Event and Outreach Tips

Press-based outreach to readers, bookstores, libraries, and other allies can be an important part of celebrating University Press Week and amplifying the perennial #ReadUP theme. Below are some ideas to help connect with those communities.

UP Week activities and outreach can also support press-based advocacy work, especially when they demonstrate the ways that university presses bring value to society, scholarship, and the university community. 

Remember to deploy the posters, shelf-talkers, and bookmarks, and other digital assets and collateral materials available here! 

Local and Regional Bookstore Outreach

  • Take UP Week materials to regional booksellers meetings.
  • Coordinate promotions, displays, or events with bookstores. Template booksellers letter [pdf]
  • Co-brand already-scheduled author and book events with “University Press Week.”

Book Festival Outreach

These late-fall festivals may be great opportunities to feature the UPWeek theme along with #ReadUP, partner with other AUPresses members, and celebrate your community:

The Brooklyn Book Festival has been a particularly productive site for press collaboration to promote upcoming UP Weeks. In 2016—when UP Week’s theme was, in fact, “community”—5 NY and NJ member presses developed a scavenger hunt/raffle that promoted local independent bookstores, participating presses, and the #ReadUP theme. Sara Johnson at NYU Press developed a map that showcased 34 independent bookstores in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, and a scavenger hunt form with spaces for participants to share contact information, to name their favorite indie bookstore, and to collect a sticker from each press. The presses handed out 100 maps and entry forms during the festival, and received 25 complete entries from people who had visited all 5 booths and filled out the form in its entirety. NYU chose 5 winners and each received a $25 gift certificate from Book Culture and a book from a participating press.

Samples:

2016 Brooklyn Book Festival map [pdf]

2016 Brooklyn Book Festival flyer [pdf]

2018 Texas Book Festival Scavenger Hunt [pdf]

Author Outreach

Find ways to include press authors in University Press Week—informing and engaging some of our best advocates. Template author letter [pdf]

Campus Outreach

  • Arrange a press exhibit in a campus space or library, featuring recent publications, a series with local or topical resonance, of works of significance in press history.
  • Schedule a lecture or reading in a campus space or library by author(s) from your institution or region.
  • Host a Press Open House. Sample open house checklist
  • Host a panel discussion with librarians or faculty editorial board members.
  • Connect with the career office or local publishing degree program to promote careers in scholarly publishing.
  • Engage your Friends Group. Make certain they know about UP Week and your plans. Perhaps they would like to hold a reception or event in honor of the press, or perhaps the press can recognize them in some way during this week.
  • Organize a publishing seminar for junior faculty/grad students. Many presses offer these programs regularly, and they are a great reminder of the value of university presses to scholarly communications and to host institutions. The faculty at colleges and other research and teaching institutions without presses in your area may also be interested in such a seminar; consider broadcasting the invitation to a publishing seminar or offering a session to such campuses. Promote AUPresses resources for finding a publisher, including the AUPresses Directory and the Ask UP website.  Don’t forget: Member presses can offer a special discount on the Directory to attendees at such events. Contact Susan Patton spatton@aupresses.org to request a discount code.

Media Outreach

  • Place an op-ed or letter to the editor, or pitch a feature to local media. Here’s a list of talking points and tips, as well as a customizable template for a “University Press Week” letter to the editor. Read more >
  • Place an NPR underwriting spot. UP Week might be the perfect time for presses to send their own messages via a local NPR underwriting campaign. Depending on market and schedule, this can be a low cost way to reach the readers, stakeholders, and policymakers that you most want to know about your press and its place in the community. Read more >

Parting Inspirations

During UP Week 2018, presses employed these outreach tactics:

  • The University of Nebraska Press hosted a pop-up sale at a local brewery.
  • The University of Manchester Press collected food for a local foodbank.
  • The University of Illinois Press engaged its Little Free Library in themed festivities.