John B. Cobb, Jr.
John B. Cobb, Jr.

A couple of years ago John Cobb asked me if I would start an academic press for him. Sure, I said, because everyone always says yes to John Cobb. Never mind that academic presses all over the country were in financial trouble. And never mind that (at the time, at least) printed books were supposed to be passé, because everything was going digital. (Read why he wanted a press in the first place here.)

But he asked me because he knew I had some experience. I’d published journals and had even started another press, P&F Books, for the Process & Faith program of the Center for Process Studies (CPS). So with the enthusiasm of those who think they know more than they actually do, I launched Process Century Press—a name suggested by CPS colleague John Quiring and for which I am forever grateful.

Process Century Press now has twelve books in its catalog, with two more imminent and several more in the queue. I’ve learned a lot more about publishing, especially typography (which I love) and when and what to outsource (always outsource proofreading!). Along the way I relocated from California to Anoka, Minnesota, and ensured academic integrity through an association with the International Process Network and a worldwide process community of peer reviewers.

Along the way I’ve had to teach myself a bunch of things somehow not included in graduate degrees in philosophy and theology, including WordPress and Twitter and other varieties of social media. And with this page, I hereby blast off into the blogosphere.

Academic books you can afford

But over the whole arc of that learning curve one thing has remained constant: my commitment to publishing affordably priced books. I find books I want to read slapped with crazy-high prices, books that my friends have written, and I can’t afford them. I’m told the rationale is that the book is priced for library sales. But when I request these books from my library (with links to every public and educational library in Minnesota) I can’t find them. Seems the libraries can’t afford them, either!

So with this blog, I thee pledge: Process Century Press books will always be affordable, no matter who you are: student, lifelong learner, teacher, librarian, clergy, independent scholar, or late-night insomniac browsing the web.

The tagline for the press is: “Another way is possible.” It can be read a number of ways, and more on that in future blogs. For now, take it to mean that academic books by awesome international scholars need not be priced in the stratosphere. Another way—in this case, an affordable way—is possible. Welcome to Process Century Press!