Listening to People Talking About Books

Just under a year ago, we started the 1869 podcast. We’ve published 27 episodes so far and we’ve had modest but pleasing success in terms of listens and feedback. The most recent episode took on the cost of medicines in the wake of President Trump’s State of the Union Address and the two authors interviewed tagged Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau in their tweets about it. I would just love it if either one listened!

Of course, I knew we weren’t the only university press in the podcast world so I put a request out recently to see which other presses have taken the plunge and started using the ever-growing podcast trend to help market their books and their brand. Here’s what I have so far. If you know of more let me know.

Johns Hopkins UP takes the lead (I think) because they’ve had an award-winning podcast since 2010! Their most recent episode talks about the journal Feminist Formations.

MIT Press’s active monthly podcast can be found here. Recent subjects include: Hansel, Gretel, and computer science (I’m intrigued!), and the issue of conflict on campus.

Over at the Brookings Institution Press, Steve Roman noted they have several podcasts, including The Brookings Cafeteria, which is home to their author interviews. (I’m jealous: they have a podcast network, no less!)

Annotations (smart name) is University of Georgia Press’s podcast. Most recently, they interviewed author Barbara McCaskill about her book Practical Strangers.

The marketing team at Wilfried Laurier University Press is being out-podcasted by the acquisitions crew. The podcast there is lively and active and speaks directly to the Secret Feminist Agenda! (Shout out to the podcast that led to Secret Feminist Agenda because it’s called Witch, Please. Brilliant.)

Michael Hoak at Yale UP is chief podcaster. (Michael, add that to your business card.) Yale’s podcast can be found here and recent topics include Why Liberalism Failed and The Untold Story of a Midcentury Modern Architect. (The story has now been told!)

Maureen Winter at Getty Publications let me know about their podcast, Art + Ideas. The smart marketers at Getty even have a nice little short description to whet your appetite: Join Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, as he talks with artists, writers, curators, and scholars about their work. Listen in as he engages these important thinkers in reflective and critical conversations about architecture, archaeology, art history, and museum exhibitions.

Finally (at least until everyone reads this and lets me know about more UPods – not sure that will catch on, but, you know, everything we do has to have UP in it somehow!!!!), the University of California Press has two podcasts, Film Quarterly and Feminist Media Histories.

Listen, enjoy, spread the word. Podcasts are just a really smart way to engage with our audience and market. I’m hoping more and more UPs will join the UPod world.

Martyn Beeny is the Marketing Director at Cornell University Press. He has unofficially added the titles of Podcast Director, Talent Scout, Radio Host, and Sound Engineer in recent months. Does anyone know a good place to get new business cards? You can follow him on Twitter @MartynBeeny

Listening to People Talking About Books