What makes Scarecrow Press different from all of the other publishing companies?
SP: Scarecrow uniquely focuses on scholarly and reference texts, and has become a highly respected name in academic circles for the current and accurate information we produce. Our books are purchased by professionals, scholars, and libraries that serve all levels of students. While our reference and professional works have been known for many years, we are in the process of developing sizable lists for general interest titles that will be appreciated by the lay reader and the public librarian alike.
Describe the approach Scarecrow Press has to publishing. Do you seek out authors or do they seek you out? Can anyone be published or are you looking for something specific from an author?
SP: Scarecrow Press seeks out qualified authors in the following fields of study: Reference, Library Science, Performing Arts, History, Sports, Literature, and Archival Studies.
What is unique about Scarecrow Press? What are the company’s strengths?
SP: Scarecrow Press is perhaps best-known for providing quality scholarly, general interest, and reference works for the patrons of Public, School, and Academic libraries, as well as professional books for the librarians that serve them. Whether it’s through Scarecrow’s historical dictionaries (of countries, religions, organizations, wars, movements, cities, ancient civilizations, arts, literature, politics, espionage, film, theater, sports, professions, and industries), or through its many books on music, film, literature, television, theatre, sports, and library & information science, readers have come to trust Scarecrow to deliver reliable and valuable books.
Has the company won any awards? Been featured on any TV shows, in the newspaper, national magazines, etc.?
SP: Our books have been reviewed in all the major library publications (Booklist, Choice, Library Journal, School Library Journal, as well as occasional reviews in national newspapers such as The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Authors frequently are featured in prestigious academic settings, such as professional panels and conferences, and are called on by organizations as diverse as NPR and Al Jazeera for their expertise.
Tell us a little bit about what types of books have been published.
SP: Scarecrow’s roots are deep in reference and scholarly works. Our line of historical dictionaries has been building for more than 40 years, and the dictionaries are excellent resources to students who are just delving into a topic, as well as professionals who have worked in their fields for decades. These dictionaries cover a multitude of topics, including individual countries, periods in time, political movements, religions, philosophical ideologies, and the arts. We also publish professional works, particularly library and information science. Most recently, Library 2020 by Joe Janes highlights the evolving nature of libraries as they respond to technology and social shifts, and what libraries might look like in another 20 years. Charles Harmon is working with us to develop a best practice for librarians series, including topics like using technology and improving community relationships, which have been receiving great attention at conferences from individual librarians and library media outlets alike.
Scarecrow also has strong lists in the arts and popular culture, particularly in music, film, and theater, but more recently in literature and sports. Watch for upcoming sports books like College Sports Traditions and Duels in the Pool: Swimming’s Greatest Rivalries, as well as music titles like The Clash and Paul Simon that highlight influential and popular artists.
Have any authors that Scarecrow Press published, won any awards? If so, who is the author, what award, and for what book?
SP: Scarecrow has won too many awards to list them all. Most recently, two Scarecrow titles were named Best Reference 2012 by Library Journal. The Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Cinema by John Sundholm et al cataloged the history, influences, and output of the films of a small area of the world that has contributed great directors (Ingmar Bergman) and movies (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Operas in English by Margaret Ross Griffel also won the Best Reference award for its comprehensive coverage of operas, composers, performances, and performers. Generally, Scarecrow has at least one book each year win this award. Recent winners include The Complete Costume Dictionary by Elizabeth J. Lewandowski, The Disney Song Encyclopedia by Thomas S. Hischak and Mark A. Robinson, and Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema by Jasper Sharp.
In the past year, the following books have won the following awards:
The 21st-Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges edited by Andrew P. Jackson; Julius Jefferson Jr. and Akilah S. Nosakhere - The BCALA Literary Awards - Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation
Harlem Jazz Adventures: A European Baron's Memoir, 1934-1969 - By Timme Rosenkrantz and translated by Fradley Hamilton Garner - One of the Best Books of 2012 from Jazz History Online
Libraries, Classrooms, and the Interests of Democracy: Marking the Limits of Neoliberalism - by John Buschman - The Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Visiting Scholar award at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario AND the NJLA CUS/ACRL NJ Research Committee Research Award
Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology - Edited by Julie Anne Taddeo and Cynthia J. Miller - Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association - Peter C. Rollins Book Award in Popular Culture Studies
Any exciting and upcoming book releases that you would like to share with us?
SP: We are adding to our music lists with the Listener’s Companion series, which includes titles like Experiencing Jazz and Experiencing Verdi, both of which will be out before the end of the year. We are also developing the Dictionary for the Modern Musician line, which includes titles specific to instruments; Dictionary for the Modern Clarinetist and Dictionary for the Modern Singer, will be out in November and December, respectively. Two exciting new reference works publishing soon are Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings and Blacks in Blackface: A Sourcebook on Early Black Musical Shows, both of which bring new depth to the time periods and subject matter that they study.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors out there coming from a publisher’s standpoint? Are there any tips you have in regards to sending in submissions/inquiries/proposals?
SP: Aspiring authors should do their research and make sure their project fits the publisher’s program. Most publishers specialize in certain categories and rarely deviate from these, because their marketing programs are focused in specific disciplines. For example, there’s no point in sending Scarecrow proposals of fiction, poetry, or children’s books, since we publish nonfiction only. In addition to consulting the most recent editions of publications like The Writer’s Market and The Literary Marketplace, which provide details about publishers’ areas of interest, authors should also browse publisher web sites to make sure their editorial focus has not changed.
Authors should also look for submission guidelines on the publisher’s web site to make sure they follow that particular publisher’s requirements (these may vary) and are sending a proposal to the correct contact.
A proposal should be as free of errors as possible. Obvious spelling or grammatical errors are red flags to editors.
Where do you see the company in ten years? Publishing in various countries?
SP: Scarecrow Press has long been part of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. In 2014, Scarecrow will be completely folded into Rowman & Littlefield. While you can continue to expect the same great titles in the same fields of study that Scarecrow has always produced, in an effort to streamline our publishing program, these books will come out under the Rowman & Littlefield umbrella. Rowman & Littlefield’s books are available worldwide.
Where to find other great titles from Scarecrow Press
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