The author information form (AIF)
is an invaluable marketing tool which aids in the promotion of a book. In the AIF, an author will be asked to provide contact information, achievements, some personal information, an author photo, audience information, media contacts, addresses of people interested in an announcement of the book, addresses of people interested in a desk copy, as well as suggestions of relevant awards and exhibits and much more. It is important to fill out the AIF and either e-mail or mail it to the Special Promotions Manager well in advance of the books publication date. This ensures time to add suggestions in the AIF to the marketing plan for an author’s book. Please feel free to download a copy
of the AIF from our website or contact the Exhibits and Special Promotions Manager to receive a hardcopy.
Texas A&M University Press utilizes sales representatives who work on a commission basis throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific islands, including Australia and New Zealand. A sales manager on staff handles Texas and meets with the sales representatives each season to provide them with information to market each book on the list. The sales representatives then meet with the buyers for all the major bookstores (both trade and college) as well as specialized retailers, such as museum gift shops, National Parks, State Parks, and gift stores, to present the Press’s forthcoming books.
A portion of Texas A&M University Press’ sales are generated from wholesalers, such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor, as well as from large chain bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hastings. Each company requires specific information about your book, which the Sales Manager provides at the beginning of each season.
Note: The national bookstore chains use a centralized-office system to buy books on behalf of their individual stores. Due to this purchasing method, publishers cannot influence the inventory, title information, or shelving decisions at local stores. However, when errors occur at individual stores, the Sales Manager can address them through Press contacts at the central offices.
The Texas A&M University Press Web site will be the organization’s primary electronic marketing tool.
Online marketing efforts include the following:
Books in print feature
Texas A&M University Press will catalogue all books in print on the Web site, with bibliographical information, descriptive copy, and a cover image.
Visitors to the site can sign up for the e-mail alert feature to receive notification of Texas A&M University Press promotions and book availability.
Texas A&M University Press will routinely add news content to the site, through blog features, media, and exhibit pages. Items to be included are book features, news releases, reviews, author and press events, recent book awards, author Q&As, and a schedule of exhibits press staff will be attending.
Authors are invited to contribute to the press’ blog on topics related to their book. For more information on blogging with the press, please contact the publicity and advertising manager.
Authors will have the opportunity to appear in the press’ “Experts” page, an author listing searchable by subject categories. This database will be a resource for members of the media and event organizers seeking sources or speakers on various topics. This list will direct users to contact the press’ publicity and advertising manager to arrange interviews and other contact.
In addition to the Texas A&M University Press website, we also work with several online vendors who sell our books through their websites. These vendors include: barnesandnoble.com, gohastings.com, borders.com, and amazon.com. Information on new titles is often submitted to these vendors a few months in advance. This ensures the information is already on the vendor’s website when an author’s publication date comes.
If an author’s book is a good candidate for classroom adoption, we encourage them to provide us with a list of e-mail addresses of professors who would be interested in adopting it. We will then send out an e-mail which contains a flyer in the body of the e-mail. The flyer will have lots of information about the book and will be linked to the books page on our website. In the e-mail we usually tell the professors that if they would like a desk copy of the book, they can send us an e-mail with course information and we will send them a copy. In the past, this has generated a good amount of interest in the books.
Some authors participate in blogs and e-mail forums and choose to promote their books through these media. Others have their own website. All authors are encouraged to use creative avenues to promote their books online. Authors should be sure to include a link to their book’s page on the TAMU Press website when promoting their books in order to help facilitate sales.
Texas A&M University Press’ publicity and advertising manager will create an advertising schedule each season, applying the press’ knowledge of appropriate vehicles and utilizing information supplied by authors on their information form.
Publicity staff will place approximately fifty ads per year, often grouping books with other related titles to stretch the press’ limited promotional dollars.
Authors wishing to pursue ads on their own are encouraged to contact publicity staff. Texas A&M University Press can often garner rate discounts by designing book ads in house.
Authors are asked to indicate exhibits they plan on attending within the author information form. We are glad to work with our authors to provide flyers, order forms and copies of their book for these meetings whenever it is possible and as long as it is within budget and scheduling constraints. Details on the event and materials needed should be provided well in advance in order to provide ample time to create and send materials. In addition, we will make sure to display the author’s book at relevant exhibits which Texas A&M University Press attends during the year. The Press will usually attend between 20 and 25 exhibits a year. For a schedule of exhibits, see our exhibits page on our website. Authors will often volunteer to sign books during an exhibit which often generates higher sales. If you would like to sign books at an exhibit, please let the Exhibits and Special Promotions Manager know and he/she will arrange it for you.
