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

Outbox – 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

by Michael J. McGandy

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

Outbox – 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

Treasure Language

By Steve Zeitlin, author of The Poetry of Everyday Life

“There are nine different words for the color blue in the Spanish Maya dictionary,” writes Earl Shorris, “but just three Spanish translations, leaving six [blue] butterflies that can be seen only by the Maya, proving that when a language dies six butterflies disappear from the consciousness of the earth.”

Over 6,500 languages—with at least that many words for butterflies—are spoken in our fragile world. By the end of the century more than half will disappear. Our languages are melting like the icecaps. Continue reading “Treasure Language”

Treasure Language

Outbox: The Critical Grateful Dead T-Shirt

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by Michael J. McGandy

The difference a t-shirt makes: That is a lesson about regional publishing that I learned in the course of editing our new book, from Peter Conners, about the Grateful Dead’s 1977 concert at Barton Hall on the Cornell campus. When the authors, artists, editors, and archivists who play key roles in developing a book live in close proximity, chance meetings that can change a book are more likely to occur. And, as I learned last summer, if you are at the right place at the right time, you would do well to be wearing the right item of clothing.

But let me provide some background.

In June 2016 I was consulting with Peter on the book that would be titled Cornell ’77: The Music, the Myth, and the Magnificence of the Grateful Dead’s Concert at Barton Hall. After another round of editing from me and Dean Smith, Director of Cornell University Press (and a Deadhead), Peter was back at the work of revision. In that editorial lull, I was tasked with hunting down visual art. The contract called for twenty or more images, and both Peter and I wanted the book to have lots of photos and ephemera to help readers appreciate the spirit of spring 1977. Unfortunately, photos of the band related to their May 8 show at Cornell proved hard to find. Continue reading “Outbox: The Critical Grateful Dead T-Shirt”

Outbox: The Critical Grateful Dead T-Shirt

Tompkins County Legislature Proclaims May 8, 2017, to be Grateful Dead Day

The Tompkins County Legislature, “in heartfelt recognition of the Fortieth Anniversary of their May 8, 1977, concert,” has officially proclaimed May 8, 2017, to be Grateful Dead Day in Tompkins County.

With our new book on the legendary concert Cornell ’77 now available, digitally remastered recordings from Rhino Records, and May 8, 2017, events at Cornell University, The State Theatre of Ithaca and Port Chester, New York’s The Capitol Theatre, there is plenty to celebrate!

Read the full proclamation from Tompkins County Legislature Vice Chair Dan Klein:

Grateful Dead Proclamation certified

Tompkins County Legislature Proclaims May 8, 2017, to be Grateful Dead Day

Donald and the Arts

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2006 National Heritage Fellow Mavis Staples; photo by Tom Pich

By Steve Zeitlin, author of The Poetry of Everyday Life

On October 2016, at the meetings of the American Folklore Society in Miami, I ran into Wolfgang Mieder, a professor of German and Folklore at the University of Vermont and the world’s leading expert on proverbs. He mentioned to me, as we shook our heads over the forthcoming election, that both candidates failed to take advantage of metaphors and colorful language in their campaigns. “Hillary Clinton,” he noted, “makes far more use of proverbs and metaphors in her books (It Takes a Village) than in her speeches.” He lamented that when she was asked about Obamacare, for instance, she didn’t have the proverbial sense to say, “Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.” “On the other hand,” he said, “Donald Trump, with his limited vocabulary, really does appear to speak basically without metaphors or proverbial phrases.”

Many great presidents, he pointed out, have provided the populace with enduring metaphors (Lincoln’s “A house divided against itself can not stand”) as well as proverbs and turns of phrase (Theodore Roosevelt’s “Speak softly and carry a big stick”). So what are we to make of a president with little or no feeling for poetry, language, or art? Metaphors connect ideas—and sometimes people—through language. We find we need poetry at occasions like weddings, where words can create union; funerals, where they ease separation—and politics, where they span divides. Instead of calling on language and poetry to connect, Trump instead traffics in power relations. Power is hierarchical, a vertical line that severs other patterns, connections, and meanings. Trump’s linguistic creativity has been limited to insults and name-calling—Pocahontas, Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Jeb “Low Energy” Bush. Continue reading “Donald and the Arts”

Donald and the Arts