Ancient Languages, Modern Strategies for Success: The Gorgias Growth Story

September 2006
by Linda Carlson

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Combine a computer scientist
and a chemistry doctoral candidate with a dot-com severance package and a
mutual passion for obscure languages, add guts and ingenuity, and what do you
have?

 

You have Gorgias Press, a
Piscataway, NJ, scholarly publisher that’s gone from zero publications and zero
payroll to a backlist of 350 titles, 70 new publications a year, and a staff of
15—all since spring 2001.

 

“Gorgias wasn’t born of a business
plan, but out of our passion for exotic languages and the determination to
disseminate them to the general public,” says Christine Altinis-Kiraz. She and
husband George Kiraz took advantage of the high-tech implosion to follow a
dream—building a business that publishes books on Arabic, Islamic, Jewish, and
Syriac studies, archaeology, the Near East, the Middle East, classics, history,
and religion.

 

They called it Gorgias, Christine
explains, because they wanted a name from classics (Gorgias was a Sophist
philosopher and rhetorician credited with transplanting rhetoric to Greece),
and they liked the fact that this one sounded a little like George’s name.

 

With George’s severance check in
the bank, he and Christine didn’t waste any time deciding what to do next.
Already the author of 10 academic books, George went to Holland in the summer
of 2001 for …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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