Adventures in #Acquisitioning: AAUP 2017

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Austin via South Congress, complete with guitar-playing cowboy (right)

By Bethany Wasik

Two months ago, for the second consecutive year, I represented Cornell University Press at the AAUP Annual Meeting. The discussion panels, networking opportunities, and ambient air temperatures in Austin, TX, were extremely positive experiences.

First, who am I and why did I trek all the way to Austin?

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Bethany Wasik

I have been an acquisitions assistant at Cornell University Press for approximately two years, recently making the transition to assistant editor. I landed here after receiving a Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics studying beetle horn development from Indiana University and completing two postdoctoral appointments researching butterfly wing patterning at Yale and Cornell Universities (true story). As my second postdoctoral appointment came to an end, I realized my passion was with editing and publishing rather than bench work. I had the experience to justify such a switch, having published my research in several academic journals (still ongoing!), edited and peer reviewed manuscripts on a regular basis, helped students and lab mates with their writing, and composed grants for my own funding. Thus, unbeknownst to me, I was already performing some tasks of an academic editor even before walking through the Cornell University Press lobby. Continue reading “Adventures in #Acquisitioning: AAUP 2017”

Adventures in #Acquisitioning: AAUP 2017

Patrice McMahon gives us the lowdown on NGOs on the latest episode of 1869, the Cornell University Press podcast

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In episode 14, Patrice McMahon, associate professor of political science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, talks about the role of NGOs in post-conflict peacebuilding. She gives us the history of NGOs as an international force, explains the role they played in the Balkans after the conflict there, and indicates how NGOs have had to professionalize and globalize since then in order to remain relevant.

You can subscribe to 1869 on iTunes and SoundCloud.

And, for easy access, here’s the full list of episodes so far:

Episode 1: Peter Conners talks Dead Heads and the 40th anniversary of the (probably) greatest Grateful Dead concert ever
Episode 2: Glenn Altschuler looks at the history of Cornell University
Episode 3: Suzanne Gordon dives into the issues surrounding veterans’ health care
Episode 4: Gordon Lafer warns us about the power of corporate lobbying
Episode 5: Keith Bildstein waxes lyrical on the beauty of birds of prey
Episode 6: Rosemary Sekora discusses BookExpo and BookCon
Episode 7: Michael McGandy launches Three Hills, our new trade imprint
Episode 8: Jim Lance explains what he wants to acquire and why
Episode 9: Alan Bernstein goes to Hell (well, he gives us some context and history, anyway)
Episode 10: Greg Britton and Zach Gresham reveal what really happened at AAUP17
Episode 11: Sean Malloy breaks down the Black Panthers as an international force
Episode 12: Julia Azari provides the background on presidential mandates
Episode 13: Brandon Keim gets anthropomorphic on us
Episiode 14: Patrice McMahon shows how NGOs got to be so important

If there’s someone you’d like to listen to on an episode let us know by emailing Martyn Beeny or tweeting at the Press.

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Learn more:
The NGO Game: Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in the Balkans and Beyond
by Patrice C. McMahon
$24.95 paperback

Patrice McMahon gives us the lowdown on NGOs on the latest episode of 1869, the Cornell University Press podcast

Help Save the Bees

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Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

There was finally some good news this week about the plight of the honeybees. After more than a decade of alarming declines in bee populations across the United States, a new study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers new hope for honeybees. While the central culprit behind the mysterious deaths of bees (classified as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD) is yet to be determined, the study found that the number of U.S. honeybees has increased since 2016, and the number of deaths due to CCD decreased by over 25 percent in the same time period.

