MIT Press

The MIT Press publishes the best works in selected academic disciplines. One of the largest and most respected university presses in the world, the MIT Press is known for quality, innovation, and distinctive design. The Press publishes in diverse fields including art and architecture; cognitive science; computer science; economics; environmental studies; neuroscience; new media; and science, technology, and society. It publishes journals, scholarly monographs, trade books, textbooks, and reference works, in print and electronic formats. MIT Press authors are drawn from throughout the global academic community. The Press is noted for its work in emerging fields of scholarship, for its strong international distribution, and for pioneering projects such as CogNet, the electronic community of cognitive science. By its contributions to scholarship, the MIT Press supports the Institute's mission of advancing knowledge; by its award-winning publications, the Press extends the visibility of MIT's name around the world.


FY2003 was a year of dramatic transition for the MIT Press. In January 2003, Frank Urbanowski retired after 27 years as director. Ellen W. Faran succeeded him in February. This spring also marked the departure of Laurence Cohen, editor in chief, after 30 years at the Press.

A difficult economic environment caused the Press to restructure its operations during FY2003. In the fall of 2002, we completed the closure of the Digital Projects Lab, our innovative electronic publishing unit. The DPL's accomplishments included the development of the acclaimed online scholarly communities CogNet (transferred as a paid product to our Journals Division) and ArchNet (transferred in September 2001 to the School of Architecture and Planning). Several staff positions, including that of Teresa A. Ehling, DPL director, were eliminated as a result of this closure. In January 2003, the Press eliminated additional positions across several departments in the Books Division, resulting in a total staff reduction of approximately 10 percent. Members of the MIT Press staff are to be commended for their professional response to the layoffs and the resulting changes in each department.

The restructuring was undertaken in response to the market downturn. The soft economy continued to affect every market in which the Press sells its products: libraries, bookstores, college students, and individual scholars. A slowing economy was dramatically worsened for booksellers and publishers in fall 2001 because of September 11. Events that fall overtook all media attention and consumer interest, devastating to an industry dependent upon media for publicity. The prolonged economic downturn, coupled with the chain stores' strategic decisions to reduce their stocks of university press titles, has resulted in a permanent contraction of the bookstore marketplace. By taking steps during FY2003 to restructure its operations to respond to this change, the Press ends the year well positioned to serve its markets in future years.

Despite all these changes, the publishing programs of the MIT Press continued to generate high-quality books and journals during FY2003. Highlights of our books and journal publications from the year are provided below.

April 2003 marked the public launch of our Classics Series. In partnership with Edwards Brothers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the MIT Press announced this innovative program that makes available on demand previously out-of-print titles from the Press's backlist in sleek paperback editions. Unlike the short-run programs with which some publishers are experimenting, this is a true print-on-demand program with an innovative and uniquely streamlined production and fulfillment model. Customers order Classics Series titles in the usual way (by phone, fax, email, or the web) and receive their books without the delays usually involved in special orders. The Classics Series, in the making since the MIT Press began digitizing its content in the late 1980s, also involved our partnership with Hewlett-Packard for file conversion and with R.R. Donnelly/Allentown Digital Services for digital archiving.

In June 2003 the Books Division reached an important milestone: the 7,000th book published by the Press was logged into our archive. The title of that book, Eloquent Images: Word and Image in the Age of New Media (a collection edited by Mary E. Hocks and Michelle R. Kendrick), serves as delightful reminder of all the eloquent words and images that we have published over the years. Book # 1 in the archive, Max Born's Problems of Atomic Dynamics, was published in 1926.

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Financial Results

Book sales ended the year at $15.8 million, below the prior year by 3.6 percent. The decline reflects both the continued weak marketplace and the publication of fewer new titles. The net contribution from Journals was $488K, higher than the prior year by 44 percent thanks to significantly higher subscription and subsidiary rights income. The Press ended the year with a net operating loss of $955K, a position significantly improved over the FY2002 loss (the FY2002 figures exclude TriLiteral transition costs of $965K).

