sadly, no last day discounts

Today I found myself wandering through the ASA book fair- before they packed it up for the traditional grad student book riot- and ran across something a bit peculiar. Nestled between the welcoming booths belonging to Pearson, Sage, Harvard University Press, and so forth was a small table covered in jewelry and staffed by a woman whose wrinkled skin made her ancient wisdom almost palpable. On her table also rested a placard, lettered in the traditional ASA font and style, which read: “Navajo Jewlery.”

I think I speak for us all when I remark: huh?

As a side note: Is this sort of thing a regular feature at the meetings and I've just never noticed?

7 thoughts on “sadly, no last day discounts”

  1. No last-day discounts? Good lord. I was in the book fair of MLA just this past January (my partner was exhibiting for a publisher; I contributed by procuring the freebies for us both while he staffed the booth) and not only were there books for the taking, the richer presses periodically served free wine to draw traffic to their booths.

    I guess the economic crisis hits academic presses on a delayed schedule, but when it hits, it hits hard?

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  2. There was a similar table at the National Communication Association convention’s book room last fall. With all the consolidation in the publishing industry there are that many fewer publishers to rent tables to, so the academic organizations probably aren’t in a position to say no these folks.

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  3. Re: consolidation in the publishing industry: there’s been a ton of very high-profile consolidation since the recession hit, but I think the more striking trend is still the proliferation of small publishers in the last decade or so (partly due to the technology becoming so cheap with the advent of digital printing). It remains to be seen how many will make it through this economic crisis alive, but surely there are still many more publishers now than there were, say, five years ago.

    Although, probably fewer that can afford to exhibit at ASA (which is ungodly expensive and, I’m sorry to say, somewhat unpleasant for the exhibitors, due to the minority of faculty who become quite obnoxiously belligerent when you don’t give them free books at their command). So you’re probably right that academic organizations are jumping at the chance to have other exhibitors.

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