Posts tagged “University Press

The Importance of Regional Publishing

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In the spirit of partnership that pervades the university press community, Syracuse University Press and 36 other presses unite for the AAUP’s second annual blog tour during University Press Week. The tour highlights the value of university presses and the contributions they make to scholarship and our society.

Schedule your week’s reading with the complete blog tour schedule here http://bit.ly/HjQX7n.

Today’s theme is the importance of regional publishing, discussed by one of our favorite regional authors, Chuck D’Imperio.

Regional publishing is a wonderful source of information, data, traditional stories, reflections, memories and history.  Although in many cases the parameters can be small, their importance cannot be denied. Not every author can write a serious piece on the nuances of global affairs or the ramifications of economic turmoil.  And not every writer’s heart beats with the longing and sentimentality of a romance novelist.  We can’t all be adventure writers or cookbook authors.  We cannot all come up with clever mystery twists and turns.

But we can all become regional writers.  Why?  Because we all have stories to tell, no matter how provincial or how far-flung.  And these stories, these observations stand the test of time serving an important purpose for the past, present and the future.

Centuries ago familial tales were handed down in oral testimonies from grandparents to grandchildren.  Stories of hardships endured and triumphs enjoyed.  Of bitter harvests and sharecropping, of transoceanic flight and new beginnings.  Of shadowy injustices and illuminating liberations.  Of slavery.  Of migration.  Of life on the dusty prairie as well on the teeming sidewalks of immigrant America.

 These stories, eventually written down in small books and disseminated by small presses, have served as some of the most important tools in any writer’s arsenal.  Read the legendary works of Herman Melville, Willa Cather, John Steinbeck, Pearl Buck or Mark Twain and it is apparent that at the heart of each of these writers’ opuses lies a work of regional scent.  Though disguised as great literary epics and tomes it is still clear to any reader that these authors (and legions more) are simply writing about what they know, where they lived and what they did.  Many of the settings of the famous American novels or short stories reflect the simple concept of a regional book masked in the patina of “great literature.”

 Story placements as varied as family farms, the sea, a rural Main Street, unpronounceable places abroad, on the river, in the big shouldered cities and more all are the regional backdrop of some of the most familiar works of American writing, from Tara to Cannery Row to “Our Town.”

 I am proud to be a regional writer.  I have six books currently in stores exploring the width and breadth of my own backyard, Upstate New York.  I have written of the great legends of the Hudson Valley, the history of the small towns in the high peaks of the Adirondacks, the whimsy of the tiny museums of the Finger Lakes and the verdigris- covered war memorials which dot the Leatherstocking Region.  These books are small, yet timeless.  My readers can identify with the stories and tales I have told whether they come from the busy streets of our capital city, Albany or from the bucolic bosom of the Schoharie Valley.

 Anybody can be a regional writer to some degree.  To paraphrase Grandma Moses, it’s easy.  Just pick up a pencil and start writing.

Unknown Museums of Upstate NY

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Books to Get You in That Spooky Spirit!

We know that you’re surprised, what kind of chilling tales has SUP been hiding? If you dare, pick up one of our suggestions of the strange and paranormal. Here are a few books to get you in the spirit of Halloween, show your friends that you know the meaning of spooky!

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You know the story of Dracula, but what about the vampire who inspired that blood-sucking fiend? Do you dare take on Carmila on All Hallows Eve? This classic gothic tale will have your spine tingling, and maybe even sporting a fashionable, yet protective scarf come the 31st.

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Not interested in vampires? What about witches? Delve into the tales of witchcraft and sorcery in Renaissance Italy. Let the magic of Under the Devil’s Spell take over your mind!

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Does Halloween fall on a full moon this year? The Literary Werewolf provides a little truth to the tale, these 22 stories ranging from Stephen King to Brian Stableford, will have you questioning what you know!

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Vampires, wolves, and witches aren’t your thing? How about ghosts? Dive into the classic, Anna in the Afterlife, and find more than a tale of things that go bump in the night. Take a journey with Anna as she watches loved ones move on after her death, and looks back on her life with a refreshing new view.


Tip from Acquisitions/Marketing Intern Thomas Witholt

ThomasAs someone who will hopefully be employed as a professor in the not-too-distant future, I have a vested interest in the publishing of academic research.  Interning at Syracuse University Press has helped me see the workings of a very important part of academic research that I had not previously understood, the actual work of making someone else’s work available to a wide audience.  I have been fortunate to work in both Acquisitions and in Marketing, and doing so has given me a nice perspective on the publishing process, from manuscript to sold book.  Seeing the practical outcomes of other authors’ choices of organization, topic, style, and audience, reminds me of the importance of these factors for making one’s work accessible and appealing to others.  This is especially helpful when I am lost in my own, sometimes abstract, thoughts about my research.  Though I don’t think scholarship should be guided by marketability, the ease of writing a catalog description or of drafting a publication proposal for editorial review is often a sign of the work’s clarity and attention to perspective audience.  Working at the Press has provided me with clear examples of the way that academic work does not exist in a vacuum, and it makes me think (concretely, not just based on abstract advice from others) of how best to attend to concerns such as audience and style from the very first draft.