Comparative Operating Results ($000)

  FY03 FY02 FY01
Total Net Book Sales 15,759 16,344 17,103
Cost of Sales 6,889 7,492 7,341
Gross Margin on Sales 8,870 8,852 9,762
Other Pub. Income 370 350 642
Bookstore Net 91 92 74
Total Income 9,331 9,294 10,478
Operating Expenses 11,201 11,387 10,549
Net Books Division (1,870) (2,093) (71)
Journals Net 488 274 71
Other Credits/(Charges) 427 -- --
Net Operations (955) (1,819) --

MIT Press Management Board, 2002–2003

Ann J. Wolpert (chair), director of Libraries, MIT; Hal Abelson, professor of computer science and engineering, MIT; William Arms, director of information science, Cornell University; Mary Curtis, president, Transaction Publishers, Rutgers University; Joseph Esposito, president, Portable CEO; Stefano Falconi, vice president for administration and CFO, Carnegie Mellon University; Ellen W. Faran, director, MIT Press; Jack Goellner, director emeritus, Johns Hopkins University Press; John Hanley, chairman and CEO, Scientific American; Steven R. Lerman, professor of civil engineering, MIT; William J. Mitchell, dean, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT; Richard Rowe, president, Rowe Communications; Richard Schmalensee, dean, Sloan School of Management, MIT.

MIT Press Editorial Board, 2002–2003

William J. Mitchell, chair; Carol Fleishauer, ex officio, representing MIT Libraries; Rafael L. Bras, civil and environmental engineering; Joshua Cohen, political science/philosophy; Joseph Jacobson, media arts; Leslie Pack Kaebling, computer science; Alec P. Marantz, linguistics and philosophy; Michael S. Scott Morton, management; Rosalind H. Williams, science, technology, and society.

MIT Press Acquisitions Editors

Ellen W. Faran, acting editor-in-chief; Roger Conover, executive editor, visual and cultural studies; Robert Prior, executive editor, computer science; John S. Covell, economics, business, finance; Clay Morgan, environmental sciences, bioethics; Barbara Murphy, neuroscience, biology; Elizabeth Murry, economics, finance, business; Doug Sery, computer science; Tom Stone, cognitive science, linguistics, philosophy, psychology; Sara Meirowitz, associate editor, science, technology, and society.

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Books Division

New Books in FY2003

Books by MIT authors published during FY2003 included:

Amsden, Alice H. Beyond Late Development: Taiwan's Upgrading Policies
Basu, Kaushik Analytical Development Economics: Revisiting the Less Developed Economy (paperback edition)
Brown, David Inventing Modern America: From the Microwave to the Mouse (paperback edition)
Diamond, Peter A. Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security
Hale, Ken Prolegomenon to a Theory of Argument Structure
Hecht, Heiko Looking into Pictures: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Pictorial Space
Peterson, T. F. Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT
Rodden, Jonathan Fiscal Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints
Simha, O. Robert MIT Campus Planning 1960–2000: An Annotated Chronology
Williams, Clarence Technology and the Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT, 1941–1999 (paperback edition)
Williams, Rosalind Retooling: A Historian Confronts Technological Change (paperback edition)

Among the noteworthy books by non-MIT authors from our scholarly and professional list published during FY2003 were:

