By Rachel Doll, advertising and direct mail manager, University Press of Florida
Last month, along with four other staff members from the University Press of Florida, I traveled from sea-level Gainesville to mile-high Denver for the annual meeting of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP). The theme of this year’s meeting was “Connect, Collaborate” and the program was designed to facilitate new partnerships and initiatives among university presses. I was able to attend due to an AAUP Early Career Grant generously funded by CrossRef and Baker & Taylor. Thanks to AAUP, CrossRef, and Baker & Taylor for giving me this opportunity!
I landed in Denver excited for the pre-meeting marketing workshop, the many panels I’d starred on my conference program, and the experience of being immersed in the broader AAUP community—a valuable opportunity for early-career staff located in states with only one AAUP-member press. About mine: the University Press of Florida is the official publisher for Florida’s State University System. We’ve published over 2,500 books since 1945 and currently publish 90 new books a year. With a pipeline of top-quality scholarship constantly being acquired, developed, edited, designed, printed, marketed, and hitting bookstore shelves, it’s a busy place. (See what we’re up to on Twitter and Facebook! You can also sign up to receive emails about our latest books in subject areas that interest you.)
I’ve been at the University Press of Florida (UPF) for almost three years. During that time I’ve worked on publicity and exhibits, and in the coming year I’ll be doing advertising and direct mail. As the AAUP meeting began, I hoped to take in everything I could in relation to my past and upcoming responsibilities. I ended up with a notebook full of scribbles and a brain crammed with thoughts and questions for the future. I’ll briefly share a few of the topics that were on the minds of AAUP marketers:
- Print vs. digital ads
Plan strategically and define your goals.
- AAUP co-op exhibits
An idea in the works for displaying even more books at more conferences!
- Collaborations: who should lead?
AAUP or member presses?
- Social media has to be human
Let your personality come through and have fun.
- Author participation in marketing & publicity
It’s critical to a book’s success. (And at UPF we have so many wonderful authors who actively promote their books. Check out some photos from our authors’ recent activities and view our calendar for upcoming events.)
Other meeting highlights: a reception sponsored by the Chronicle Review at the historic Daniels & Fisher clock tower, a reception sponsored by the New York Review of Books at the 100-year-old Grant-Humphreys Mansion, and Project MUSE’s “Mile-High” 5k through the streets of downtown Denver. UPF director Meredith Morris-Babb officially began her term as AAUP president and gave a fantastic inaugural speech. Plus, I visited two independent bookstores, three breweries, and went camping and hiking afterwards in Rocky Mountain National Park. I’d call it a fun and informative first AAUP meeting!