18 November 2020
Several publishers have joined our platform. We had an interview recently with Pieter Rouwendal of Summum Academic Publications, who tells us more about his publishing house and how corona has affected his work.
Tell us about your publishing house, Pieter.
My work in the publishing industry began in 2004, with Kok publishers. I was responsible for reformed, non-fiction books. In 2012, there was a reorganization of the company and I was let go. That year I started my own publishing house: Brevier (which means ‘breviary’). Since I am an academic theologian myself (I am associate researcher at TU Kampen and methodologist at TU Apeldoorn), the idea came to me to initiate an academic publishing house in 2017, the same year I received a PhD myself. The name of this publishing house is Summum Academic Publications. We started with some stand-alone publications and three series: Studies in the History of Church and Theology, edited by Andreas Beck (Leuven), Classic Theology and Contemporary Challenges, edited by Gijsbert van den Brink (VU Amsterdam), and Nederlandse Kerkhistorische Reeks (a series on Dutch Church History), edited by Erik de Boer (Kampen). We are located in the historic city of Kampen, in the monumental former city barracks. It is great to combine my two professions as publisher and academic theologian in my work for Summum.
What is your focus?
I think it is special that Summum is the responsibility of a theologian with a doctoral degree. As such, I am often personally engaged in our publications. Our authors appreciate discussing a publication with someone who does not only know the ins and outs of publishing, but also of academic research. Theology is currently the most important part of our publications, in other words, our focus. Within that discipline, church history and historical theology are my personal specialties, which is relevant, of course, for members of RefoRC engaged in Early Modern History research.
How is it going for you in light of corona?
Corona affected everything, including our publishing house. For instance, I had to work from home for some weeks, like many other people. Sales turned down the first 6 weeks of the lockdown in March and April, but recovered afterwards. It seems that the demand for eBooks has grown, since institutional libraries had to close. PhD ceremonies and book presentations were postponed. At this moment, it seems that it has not turned out as bad as was prospected in March. Authors, publishers and the public seem to be getting used, somewhat, to the situation.
What are your future plans?
We plan to expand Summum by adding various new series, for instance in practical theology, but also in other academic disciplines, including history and philosophy. We are also expanding our international distribution network. Our books are currently distributed in Europe and America. We have consultations scheduled with prospective partners in Africa and Asia.
Manuscript proposals are welcome via firstname.lastname@example.org
Visual: RD, Henk Visscher