Ackerman Sharing Expertise: Beyond Knowledge Management
Agyeman Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World
Allen The Nature of the Farm: Contracts, Risk, and Organization in Agriculture
Amit 2D Object Detection and Recognition: Models, Algorithms, and Networks
Aoun Essays on the Representational and Derivational Nature of Grammar: The Diversity of Wh-Constructions
Arbib The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks, 2nd edition
Baars Essential Sources in the Scientific Study of Consciousness
Bagwell The Economics of the World Trading System
Bai Technology and the New Economy
Ben-Bassat The Israeli Economy, 1985–1998: From Government Intervention to Market Economics
Berger Terms and Truth: Reference Direct and Anaphoric
Berglöf The New Political Economy of Russia
Bhagwati Going Alone: The Case for Relaxed Reciprocity in Freeing Trade
Blejer Financial Problems in Emerging Markets
Bod Probabilistic Linguistics
Brams Biblical Games: Game Theory and the Hebrew Bible
Brom The Middle EastMilitary Balance 2001–2002
Cacioppo Foundations in Social Neuroscience
Cnossen Public Finance and Public Policy in the New Century
Cranor Communications Policy and Information Technology: Promises, Problems, Prospects
Cressman Evolutionary Dynamics and Extensive Form Games
Cutler Frontiers in Health Policy Research
D'Esposito Neurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience
de Nevers Comrades No More: The Seeds of Change in Eastern Europe
Deere Greening the Americas: NAFTA's Lessons for Hemispheric Trade
Desai Environmental Politics and Policy in Industrialized Countries
Dolsak The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptation
Driesen The Economic Dynamics of Environmental Law
Eckstein Story and Sustainability: Planning, Practice, and Possibility for American Cities
Eichengreen Capital Flows and Crises
Eicher Inequality and Growth: Theory and Policy Implications
Eliasmith Neural Engineering: Computation, Representation, and Dynamics in Neurobiological Systems
Feingold Jesuit Science in the Republic of Letters
Fensel Spinning the Semantic Web: Bringing the World Wide Web to Its Full Potential
Gaidar The Economics of Russian Transition
Gasmi Cost Proxy Models and Telecommunications Policy: A New Empirical Approach to Regulation
Gauker Words without Meaning
Gentner Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought
Ghosh Exchange Rate Regimes: Choices and Consequences
Glimcher Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain: The Science of Neuroeconomics
Graf Lifespan Development of Human Memory
Guber The Grassroots of a Green Revolution: Polling America on the Environment
Gunther Essays on Nonconceptual Content
Gutner Banking on the Environment: Multilateral Development Banks and Environmental Policymaking in Central and Eastern Europe
Higgs Nature by Design: People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration
Hogendijk The Enterprise of Science in Islam: New Perspectives
Hugdahl The Asymmetrical Brain
Hunter Asset Price Bubbles: The Implications for Monetary, Regulatory, and International Policies
Ishizaki Improvisational Design: Continuous, Responsive Digital Communication
Jaffe Innovation Policy and the Economy
Jenkins Democracy and New Media
Johnson Taking Action: Cognitive Neuroscience Perspectives on Intentional Acts
Karatani Transcritique: On Kant and Marx
Katz Social Consequences of Internet Use: Access, Involvement, and Interaction
Kim Affinity, That Elusive Dream: A Genealogy of the Chemical Revolution
Kogut The Global Internet Economy
Kohane Microarrays for an Integrative Genomics
Kollman Computational Models in Political Economy
Legvold Thinking Strategically: The Major Powers, Kazakhstan, and the Central Asian Nexus
Lennon What Does the World Want from America?: International Perspectives on U.S. Foreign Policy
Lennon Contemporary Nuclear Debates: Missile Defenses, Arms Control, and Arms Races in the Twenty-First Century
Levy Yeyati Dollarization: Debates and Policy Alternatives
Light Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice
Liu Analog VLSI: Circuits and Principles
Long War and Reconciliation: Reason and Emotion in Conflict Resolution
Markusen Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade
Matthews Emotional Intelligence: Science and Myth
McKenzie Classical General Equilibrium Theory
Metzinger Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity
Miller Credit Reporting Systems and the International Economy
Miranda Applied Computational Economics and Finance
Misa Modernity and Technology
Modell Imagination and the Meaningful Brain
Morton Hybrid Modernities: Architecture and Representation at the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Paris
Moss What Genes Can't Do
Moulin Fair Division and Collective Welfare
Murphy The Big Book of Concepts
Müller Origination of Organismal Form: Beyond the Gene in Developmental and Evolutionary Biology
Newhouse Pricing the Priceless: A Health Care Conundrum
Nirenburg Readings in Machine Translation
Nuccetelli New Essays on Semantic Externalism and Self-Knowledge
Phillips Imagination and Its Pathologies
Polk Cognitive Modeling
Portney Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Economic Development, the Environment, and Quality of Life in American Cities
Price Media and Sovereignty: The Global Information Revolution and Its Challenge to State Power
Roland Strategic Computing: DARPA and the Quest for Machine Intelligence, 1983–1993
Ross The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research Methodology, and Fair-Lending Enforcement
Santayana The Letters of George Santayana, Book Four, 1928–1932
Scheutz Computationalism: New Directions
Scholl Objects and Attention
Schulkin Rethinking Homeostasis: Allostatic Regulation in Physiology and Pathophysiology
Shaffer Borders and Brethren: Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity
Sommer Exploratory Analysis and Data Modeling in Functional Neuroimaging
Thomas Bureaucratic Landscapes: Interagency Cooperation and the Preservation of Biodiversity
Thorburn Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition
Trappl Emotions in Humans and Artifacts
Turow The Wired Homestead: An MIT Press Sourcebook on the Internet and the Family
Vinck Everyday Engineering: An Ethnography of Design and Innovation
Volk Gaia's Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth
Walsh Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Neurochronometrics of Mind
Warschauer Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide
Weber Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered
Weber Bringing Society Back In: Grassroots Ecosystem Management, Accountability, and Sustainable Communities
Williams Representation Theory
Zaidel The Parallel Brain: The Cognitive Neuroscience of the Corpus Callosum

New books for trade and general audiences included:

