am very pleased to be with you this morning to share what we have learned at Milflores Publishing, Inc. about writing, publishing, and marketing books since we were established in December 1999 and started full operations in early 2000. Let me point out at the outset that our company’s situation is different, in some important ways, from that of university presses. Therefore, we do some things very differently.
University presses are part of much larger organizations. They have annual budget allocations from their universities. They also have additional subsidies in terms of free office space, personnel whose salaries are charged to academic budgets, free vehicles and other equipment, etc. These assure the survival of university presses and allow them to often give higher priorities to goals other than the profit motive. Thus, they may publish research studies that are important to scholars, though these may be unprofitable. They can also price some books below cost in order to make them accessible to students. They do not depend on a steady output of new titles to survive in the marketplace, though directors of university presses are sometimes under some pressure from their superiors to produce many books for the prestige of the university.
Our company only publishes and sells books and we derive all our income from this activity, so we can’t subsidize any of our books—we have to choose every title in terms of its potential profitability. In spite of this constraint, we have managed to publish a number of literary titles (fiction and biographies) and research studies on women and on health that have not sold enough books to be profitable. Before we published them, we arranged for individuals or NGOs to subsidize these titles so that we would not endanger the profitability, and hence the continued existence, of Milflores Publishing.
A case in point is the 2002 Milflores publication, “Nightmare Journeys: Filipina Sojourns Through the World of...