Longleaf Services was incorporated in the State of North Carolina on November 28, 2005 and commenced operations on July 1, 2006. As an affiliate of The University of North Carolina Press, Inc., Longleaf’s mission is to provide cost-effective fulfillment services for university presses. Longleaf Services, Inc. is a separately incorporated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and functions as a quasi-partnership. Its business model is designed to operate on a break-even basis by sharing fulfillment and other costs among client publishing partners, making Longleaf an ideal partner for university presses seeking professional and efficient distribution at the lowest possible costs. The activities of Longleaf are managed by a Board of Directors, which includes three client-publisher representatives. To the best of our knowledge, this inclusive governance structure is unparalleled in the publishing fulfillment industry.
What differentiates Longleaf from other fulfillment vendors is that it is not a profit center for its parent organization. Longleaf is truly intended to be a cost-sharing organization that works to drive down the cost of doing business for our publishers. Any surplus generated by Longleaf is allocated by the Board of Directors to either pay down the initial start-up costs, go into a Longleaf “R&D” fund, or be rebated back to the client publishers. Thus far, Longleaf has been able to successfully operate at close to break-even, but as more publishers are added, fulfillment service fees are likely to decrease or a surplus will be generated and distributed as described above.
Now in its 13th year of operation, Longleaf has established a reputation for excellence in the academic publishing community and with the related book-buying customers. It enables client publishers to enhance their competitiveness, improve operating efficiencies, and create economies of scale, resulting in better service to their customers and lowering overall operating costs for both publisher and book buyer.
In 2015, with the assistance of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Longleaf further expanded its suite of publishing services to address the current demands and challenges university presses face. These offerings, developed in close collaboration with our client presses, take advantage of economies of scale to provide services, tools, and insights at costs that individual clients cannot achieve. The added services include Editorial, Design, and Production; Marketing; and Operations.