The following is an accumulation of 2019 publicity thoughts from Anna Weir, Jackson Adams, and Rosemary Sekora.
Well, 2019 was a rocking year for the University of Nebraska Press. Throughout the year, our books and authors were highlighted in national media. Here are some of our favorite reviews:
A number of our authors were featured in the New York Times, such as Bart Paul, writer of Double-Edged Sword, and Jay M. Smith, co-author of Cheated, which had a new edition released this year from Potomac Books. Wright Morris and his book Plains Song were also featured in their own article. Raúl Gallegos had an article published by the Times and his book Crude Nation also got a new paperback edition released this year. A Certain Loneliness author Sandra Gail Lambert wrote an article about determination and failure. Finally, the New York Times Book Review took a look at Kevin Cowherd’s When the Crowd Didn’t Roar.
The Wall Street Journal shined a spotlight this year on works like The Masters by David Sowell and The Greatest Upset Never Seen by Jack Danilewicz. They also did a feature on the history of baseball with David Block of Pastime Lost.
Looking beyond New York, the Washington Post dove into The Jews Should Keep Quiet by Rafael Medoff. They also named Apple, Tree, edited by Lise Funderburg, as one of the 10 books to read in September. In fact, Ann Patchett, one of the contributors of Apple, Tree, wrote an article for The WaPo, as did Mitchell Nathanson, author of forthcoming, Bouton.
UNP also had great coverage in Publishers Weekly. From Potomac’s War Flower by Brooke King to Three Seconds in Munich by David A. F. Sweet, from In Search of Monster Fish by Mark Spitzer to Bison Book’s Great Plains Birds by Larkin Powell, readers saw a lot of praise being given to UNP books. Additionally, they listed Derek Sandhaus’s Drunk in China as a Big Indie Book of Fall 2019.
Kirkus Reviews also highlighted a number of our books this past year, such as Katya Cengel’s newest book, From Chernobyl with Love and Robin Hemley’s Borderline Citizen. Potomac books were especially popular, reviewing titles such as Joshua A. Claybourn’s thoughtful essay anthology Our American Story, Sara Azari’s upcoming book Unprecedented and The Presidential Fringe by Mark Stein.
Meanwhile, our baseball books got some love in Booklist, with reviews for When the Crowd Didn’t Roar by Kevin Cowherd, Doc, Donnie, the Kid, and Billie Brawl by Chris Donnelly, Oscar Charleston by Jeremy Beer, and They Played the Game by Norman L. Macht. That doesn’t mean that they neglected our other imprints and partners though. They also highlighted William H. Groner and Tom Teicholtz’s 9/12 from Potomac Books and Edward K. Kaplan’s biography of Abraham Joshua Heschel from JPS.
We were happy to see so much praise from Foreword Reviews for Xu Xi’s collection of essays, This Fish is Fowl. Their review for Ray Locker’s book on the Nixon Administration’s implosion, Haig’s Coup, also gave us a cheer, as did their warm reception of B. J. Hollars’s newest release, Midwestern Strange.
Speaking of B. J. Hollars, he was also featured on a segment of Inside Edition talking about the Hodag, one of the many legendary myths of the American Midwest that he covers in his book. An excerpt of Midwestern Strange was even published in NPR, as was a glowing review of editor Lise Funderburg’s Apple, Tree. Just a couple weeks ago, Kwame Dawes’s newest poetry book Nebraska was even recommended during an NPR broadcast. Another exciting media mention was Natalie Diaz’s Prairie Schooner sports anthology Bodies Built for Game being listed in a Buzzfeed article of queer book recommendations. We even had two authors give TED Talks this year: Bitterroot‘s Susan Devan Harness discussed interracial adoption while Backwaters Press poet Alexandria Peary, author of Fall Foliage Called Bathers and Dancers, reflected on the importance of mindfulness while writing.
Our partners at the Jewish Publication Society also saw a year of successful media coverage. Besides the feature in the Washington Post, The Jews Should Keep Quiet by Rafael Medoff was mentioned in TIME magazine, Jerusalem Post, and Library Journal. 2019 was also a big year for In This Hour, the first English translation of select letters from Abraham Joshua Heschel, which received praise from the Jewish Review of Books and Moment magazine. The Jewish Journal highlighted a number of JPS titles in their reviews, such as Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s weekly Torah meditations, A Year with Mordecai Kaplan, edited by his peer Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, and Elliot N. Dorff’s take on Modern Conservative Judaism. Even UNP titles got some love, like Stanley A. Goldman’s memoir, Left to the Mercy of a Rude Stream. The Jewish Standard published a review of The Land of Truth by Jeffrey L. Rubenstein and an article on Martin Luther King Jr. and the Hebrew prophets written by Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz, author of Path of the Prophets.
All this, and 2019 isn’t even over yet! There are still plenty of gift guides and “Best of” lists floating around out there, so check out the links below to see some more of our favs highlighted.
It’s been an exciting year and an exciting decade for UNP. Meeting the publicity demands of an increasingly digital industry, acquiring new imprints (shout out to Backwaters Press as the 2018 acquisition), and welcoming new Press staff while saying goodbye to others (congratulations on retirement, Alison!) have made these past years challenging and memorable. We’re looking forward to what 2020 has to offer!
-The UNP Publicity Team
BRING ON THE BEST-OF LISTS!
One of the best memoirs of 2019 according to Kirkus Reviews.
Randon Billings Noble
Named as a Best Nonfiction Book of 2019 by PopMatters.
Listed on a poetry gift-guide in Door County Pulse.
Listed in SPINE as one of the best university press covers of the year.