About Melvin & Leigh

Who Are We?

Students, libraries and teachers rightly decry the high cost of textbooks and educational materials. Melvin & Leigh, Publishers was founded in the belief that this situation is intolerable, and that we can do better. We seek to meet students' need for affordable educational books by emphasizing content, not expensive packaging.

How Can We Do That?

We can produce books with superior content by attracting authors who believe in our mission, who have a demonstrated ability to produce the best work in an engaging manner, and who are willing to assist us in implementing an effective marketing campaign. We believe such superior authors deserve superior royalties and we are committed to providing royalties at least equal to the royalties provided by our competitors. We are a publisher by and for educators and students.

We keep our costs lower than the large textbook publishers in several ways:

  • We rely on state-of-the-art technology to prepare materials drawing on our network of production and design professionals, reducing fixed costs.

  • Our marketing is based on delivering complimentary desk copies of our books to those who teach the courses for which our publications are intended, rather than relying on salespeople who call on instructors in their offices. In this way we directly put our books and materials into the hands of educators without the expense of sales-force salaries, benefits and travel costs.

  • Our emphasis is on subject matter content, written in a readable and engaging way. We do not seek to distract from dry, disconnected bullet-point lists of topics with expensive cartoons, newspaper clippings and lots of color on the page. Our books are for college courses, and we are confident that these students prefer printed text that is engaging and informative, rather than paying for costly efforts to make the material look like a children’s picture book.

Who Is Behind Melvin & Leigh?

The President and Publisher of Melvin & Leigh is Harry Briggs, longtime Executive Editor at M.E. Sharpe, Inc. and former Acquisitions Editor at Sage Publications. Harry is best known for building award-winning, best-selling portfolios of textbooks and scholarly books in Public Administration, Management, and Marketing/Advertising. His long career has included both grass-roots and managerial positions in editorial, sales, and marketing functions.

"We had the pleasure of publishing two books with Harry Briggs: Emotional Labor: Putting the Service in Public Service (2008), and Emotional Labor and Crisis Response: Working on the Razor's Edge (2012). His gentle, steady hand and market savvy provided guidance during the manuscript proposal process, throughout production, and for years following publication through his efforts to continually publicize our work. His efforts on our behalf resulted in one of our books being translated into Mandarin and published in China. From the germ of an idea to long after each book was in print, his knowledge of content, marketing, and intended audience informed our work from beginning to end. We are just wild about Harry."
—Mary Guy (University of Colorado Denver), Meredith Newman (Florida International University), and Sharon Mastracci (University of Illinois Chicago)

“Towering above all other editors in my career and in my work with many publishers is Harry Briggs. His deep understanding of the material is highly uncommon. His supportiveness is both helpful and encouraging. And the quality of the final product in terms of physical layout is always superior. Given the choice, I always choose to work with Harry before anyone else.”
—Monty Van Wart, CSU San Bernardino and Visiting Professor, University of Hong Kong
(author of Dynamics of Leadership in Public Service and Leadership in Public Organizations)

“We would highly recommend Harry Briggs to any potential author. Harry helped guide our advertising texts which included: Advertising Media Planning: A Brand Management Approach, Advertising Account Planning: Planning and Managing an IMC Campaign and Advertising and Public Relations Research. All became leaders in their respective niche due to Harry’s support. Harry will give you the personal support you need coupled with a wealth of marketplace knowledge. He is simply the best editor in the business.”
—Larry Kelley (University of Houston), Donald Jugenheimer, and Kim Sheehan (University of Oregon)

"In our work with Harry Briggs over many years (and several books), we have found him to be the consummate publications professional. He knows the world of academic books and journals inside-out, he is skillful in bringing out the best in authors and their work, and he does it all with grace, style, finesse, and good-natured diplomacy. You'll enjoy working with him and especially enjoy the results of your collaboration."
—Robert and Janet Denhardt, both at the University of Southern California (authors of The New Public Service)

"Decades of productive collaborations with Harry Briggs have convinced me that he is clearly the leading publisher in our field. I have had the advantages of his sound advice, scholarly integrity, imaginative initiatives and visionary marketing. His mentoring has been essential is helping me build an internationally recognized journal; a leading international textbook that is being translated into several languages; and an ambitious series of practitioner-oriented handbooks. I owe a great deal to his confidence in my proposals and his competence in bringing them to fruition. Scores of authors are equally appreciative. His new venture, Melvin and Leigh--out in front of public concerns about the costs of higher education—is clearly the first publisher to consider as a strategic partner for a successful text."
—Marc Holzer, Rutgers University-Newark (Editor in Chief, Public Performance and Management Review;
Co-author, Public Administration: An Introduction; Series Editor, Public Solutions Handbooks)


Melvin & Leigh, Publishers