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How do university presses market scholarly titles with general-interest appeal?

Trade books are geared toward a general interest audience and have the potential to reach a wider market and sell in higher numbers. They are often written by scholars that are seeking to reach a larger audience and also non-scholars such as journalists or policymakers. Importantly, they tend to have less scholarly apparatus than a typical monograph or textbook as their goal is not to speak to other scholars but to reach a broader, educated reading audience. Academic titles are intended for a focused audience and typically have a more limited sales potential. Textbooks are written as a comprehensive overview of a particular subject. They can sell in higher numbers if they get adopted for courses on a regular basis. Textbooks have specific marketing campaigns tied to them. Trade books may receive more nuanced promotional campaigns based on the author’s platform and the uniqueness of the market. Scholarly books rely on the built-in efforts of the Press developed for specific subjects and series but each campaign is developed in collaboration with the author. The reputation of a Press for publishing in a particular subject is integral to the marketing efforts.

—AUPresses Faculty Outreach Committee