This week’s profile comes from an interview of Alison that will appear in the next issue of Against the Grain.
Name: Alison Mudditt
Organization: University of California Press
Address: 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-1012
Born and lived: Born Exeter, UK. Lived Exeter, Bath, Oxford, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Thousand Oaks CA, the Bay Area.
favorite books: Almost impossible to answer – there are way too many. Instead, I’ll mention my favorite fiction and non-fiction books I’ve read recently. I loved everything about Barbara Kingsolver’s recent novel The Lacuna, an epic and moving story, but particularly delighted in the vivid portrayal of 1930s Mexico and its most colorful figures (Rivera, Kahlo and Trotsky). And James Gleick’s The Information is the kind of non-fiction I really enjoy – encompassing science, history and biography it’s an engaging synthesis of a huge amount of material that stimulates new ways of thinking.
how/where do I see the industry in five years (please answer this question if you answer none of the others):
I’m reiterating the obvious to say that our industry continues to be driven by rapid technological transformation, and that significant parts of the agenda have been taken over by large technology organizations. Within five years we’ll be in a world where digital editions and business models are primary. While print will continue to exist, it will be more of a luxury item for those who can and want to pay a premium. The technology giants will continue to make significant plays in traditional publisher markets – the K12 and college textbook markets seems to be obvious next candidates. Budgets and markets across higher education are likely to remain tight, and it remains to be seen if the current model of higher education in the US is sustainable – all at a time when education in more important than ever for the US to remain competitive in the global economy. But I remain optimistic about the future of publishing and publishers, as long as we can embrace the discovery of new ways to apply our skills in content development and marketing to emerging technologies. For a relatively small player on this global stage, this means that we will need to be highly focused on our core competencies and highly integrated with our customers’ and users’ workflows.