Blue and white name tags and markers on a brown table top

At what conferences will my book appear?

University presses typically display books at conferences in one of two ways:

  • Paying for a booth in the conference’s exhibit hall. In this case, the press will have a full display of books, and a representative of the press will likely be present at the conference (usually a marketing professional and/or an acquisitions editor).
  • Sending certain books to a conference through a third party, such as a distributor or a book exhibit company like Scholar’s Choice. The press’s books will be displayed among books from other presses, and no representative from the press will be present at the booth, though an acquisitions editor may still attend the conference.

Feel free to ask your editor or your contact in the marketing department where their press regularly exhibits. If you know that you want your book to appear at a specific conference, especially if it’s a conference you regularly attend, put that information in your marketing questionnaire. However, your publisher may decide that your book is not a strong fit for a conference where you’d like to see it exhibited.

Most presses prioritize attendance at conferences where they have a significant publishing presence. In other words, if your press has a large list in gender studies and a small list in early American history, your book on early American history may not have as many built-in conference opportunities at that press. Keep that in mind if conference presence is important for your book!

Even if your publisher can’t send your book to a given conference, they can still support your presence there. Possibilities include offering a conference-specific online discount code; promoting your book on the conference hashtag; or creating a promotional flyer for you to share with conference attendees.

—LSU Press, September 2023

See also “Can I sell my own books at events?”