University Press Week: An Invitation to Celebrate

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The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) and its members are celebrating the second annual University Press Week from November 10 through 16. The event highlights the special role university presses large and small play in bringing high-quality works to bookstore shelves, and AAUP is inviting booksellers to join in celebrating these works and the natural relationship between indie bookstores and university presses.

“Independent booksellers are key,” said Brenna McLaughlin, director of marketing and communications for AAUP. “They are, themselves, the audience that is most interested in and caring of the creative culture that is found in the editorial lists of university presses, and they are a place of representation for those books and that culture in a local community.”

In welcoming bookstores to join the celebration, AAUP has provided promotional materials in ABA’s October Red Box mailing that booksellers can use to highlight their favorite university press titles. Along with a letter detailing the weeklong celebration, booksellers will find University Press Week shelf-talkers that include space for the book’s title, publishing press, and bookseller comments.

A toolkit of resources, including University Press Week logos, web banners, and downloadable versions of the shelf-talkers, is available online for booksellers to use for displays and marketing purposes.

To engage readers, a public events calendar will be updated with University Press Week happenings, including lectures, author readings, and panels, as they are scheduled to take place in locations across the country. Booksellers can also make use of testimonials from a variety of individuals about the importance of university presses and their influence on society and culture.

AAUP’s university press members will be showcasing their strongest and most innovative books in the category of “Ideas Unbound,” with a digital gallery of titles going live by the end of October on the University Press Week website. Authors and staff members from 40 presses will participate in a blog tour beginning November 11 and continuing throughout the week. Details about the blog tour will be posted at the beginning of November.

AAUP members are also being encouraged to reach out and connect with their local bookstores to develop joint University Press Week celebrations and to strengthen their ongoing relationships.

McLaughlin and AAUP welcome booksellers’ suggestions about additional tools that would help bookstores promote University Press Week. Ideas and requests can be sent to McLaughlin via e-mail.

AAUP works with more than 130 presses in the disciplines of the arts, humanities, and science. University Press Week was initiated in 2012, the 75th anniversary of AAUP’s founding.