About Us


Chemeketa Press is a nonprofit textbook publisher that works directly with faculty authors to make affordable, effective, engaging, and accessible textbooks. We bring the passion and enthusiasm of your favorite professor to the page, through agile publishing methods that will change the industry. We do this for our students and yours, nationwide—because a textbook should open the door, not close it.

Since our founding in 2015, we've saved Chemeketa Community College students more than $5.3 million.

Chemeketa Press is located on the land of the Kalapuya, who today are represented by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, whose relationship with this land continues to this day. We offer gratitude for the land itself, for those who have stewarded it for generations, and for the opportunity to study, learn, work, and be in community on this land. We acknowledge that our College’s history, like many others, is fundamentally tied to the first colonial developments in the Willamette Valley. Finally, we respectfully acknowledge and honor past, present, and future Indigenous students of Chemeketa Community College.

Who We Are

We are passionate educators and publishing professionals who help faculty solve problems and innovate in their classrooms, and we have fun along the way.

Abbey Gaterud (She/Her)


Abbey oversees the general operations of the Press and works with external partners to publish and distribute Chemeketa Press books to a national audience. She previously spent 15 years at Portland State University as the publisher of Ooligan Press and has an MS in Book Publishing from Portland State and a BA in English from Lewis & Clark College. Abbey has worked in all areas of book publishing, including design, editing, production, and marketing, and really just likes to make books.

Brian Mosher (He/Him)

Marketing & Publicity Coordinator

Brian manages all projects at Chemeketa Press by coordinating with Press staff, faculty authors, and the College’s internal systems. He also manages Chemeketa Press operational details and is a strong advocate for the generative potential of a blank whiteboard and post-it notes. He has an MA from Oregon State University and has taught composition and literature courses for 12 years.

Melinda Crouchley (She/Her)

Publishing Assistant

Melinda assists in a variety of different roles as a publishing assistant at the Press--editorial, design, marketing, and administrative. She has an MA in book publishing and a BA in English, with a minor in technical writing, both from Portland State University. Melinda is an experienced editor, formerly acting as the Managing Editor of Ooligan Press, and has written, edited, designed, and published a young adult science fiction book series.

Ronald Cox (He/Him)

Design Editor

Ronald oversees any design needs the Press has, including managing the Visual Communication interns during summer term while they create the layouts of the books. Ronald also teaches in the Visual Communication program. He has a BA from Portland State. Prior to Chemeketa Press Ronald was the Creative Director at a local private university.

Stephanie Lenox (She/Her)

Instructional Editor

Stephanie works with faculty to craft textbooks that draw on their expertise while maintaining an accessible voice that speaks directly to students. She organizes a weekly faculty writing group to encourage a community of productive writers and leads regular writing workshops for faculty. She has an MFA from the University of Idaho and has experience in publishing both as an editor and as the author of several books of poetry.

What We’re Doing

Chemeketa Press is the academic publishing arm of Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. Founded in 2015, Chemeketa Press is a core component of a college-wide student success initiative designed to lower the cost of textbooks. Adoption of Chemeketa Press textbooks has saved students more than $5.3 million over six years. The Press started with a question: why are textbooks so expensive, boring, and bloated? The unsatisfactory answer led faculty and staff to create a press that does things differently and seeks to revolutionize the textbook industry.

Faculty authors at Chemeketa and beyond work with the Press’s innovative agile publishing model to write textbooks for their classrooms. Development editions of books are tested in the classroom and by external reviewers, then revised and improved before release to a national audience. Chemeketa books are written for actual students—no jargon, academic speak, or bombastic prose allowed—and are designed to be accessible, engaging, and beautiful.

This model brought unexpected benefits: increased faculty understanding and engagement with their disciplines; increased student work experience through editing and design projects with the Press; and a campus-wide pride in our ability to solve our own expensive textbook problem. Chemeketa Press proves that a campus can make life better for its students through ingenuity, creativity, and hard work—and that the benefits can extend to campuses across the country.

If you would like to support this mission, one option is to make a donation through the Chemeketa Community College Foundation at their secure giving site. Under “Fund Designation” at their site, select “Chemeketa Press Textbook Fund” to make your donation to us. Thank you for helping us publish affordable and effective textbooks.

Why We Do What
We’re Doing

We empower students, faculty, and institutions to address their need for affordable and effective learning materials.

