Cambridge University Press, the 485-year-old academic publishing house, is expanding its presence in the North American trade book marketplace. Thomas D. Willshire, head of CUP retail sales in the Americas, said the press is looking to get more titles into general bookstores. He added that though CUP has always published select academic titles with the potential to reach a general readership via bookstores, it is now “actively looking for agented books that will appeal to the general marketplace” and is continuing to “identify some scholarly titles we can add to the trade list.”
CUP’s U.S. office is located in New York City’s Financial District, where the publisher, which had total revenue in the fiscal year ended April 30 of £316 million, has about 200 staffers spread across its editorial, ELT, academic, education, and sales departments. It currently publishes about 20 trade-focused titles per year, but that number is likely to rise. CUP trade titles will have trade discounts and galleys, and will feature “bespoke covers by outside book designers,” Willshire said.
CUP is also expanding its distribution relationship with Ingram Academic, a division of Ingram Publisher Services. The new sales and distribution agreement will make CUP trade titles available to a wider range of retailers, including independent stores, university bookstores, Christian bookstores, museum shops, and gift stores as well as Canadian retail chains. The new distribution agreement will give CUP about 20 sales reps (including four longtime in-house CUP sales reps). Willshire said CUP will also exhibit at BookExpo this year in the Ingram booth.
Forthcoming CUP trade titles include There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee (yes, he’s Tim’s brother), an accessible and entertaining treatise on the environment and consumption written entirely in question-and-answer form that is due out in March. There’s also Cambridge Companions, a series of expert guides to a variety of topics, among them The Cambridge Companion to Sherlock Holmes (May), edited by Janice Allan and Christopher Pittard, and The Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones (Oct.), edited by Victor Coelho and John Covach.
Willshire emphasized the range of the CUP publishing list and its ability to appeal to general readers: “We’re a global publisher; we don’t just acquire books of interest in the U.K. It’s fun to see our books on store shelves. And it’s good for our authors to see their books in stores.”