Columbia University Press is currently featuring Voices of the New Arab Public on the main page of their catalog, alongside such luminaries as Julia Kristeva, Todd Gitlin, and Nick Lehmann.
Cool! I've also heard rumour of an excellent and well-placed ad in the new issue of Foreign Affairs, but haven't seen it yet.
Very happy with their publicity efforts thus far... what a contrast to my first book, which - as befits a specialist academic book - had no real publicity and sales to match. I'm hoping obviously that this book is different on both counts.
I've been making the case to the press that blogs and the internet are where the action is these days, and that a book becoming a topic of blog debate is worth more than, say, an ad in a political science journal (of course, a full bag from our Diaper Genie is probably worth more than an ad in a political science journal... whoops, did I really just say that?).
This isn't quite as crassly materialist as it sounds, though I'm not embarrassed about wanting to sell some copies of the book. It just strikes me that blogs are where a good deal of what passes for public discourse in this country now takes place. I've been really fascinated by some of the very high level 'book clubs' over at Josh Marshall's TPM Cafe (George Packer, for example) at Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly site (Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker, for example), and at many other places - where the author of an academic but politically engaged book spends a week or so presenting the main arguments of the book, and responding to comments and intra-blog arguments. How much more direct, visceral, and downright useful than just another review in a newspaper, perhaps followed by a letter to the editor - not that authors or publishers can do without the published reviews, those are obviously essential, but blogs allow a book to enter into a national, or even global, conversation in genuinely new ways.
Which is a way of previewing perhaps, some forthcoming posts about the relationship between Voices and Abu Aardvark, and the ways in which Voices might be one of the first of what may well be many academic blog-books!