The first goal of the Press was to lower the financial barrier for our students by developing and publishing textbooks that are affordable. All Chemeketa Press books cost less than $50 and are available in print or digital formats.

The second goal is to serve students by making more effective course materials. This means writing textbooks in the plain language of non-expert students rather than the academic prose of expert faculty.

We learned that these projects serve students by encouraging faculty to rethink and improve their courses and course materials. By working together to design the best textbook for their courses, faculty teams invariably step back from that work to consider how the course itself can be improved.

We also found ways to serve students by including them in the process. From the start, we’ve brought in student designers to work on book production. This paid work provides them with valuable professional experience and portfolio materials as they begin their careers. With every book, we rely on student feedback to improve the effectiveness of each textbook, making students partners in this student success initiative.

Our plans to share this publishing model with others is also rooted in student success. Commercial textbook prices are so high because commercials publishers have so little competition. The more that we and other teaching colleges are able to compete with commercial publishers, the more those publishers will have to bring their prices down to reasonable and alter their operations to fit those reasonable prices. That too will lower the financial barriers for students.

Find us on social media @chemeketapress


How This Happened

In Fall 2014, faculty and administrators at Chemeketa got together and decided it was time to do something about the high cost of textbooks. Much of the work that followed came in the form of replacing commercial textbooks with existing open-source textbooks or other online resources.

Writing professor Steve Richardson had published an affordable writing textbook using a print-on-demand publishing system, and in early 2015, he proposed that the college could use the same system to help faculty publish their own affordable textbooks. Julie Huckestein, Chemeketa’s president, asked Richardson to test his ideas out. She wanted the books to be affordable, but she also wanted to make sure they were effective books that served students well.

Over the spring and summer of 2015, Richardson worked with faculty from math, art, academic development, and English on four pilot books. By fall 2015, four new books were on sale in the Chemeketa Bookstore. That winter, a three-volume set of US History books were added. In 2015-16, Chemeketa Press sold about 1500 copies of these pilot books. This saved Chemeketa students more than $150,000 over the price of commercial textbooks. Sales of these books brought in about $18,000 in revenue for the Press.

Encouraged by early results, the college made Chemeketa Press a special project within the college’s Support Services Division. Associate Vice-President Tim Rogers provided oversight for the endeavor as its publisher. Richardson became the managing editor, and Brian Mosher, another writing professor, became production editor.

To develop and publish textbooks without the extensive infrastructure of a commercial publishing house, Chemeketa Press did things differently in two ways. First, it adapted a software development model that puts its products into use as “development editions” as soon as they are fully functional. This model requires fewer up-front resources, but more importantly, it draws help from its users — in this case, teaching faculty and students — to improve the product with feedback about errors and suggestions for how to make it more effective. Second, the Press used print-on-demand publishing to keep costs low, even for short print runs of 10 or 20 books. This also allowed the Press to easily update books as corrections came in, sometimes with revised versions released quarter by quarter.

Relying on these innovations, Chemeketa Press continued to explore different types of textbook development, from direct reprints of openly licensed books to original works by groups of faculty. In 2016–17, it revised and completed the first set of books and added fourteen new titles, including several student workbooks. These books saved students about $450,000 over the cost of new commercial textbooks. The sale of these books brought about $100,000 in revenue to the Press.

Since those first busy years, the Press has continued to revise existing titles and add new titles to its catalog. It also added a design editor, Ronald Cox IV, and an instructional editor, Stephanie Lenox, to oversee manuscript development and help integrate the Press more directly into the teaching mission of the college. In 2020, just as the global pandemic was unfolding in the United States, the Press hired Abbey Gaterud as the Director after Steve Richardson's retirement. In 2022, Melinda Crouchley joined the Press as a publishing assistant.

Also in 2022, we partnered with Longleaf Services, LLC as a fulfillment partner, joining 18 prestigious university presses in their cost-saving consortium for distribution and fulfillment, so that our books can easily be ordered and adopted at other schools nationwide.

As Chemeketa Press moves out of start-up mode and into a more sustainable business model, it is focusing on making smart and impactful acquisitions decisions, codifying and streamlining the workflow, and expanding the services it offers to faculty. Developing relationships with partners across the region and country continues to expand the reach of our innovative business model and put our textbooks in the hands of students hungry for better and more affordable learning materials.