WVU Press positions for a productive spring.

This spring, West Virginia University Press, a part of WVU and the largest book publisher in West Virginia, will publish several major books about the state and region, covering everything from poetry to politics to pepperoni rolls.

The strong season caps a period of significant growth at the press, including increased title output, expansion into new subjects, and the hiring of a new director. “WVU Press is a book publisher just like Random House—we acquire, edit, design, market, and sell books,” said Press Director Derek Krissoff. “And of course, we’re interested in seeing our books succeed in the marketplace.”

Unlike a commercial press, however, the mission at WVU Press encompasses making available important books that reflect the research strengths of WVU and serve the needs of West Virginians. “That sometimes means publishing faculty at WVU and other universities in the state,” Krissoff added. “But it also means publishing authors from around the world who write about Appalachia or work in fields that are important to the university and our region, like energy and environment. Since those books may not seem viable or interesting to the big New York houses, it’s important to have a not-for-profit publisher right here in the state.”

To ensure the rigor of books published by WVU Press, all manuscripts are reviewed by experts in their fields and submitted for approval to an editorial board prior to publication—made up of WVU faculty. That vetting means readers are getting books that are consistent with the university’s standards.

“As West Virginia’s flagship, land-grant institution, we have a unique responsibility to our state, one that WVU Press helps us meet,” Provost Joyce McConnell explained. “To achieve our goals as a community and a region, we must understand and appreciate our own past and our own stories. We must also be able to envision the extraordinary scientific and technological potential the future holds. The press makes all of that possible with the breadth and depth of their offerings.”

Other highlights for spring include a biography of the late politician and activist Ken Hechler, a new edition of the classic Ecologists and Environmental Politics, The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll, and a memoir by West Virginia–born Charlie McCoy—a Nashville session musician who played with everyone from Bob Dylan to Elvis.

WVU Press is also well known for the fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction published under its Vandalia imprint. Vandalia authors include established figures like Lee Maynard, Marc Harshman, and Marie Manilla, as well as emerging writers like Sheryl Monks and Jonathan Corcoran.

While the press is particularly sensitive to the needs of West Virginians, it also helps project the university’s strengths to national and global audiences. Scholars and readers around the world encounter WVU through the press’s exhibits at academic conferences, published reviews of its books in places like the New York Review of Books and Publishers Weekly, and author readings.

To learn more about all current and forthcoming books, visit the above links or find WVU Press on Facebook and Twitter.


— ARTICLE BY: Abby Freeland, sales and marketing Director at WVU Press and editor of Vandalia Press. Contact 304-293-6188 or abby.freeland@mail.wvu.edu.

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