Adamson Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World
Alberro Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity
Bailey Veil: Veiling, Representation and Contemporary Art
Barro Nothing Is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium
Becher Industrial Landscapes
Bergeron Tritium on Ice: The Dangerous New Alliance of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power
Bernard The World of Proust, as Seen by Paul Nadar
Berry Kara Walker: Narratives of a Negress
Bessire William Pope.L: The Friendliest Black Artist in America
Biklen Perspecta 34: The Yale Architectural Journal
Bjelic Balkan as Metaphor: Between Globalization and Fragmentation
Campbell-Kelly From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry
Ceruzzi A History of Modern Computing, 2nd edition
Chrétien The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History
CohenD Our Modern Times: The New Nature of Capitalism in the Information Age
Copjec Imagine There's No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation
Didi-Huberman Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salp_tri_re
Fierro The Glass State: The Technology of the Spectacle, Paris 1981–1998
Gitelman New Media, 1740–1915
Grau Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion
Haglund Inventing the Charles River
Hass Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land
Hayles Writing Machines
Hocks Eloquent Images: Word and Image in the Age of New Media
Hoptman Primary Documents: A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art since the 1950s
Joseph Robert Rauschenberg
Joxe The Empire of Disorder
Katz Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art
Kelley Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticism
Kracauer Offenbach and the Paris of His Time
Laqueur Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation
Latour ICONOCLASH: Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Art, and Religion
Leatherbarrow Surface Architecture
Liestøl Digital Media Revisited: Theoretical and Conceptual Innovations in Digital Domains
Lovink Dark Fiber: Tracking Critical Internet Culture
Lovink Uncanny Networks: Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia
McCally Life Support: The Environment and Human Health
McEwen Vitruvius: Writing the Body of Architecture
Moreno In the Wake of Terror: Medicine and Morality in a Time of Crisis
Nixon Eva Hesse
Nye America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings
Oldfield Rainforest
Paehlke Democracy's Dilemma: Environment, Social Equity, and the Global Economy
Pai The Portfolio and the Diagram: Architecture, Discourse, and Modernity in America
Pellow Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago
Pesic Abel's Proof: An Essay on the Sources and Meaning of Mathematical Unsolvability
Reynolds Robert Smithson: Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere
Rothenberg Writing on Air: A Terra Nova Book
Shepheard Artificial Love: A Story of Machines and Architecture
Shneiderman Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies
Smil The Earth's Biosphere: Evolution, Dynamics, and Change
Starobinski Action and Reaction: The Life and Adventures of a Couple
Stroud New Materials as New Media: The Fabric Workshop and Museum
Teicher Trisha Brown: Dance and Art in Dialogue, 1961–2001
Tofts Prefiguring Cyberculture: An Intellectual History
Travis Evolution, Gender, and Rape
Troy Couture Culture: A Study in Modern Art and Fashion
Tschumi INDEX Architecture: A Columbia Architecture Book
Virilio Crepuscular Dawn

Books published primarily as texts included:

Churchland Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy
Levitin Foundations of Cognitive Psychology: Core Readings
McGee Pragmatic Bioethics, 2nd edition
Noë Vision and Mind: Selected Readings in the Philosophy of Perception
Salani The Economics of Taxation
Shultz Computational Developmental Psychology
Walsh Monetary Theory and Policy, 2d edition
Wardrip The New Media Reader


MIT Press books and authors received numerous awards and honors during the last year. Technology-related titles fared exceptionally well. Two MIT Press books shared a prestigious honor from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. United States of America (IEEE-USA). The organization granted the 2002 IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Engineering Professionalism to both The Myth of the Paperless Office by Abigail J. Sellen and Richard H. R. Harper, and Inventing Modern America: From the Microwave to the Mouse by David E. Brown. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions through their literary efforts to the advancement of the professional objectives of the IEEE in the United States. It also marked Inventing Modern America's second award, after receiving the 2002 Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) for Best Science Book last year.

The following are the prize-winning computer science/history of technology titles:

Four architectural and art history titles received significant honors:

Two economics titles received awards:

Paul Bloom, author of How Children Learn the Meaning of Words, was named the winner of the 2002 Eleanor Maccoby Book Award in Developmental Psychology, a prestigious psychology prize. It was presented by Division 7 (Developmental Psychology Division) of the American Psychological Association and is given to the author of a book in the field of psychology that has had or promises to have a profound effect on one or more of the areas represented by Division 7 of the APA.

William Pope.L: The Friendliest Black Artist in America edited by Mark H. C. Bessire was awarded first prize in the books category of the 2003 Museum Publications Design Competition presented by the American Association of Museums. The book, produced by the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, was honored as the best book of the year for institutions with budgets of $500,000 or less.

For the third year in a row, an MIT Press title received the Harold and Margaret Sprout Award presented by the International Studies Association. The award recognizes the best book in the field of international environmental studies. The 2003 winner was Confronting Consumption, edited by Thomas Princen, Michael F. Maniates, and Ken Conca.

Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago by David Naguib Pellow was named a co-winner of the 2002 C. Wright Mills Award presented by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Inventing the Charles River by Karl Haglund won an ASLA 2003 Communications Honor Award presented by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Two MIT Press books earned honors in the 2002 Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division Annual Awards Competition. The Earth's Biosphere: Evolution, Dynamics, and Change by Vaclav Smil received an honorable mention in the category of geography and earth science, while Emotional Intelligence: Science and Myth by Gerald Matthews, Moshe Zeidner, and Richard D. Roberts was granted an honorable mention in the category of psychology. PSP is a division of the Association of American Publishers.

Two MIT Press titles collected distinguished honors at the 2002 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards. Tritium on Ice: The Dangerous New Alliance of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power by Kenneth D. Bergeron was named the Gold Award Winner in the category of political science, and The Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel M. Wegner received the Silver Award in the category of philosophy.

Two MIT Press books were also honored in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2003 (IPPY Awards) presented by Independent Publisher Magazine. Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies by Ben Shneiderman was named a finalist in the category of computer/Internet, and The Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel M. Wegner was selected as a finalist in the category of psychology/mental health.

The following books were named CHOICE Outstanding Academic Books for 2002, presented by Choice Magazine, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries:

MIT Press titles were also honored with a number of awards for design and production:


Our marketing and sales group always faces the challenge of reaching multiple market channels (sales through bookstores, course adoptions, direct sales to professionals) with our multiple product lines (scholarly monographs, trade books, textbooks, and reference books). This year, external market reports state that US book sales were and still are underperforming compared to other retail segments. In a soft economy, the choices we make about allocating marketing resources become even more difficult; each marketing dollar has to be effective and result in income for the Press. During the past year therefore, we were particularly pleased to be able to continue and expand upon the many varied activities that constitute our marketing program.

E-book Vendors

Net-Library continues to be our most important e-book vendor, generating $95,148 for us this fiscal year. The vendor 24x7 also continues to generate income for us, but both Questia and e-brary are questionable ventures. The income they've produced is minimal (under $200). We will continue to monitor these customers' businesses but haven't sent new content recently. Baker and Taylor has kicked off a product very similar to Net-Library's, and they have been given some of our content as well. We are also exploring new vendors who specialize in reference works in order to maximize the reference content income.

Classics Series

This new Print on Demand program was launched in April; however, other than posting these titles on our web site, promotions and publicity efforts only began at the end of the year. The new titles will be promoted through e-alerts and listed in all subject area catalogs, and we are also working on links to DSpace. Even without promotion, we took some orders during FY2003 for the Classics Series titles (104 units for $3,331 net sales). Most of these sales are through the web—people wander in and discover these titles. We plan to steadily expand the title selection in the series through careful selection of new titles from our HP-developed files.

Web Marketing

Sales through our web site,, increased by 43 percent in FY2003, from $368,317 to $529,985 (total sales for both books and journals). Specific accomplishments during the year included:

Select web stats for FY2003:

US Textbook Sales and Marketing

Text sales increased by 2.1 percent to $1,534,345 in FY2003 from $1,502,088 the previous year. Thirty-one direct mail text promotions were mailed to over 55,000 US professors in various disciplines. Texts were also highlighted on our web site with a textbook sidebar under each subject area and by providing links to exam copy request forms on each text's catalog page on the site. Both primary and supplemental text sales are tracked and included in the sales figure above.

Domestic Sales Department

Although the current economic climate has dampened budgeted sales, we are optimistic about our domestic business and market presence. We are taking steps to support our accounts and to get books into the marketplace in healthy, realistic numbers. We recently changed our discount schedule for retailers in an effort to make it easier for both traditional and nontraditional accounts to purchase our books. Our new distribution center, Triliteral, has been well received by our client base, one plus being the consolidation of orders with our partner presses (saving time and money for both customers and our partner presses).

Trade sales: Trade sales is composed of booksellers, including wholesalers, chain retailers, online retailers, and independent bookstores. Here is a look at domestic book sales for FY2003 versus total book sales (including foreign, Canada, and the UK):

Net sales FY03 FY02 % incr (decr)
Domestic $10,285,443 $11,062,634 (7.0%)
Total $15,645,242 $16,203,502 (3.4%)

Vendors/wholesalers: National trade wholesalers sell to independent bookstores, chains, online retailers, and libraries. Our two key wholesalers are Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Although both wholesalers sell to libraries, Baker & Taylor has a bigger library presence with our titles. Also note that (discussed below) buys a significant portion of its stock through the wholesalers.

The library wholesale business feels the pinch of this soft economy as much as anyone. Library budgets across the board have been cut, and at this point, the two main players—Blackwell's North America and Yankee Book Peddler—are trying to come up with new ways to make money, most notably through enhanced web services. One of our goals this year is to learn more about the current business and to help these accounts come up with ways to generate revenue.