Authors whose books are good candidates for classroom adoption are asked to provide a list of names and addresses of at least five instructors who would likely adopt the book. These instructors will be sent a flyer about the book and it will indicate that they can request a complimentary desk copy to review for their classroom use.
Authors are also asked to provide names and addresses of individuals to whom we may mail an announcement of their book’s publication. The Press will send out the announcements via direct mail to those individuals indicated.
The TAMU Press marketing staff is happy to create a unique flyer for each book published. The flyer may be distributed by the author to friends, family, colleagues or at exhibits and events. An electronic PDF may be sent via e-mail or used on a website or a hardcopy may be used to distribute. The Press will also use these flyers in promoting books at exhibits and events which it attends.
Within the author information form, authors are asked to provide a list of awards or prizes for which their book would be eligible. These awards are then entered into our awards database and the book is flagged as a potential nominee. Awards suggestions are subject to approval. The book will only be sent if it meets all guidelines specified for the award and if the entry fee is within budget constraints. In addition to awards authors suggest, the Exhibits and Special Promotions Manager will work with the Marketing Manager to nominate relevant titles for all awards within our extensive database. We will keep all books in mind as we go through award nominations each month.
In addition to marketing its books through the Web site, Texas A&M University Press publicity staff will actively engage media in efforts to obtain reviews and other coverage.
Those efforts will include:
For general-interest titles the publicity and advertising manager will send advance reading copies (referred to as “galleys”) to reviewers approximately four months prior to a book’s publication date.
Publicity staff produce advance copies from uncorrected page proofs and distribute them based on the size and nature of a book’s audience.
The press often sends advance copies to book-trade publications, such as Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal, and to general interest publications that require advance copies. Key bookstores will also receive galleys.
Publicity staff rarely goes to the expense of making and sending out advance reading copies for specialized and academic books, where often the finished book serves reviewers just as well as galleys.
The publicity and advertising manager will send copies of printed, published books to a number of reviewers four to six weeks before the publication date, using author information form suggestions and information contained in the publicity database of journals, magazines, newspapers, and other national and regional media, and freelance writers.
Publicity staff will send authors a copy of its full review list, as review copies are sent.
Review lists will contain two types of recipients — media contacts in receipt of review copies and publicity materials and media contacts in receipt of publicity materials only. Publicity staff uses a combination of various approaches to maximize results using the limited number of free, promotional copies available.
As a courtesy, publicity staff will send authors copies of reviews garnered by efforts mentioned above, immediately following their publication.
Texas A&M University Press will distribute two seasonal catalogs per year. Catalogs distributed to media will include a reviewer’s checklist, giving editors and reviewers an opportunity to preview the list and use it to request copies of books that they will consider for review.
Pitching to media
Publicity staff will pitch the season’s books during appointments with media contacts, follow up on requests for review copies and author interviews, target pitches to radio, tv and other media as appropriate, and offer guidance to authors for conducting their own publicity efforts.
Staff will also leverage university-wide resources, as appropriate, to distribute book information to either a wide or tightly focused audience.
Promo Blurbs on Jackets
Authors are responsible for making initial contact with potential endorsers to supply prepublication quotes (commonly referred to as “blurbs) for the back cover of their book.
Publicity staff will follow up by sending an informational letter, endorsement form and an uncorrected page proof to those contacts.
Promote Texas A&M University Press on Your Website: Add a TAMU Press Banner
Webmasters - simply use the HTML code below to display the TAMU Press banners wherever you wish on your web site.
<a href="http://tamupress.blogspot.com" target="new"><img src="http://www.tamupress.com/Filerepository/webdocuments/banner.gif" border="1" height="72" width="392" alt="TAMU Press Blog Banner"></a>
For this smaller visual link to the TAMU Press website cut and paste the HTML code below into your page wherever you want it to appear. The image measures 93 x 51 pixels.
<a href="http://www.tamupress.com/" target="new"><img src="http://www.tamupress.com/Filerepository/webdocuments/tamupress.gif" border="1" height="93" width="51" alt="Link to TAMU Press"></a>