The last time I was in Chicago, my favorite store was American Girl Place.
So when I found out my AAUP residency application was approved I was excited to see the city again, this time without my Samantha but with a new job title and eagerness to learn how the University of Chicago Press varied from UNP.
My initial intentions when applying for the AAUP Residency Program centered on the growing importance of social media in business practices. I wanted to gain a better understanding of university press publishing as well as network with a university press with the prestige of Chicago. As my position evolved and grew at UNP, so did my residency goals. I still wanted to discuss social media strategies but also the wider publicity and marketing strategies.
I focused on three aspects of publishing during my residency: awards, publicity, and social media marketing. All three areas are under my direction at UNP and play an important role for university presses. Levi Stahl, promotions director, was my in-house tour guide, so to speak, with help from Carrie Oliver Adams, assistant promotions director, and guest appearances by marketing director Carol Kasper, promotion mangers (Melinda, Ryo, Lauren), and other friendly faces I met along the way.
Much of my residency was dedicated to publicity procedures at Chicago and learning the ways in which the marketing department operates within the press and as a team. The people I met at Chicago were a great example of an effective way a university press can have expertise in the publishing field.
While I did not go back to my childhood favorite store, I did spend some time at my new favorite: The Seminary Co-op Bookstore.
Located in Hyde Park, not too far away from the press, it was a great example of a local bookstore supporting its local publisher, and Chicago books were visibly promoted and prominent in the store displays. So like any good employee of a university press, I went on a hunt for UNP titles.
It’s always a beautiful reminder that wherever my travels lead me, there is a good chance I will find a bookstore with university press books and that some of those titles will be books I’ve worked on.