Regional specialty wholesalers are important to our business as well. A few noteworthy players are Brodart, AWBC, and Nacscorp. These are very low maintenance accounts that produce healthy sales.

Chain retailers: Chain retailers have changed the way books are bought and sold in the marketplace, and their business is very important to the monetary health of the Press. We are constantly working on ways to make these relationships advantageous for all involved parties. The key chains are Barnes & Noble (including, for this discussion, Barnes & Noble College) and Borders Group, Inc. Generally speaking our books are not bestsellers in this market. We have four or five titles that sell in big numbers, but most titles are taken in low quantities or on a demand basis. Over the course of the next few seasons, we will work closely with buyers at these accounts to make sure that they are taking stock in realistic quantities so that we get returns down to a reasonable percentage of total business (aiming for 25 percent versus the current 46 percent). We are no longer selling directly to Borders; instead, they purchase our titles through Ingram's Vendor-of-Record program.

Online retailers: is a major sales force for our list. What is striking about Amazon's representation of our list is the breadth of their sales ability that spans frontlist and backlist, all of our specialized disciplines, and both trade and professional titles. B& is a giant step behind, though they are still an important account for us.

Retail independents: The retail independent bookstores are the heart and soul of the book business, but they continue to struggle. Independent stores are constantly opening and closing, or changing ownership or management. However, there are a few key independent stores that stand out year after year. Although overall numbers for this segment were down in FY2003, it is important to note that these stores support our efforts and our vision for book publishing. Some of our trade titles wouldn't find a place in the market without them. These bookstores include Labyrinth Books, Seminary Coop, Harvard Bookstore, Powell's, Cody's, St. Marks, Hennessey and Ingall, Prairie Avenue, U Bookstore (Washington), and Shaman Drum.

Special sales: Our mission is to reconsider special sales opportunities at MIT Press by thinking about our current customer base, and then building on those relationships. In the past, we defined special sales as corporate, author, association, and catalog sales, and although these are important components of the business, we are actively seeking new opportunities. Our total special sales during FY2003 are estimated at $144,997.


Advertising: Our advertising program promotes frontlist books and new paperback reprints to general and targeted markets, and does so on a very strict budget, with a focus on the most influential print and online media. Advertisements for MIT Press books appeared in hundreds of trade and scholarly journals and magazines this year, as well as in conference programs and web sites. Major ad campaigns were implemented for Inventing the Charles River, William Pope.L, The High Price of Materialism, Nothing is Sacred, Tritium on Ice, The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks (2nd edition), Going Alone, Kara Walker, Veil, Writing on Air, and Solitary Sex. Publications in which advertisements appeared included The American Prospect, American Scientist, Artforum, Art in America, Bomb, The Chronicle of Higher Education/The Chronicle Review, Harper's, The MBTA, Mother Jones, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The Sloan Management Review, and Technology Review.

Electronic promotion: We continue to post announcements for new professional, trade, and textbooks to email lists, web sites, and Usenet groups in relevant fields. At this time, we still lack the capability to track hits on the Press web site from the promotional messages that are sent out. However, we should have this capacity available to us in time to promote all of the Press's Fall 2003 books, which should thus provide us with crucial information as to the success of electronic promotion efforts.

However, this year has seen the renewal of the Press's own subject-based email lists, for which interested readers can sign up on the Press web site (also mentioned under web marketing but done in coordination with the publicity department). We undertook a major campaign late in 2002 to encourage new and returning subscribers to sign up for the lists, some of which boast subscriber lists of over 2,000. These are now being used to promote all of the Press's new books.

Finally, anecdotal evidence suggests that promotional efforts on the web have continued to attract valuable attention to Press books. Many of our books were posted on at least seven web sites, email lists and Usenet groups, including Flanagan's Reload, Cytowic's Synethesia (2nd edition), Scheutz's Computationalism, Arbib's Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks (2nd edition), and Dietterich's Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14.

US exhibits: The MIT Press exhibited titles at 133 professional and academic conferences in the United States, with book sales from those meetings totaling $153,704 in FY2003 compared to $175,875 the previous year. A large percentage of the decline can be attributed to the lower frontlist output in FY2003.