Marketing Intern Katie Tull Reveals the Key to Success of a University Press

Katie TullInitially, my attraction to SU Press was its size. Hidden from the iconic image of “The Hill,” this Press is kept tucked away; but it still manages to have over a thousand titles under its belt. I knew that this internship would aid me in my education of publishing, but I wanted to know about the community of a press as well.

The community of SU Press is a big part of its success in the category of University Press’s.  I believe a University Press should have variety, which SU Press certainly does; it should also aid to the reputation of the University outside of its normal boundaries. SU Press’s variety of subjects and studies that it publishes each season supports the profile of the University where it may not normally be noticed.

In the Marketing department, I’ve gained more than experience for my resume. The projects and tasks I’ve been assigned have given me a new outlook on all of the work that is put in by just one team in a Press. My contact with authors, drafting blurbs, and research have instilled not only a new set of skills, but a confidence to be more independent with future projects I get to be a part of.


Celebrating 70 Years of Scholarly Publishing

TwitterWe are proud to celebrate 70 years of scholarly publishing.  Since its inception, Syracuse University Press has been committed to serving scholars and scholarship, promoting a diverse culture and intellectual expression, and preserving the history, literature, and culture of our region.  Through the publication of significant and groundbreaking books, we have been able to extend the reach and influence of Syracuse University, making evident the university’s commitment to knowledge and ideas.  For the past 70 years and the years ahead, our goal has been and will remain steadfast: to produce rigorously edited, beautifully designed, intelligent, interesting books.  In honor of our anniversary, Syracuse University Press will host six authors over the course of the spring semester.  We invite you to attend these readings, engage with our authors, and be part of our celebration.

Along with our author gatherings, Syracuse University Press will also bring the celebration online with monthly guest blog posts, SUP Superlative Trivia and a Fluff Photo Campaign.  Follow our blog, Facebook, and Twitter to join in on the excitement.

We thank all those who’ve supported us over the past 70 years and hope you’ll stand by us for the next 70 years as we continue to spread knowledge through reading.  For more information on how you can support Syracuse University Press, please contact Ronald Thiele at 315-443-2537 or visit campaign.syr.edu.

In Praise of Books Events


SU Press Book Display at SU Bookstore

Stop into the SU Bookstore to view the special SU Press book display in honor of University Press Week,  last week (November 11 – November 17).  The display will remain up for the entire year.

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UP Week Blog Tour Round-Up: Day 5

Today wraps up the final day of the University Press Week blog tour. SU Press is proud to join fellow university presses in the celebration of this honorable week.  To learn more about the importance of university presses visit the AAUP website.

New York University Press: In Celebrating the regional pride of University Presses, Author and NYT editor Connie Rosenblum writes that one wonderful feature of university presses is their desire to publish books about their home turf. She also touches upon the importance of university presses in bringing cutting-edge research to broad audiences.

Columbia University Press: Columbia’s first guest blogger Sheldon Pollock, the Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University, reaches out to the university and faculty to attract greater support and attention to university presses. She talks about how they must insulate themselves from the vagaries of the market and need assistance from the university to do so.

Jennifer Crewe, editorial director and associate director at Columbia University Press, discusses how university presses started with a mission to publish the work of scholarly research and goes on to describe the astonishing degree of innovation and growth they’ve accomplished over the years.

University of North Carolina Press: UNC Press director John Sherer, in his guest post, discusses his recent transition from New York trade publishing back to UNC Press.  He describes the abundant pressures university presses are dealing with today and the many changes they’re adopting such as taking on more risks on the editorial front.

University of Alabama Press: University of Alabama Press first time author, Lila Quintero Weaver, tells us “Why University Presses Matter” by discussing how they open their doors to non-academic writers, as they did for his memoir, and play a leading role in the encouragement of scholarship and knowledge.

In an additional guest post, Jennifer Horne, editor of Circling Faith and All Out of Faith, writes that university presses matter because they make books better. She describes the level of experience, quality, and continuity that goes into the publishing process at the University of Alabama Press and the invaluable role university presses play in scholarship and disseminating knowledge.

University of Virginia Press: University of Virginia’s adored author Catherine Allgor, who wrote the award-winning Parlor Politics and The Queen of America, discusses her publishing journey and the level of excellence, integrity, and commitment the University of Virginia Press staff dedicated to the completion of her book. She describes this process with UVP as an ‘exercise in holistic business.’

Oregon State University Press: Intern Jessica Kibler describes her memorable experiences working at a university press as her time at OSU Press draws to a close. One of the most important things she learned during her internship was that university presses give ease to sharing information. She states, “This breadth of knowledge and the ability to share it with the world is one of the most beneficial things about the existence of university presses.”