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January 07, 2012

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sugar huddle

Are the publishers also asking what the law school will do to help market the book, or is the publisher of the law prof's book typically the university press? (As a Yale alum I get a lot of emails and flyers about events put on by YLS in various cities that market a current professor's newest work, which is good publicity for the school, takes some burden off the author's shoulders, and has the added bonuses of making the author look less desperate and self-congratulatory AND lending some air of authority to the book by giving it the endorsement of the school.)

Jacqui Lipton

In my limited experience, most law prof books are not published by the university press of which the prof is a faculty member. I'm not aware of publishers asking SPECIFICALLY what a law school will do to help market the book, although the law professor may volunteer that information and may ask the school to help in marketing the book eg on its website, in press releases etc. That said, I doubt many law schools are experts at marketing this kind of thing and to the extent that marketing takes $$$ (eg for flyers, mailouts etc), there will always be a scramble for precious resources on that score. But I'd be interested in knowing what other schools do on this front. At my school we routinely do send out marketing materials to emphasize the scholarly achievements of our faculty but I don't know how effective they are in convincing anyone to buy books, and they are usually 'composite' mailouts relating to the achievements of a number of faculty members (or the entire faculty) rather than individual mailouts to assist one particular publisher.

Mary Dudziak

Barbara Babcock just posted an essay on her journey in creating her own book tour for her biography of Clara Foltz, the first woman admitted to the bar in California. http://legalhistoryblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/barbara-babcock-on-her-clara-foltz-book.html. She gave 50 book talks in a year.

If you believe in your work, you have to look after it. With cutbacks at presses, authors are most often disappointed by their press's efforts. We write books so that people will read them, and academic authors often find out the hard way that if you don't promote your book, the book may simply never finds its readers.

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