Tag Your Content
In addition to the use of #ReadUP year-round, during University Press Week itself you can make use of the general event tag #upweek and any theme tags (e.g., in 2021: #KeepUP) to highlight events, publications, authors, and more.
- Schedule an online UP Week sale.
- Develop your press’s own list of featured titles. Perhaps one book per day or one book for each year or decade of press history, a year-end “Top 10,” etc.
- Feature a list of “Staff Picks” or invite press staff to blog about their favorite press titles.
- Run a Facebook or Twitter contest.
- Ask authors to record short video messages for UP Week (tips below).
- Record and share video of events.
In the past, the UP Week Task Force has organized social media campaigns with give-aways of books from the year’s gallery of featured projects. Individual presses have also run social media campaigns offering specific books, tote-bags, and more.
One year, the Task Force used #UPshelfie to encourage people to post photos of their UP books—with the correct tag, those posting had a chance for special UP gift boxes put together by the Task Force. (Since then, #UPshelfie is a fun chance each year for presses, publishing staff, bookstores, and libraries, to show off their shelves.)
A short video clip can be an engaging message on social media. For several years, Ingram has generously produced theme-related videos featuring the university press community during UP Week. The instructions they share for creating quick DIY videos are useful for all presses who may want to develop such content for UP Week or other campaigns.
- Write a script ahead of time and practice it. This will help limit potential flubs during recording.
- Consider your outfit: Certain patterns (herringbone, flowery patterns, high-contrast stripes, and the like) don’t read well on screen. Large or dangly jewelry can also be a distraction.
- Make sure to smile!
Tips For Quality Video and Sound
- Film at the highest resolution possible. If you have access to a DSLR video camera, please use it. Alternatively, a newer touch-screen smart phone will work.
- Refrain from using computer cameras. They almost always have low resolution, spotty fps rates, or odd lenses.
- Shoot in landscape mode (horizontally) and also, if possible at 1080p / 30fps.
- Use a still camera, not handheld. No fancy tripod is necessary; a stack of books will suffice.
- Position camera far enough away from the subject so that the shot frames the area from above their head to the bottom of their chest.
- The brightest light source should be behind the camera, fully illuminating the subject’s face. (If natural sunlight will be your primary lighting source, record during the morning or early evening.)
- Keep your background in mind, and avoid shooting too close to it or blending into the back wall.
- If you’re dealing with oversaturated or low-light conditions, you can manually adjust your phone’s exposure setting.
- Use a lavalier mic, which easily plugs into a cell phone and attaches to a speaker’s collar, if possible.
- Take care to record in a quiet space without interruptions. Keep environmental factors in mind as well: wind, traffic, a room that echoes, etc. Carpet and some furniture (desk, bookshelves, etc.) help absorb unwanted sound; a small office works well. Silence or turn off cell phones while recording. (They should not even be on vibrate. ) Desk fans also may need to be turned off if they are fairly loud.
- Review the sound as soon as the video has been recorded. If there is a sound problem you didn’t notice, it will be easier to reshoot immediately.
- If you flub a line, take a long pause and restart, making it easier to edit around that spot later.
Maximizing Video Impact
Here are some tried-and-true tips for maximizing the promotional impact of your videos before, during, and after UP Week:
- Post on your press homepage.
- Feature on your press blog.
- Add video link to staff email signatures.
- Call attention to it via social media channels.
- Share it in targeted email blasts and enewsletters to customers, board members, faculty members, other interested constituencies.
- Invite these partners to share video link:
- your university library
- your board members, book series and journal editors, and authors
- department chairs or key faculty at your institution.
- If the video discusses your press’s mission or areas of interest in general, share it with prospective authors or place it in seasonal and/or subject catalogs.
These promotional ideas are shared with thanks to the staffs of Alberta, Fordham, Princeton, South Carolina, and Texas A&M, and based on their UP Week 2020 activities.