The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) and its members are inviting booksellers to join in the celebration of the third annual University Press Week, from Sunday, November 9, through Saturday, November 15. The event highlights the contributions university presses large and small play in bringing high-quality works to bookstore shelves and the partnerships between indie bookstores and university presses.
“We were so happy that the independent bookstore community celebrated University Press Week with us and with our member presses all over the country last year. Independent bookstores are kin to university presses and mission-driven publishers. The readers we all reach — really, the readers we all are — are the same,” said Brenna McLaughlin, director of marketing and communications for AAUP. “We’re part of a larger community occupied with the same independent thinkers, the same intellectual questions, and the same cultural drivers. Despite changes in technology and business, our book culture thrives, and for that we thank our compatriots at the indies.”
To help ABA members start planning their celebrations, the October Red Box mailing includes University Press Week shelf-talkers from AAUP that stores can use to highlight staff favorites, as well as a letter detailing resources available online and highlighting a sampling of this year’s outstanding university press titles.
Other promotional materials are provided on the University Press Week webpage under the Toolkit tab. These additional resources include downloadable logos and web banners, customizable posters, and a reproducible PDF for additional shelf-talkers. There are also testimonials booksellers can make use of from a variety of individuals about the importance of university presses and their influence on society and culture.
AAUP is also showcasing projects from member presses that exemplify innovation in scholarly publishing through the online gallery Ideas Unbound, and the University Press Week website features an interactive Google map that allows users to locate AAUP member presses across the globe.
On an on-going basis, AAUP offers the site “Books for Understanding,” a resource for booksellers and their customers who are looking for titles that are most relevant to the current news and happenings around the world.
Returning again this year will be the University Press Week Blog Tour. Individual presses will blog on a different theme each day, including profiles of university press staff members, the future of scholarly communication, subject area spotlights, the importance of regional publishing, and the global reach of university presses.
“The Blog Tour and the Online Galleries have been very well-received both years, introducing projects, titles, authors, and points of view that are just invigorating,” said McLaughlin. “Other activities are still coming together! Our planning group this year has been tasked with not just the 2014 celebration plans, but also laying the groundwork for activities and partnerships we’d like to build in the future.”
McLaughlin and the AAUP have encouraged member publishers to reach out to their own local bookstores to plan events or talk about cross-promotions; stores are invited to share their promotional ideas with their local university presses.