The Newsletter 56 Spring 2011

The persistent allure of book series in Asian studies

Michael Duckworth

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES for authors, editors, and publishers in developing academic series, and what are the hurdles to success for all parties involved? For authors and publishers, a sturdy and provocative series can be a magnet for talent and can help sustain several years of cohesive editorial work, often with consistent series design and production templates that help lead to clear brand identity in the intellectual marketplace and other marketing synergies.

For general readers and teachers suffering from hyperconnectivity and shrinking attention spans, a well-defi ned and well-managed series can help navigate information overload and focus attention on a body of new work with consistently high standards of editorial investment. Similarly, younger scholars can fi nd a safe harbor for their work and ideally can receive an extra round of intensive critical feedback from engaged series editors, while also making connections among series authors that may become a foundation for future research and career development.