Guide to Promoting Your Baseball Book Through SABR

Guide to Promoting Your Book on Baseball Through SABR
Updated: July 31, 2015

I've written this brief guide to SABR for authors and publishers of baseball books because I find myself answering the same questions over and over, and thought therefore a guide or FAQ was in order. Visit SABR.org/about/publications to learn more about our publishing opportunities.

If you've written a book on baseball and are looking to promote it through SABR or to SABR members, here is a lineup of 9 things you can do. 

1. Become a SABR member

The author should become a SABR member in order to use SABR membership benefits, like access to SABR online forums, email lists, committee newsletters, etc. Non-members have much more limited access. (Please note, SABR-L and various other SABR forums do not allow commercial announcements or SPAM and using the SABR member directory to spam people is a violation of the membership terms.) 

2. SABR Bookshelf

Send a copy of the finished book to the main office in Phoenix. All books by SABR members received at the office are listed in the regularly updated online listing known as the SABR Bookshelf

The SABR Bookshelf
Cronkite School at ASU
555 N. Central Ave, Suite 416
Phoenix, AZ 85004

3. Book reviews/Baseball Research Journal

SABR very rarely runs book reviews in the Baseball Research Journal. It is unlikely that a review copy received over the transom will result in one of the 1 or 2 book reviews that we publish every few years when there is extra room in the journal to be filled. (I stress again that this is very rare.) Sometimes we do publish pre-publication excerpts from forthcoming books/just being published/newly published works but the article or chapter needs to stand on its own as an article and pass peer review. Excerpts need to be submitted six months before publication date at minimum. 

4. SABR Committees

Depending on the subject of the book, you may find SABR has a research committee on the topic that may have a regular newsletter. Using the list of committees on SABR.org, look up who the heads of the relevant committee are and their email addresses, and contact them about whether you could either write a short piece for their newsletter that might help spread the word about your book, excerpt the book, or whether they might even run an announcement or review of the book. 

5. SABR Chapters

If you have a local chapter nearby (or more than one in driving distance), see if you can do a presentation on your book or a research topic in your books at a local chapter meeting. Some chapters meet a few times a year: others have just one or two annual meetings. You can find chapter information on SABR.org. Often local chapter meetings will hold fundraising raffles or trivia quizzes: consider donating a copy of your book as a prize. 

6. Advertising

SABR does not have much in the way of advertising opportunities — in fact, currently none. The Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime only accept ads from SABR's publication partners (McFarland & Co., University of Nebraska Press) and our website does not take any form of advertising. 

7. SABR Convention

The annual SABR convention draws from 500 to 800 of the most devoted baseball enthusiasts in the world, including historians, bloggers, academics, and members of the media. Research presentations at the convention consist of a 20-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Research presentations are assigned by a vetting committee who considers the abstracts several months in advance of the convention. There are also poster presentations. You may submit to both. (The call for abstracts is usually made in January-February and information is posted at SABR.org/convention.) There are also commercial promotional opportunities associated with the convention, such as taking a table in the Vendors Room, placing a flyer or promo item in the convention goody bag, or sponsoring an event at the convention. 

8. Other SABR events

Depending on the subject of the book, you might consider attending or presenting at one of the many other SABR events including the Jerry Molloy Negro Leagues conference, the Fred Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference in Cooperstown, or the SABR Analytics Conference. Check out SABR.org/events for a list of our annual conferences.

9. Make connections

Many other SABR members have also written books. Meet them through chapters, committee work, or discussions on our daily SABR-L listserv. You can help each other by talking about each other's books on social media, reviewing each other's books on Amazon, and blogging about each other's books. (However, be prepared to be called out by fellow members on any point in the book they feel is incorrect or inaccurate. Many members have fellow members serve as early readers, fact-checkers, and vetters of their manuscripts before they turn them in to be published!)

To learn more about SABR publications or publishing opportunities, visit SABR.org/about/publications.

Cecilia M. Tan
SABR Publications Director
ctan@sabr.org