View Full Version : promotion ideas for university press book

Susan B
04-07-2008, 07:20 PM

I'm wondering if anyone has experience promoting a book published by a university press?

My first book will be coming out in December with a southern university press. Very solid, a good fit for my book, and I've been delighted with them so far. I'm also pleased that they seem to do more in the way of marketing and publicity than I'd been led to expect from a press that is relatively small, independent, and of course nonprofit. But obviously they don't have the resources of the big commericial publishers, so I'm realistic about that. And my agent has told me a lot of the book promotion will fall to me.

I just wrote a long detailed post on the "hiring a publicist' thread, one of the things I am wondering about. So I won't repeat the details, which are here:


I'd be interested in any thoughts or suggestions.


Susan B (Blair)

04-07-2008, 10:43 PM
Hi Susan - That's great that your book is on its way out into the world. I am a few steps behind you, but I thought I would offer some thoughts because this is something I have been thinking about. I don't know your topic, but giving lectures at universities is an option. I have already been in touch with two universities about lecturing on my book when it comes out. Also, depending on the topic, if you can get on NPR or other local radio shows, I think that could help. I listen to a few and seem to buy every book I hear about from them. Do you have friends in the media? Try to get some writers to interview you if they are writing stories about the same subject as you. When you are quoted, they should write that you are the author of this book. Is there a publication that is willing to endorse your book? Of course that can help. However, don't rule out the smaller publications. Your local newspaper might be interested in a story about you and same could be true of your hometown newspaper. If you are also a journalist, make sure when publications run your bio or tagline at the end of your stories it mentions your book. I hope some of this might be helpful. I am interested also in hearing other ideas. Good luck.

04-09-2008, 11:41 PM
I also have a book (fiction) that is published by a university press. My editor did some work with her contacts and my book has now been course adopted! I also sent out a million press releases to all the relevant faculties around the country that might be interested in the subject matter of my book. Also, I tapped into the activist community and word is spreading (very slowly, mind you).

04-09-2008, 11:46 PM
okay, i just read in your signature line what your book is about. That is a great niche market so you should be tapping into the music scene - send press releases to grass-roots groups & community music organizations, music & history departments at universities, also local history centers in the SE United States. You could drum up a real regional buzz about that type of music.

04-10-2008, 07:46 PM
I would definitely take advantage of the various music associations and groups that might be interested. Check out Yahoo and Google groups for cajun music groups. Also, various radio stations to see if they want to do an interview. Also, various bloggers who deal in music might be willing to do a review. I would also send information to music shops to see if they might want to carry the book.

I'm assuming U of Mississippi Press will do the academic side of the marketing: course adoption, academic libraries, various associations, etc. So I would focus more on the general lay public in your efforts.

Good luck.

Susan B
04-16-2008, 07:41 AM
Thanks, everyone! Very helpful suggestions! Some are already underway (My publisher has an exhaustive Author Questionnaire where they ask about a lot of this: special interest groups, course adoption potential, my personal contacts, publications, local bookstores.) The "niche market" is easier to identify and reach, since I'm part of it (ie, the Cajun-Creole-zydeco world.) It is reaching the general reader--and particularly local readers in the SF Bay Area--that seems more daunting to me. Unfortunately, don't have media contacts, though I do have some visibility (well, in some smallish circles, at least) from performing with my band. At least we should be able to do some fun book signings!

I have arranged to consult with book promotion expert who'd been recommended to me (Bella Stander) and I think this may offer a lot in the way of ideas.

Thanks again!