TCU Press looks to keep going strong

Having faced several struggles over the past few years, including financial trouble and possible closure, the TCU Press is leaning on the staff, the interns and digital media for a future on campus.

The TCU Press is a publishing company that produces multiple books and books series, including many topics in Texas literature and history. 

Dan Williams, the TCU Press director, said that the purpose of the books series is to reach out to different niches. For example, the Texas Tradition Series contains historical literary books about Texas that were previously out of print.

The press also produces a children’s series called Chaparral Books for Young Readers. The children’s books are primarily historical fiction for middle-school aged children. 

Three years ago the press faced closure due to financial trouble. Williams, a professor in the English department, said he believed that the press still had a future and asked Chancellor Victor Boschini to give the company another chance. 

“I was on the board of editors and I wrote the chancellor a long email explaining my thoughts of why university press was an important part of the university and volunteered to work for free,” Williams said. “Two months later I was offered the position of director.”  

Currently, Williams said he is trying to continually keep the company up to date with technology. In order to accomplish this, Williams said TCU Press will begin converting many of their publications to e-books, digital books available for purchase through vendors such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon. 

 Melinda Esco, the TCU Press production manager, has been on staff at the press for seven years and witnessed the press face possible closure. Esco said the recent struggles within the past three years have forced the company to cut back on the number of events and printing runs that can be completed every semester. 

With addition of new editor Kathy Walton and the help of the Williams and the interns, Esco said she hopes the company will operate at a normal speed soon. 

Williams attributed much of the success of the company to the interns. The interns are involved in multiple areas, including editing and production. 

Walton said students interested in being an editor after graduation would obtain useful real world experience because of the amount of work each intern does with her and other members of the staff. 

“It’s hard work being an intern,” Walton said. “Theres a lot of very detailed work and proofreading requires real concentration but you learn a lot while doing that and have a lot of fun.”
Megan Doyle, a junior writing and psychology double major, said she interned at TCU Press since August and works in several fields within the company including proofreading manuscripts and online blogging. She hopes to pursue a career in publishing after graduation.

“I love learning all it takes to create one book,” Doyle said. “It takes so many people and companies working together to read the books, see if it is critically capable, create an index, design a cover, color the pages, find out who would read it and why they would read it.” 

A recent publication by the press titled Fair Park Deco: Art and Architecture of the Texas Centennial Exposition will be reviewed in a French magazine sometime next year. Books published by the TCU Press can be purchased on their website.
Students interested in applying for an internship with the TCU Press can go to the English department main office in Reed 314 for more information.