Shaping a Brighter Tomorrow: Quotes and Complete Notes from the AUPresses 2020 Annual Meeting

by Laura


AUPresses 2020 Annual Meeting LogoIn a year that has proven to be anything but normal, and has thrown its share of curveballs to the university press and publishing communities, there are many things to be thankful for.

To name one, the AUPresses Annual Meeting. Traditionally an in-person event, the meeting was moved to a virtual format this year and took place June 15-26, 2020. 

True to form, the event brought together the AUPresses community, though in a slightly different way this year, to share their experiences and best practices with one another. The virtual format provided attendees with a front row seat to every session. Related to that, an added bonus was that you could wear your slippers without anyone knowing (yes, we can be thankful for even the little things).

Personally, I am thankful for the opportunity to listen to the engaging session conversations and am once again making available to you my notes from the sessions I attended. 

Below are a few quotes from each session and my complete notes are also available for download as a PDF.

Download Session Notes

Opening Plenary: Give It Back: Publishing and Native Sovereignty

  • It is our turn to think what we want our future to look like. What role do we play as university presses in making that world?
  • As indigenous scholars, our work is not for other scholars, that is not the primary basis of it. Indigenous scholars are generally doing it for their community and the future.

Right Here, Right Now: The Value of University Presses in the Context of Crisis

  • Beyond just the content we publish, is the way the press can build communities around the content it publishes.
  • The crises that we are facing are giving us an opportunity to be explicit about the value we can bring and what the university can get out of a press in many different ways.
  • Budget is there, it is always there. Don’t undervalue the concerns around budget, but the other piece is what lasts forever – content.  Content is what lasts.

The Life-Changing Magic of Managing Tasks: Tips and Tools for Workflow Efficiency

  • Basic five step workflow: capture, clarify, organize, engage, and review.
  • Finding the right task tracking system requires some trial and error.
  • Outputs are only as meaningful as the data put in.

Journals and University Relations: Do They Know What We Do?

  • Demonstrate how the [journals] program helps to extend the university’s brand.
  • Make sure you are aligning the values of the journals program with the values of the university.
  •  All of us in journal publishing should look to our own campus to build relationships and scan the campus to form partnerships.

DIY Content Creation

  • It takes a healthy amount of commitment, time, and energy, for DIY and supplement content creation.
  • Through the partnerships and relationships we have created, we have been able to reimagine what a small university press can be. We can head in a direction that expands beyond print books, and into the community through multimedia content.

What Booksellers Wish University Presses Knew

  • Booksellers know better than anyone what people actually want to read.
  • Indie bookstores are what make a place a place, a community a community. As university presses, these are our goals too.
  • The two most important things that university presses can focus on to ensure that general interest indie bookstores are actually able to carry your titles are availability and terms.

Inside Library Acquisitions Now

  • How users access, consume, and create knowledge is a part of how public libraries determine how to use their content and allocate their funds.
  • You need to know your departments and faculty well to make sure you get materials to support them.

Forecasting the Seasons: Organizing and Managing the Seasonal List across Departments

  • Communicate. Make sure everyone is looped in at an earlier stage than one would think.
  • Include marketing and design/production in the list building, have regular meetings with them.
  • Being able to predict when books can be in the warehouse has become a bigger deal than before with COVID.

ListenUp: Audiobook Publishing in a Nutshell

  • University presses are becoming an increasingly important part of the non-fiction audiobook list.
  • Audiobooks are more about marketing than publicity.
  • Reimagine the audiobook as a companion to the original format (not a replacement).

Proofing in an Automated Workflow: HTML vs Word

  • Don’t try to replicate your current process in an online form.
  • Ask your authors what they want from the proofing process.

Download Session Notes

Download your copy of my complete 2020 AUPresses Annual Meeting session notes today!