To mark our first birthday, the LSE Review of Books is holding an awards ceremony on 16 May 2013 to recognise the hard work of our contributors and to thank all parties involved in helping to support the initiative. Kathryn King, Marketing Manager at The Policy Press, continues our series of blog posts from academic publishers, covering more details about the award Policy Press is sponsoring and how integral the study of Sociology is to their publishing history.
Which books first inspired your own interest in books and the world of publishing?
I had wanted to work with books in publishing since I was young. A voracious reader as a teenager, I adored books like The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. Nowadays I feel lucky in my current role at The Policy Press to combine my love of books and publishing with its not-for-profit status and ‘making a difference’ social mission. It is immensely satisfying to know that, in a small way, we contribute to improving people’s lives through our publications.
The Policy Press is sponsoring the Sociology and Anthropology award at the forthcoming LSE Review of Books Awards. How important is this subject to The Policy Press’s history?
The Policy Press was set up in 1996 as a not for profit social science publisher, to try to improve social conditions via publications that would make a positive difference to learning and research, policy and practice. Many of our titles are multi- and/or interdisciplinary, spanning disciplines including social policy, social work, sociology and political science. Sociology is a key area for us; our focus is on applied social sciences, and our sociology and social theory books reflect this in that they must make a difference in a tangible way, whether it be informing a key policy or practice debate, or improving the education of students.
What initiatives has The Policy Press undertaken to cater for our changing reading habits?
While we have been selling our e-content since 2008, the last few years have seen a huge increase in demand for e-books and massive developments in the technology to read them, and we are developing our e-products to match.
Our monographs are available as EPDFs through Policy Press Scholarship Online (in partnership with Oxford University Press), which features over 300 digital titles across sociology, social work and public health and epidemiology. Digital publishing also gives us the opportunity to offer content in ways impossible in print, such as Policy Press Bytes. This format allows purchase of excerpts from books at a competitive price. Currently we have three Bytes for Danny Dorling’s Unequal Health available, each giving a flavour of three major themes: public health, social medicine, and inequality.
What are some of the big new releases from The Policy Press can readers look forward to in the next few months?
June sees the publication of Eisabetta Ruspini’s Diversity in Family Life and Linda Milbourne’s Voluntary Sector in Transition. Patsy Staddon’s Mental Health Service Users in Research will become available for the first time, and Eva Lloyd and Helen Penn’s Childcare Markets will be released in paperback. July is also an exciting month for new releases, with the publication of Global Social Policy in the Making by Bob Deacon and Money for Everyone by Malcolm Torry, as well as The Approaching Great Transformation by Joel Magnuson.
See our Events page for more information on the LSE Review of Books Awards 2013.
Kathryn King is Marketing Manager at The Policy Press, a not-for-profit social science publisher at the University of Bristol. She has worked in academic publishing for over twenty years and enjoys the constant challenges of this fast-paced environment.