However, the good news came with some bad. Continue reading “Help Save the Bees”

Help Save the Bees

Consulting Hafez on the Trump Administration

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Sahar Muradi

By Steve Zeitlin, author of The Poetry of Everyday Life

In a bedroom she shared with her three siblings in Elmhurst, Queens, 9-year-old Sahar Muradi snuggled up to her mom.  Sensing her daughter’s pensive mood, her mother asked, “Is there something on your mind?” Then her mom reached for the magical red book. Sahar remembers, “I can picture it—the book was leather-bound, frayed from overuse. It was small and fit perfectly into my little hands.” This was Hafez’s Divan, the collected works of a revered fourteenth-century poet from Iran, where great poets are considered seers. Hafez’s sobriquet or nickname is lesān-al-ḡayb, or The Tongue of the Unseen. Continue reading “Consulting Hafez on the Trump Administration”

Consulting Hafez on the Trump Administration

DOC MARTYN’S SAGE MARKETING: Find Your Beach

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“Find your beach,” Corona suggests (forcefully, with beautiful people drinking ice-cold Coronas in beautiful places), and now we suggest the same. We’re not going to be as forceful, nor will we employ models to showcase our wares. Instead, our very-much-above-average books are the stars of this sale. We’ve started our first ever not-your-average beach books sale and we’d like you to find your beach so that you can sit down wherever you are with a beautiful Cornell University Press book in hand and disappear from the demands of your day, whatever those may be.

“Just do it” might be another campaign slogan we could appropriate. In other words, just do it and save big. Just do it and find your beach. Just do it and ignore all the other pressures of the day to immerse yourself in a way-above-average beach book.

And now that I’m into repurposing ad slogans, how about taking the Energizer bunny’s motto and encouraging you all to just do it, find your beach, and keep (and here’s where I’m being loose with the original) reading and reading and reading. But wait, there’s more. FedEx says to us all that we should use their service when there is no tomorrow; I’d suggest that if there’s no tomorrow, spending today reading above-average books might well be a better use of your time than shipping something. Disneyland is, of course, the happiest place on Earth. But surely, if you’ve just done it and found your beach and are reading and reading and reading because there is no tomorrow, then that would be the happiest place on Earth.

I could go on. No, really, I could. Instead, I encourage you to do all of the above because this sale won’t actually last forever and, I mean, 50 percent off is a really good reason to add volume to your TBR pile.

—Martyn

Martyn Beeny is Marketing Director for Cornell University Press. Have it your way. Think different. Impossible is nothing. Follow him on Twitter @MartynBeeny

 

 

 

DOC MARTYN’S SAGE MARKETING: Find Your Beach

Doc Martyn’s Sage Marketing: A Marketing Response to The Chronicle’s Report on the Future of Scholarly Publishing

At the recent Association of American University Presses (AAUP) meeting in Austin, TX, I finally got my hands on the print version of this report, which allowed me to actually read it all since I was no longer stuck behind a paywall. As we all know, it is fascinating. On so many levels.

I am pleased that The Chronicle took the time to compose this survey, send it out, and aggregate the responses, giving university presses a moment in the spotlight in a way that we do not often receive. I am saddened, though, by its overall approach. With a few exceptions, only directors or very senior editors responded (or were invited to). Questions posed were limited to subjects surrounding the acquisition of books. Responses seemed to gloss over the fact that we are businesses with marketing and sales teams.

As I read the questions and answers, I kept wanting to know what these wise and esteemed members of our community think about things other than writing quality, types of books, the acquisitions process, etc. I was struck that many of the responses were cautious—unwilling, perhaps out of fear or respect or something else, to push beyond the expected. While I criticize, I also understand. And yet I wished for something different. As such, I present here my responses to those same questions. I offer them from my perspective as a relatively short-term member of the community and as a marketing-and-business-first thinker. I expect and hope that my responses will elicit criticism, consternation, consideration, creativity, and more conversation. I look forward to, as some of us noted on Twitter during AAUP, a continued conversation. Hopefully that discussion will focus, at least partly, on the future of the university press so that this attention from The Chronicle does not simply fade into the ether now that we have returned to our campuses. Continue reading “Doc Martyn’s Sage Marketing: A Marketing Response to The Chronicle’s Report on the Future of Scholarly Publishing”

Doc Martyn’s Sage Marketing: A Marketing Response to The Chronicle’s Report on the Future of Scholarly Publishing

The Transnational Trend in U.S. Foreign Relations 10 Years In: Reflections on a Path-breaking Book Series

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Recent titles from The United States in the World

One hears so much these days, in academic circles, about the transnational that it is surprising that a decade ago it was a new concept in many fields. This was particularly so among historians of United States foreign relations, where high-level diplomacy and affairs of state had been the focus of attention as long as anyone could remember. So it was that the inaugural publications in The United States in the World—a book series dedicated to transnational scholarship—were unexpected, innovative, and trend-setting in the study of what was once termed “foreign affairs.” This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the first two books published in the series, and it is time to recognize the insight of the founding series editors and give tribute to the field-changing impact of the twenty volumes that have been published since 2007.

