August 20, 2019
People of the Press is back this week! Inspired by the Association of University Presses celebration of the people of AUPresses, we would also like to celebrate our dedicated publishing professionals throughout our 60th anniversary year.
Today, we’re featuring our Director, Kathryn Conrad.
What do you do for the Press?
I sometimes joke that my job as Director is to attend meetings and sign my name. But what I love most is finding partnerships with colleagues on campus and in the community.
How long have you worked at the UA Press?
Almost 25 years! So much has changed in that time about the way we disseminate scholarship and connect with readers that it never gets old.
The University of Arizona Press is committed to helping contribute to an informed society and enlightening readers. What’s one thing you’ve learned from your work?
That university press publishing attracts the most talented, dedicated, generous, passionate, community-minded professionals you can imagine.
What would people be surprised to learn about your work?
I think people would be surprised at the amount of labor it takes to make a book. Research has shown that the average cost of publishing and disseminating a high-quality peer-reviewed monograph ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. Most of that is in staff time— and it doesn’t even include the cost of print copies. But I think they would be equally surprised to know that on most days, that work feels like a privilege. We get to share the stories and scholarship of incredibly talented writers and experts and help them have an impact on the world.
Tucson has a thriving literary and scholarly community. What’s one of your favorite spots to hear authors, find a good book, or just curl up and read?
Nothing beats the Tucson Festival of Books for renewing one’s own excitement about books, authors, and this incredible literary community we live in. But for sitting down with a great book, I’ll take the back porch during a Tucson monsoon.