Introducing Ask UP

—Ilene Kalish, Executive Editor, NYU Press

What is a book proposal? How do I find a press to publish my book? What are good strategies for promoting my book? These are just some of the questions that book editors are asked by aspiring authors. Any book editor will tell you that they get asked the same questions all the time. The world of publishing can be a mysterious and confusing place for many scholars. Publishers bemoan this. We wish there were a better understanding of what we do and a great knowledge of how authors can publish their books successfully. That’s why the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) decided to launch Ask UP, a website that can demystify the publishing process.

As chair of AUPresses’ Faculty Outreach committee, I have worked with a talented group of colleagues from university presses across the country to come up with an array of what we feel are the most Frequently Asked Questions from scholars about the publishing process. We have provided answers that have been vetted by our colleagues from university presses across the country. It’s important to note that all university presses are different and have different internal ways of publishing; yet generally books go through the same process and that’s what we have tried to focus on, the fundamentals of university press publishing.

Launching in September 2020 with NYU Press as the first Host Press for the Fall (September-November), we are hoping to provide a good start for the Ask UP site. If you have a question about publishing that you would like answered, you can submit it here, and we will get you an answer. Look for later postings on the answer.

As we are living in a time where face-to-face contact is no longer as possible as it once was, I’m hopeful that having this virtual site will be a real help to scholars. If you have a question please let us know and we will do our best to get an answer for you.

Read more about Ask UP and AUPresses here.


Ilene Kalish acquires books in the areas of sociology, criminology, politics, and women’s studies. With over twenty-five years of experience in academic publishing, she publishes books for the general reader as well as for the scholarly and professional reader. Her books have won over 100 book awards and are generally focused on issues of social justice, inequality, and current events.

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