July 18, 2011

JHU Press launches digital services program for publishers

Hopkins Fulfillment Services, a division of the Johns Hopkins University Press, has announced plans to offer an array of new publishing-related services that will be known as HFS Digital. As a distributor of print books for university presses and nonprofit institutions, HFS is taking a necessary leap forward by expanding its service offerings to reflect the advances in digital publishing and content distribution.

HFS Digital will provide its clients with additional print-on-demand and digital short-run choices, and will address the growing need for e-book services by offering digital asset distribution to 40 vendors, conversion services and, most importantly, single-title direct-to-consumer e-book sales.

The ability to offer direct-to-consumer e-book sales is the result of a partnership with Sheridan Books’ new Electronic Content Services division. Clients represented by HFS will now have the option to sell scholarly works and monographs, often not suited for commercial e-book vendors, direct from their respective websites. Looking to the future, HFS hopes to soon offer e-book rentals and chapter-level sales (or chunking).

“The book industry is changing rapidly, and book distributors and support industries must change with it,” said Davida Breier, manager of Hopkins Fulfillment Services. “We feel that as a modern book distributor, we must alter our business models, and mindsets, and focus on the overall concept of distributing content instead of focusing solely on format.”

HFS Digital began rolling out its new services in May and plans to have the completed program in place by January 2012.

Since 1977 Hopkins Fulfillment Services has provided order processing, collection management, warehousing and fulfillment for a distinguished and growing list of university presses and nonprofit institutions. It currently represents 13 clients, including JHU Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, University of Washington Press, Georgetown University Press, Brookings Institution Press, University Press of Kentucky, Catholic University of America Press and University of Massachusetts Press.