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ERIC Number: EJ788889
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-15
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Notes from a Book Tour
Whisnant, Anne Mitchell
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n23 pC3 Feb 2008
Since earning her Ph.D. in 1997, the author had become interested in "public history"--history that is engaged with public audiences or with current public and policy issues. Her dissertation topic fits that niche nicely since the Blue Ridge Parkway has long been the most-visited site in the U.S. National Park system. In turning her research into a book, she consciously sought to expand its intended audience. By publication time, she had a "crossover" academic book. It retained the scholarly apparatus of documentation, engagement with relevant literatures, and theoretical framing, yet also told riveting stories, developed colorful characters, and sought to inspire greater public concern for the parkway's future. Fortunately, her publisher adopted a trade-book marketing strategy designed to publicize the book more widely than would be normal for an academic work. It appeared first as a beautifully designed hardcover sold to wholesalers at a steep discount and backed by an aggressive promotion plan. The publisher pitched review copies far and wide, arranged interviews on six radio programs, and launched her on a 35-event book tour. That is how she ended up at the mountain bookstore and the booksellers' convention. Accustomed to academic settings, she was a bit bewildered by the world of big-time publishing, where prolific authors churn out book after book in short order, advances run into the millions, and marketing budgets exceed six figures.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A