University of Massachusetts Press Promotion and Marketing
Our strategy for the most thorough job of promoting and marketing each and every one of our books includes using networks to exponentially increase our outreach—from book representatives to global online sales venues to active social media channels. We also value working directly with our authors to spread the word not only about their book, but about their ongoing scholarship. We like to help authors enhance and advance their profiles. Below, please see an outline of our many marketing channels—which have national and global reach—and also our suggestions for ways in which authors can help promote their books.
Soon after a project is approved by the Press Committee, we send the author a marketing questionnaire to solicit specific information and suggestions. We urge our authors to complete the questionnaire thoroughly, helping us to identify appropriate reviewers and avenues of promotion.
In general, we market books by:
- mailing our seasonal announcement catalogs to booksellers, librarians, and reviewers;
- working with a network of national and international sales representatives, who call on booksellers, wholesalers, and Internet retailers;
- sending gratis copies to appropriate review venues, such as scholarly journals;
- dispatching an electronic news release announcing the book’s publication;
- featuring new titles at our website, and talking about them on our social network (Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress);
- exhibiting copies of front-list and back-list titles at academic and bookseller conventions and meetings;
- advertising selectively in journals and conference programs;
- distributing examination copies to professors and instructors for potential classroom adoption;
- submitting titles to award competitions;
- coordinating our efforts with those of the author’s publicist (if the author has hired one).
Seasonal catalogs and descriptive copy
We prepare two catalogs of new books each year: one for the spring/summer season (with publication dates from April through September) and one for the fall/winter season (with publication dates from October through March). Each season the new titles in these catalogs are presented by our editors to our sales representatives, who in turn present them to booksellers, wholesalers, and Internet retailers. The catalogs are also mailed to review media and are distributed at trade and academic conferences.
In creating the book descriptions that appear in the catalog, we begin by asking our authors to prepare a preliminary draft of roughly 150 words. Then we revise those drafts, often adding prepublication endorsements (“blurbs”) provided by scholars and others who have read the manuscript.
National and global sales representation and order fulfillment
Our sales representatives include the Columbia Consortium organized by Columbia University Press (for bookstores in the continental United States), Scholarly Book Services (Canada), the Eurospan Group (United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East), and East West Export Books (Asia, the Pacific, and Hawaii).
Each season we meet with the sales representatives and provide them with information to support their efforts to secure orders for our books. They then call on the buyers for all of the major booksellers, including both college and general-interest bookstores and the large wholesalers, such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Each company requires specific information about new titles, which we provide at the beginning of each season.
Warehousing and order fulfillment functions are handled by Hopkins Fulfillment Services, a subsidiary of Johns Hopkins University Press. Phone orders can be placed at 1-800-537-5487, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. eastern time.
We also provide content information, bibliographic data, and cover images for our new books to Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, IndieBound, and other Internet book vendors.
On publication, we send copies of the finished book to a wide list of reviewers. We compile this list from our extensive database of print and online journals, newspapers, and other national and regional media. We also incorporate the author’s suggestions and respond to any requests from reviewers who have perused our seasonal catalog.
As reviews appear, we forward copies to the author. In addition, we ask authors to send us any reviews they come across that may have escaped our attention. We post excerpts from reviews at our website and social media, and we send them via metadata to Internet vendors such as Amazon.
Electronic news release
On publication we dispatch an electronic news release announcing a book’s availability. It is sent to a wide range of media contacts and also to any individual e-mail addresses that the author has provided on the marketing questionnaire. The distribution of this news release often generates additional requests for review copies.
Internet and social media promotion
Our website serves as a key marketing vehicle and source of information about University of Massachusetts Press books. For each new title, the website provides bibliographic information, descriptive copy, promotional blurbs, and a cover image, as these elements become available. New content is routinely added to the website, including news notes, reviews, and book awards. On publication, each new title is showcased in the “Featured Books” section of the homepage. The website also offers a secure ordering platform for customers using credit cards.
Many authors create individual websites for their books. This can be an effective way to promote and facilitate online sales. In such cases, we ask authors to include a link to the url of the book’s page at the University of Massachusetts Press website. In return, we are happy to include a link from our website to theirs.
Many authors also choose to include a link to the book page in the signature block for all their routine e-mail correspondence. If they participate in any e-mail forums or blogs, we encourage them to announce their book at these sites as well.
In addition to using personal websites and blogs, a growing number of our authors promote their books with Facebook and Twitter. Any effort an author can make using these venues is welcome. We also use Facebook and Twitter to promote our books and urge authors to follow us. You can also read and contribute to our blog.
Each year we display our books at many academic and trade meetings. We rent a booth in the exhibit hall at several major academic conferences, including the American Studies Association, the American Historical Association, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and the Organization of American Historians. Our editors meet with authors at these meetings and showcase the latest releases. We also display new titles at regional and national bookseller meetings.
In addition to the major academic conventions, our editors attend a number of smaller meetings, such as the American Society for Environmental History, the Society for the History of Technology, and the National Council on Public History. At meetings where one of our editors is not in attendance, we arrange for specific titles to be displayed through various cooperative exhibit services, such as Scholars Choice.
If an author is speaking at a conference and would like a book to be displayed, we ask to be notified well in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
We advertise in the programs of the major academic conventions in the fields in which we are most active. We also advertise selectively in journals and trade media.
Examination copies and desk copies
Teachers who wish to consider our books for course use are invited to request examination copies. Exam copies are provided for a minimal shipping charge. For additional information about our exam copy guidelines, please click here.
We provide desk copies to teachers who have adopted our books for classroom use. Instructors may request a desk copy when ten or more new copies have been ordered. For additional information about our desk copy guidelines, please click here.
We happily submit new titles for awards.
Beyond the contractual gratis copies, which are sent on publication, all authors who publish with us are entitled to purchase copies of their own book at a 40 percent discount. Prepayment is required on all individual orders, including those from authors. Phone orders can be placed at 1-800-537-5487, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. eastern time.