A study of the elements contributing to the success of regional publishers in Texas, 1975-1985




Hughes, Sue Margaret

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The purpose of this study was to identify the elements which have contributed to the success of regional publishers during the years 1975-1985. For this research, regional was defined as falling within the geographical borders of Texas. A survey of regional publishers was made by means of a questionnaire to obtain information needed for this study. Included among the data gathered were quality and quantity of the monographs published, selection criteria and policies, marketing strategies, value of their books to future generations; and prizes/honors/awards won. The questionnaire returns were examined, tabulated, and evaluated to find those elements which successful regional publishers in Texas had in common and to which their success could be attributed. Attention was directed to critical successes and number of copies printed and sold of a particular title. Although the small, independent publishers in Texas have had a late start compared with those established in the last century on the Eastern seaboard, they are making a significant place for themselves not only on the local but also on the national and international scenes. Identifying the elements of success of these publishers begins and ends with the owner himself/herself. There have been few major changes in the ownership of these Texas presses in the last ten years, and the resulting continuity of management plus the consistency of their objectives have provided an admirable stability of operation. The reasons given for the founding of their Texas firms proved to be surprisingly uniform in that most owners mentioned they wanted to make certain information available to a wide audience, to publish high-quality books, to help new writers get started, or to see a subject covered that had not been addressed before. The owners have confidence in themselves and in their ability to make the correct decisions in order to present a quality product to the reading public. Above all, they want to control the process for the personal satisfaction they derive from it. They like books, they enjoy the independence of making all decisions, and they take great pride in the results.



Texas book publishing, Independent publishers, Texas presses