The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., which is already renowned for its world-class medical care, is launching a publishing imprint, Mayo Clinic Press, which will publish health-related books for consumers.
This isn’t the first time Mayo has published books, but the launch of this imprint marks the first time Mayo will publish health books for consumers as a full-service press. In 1990, the clinic self-published the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, now in its fifth edition with 1.5 million copies in print. Since then, Mayo also self-published The Mayo Clinic Diet, which is in its second edition and has sold 500,000 copies, but it has more often partnered with multiple publishers to publish about 40 health books. In the future, any new editions of these titles with updated medical research will be released under the Mayo Clinic Press imprint.
According to Mayo Clinic Press manager Daniel Harke, Mayo decided to move from being an author of health books to actually publishing them due to the difficulties of upholding its very high standards of health information when a trade publisher was producing the books. Also, booksellers and librarians wanting to buy Mayo Clinic books had to order titles from multiple publishers.
“There was confusion [for booksellers and librarians], having to purchase from multiple publishers,” Harke said, “Establishing ourselves as a publisher allows us to serve our readers better. We’re going to be a true publisher, instead of an author working with publishers. We have the resources and financials to do this right.”
Mayo Clinic Press titles will be distributed by Simon & Schuster. The press’s debut release, Mayo Clinic’s Guide To Fibromyalgia: Strategies To Take Back Your Life, by Andy Abril, M.D., and Barbara K. Bruce, Ph.D will be published in September with a 33,000 initial print run. Harke says that, currently, one or two new titles will be released each year, as well as two or three revised titles with updated information. Eventually, Harke told PW, he would like to grow the press so that two or three new titles are published each year, as well as five or six revised titles. All Mayo Clinic Press titles will be published in print and digital formats, and as audiobooks.
Besides Harke, who has worked for Mayo since 2012, there are 18 people on staff, including six editors. All Mayo Clinic Press releases will be edited and reviewed by experts in whatever health-related issue the book addresses.
In the original version of this story, the subtitle for the Mayo Clinic’s Guide To Fibromyalgia: Strategies To Take Back Your Life was incorrect; it has been corrected.