Part university press and part professional publisher, Harvard Education Press, an imprint of the Harvard Education Publishing Group in Cambridge, Mass., may be one of the best kept secrets in the Boston area’s vibrant publishing scene. Over the past decade HEP has added to its list, starting with three books in fall 2002, and over 20 books in each of the past few years, with 13 books slated for the spring 2013 list. “We’ve had a good ten years,” says director Doug Clayton, who has been with HEP from the start. “We have been really gratified by well over a 10% a year sales increase in the last six years.”

While HEP’s 150-title backlist might be directed more toward people in government, teachers, and princpals, “our books can stretch into the trade,” says publicity coordinator Rose Ann Miller. And they tackle some of the hard issues in education, starting with the press’ very first book, Racial Inequity in Special Education, edited by Gary Orfield and Daniel Losen of Harvard’s Civil Right’s Project. Other titles look to educational reform, school leadership, and education management and finance. HEP’s bestselling book, Instructional Rounds in Education (2009) by Elizabeth City, Richard Elmore, Sarah Fiarman, and Lee Teitel, details a new form of professional learning known as instructional rounds networks, which the authors developed based on the medical rounds model used by physicians. It also exemplifies the press’s mission to publish on behalf of education practice and policy and comes from faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Over the next six months HEP plans to expand into e-books. In the fall, it hired Christina Smith DeYoung as director of sales and marketing to spearhead that mission. She was previously with WGBH Education. “We’re a little bit behind where we wanted to be with e-books,” says Clayton, who plans to gradually phase in the press’s backlist, which includes every title HEP has printed since its founding, along with new titles.