Publishing holds up an ‘e-mirror’

Mark Stanski is the publisher and lead editor of Centennial College Press.
Mark Stanski is the publisher and lead editor of Centennial College Press. (ebooks4online)

Our knowledge of the world of publishing is usually based on images conjured from things we’ve seen on the Internet or in movies. But what does it actually entail?

Centennial College Press (CCP), an East York branch of the Toronto college that publishes mainly college textbooks, has developed a new e-book series delving into the very industry that it’s a part of.

“There’s a huge divide between these really rigorous academic, statistically-based studies of the industry, and very anecdotal, personal sort of memoir experiences in the publishing business,” said Jeremy Lucyk, an author working through CCP. “There wasn’t really much in the way of middle ground and there really wasn’t anything directed towards people who are thinking of entering the industry.”

The two preliminary e-books are A Very Brief History of the Book Publishing Industry and The Editorial Department. Lucyk and his colleagues’ goal is to continue publishing e-books of this variety.

Mark Stanski is the editor and publisher at CCP, which is located at Centennial College’s campus on Carlaw Avenue. He thinks that the lowered costs of e-books will be beneficial for the target audience.

“It would be really good to offer a cheap source of information that would, to some extent, evangelize the publishing industry to a bunch of qualified people,” he said.

All of the information will be suited for the digital world, as CCP will be producing e-books and using an online blog. Another author for the series, Britanie Wilson, says they hope to someday produce a textbook.

“Digital publishing fits this model well and allows us to release the material much more quickly, and at a lower price point, so that it fits students’ budgets,” she said. “Our end goal is to publish one large textbook and trade publication about the industry that includes information on all of these subjects… but we haven’t quite gotten that far yet.”

In this new age of publishing, there have been challenges to the industry as the Internet eclipses traditional print, but Lucyk says it’s not as bad as people think, and sending that message to people is one of the project’s main goals.

“We don’t want to discourage people from publishing. We want to say, ‘Yeah, there are major problems right now, but we see them as more opportunities,’” Lucyk said. “We’re really trying to increase the pool of new entries to the industry, and really attract people who maybe wouldn’t look at it in the first place or would be easily dissuaded.”