July 20, 2023
Summer is a great time to meet the people at the University of Arizona Press who turn book dreams into reality. We are a small but mighty team.
Today, we feature our Publicity Manager, Mary Reynolds.
Hello Mary, what do you do for the Press?
I let everyone know about our awesome books! Book promotion starts early. Pre-publication, I work with trade authors to find people to write blurbs for their books. I send out press releases, digital and print Advance Reader Copies of books, review copies to scholarly journals and popular media outlets. I contact podcasters, bloggers, radio shows, and more to get our authors and books promoted in as many places as possible. I manage UA Press social media and write news and event items for our website. I also coordinate author events for our trade authors.
How long have you been at UAP?
Seven whole months! I’m a rookie at the Press, but I’ve worked in the areas of publicity, writing, and editing for 20 years or so. And once upon a time, I even worked in a bookstore.
What do you like most about working here?
I like knowing what’s behind the scenes in book publishing and working with other friendly people who love books. I love working with authors to bring their books out into the world, and learning about how authors came to write a particular book. But my favorite part so far is working at the UA Press tent at the Tucson Festival of Books where I can see authors interacting with readers, and witness the joy on everyone’s faces. I also see this at author events, authors enjoy answering readers’ questions.
What would people be surprised to learn about your work?
Unless you are a published author, you would be surprised at how early our team starts to work on publicity for your book. About a year before the publication date, we contact trade authors and talk with them about our process. We partner with authors on publicity; authors come up with great ideas themselves about book promotion, and how to reach their target audiences. For trade and scholarly titles, we work way in advance of publication date to get books into our catalog, on our website, on other online distribution sites; and for scholarly titles, we send their books to appropriate journals for review. I am always looking for ways to promote our authors. Early book buzz is the best book buzz.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Someday, I will travel to Machu Pichu and hike the Inca Trail. I’ve wanted to make the trip since I learned about the Incas in my 7th grade Spanish class. I’m in awe of the stone remains of this intriguing civilization. I’m happy in high mountains, I enjoy hiking, and I would love to visit other Inca sites in the Peruvian Andes, too.