A petition to save Ashgate press is here.
Ashgate Publishing Company was purchased by Informa (Taylor & Francis Publishing) in 2015. On November 24th, 2015, the North American office of the press in Burlington, Vermont will close and Ashgate’s US staff members, including Erika Gaffney, Ann Donahue, Margaret Michniewicz, Alyssa Berthiaume, Kathy Bond Borie, Seth Hibbert, Stephanie Peake, Martha McKenna, Lea Durfee, Suzanne Sprague, and Emilly Ferro will cease to be representatives of Ashgate.
According to an e-mail sent to series editors, plans are still being discussed for Ashgate’s publishing business in the UK. However, information has since emerged that the UK office is scheduled to close in December.
Independent academic presses like Ashgate have offered a safe haven for scholars working in certain subfields as University presses closed entire publishing specializations and fired editorial staff in response to campus austerity measures. Academic presses are more than profit margins, income from the backlist, utility bills, payroll, and marketing campaigns. Ashgate flourished through the bonds formed between editors and authors, the care and attention of copy editors, and above all, the good will of authors and readers. We the undersigned authors, readers, and reviewers of Ashgate books write to voice our appreciation for the accomplishments of Ashgate’s North American office. We urge Taylor & Francis to reverse course immediately and restore Ashgate’s US and UK offices.
I’ve only worked with Ashgate once, but it was a good experience. Jeremy Crampton and I were struggling to find a publisher for the Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography collection, and Val Rose at Ashgate understood the project and supported it. We even managed to get them to agree to a simultaneous paperback and hardback, and it has done, for an academic book and especially an edited collection, very well. Ashgate’s pricing strategy is something I’ve complained about before, but they supported books that other presses would not, so they deserve support. Please do sign the petition and share.