Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back from the AAUP

AAUP can stand for two things in academic circles: the American Association of University Professors, and the Association of American University Presses. I have been invited to speak at both over the years, which makes it doubly confusing. But it was university presses that had my undivided attention this weekend as I joined three bookish colleagues on a panel, "From Book Labs to Publishing Liaisons: University-Based Programs for Authors.”

My buddies were moderator Amy Benson Brown, Director of the Manuscript Development Program at Emory University, whose genius was behind the panel in the first place; Rebecca Sestili, the Author-Publisher Liaison from the University of Michigan; and Steven Feldman, Book Publications Officer, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. We bonded the night before over a Chinese dinner in Philadelphia, and then Saturday morning we enjoyed a lively event with about 35 attendees (pretty much a full room).

The biggest things we learned from one another are that many faculty publishing concerns are universal:

* Weird writing issues that crop up when the job is on the line? Check.
* Faculty nervous around most university press editors? Check.
* Confusion over publishing requirements, industry standards and more? Double-check.

It was a great weekend, and I plan to attend the full conference in Salt Lake City next year, along with the rest of the panel.

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