« All right already | Main | Party like it's 1996 »

Publishers and Bloggers, sittin in a tree

Scott McLemee has a piece up today at IHE based on a talk he gave at last month's AAUPresses confab, and it's worth a look. The bottom line is that academic presses would do themselves a huge favor becoming a little more familiar with blogspace and what it might be able to accomplish for them:

Academic publishers are now more likely to put their catalogs up online than a few years ago. But most seem not to have made the additional commitment of resources necessary to get the word out about their books.

Getting 10 or 20 copies to the right folks at the right blogs might mean the difference in some cases between selling dozens and selling hundreds, a big difference for an academic press's typically small print run.

Compare the typical academic press strategies (send out catalogs, bring boxes to conventions) with what Chris Anderson did. His book on the long tail is a-coming soon, and his publisher gave him 100 copies to give away, so he offered them to the first 100 bloggers willing to review the book. Less than 24 hours later, he had 100 reviewers lined up.

Yes, trade presses vs. academic, but that's part of McLemee's piece as well. It's not about spending lots but spending smart. Chances are, with a little bit of research, you could achieve the same impact with 10 well-placed reviews as you could with 100. You telling me that most academic presses don't give away more than 10 copies of a book as desk copies a year? C'mon.

Anyhow, Scott's dead-on, and whether or not my press does what he suggests, I'll be doing it. Even if I have to buy my own books and give them out myself.