John Coghlan began his publishing career in 1971 as a partner in a commercial printing company in his home state of Mississippi. After seven years he returned to the class room to further his collage education and worked part time at the Jackson Metropolitan Library System as a graphic designer and printer. It was here that he developed his love for books and embarked on what would become a life-long career—bookmaking. In 1981 he joined the staff of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he served as Estimator and Planner for Printing Services, Production Manager, Assistant Director, and Interim Director of the University of Arkansas Press. He has also served on the board of directors at Will Hall Books, DocuShred Inc., PayTime Inc., Answer Office, LLC and is now President of Phoenix International, Inc.
Books produced by John Coghlan have won such awards as; the Chicago Book Clinic Design Award, American Book Award, AAUP Design Award, Arkansiana Award, and Virginia C. Ledbetter Prize. He was recognized in 1999 by the American Association of University Presses for his work in the preservation of Arkansas history and culture through his work at the University Arkansas Press.