The top ten US conferences for at-meeting sales:


MIT Press books and authors were widely covered by the US and international media last year, receiving more than 3,500 reviews, articles, and other significant mentions in the print media alone since May 2002. (This compares with 2,900 such notices the previous year.) Among the most widely and favorably reviewed titles were:

Direct Marketing

Our direct sales in response to direct mail promotions in FY2003 were $130,625, a 6 percent increase over FY2002 at $122,787. Of course our direct mail promotes a substantially greater volume of sales, not directly traceable, through many other sales channels such as retailers. Direct mail remains an effective means to reach the professional audiences for whom we publish. Our subject area catalogs are a way of showcasing new titles, but they also continue to carry many backlist books allowing readers to see the depth of our lists. They help to reinforce sales at professional meetings, complement our textbook promotional and advertising efforts, and are an important tool for our acquisitions staff as they look to build our lists further. The catalogs are also used worldwide by booksellers to either promote our books to their customers or as tools for building subject area sections in their stores.

Annual catalogs mailed in FY2003 included Political Science; Science, Technology & Society; Art, Architecture & Visual Culture; Neuroscience; Philosophy; Computer Science & Intelligent Systems; and Environment. Biannual catalogs were produced in Economics and Cognition, Brain & Behavior, and a New Title update was mailed to the linguistics community. Single-book promotions included a brochure promoting the second edition of Arbib: The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks. This was widely mailed to individuals and libraries. An amended version of the brochure was produced for and distributed by library wholesalers. We also produced and mailed a large format postcard promoting Frankel's Envisioning Science.

Seasonal Catalog

Our seasonal catalog has undergone a subtle redesign so that the fall 2003 edition is both easier to use and more attractive. These changes also resulted in lower design and per-piece printing costs.

Subsidiary Rights

  FY2003 FY2002 % change
Translations $250,745 $210,766 19.0
Permissions $245,385 $258,881 (5.1)
Book clubs $2,639 $2,271 16.1
Electronic, AV rights $13,796 $8,047 71.3
Total subsidiary rights $512,565 $479,965 6.8

At the core of our subsidiary rights program is the sale of translation rights to our books. The number of translation contracts signed increased again this past year by approximately 10 percent to 107 for an increase of 19 percent in income. Among the titles placed in exchange for significant advances were Barro's Nothing Is Sacred with Toyo Keizai in Tokyo ($9,000); Copjec's Imagine There's No Woman with Kawadeshobo-Shinsha Publishing of Tokyo ($4,000); Cormen et al.'s Introduction to Algorithms, second edition, with Oldenbourg Verlag in Munich ($5,000), and with Scolar Kiado in Budapest ($3,500); and Simon's The Sciences of the Artificial with Gallimard in Paris ($3,000).

The trend toward greater activity in Eastern Europe continues, with translation rights sold in Czech, Serbian, Hungarian, and especially Polish and Russian. The total number of translation licenses sold in Japan and in Spain has decreased over the past few years as a reflection of the difficult economic situations in those markets. Total income from translations remains spread evenly between backlist and frontlist titles. Our strongest disciplines in the translation market are economics, computer science, and cognitive sciences.

In November 2002 we decided to stop licensing English-language reprints in India temporarily in order to bring outstanding licenses up to date, to cancel contracts which had expired, and to negotiate new licenses for those titles as appropriate. We are now resuming the licensing of reprints in this market, with a new set of guidelines: we license only a handful of books at a time, with shorter contractual terms (on average, four years), and minimum advances. These guidelines are not inflexible, and we are building relationships with reliable publishers able to distribute these reprints widely in India. In the case of Cormen et al.'s Introduction to Algorithms, second edition, we licensed the English language reprint to Prentice-Hall India in exchange for an advance of $5,000. In the future, income from English-language reprints of entire books will be credited so that we can separate it from general reprint income, below.

Income from our permissions program decreased by 5.2 percent. While income from permissions continues to make up a large proportion of subsidiary rights, we have noticed that there are fewer requests from colleges and universities for the use of our material in student readers. We understand that the practice of scanning printed material and making it available on web sites is widespread and that other publishers are experiencing a reduction in the number of photocopy permission requests as well.

During FY2003, income from sales to book clubs increased by 16 percent. This market is the least predictable for subsidiary rights; it depends both on our new titles and on the financial formula required by book clubs.

Income from the license of electronic rights during FY2003 increased by over 70 percent. A significant portion of this income is derived from subscriptions to the online edition of The MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. The category of electronic rights is somewhat misleading: we make a distinction between sales of the entire book in electronic form and sales of portions of books for which we receive royalties on the basis of frequency of access. Only the second category is included as subsidiary rights income.

