Apprentice House is the nation’s first entirely student-managed book publisher. Students at Loyola University Maryland are responsible for every aspect of the publishing process, from acquisitions to design and publication of every book. Our mission is, first and foremost, to educate students about the book publishing process.
As a program within the Communication Department at Loyola University Maryland, it is driven by student work conducted in three courses: Introduction to Book Publishing, Book Design and Production, and Book Marketing and Promotion.
Therefore, students in these courses serve as staff in Apprentice House’s acquisitions, design, and marketing departments, respectively. After students move on, AH professor-managers and AH student staff sustain the on-going operation of the company and market its frontlist and backlist titles.
In 1987, Baltimore publisher Barbara Holdridge taught writing and book publishing as an adjunct professor at Loyola College. Her students came up with the Apprentice House name and, from 1987-1991, produced seasonal catalogues with book titles that reflected their own interests and passions. They created authors’ biographies, crafted marketing plans, and designed jackets and other graphics typically found in a publisher’s catalog.
As technology improved, Prof. Andrew Ciofalo abandoned the catalog idea for each student developing his or her own mock book for the pretend Apprentice House imprint. Still, this one course endeavored to cover the entire publishing process in a semester so several ideas were not entirely developed, although they showed promise. With another leap in technology, Prof. Ciofalo believed that if the work was divided up among several courses and books were actually printed, there might be a market for them. Thus, the “real-life” Apprentice House was born. In 2006, he enlisted former students Kevin Atticks and Gregg Wilhelm to take Apprentice House to the next level.