An Interview with the Editor
As we look ahead to 2019, we are excited for our first full year of the APH Press. Carrying on the legacy of AFB Press, APH Press will be publishing top educational materials in the field of blindness and visual impairment to support teachers, parents, and other educators and care providers. To learn more about this coming year’s challenges and exciting opportunities, we interviewed Larry Marotta, editor of the newly created APH Press.
Q: How do you see APH Press positioned in the field? What role does it fill?
Larry: APH Press publishes books by experts who work ‘in the trenches’ with people who are blind or visually impaired. Although the information we provide is always based on sound research, our authors have historically focused most of their professional energy on working with students, and not only publishing scholarly articles. The knowledge and experience of APH Press authors is trusted by teachers working in the field, and is also vital in educating the next generation of TVIs at the college and university level. While some books are meant to live most of their lives quietly on shelves, I like to think that our books are sitting in the backseat of a TVI’s car as part of his or her ‘toolbox,’ and these books are heavily dog-eared, highlighted, and underlined, and are generally seeing a lot of hard use.
Q: What are some of the challenges of getting APH Press off the ground?
Larry: Honestly, I think that our challenges are also what makes this opportunity so exciting. Since we already have the APH brand, we’re not exactly starting from scratch. But even with the APH brand, there isn’t yet a ‘look’ for APH Press books. Official procedures or guidelines are still being developed. We are still thinking about who our future customers will be. But we’re definitely up for this challenge.
Q: What is the mission/what are the values of APH Press?
Larry: It is early to say, but we are lucky to have a sound place to start: APH’s mission to serve people who are blind and visually impaired, as well as its core values of innovate, respect, and grow. Whatever our next steps as a press will be, they will certainly be directed by these ideas.
Q: What will make APH Press a go-to in the field?
Larry: APH Press books are informed by the experiences of professionals who have had years of experience working with people who are blind or visually impaired. Professionals and students rely on these books because they present real-world experience that is based on sound theory and the latest research. The Press also has an Advisory Board of some of the best-respected scholars and educators in the field who are on hand to help us understand the needs of our readers. Our books are also read by peer reviewers.
Q: What do you hope APH Press will achieve in the next few years?
Larry: Our first goal is to continue the important work that we inherited from AFB Press. We inherited two books that were near completion, but three others that are in different stages of manuscript development. Those authors have already invested a lot of time into these projects and understandably would like to see them in the hands of customers already. Going forward, we want to identify potential new markets for APH Press books that will allow us to reach more people with APH’s mission to ‘to promote the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired.’ We want to pursue new ventures only after determining whether they make good financial sense. Basically, if we do well, we can do more and reach more people.