Some Little Notes from The Digital Press

While the release of Dakota Datebook: North Dakota Stories from Prairie Public has gotten most of the attention, The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota (and our partners) have been doing a good bit behind the scenes work this month.

First, if you’re a Grand Forkler, be sure to stop by the Prairie Pubic table on the Greenway Takeover this Sunday. I’ve been told they’ll have the Dakota Datebook for sale, and this is the very fancy, glossy-paged, and hefty feeling Prairie Public version. If you like to have read what you’re buying or just want the book without all the festival-ness, go here

[As an side, apparently Everclear is playing the Greenway Takeover on Saturday night. Who knew that they still existed (and with their original line-up!)?]

Second, and perhaps more inside-baseball, we have DOIs for almost all of our books now! These are persistent identifiers for digital documents (digital object identifiers) which resolve to our archive in the University of North Dakota’s digital repository. Ideally, UND and their archive partner will keep the DOIs resolving to whatever URL marks their place in the repository ensuring that our books will always be found.

We recognize that UND’s archive provider is part of a firm that is not always a super awesome partner to higher education (despite their mutual dependency). So, we’ve also archived our books in the Internet Archive. We also are happy to notice that many of our titles are also archived in various other institutional repositories around the web. We feel pretty confident that these books are here to stay.

Finally, we have two books that are ready to head to copy editing. This is pretty exciting for my little press because this year is the first year that we’ve started to stack production consistently. This means that we have books at almost all stages from authors who are just starting to write to books well into production. This not only gives us more confidence in the future of the press, but also allows us to plan, strategize, and adapt our workflow so that the author (and ideally, the reader) experience is better. Working with a scholar-led publisher is always going to be a unique and distinctive experience, and we think that our ability to adapt to different projects and contributors is part of our strength. At the same time, we recognize that our ability to be nimble should be grounded in really solid practices behind the scenes. We’re getting there!

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