Buying and Selling History: Some Perspectives on the Marketplace

AHA Session 38
Friday, January 2, 2015: 3:30 PM-5:30 PM
Clinton Suite (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Timothy Bent, Oxford University Press
History across the Market Spectrum
Diane Burrowes, HarperCollins Publishers
Shaping History for the Marketplace
Michael Gentile, Random House
The University Press and the Marketplace
Mary Beth Jarrad, New York University Press
Changes in the Market for History
Keith Goldsmith, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Session Abstract

What topics, approaches, and subjects have been more successful—however success is defined—than others in the marketplace for history titles? What generalizations can be made about the nature of that marketplace? What challenges do those who publish history titles face both in retail and at institutions and libraries? These are some of the questions that participants in this session, which is entitled “Buying and Selling History,” will address. All of the participants are directly involved in marketing and sales efforts for their houses, and as such actively involved in promoting and placing history titles—academic and trade and crossover—in the various channels, from the large retail chains to the small independent bookstores, from the smaller public libraries to the larger research institutions whose acquisition policies and procedures have changed radically over the last few years, in part because of the effects of patron-driven acquisition. Represented will be three large trade houses and one university press. The composition of the panel is not accidental, for the perspectives offered here are intended to reflect upon the general market for history titles, and the strategies employed by those who are committed to helping their books reach the widest possible audience while also adhering to scholarly standards and disciplinary rigor.

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