After three and a half years in the university press environment, I feel like an insider. I work in journals, but have learned a lot about the books side as well because of projects like this blog. I have deciphered the acronyms (and I know my manuscript editing friends will tell me they are not acronyms because they don’t form full words, but I like calling them acronyms) and understand the challenges ahead for our part of the publishing industry. I feel like I belong.
Now, I will undo all of that by venturing to my first Association of American University Presses meeting next week.
That’s not to say that the annual gathering—held in Chicago this year—will damage me in any way. I just know that getting together with people who have done this far longer than I have will make me realize how much more I have to learn. That’s a good thing, which is why I can’t wait to start the meeting.
Because of scheduling issues, I couldn’t make the meeting last year when it took place just a few miles from our offices in Baltimore. I felt bad because I served on a committee to help welcome conference attendees to the land of pleasant living, but I am glad the planets aligned so I could go to Chicago this time around.
Looking over the conference program, I see plenty of sessions which interest me. I even have a couple of instances where I have to choose between two interesting topics. I know, it’s a rough life.
But I would be lying if I said I didn’t look forward most to the tweet-up scheduled for Tuesday night. While I know that panel discussions on how presses acquire journals and what social media trends are best for publicizing our work will teach me a lot, I also know that the best experience of most conferences comes from the social events which allow you to meet people and share stories from your daily challenges. Getting to do that at a bar with a bunch of other social media geeks sounds like the perfect setting for my first AAUP meeting.
From meeting rooms to the taverns of Chicago, I know I will come back with a new outlook on university publishing and plenty of excitement about my job. That always happens when I go to a conference. I will share some of the stories from my first AAUP meeting next week on the blog and on Twitter via @prbrian so stay tuned.