The story of the series goes back to 2005, when Mark Philip Bradley and Paul A. Kramer collaborated with my predecessor at Cornell University Press, Alison Kallett, to frame the series concept. At that time no press had a series of books in history focusing on the role that non-state actors, flows of capital and peoples, and non-governmental organizations had in state diplomacy and international relations. The editors proposed to push beyond the then-popular idea of global history and then to “draw on domestic and international archives,” “challenge conventional periodizations,” and “explore how people, ideas, and cultures traveled between the United States and the rest of the world.” Moreover, while looking ever outward to the larger world, the books were always intended to enrich and broaden, as Mark and Paul wrote in their series proposal, “our understanding of modern United States history.” Continue reading “The Transnational Trend in U.S. Foreign Relations 10 Years In: Reflections on a Path-breaking Book Series”

The Transnational Trend in U.S. Foreign Relations 10 Years In: Reflections on a Path-breaking Book Series

It’s all about the music: social media in the month of May

Here are some of our most popular social media posts in the month of May. It’s safe to say the Dead ruled Sage House as we celebrated the publication of Cornell ’77: The Music, the Myth, and the Magnificence of the Grateful Dead’s Concert at Barton Hall, with events timed to the 40th anniversary of the Dead’s legendary concert at Cornell.

On Facebook, it was all about the party:

Continue reading “It’s all about the music: social media in the month of May”

It’s all about the music: social media in the month of May

Three Hills: New York’s story from Brooklyn to Buffalo and beyond

STARTING IN FALL 2017, Three Hills will publish smart, informative, entertaining, and provocative books about New York State and the Northeast.

From history to unusual hobbies, from politics to pop culture, from the environment to the economy, from sports to tourist spots, Three Hills will cover the Empire State, its people, heritage, Cornell University, and much more.

This new, regional imprint solidifies Cornell University Press as a leader among university presses, bringing our attention to detail and impeccable standards to topics of interest to the savvy, independent book buyer.

“Three Hills,” said Cornell University Press Director Dean Smith, “represents an exciting new opportunity for us to highlight Cornell stories and engage more deeply with the wider community of New York State.”

New York State has a wealth of stories that demand to be told and that need to be given the widest possible audience. Three Hills books will all be available at a trade discount through all major channels, online and brick-and-mortar.

“With Three Hills we extend our presence in New York State, and make a commitment to publish books that matter to New Yorkers, whether they live upstate or downstate,” said Michael McGandy, editorial director of the new imprint.

As we approach our 150th anniversary, America’s first university press continues to innovate and to seize opportunities in the market. Our reputation has been staked on publishing scholarship of the highest order, but we also believe that our mission includes offering books that appeal to everyone. Cornell University, New York State, New York City, and the Northeast are replete with subjects that fascinate each and every one of us, and we are determined to publish them in industry-leading ways, disseminate them using pioneering methods, and showcase them from Staten Island to Lake Erie and beyond.

For more information on Three Hills contact Martyn Beeny, marketing director: @martynbeeny, 607-882-2197, mb2545@cornell.edu.

Three Hills: New York’s story from Brooklyn to Buffalo and beyond

Interview with Gordon Lafer

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This week in “1869,” Cornell University Press Marketing Director Martyn Beeny interviews Gordon Lafer, author of The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time. Unbeknownst to most Americans, highly organized corporate lobbies have systematically infiltrated state legislatures to advance their agenda, which may or may not be aligned with the interests of the populace at large. Fully one quarter of U.S. state legislators are currently members of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and partner with corporate lobbyists to write state laws that affect policies regarding minimum wages, paid sick leave, gun laws, and other areas of concern to citizens.

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Learn more:
The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time
by Gordon Lafer
$29.95 hardcover | ILR Press

Interview with Gordon Lafer