Not Your Father's Marketing

New Strategies in the Digital Age

Organizer: Collen Lanick, Publicity Director, MIT Press
Presenters: Carol Kasper, Marketing Director at Chicago
Jim McCoy Assistant Director/ Sales and Marketing Director, University of Iowa Press
Becky Clark, Marketing Director at Hopkins
Mark Heineke, Promotions Director at Chicago
Steve Yates, Assistant Director/Marketing Director University Press of Mississippi

University presses have always faced the challenging task of helping the diverse and often complicated books we publish reach their intended audience—whether it’s making certain that a scholarly monograph or textbook makes it into the hands of scholars and course adopters in the field or garnering mainstream coverage for trade titles in The New York Times.

Historically, we’ve approached this challenge by looking at each title on our list and creating a specific publicity and promotions plan targeted at just those who we think will be interested in and ultimately purchase the book. But, times have changed, my friend. Book review sections are shrinking and/or migrating to the web. The print and mail method for catalogs and direct mail pieces don't grab the attention of readers like they used to. News is increasingly consumed online, making print advertising less effective than it once was. Conference goers can purchase books on Amazon at a much more competitive price than they can at a university press booth. News stories break on Twitter. People look to Facebook to keep in touch with friends, family, and to share thoughts and opinions. Our authors are even making videos, podcasts and using other forms of new media to share their ideas.

In this workshop, we’ll explore how university presses have (and should) adapt their current marketing strategies to keep up with the changing atmosphere and to better reach our readers—wherever they may be.

Location: Deer Valley Rooms, Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown

June 17, 2010

7:30-9:00 am Registration

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
Location: Deer Valley 1

Introduction of panelists / Opening remarks

Publishing/Marketing Plan
The importance of the publishing plan that is clearly outlined and thought through, including price, print run, discount, title, jacket treatment, trim, binding, as a way to help position the book both in house and in the world. How much pre-launch planning should be done and who should be involved? How getting all your ducks in a row early on can really set you up for success.

Seasonal Catalogs
How the production and distribution of the seasonal catalog has changed. Do we need to still print them? Do we need so many? Do we need to have a more interactive catalog?

Direct Marketing
How has the once lucrative world of direct mail changed over the years? Are printed subject catalogs still worthwhile? How have our decisions about what to include (and not include) in these catalogs changed? Should we be alarmed that we are increasingly less able to track sales through our pieces? Should they be designed and distributed electronically? What is the best way to reach potential readers—Through the mail? Listserves? Email blasts? We’ll also discuss text adoption and look at what options (both print and electronic) are available for reaching professors.

Coffee Break

What kind of advertising works? Should we be switching over to online advertising rather than traditional print? Does a well-placed review in the New York Times Book Review or Wall Street Journal generate enough sales to warrant the price tag? We’ll also discuss the increasing opportunities online and the ability that we have to track viewers of ads online.

A look at what has changed in exhibits and why we would exhibit at a conference—Sales? To wave the press flag? As an author relations or acquisitions tool? Sales at conferences have gone down, should we reconsider conferences or pair down our display copies? What kind of support should we offer authors who participate in or attend academic conferences. What about BEA and regional trade shows? Library meetings? We’ll discuss how we can get the most from our exhibits dollar and work around various PCI compliance issues.

First Serial
When is trying to pitch first serial a good idea? What sort of books does this work for, what sort of publications are worth pitching to, and some general guidelines for going about it will be discussed. We’ll also tackle the prickly topic of electronic rights when it comes to negotiating serial rights.

Special Guest

The book review has been “dead” for so long that discussing it has become tiresome. That said, there are still exciting opportunities out there for coverage of our books and authors. How do we find them and what sort of information do they need? How much emphasis should we place on the more traditional venues. We’ll discuss everything from galleys (to E or not to E) to publicity calls, the importance of bloggers, radio, and television, op-eds, and working with freelancers.

Social Networking
A look at how social media has become a new opportunity to connect with readers. We'll look at the dos and don’ts of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media and also look at how we can fit this into our workload.

Author Events
It used to be that bookstore events have long been one of the main building blocks for the successful launch of a book. Obviously this is not still the case. We’ll discuss whether events are still worth it and if there are alternatives to the traditional bookstore event that might be a better option. We’ll also talk about managing author expectations when it comes to appearances and events.

Coffee Break

The UP website has become increasingly more important in raising the profile of the Press and in providing information to potential readers. We’ll discuss how and why we should be updating our websites and what direction we should be going in?

E-books are all around us and many presses have already invested a substantial amount of time, energy, and money into the production of e-books. So, how do we market them on their own and in tandem with our marketing efforts for their print brothers.

Impact of marketing efforts on sales
Our goal is to sell books. How do our marketing efforts translate into sales? Is there more we can do? How should we be keeping sales (including reps) in the loop on all marketing effort? We’ll also discuss what sort of information they need to pass along to their accounts and when.

Author Relations
Everyone want a happy author! How do we achieve this? How can we educate our authors about all the changes we have been discussing all day and get them to help us promote their book ways that are productive and will help with sales.