personal connection for me). Truly understanding what a massive and important undertaking the press takes on in working with so many authors on a constant basis not only makes me very proud to work here, but also makes me incredibly excited to see where this first step into the world of university press publishing takes me.