International Marketing

(US $) FY2003 FY2002 % change
FY2001 % change
Australia 179,500 174,000 3.1 143,000 21.6
Canada 474,500 262,000 81.1 314,000 (16.5)
Japan 412,000 468,000 (11.9) 601,000 (22.1)
UK/Europe/Mideast 3,626,200 3,482,000 4.1 3,280,000 6.1
Other export 669,000 773,000 (13.4) 702,000 10.1
Total export 5,361,200 5,159,000 3.9 5,040,000 2.4

Publishers Weekly reported in its June 16 issue that US book exports slipped 0.3 percent, according to figures compiled by the US Department of Commerce. The MIT Press performed exceptionally well, comparatively, with a positive increase overall. We experienced mixed sales results from various territories, which managed to combine for a 3.9 percent increase this fiscal year. We increased our business in Canada (81 percent increase due to reopening of a major chain account), Australia (3.1 percent), and Great Britain (9.7 percent), while our business decreased in Europe (-0.3 percent), Japan (-11.9 percent), the Middle East (-7.7 percent), and India was also down (-19.2 percent). Book piracy and photocopying continue to be major problems in the Middle East and Subcontinent.

In other Asian markets some increases include South Korea and Hong Kong, up 26.7 percent and 33.4 percent respectively, with sales down in Taiwan and Singapore, 12.6 percent and 47 percent respectively. Singapore and Hong Kong, traditionally good markets for US books, have been subject to depressed retail conditions.

Our South American sales remain very challenging, with limited sales activity mostly from Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. The UK Bookseller reports that US book exports to Latin America dropped 14 percent during 2002, with ELT and US text publishers particularly badly affected. The countries worst affected were those where the financial depression was most severe; Argentine book imports from the US fell by 68 percent, Brazil by 38 percent. Mexico remained the most resilient of Latin markets and sales there maintained previous levels.

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Journals Division

In FY2003, the Journals program had earned sales of $6.2 million, a 9 percent increase from last year, and had an operating net of $488,099. The deferred subscription reserve account balance at year-end was $2.1 million.

FY2003 was a challenging year for journal publishers. RoweCom, one of the largest subscription agents, went bankrupt, leaving hundreds of university libraries and academic presses in the lurch. Subscription agents fill an important need by streamlining the order process for libraries and serving as an intermediary between the library and the publisher. RoweCom's financial difficulties prevented it from placing or making payments for the substantial majority of its customer orders for 2003 subscriptions, so very little of the subscription money paid by libraries was paid to publishers. Fortunately, compared to other university presses, MIT came out of the RoweCom debacle relatively unscathed. Although the Press continued to serve both the print and the electronic issues to its 700 institutional subscribers affected by RoweCom, the direct cost to grace these subscriptions only totaled $22,100. The loss in revenue is estimated to be $142,185.

Due to RoweCom, libraries' shrinking budgets, and the overall economic climate, journal publishers are anxiously waiting for 2004 renewals. Many librarians have identified 2004 as "The Year" they will cancel most print subscriptions and migrate to electronic only. Despite these challenging times for journal publishers, the strong list of titles in the MIT program should enable the Journals Department to continue to be profitable.

One of the bright spots for the Journals program this year was CogNet, which performed much better than anticipated, ending with only a small loss of $43,039. CogNet's success was due in large part to its high retention rate of institutional subscribers (87.2 percent renewed from FY2002 to FY2003) and a growth in institutional subscribers of over 30 percent.

One new journal, Journal of the European Economic Association, was launched, and three journals were transferred out of our program at mid-year: Harvard Design Magazine, International Organizational and Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology.

The division ends the fiscal year publishing 33 journals: American Journal of Bioethics, Artificial Life, Asian Economic Papers, Computational Linguistics, Computer Music Journal, Design Issues, Evolutionary Computation, Global Environmental Politics, Grey Room, International Security, Journal of Architectural Education, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Cold War Studies, Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of Machine Learning Research, Leonardo, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Leonardo Music Journal, Linguistic Inquiry, Molecular Imaging, Neural Computation, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Presence, October, Perspectives on Science, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Reflections: The SoL Journal, The Review of Economics and Statistics, TDR: The Drama Review, and The Washington Quarterly.

MIT Faculty Journal Editors

MIT Press Bookstore

The MIT Press Bookstore, located at 292 Main St. at the east entrance to the MIT campus, stocks most of the books and journals published by the MIT Press, as well as the best of other publishers' books in related fields. Net sales through the MIT Press Bookstore during FY2003 were $665,974, a 1 percent decline from $672,926 in FY2002. MIT Press products comprised 47 percent of total sales. In April 2003, the bookstore had one of its most successful dock sales (selling overstock at reduced prices), bringing in $32,500 in sales in two days. The flat sales for the total year reflect the overall retail climate. The bookstore faces significant competition from online booksellers and chain stores that regularly offer deep discounts to a price-minded consumer.

Ellen W. Faran

More information about the MIT Press can be found on the web at


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