Books for the News

E-book Q&A with press director Garrett Kiely

Over the past few years e-books have been gradually finding their way into the mainstream with new digital devices entering the marketplace that make downloading and reading even titles hard to find in print, as easy as a few clicks of a mouse button. Many have been struggling to keep up with this new technology and the new sets of obstacles and opportunities it offers the world of publishing. The University of Chicago Press, for one, has become somewhat of a guinea pig in the academic and scholarly publishing community, already distributing thousands of our titles electronically through digital library subscription services and direct to the public via Amazon’s Kindle Reader and the like—as well as implementing a monthly free e-book giveaway. On Monday the Chronicle of Higher Education caught up with Press director Garrett Kiely to find out more about the Press’s pioneering e-books program and how the free e-books offered by the Press have stimulated interest in electronic reading. Here’s a short excerpt:

Q. Why give away a free e-book every month? Where did the idea come from?
A. Chicago has an E-Books Working Group that meets regularly and discusses all aspects of our e-publishing program. When we launched our Chicago Digital Editions program we wanted to think of ways to increase awareness of a) digital books in general; b) Chicago’s growing digital program and c) the Adobe Digital Editions platform that we are using for the e-books. Since we serve these files through BiblioVault, we wanted come up with ideas to increase our knowledge of how customers interact with our e-books so we could pass this information on to our partner publishers. We had a lot of ideas but the most compelling was the Free E-book of the Month. We figured that this would get us noticed, would get people used to coming to our site for e-books and would also help us trouble-shoot any customer service issues that would arise. The program has been successful on all fronts.

Continue reading at the Chronicle website.
More about our e-books:
E-books from the University of Chicago Press are offered in Adobe Digital Editions format for Mac, PC, and a number of mobile devices such as the Sony Reader, IREX, BeBook, and more. Check out these links to find out more about Adobe Digital Editions or more about e-books from the University of Chicago Press. To browse all our currently available e-books, see our complete list of e-books by subject.