Founded in 1938, the University of Georgia Press (UGA) is one of the largest publishing houses in the South. UGA's titles encompass three distinct dimensions: works of scholarship, regional trade books, and creative and literary works. Its subjects of new scholarship include Transatlantic and Southern history, African American studies, civil rights history, legal history, Native American studies, women's studies, and environmental studies, among others.
"We publish a wide array of books for general readers including fiction, narrative nonfiction, and popular history, often with a focus on Georgia and the South," said John McLeod, UGA marketing and sales manager and the press' assistant director. "The creative and literary part of our list, which is national in focus, includes books published in conjunction with the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, the Associated Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction, and the Cave Canem Poetry Prize."
UGA's bestselling backlist includes titles in its field guides series, such as the recent Snakes of the Southeast, edited by Whit Gibbons and others. Upcoming is a new series, American Poetries, launching in spring 2007, to be edited by T.R. Hummer. A fall title that "seems right for Book Sense," McLeod noted, is Julia Oliver's Devotion: A Novel Based on the Life of Winnie Davis, Daughter of the Confederacy.
McLeod talked about the independent press' history with Book Sense. "UGA Press has a good working relationship with independent booksellers. Two recent novels have made the Book Sense lists -- Chicken Dreaming Corn by Roy Hoffman and Sabbath Creek by Judson Mitcham.... We really rely on independent stores for that much needed word of mouth to get interest started for our books, especially our regional trade titles."
Behler Publications, launched in 2003 by Lynn and Fred Price, publishes general fiction, mystery and sci-fi, young adult, westerns, nonfiction, and a writing series. "Our focus is on producing quality literature that highlights personal introspection, conflict and resolution -- literature that goes into the heart and mind," said Lynn Price. "It is our mission to produce works that will appeal to libraries and booksellers everywhere. This is accomplished by insuring that our stories have aspects that relate to everyday life, whether it's fantasy or fiction."
Behler participates in the Book Sense White and Red Box mailings. "Our reason for joining Book Sense is because we feel that independent bookstores are the backbone [supporting] literature," said Price. "From a business standpoint, we prefer dealing with independent stores ... [they] are willing to try new things. For example, many of our authors are giving seminars and Q&A sessions, and the independent stores are more willing to listen to our out-of-the-box ideas."
Award-winning backlist titles include The Pacific Between by Raymond K. Wong, a 2006 Independent Publisher's Ippy Award finalist, and Elements of Recovery by R. Beck, a 2005 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award finalist in the gay/lesbian category.
Fall titles Price highlighted included Body Trauma by David Page, M.D. "This is the first book in our Get It Write series, and it's a wonderful writer's tool for anyone who needs one-stop shopping for medical research of any kind," she said. The second is East Fifth Bliss by Douglas Light. "Douglas' book truly captures our philosophy of relating to everyday life through personal introspection, conflict, and resolution," said Price.
Behler titles are available through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, and directly from the publisher. --Karen Schechner