How to... raise the profile of your book/book series

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Article Sections

  1. Identifying your audience and marketing message
  2. Promoting your research

Identifying your audience and marketing message

The audience

Thinking about who your audience is will help you target your audience with the appropriate marketing message.

Specialist audiences

Specialist audiences will be those people working in a similar field who will be keenly interested in the research.  Your message to this group will be clear and focused as they'll want to know what contributions to existing research this book makes. Specialist audiences are also likely to be good advocates for the book. These might include:

  • Colleagues working on similar research may wish to read your book, or even contribute.
  • Fellow professionals, whether researchers or practitioners, may wish to use your book themselves; to recommend it to students or colleagues; or invite you to discuss it at a conference or symposium.
  • Target any professional bodies, learned institutions or trade organizations that may be interested in your work.

Non-specialist audiences

Don't neglect potential non-specialist audiences – they can raise the general level of awareness about your book and create a buzz that makes it the "must-have" authoritative work – bringing it to the attention of the specialists. These might include:

  • The general public – particularly where the book includes a theme that is topical or newsworthy.
  • "Personalities" with a known interest in this area.
  • Single interest charities and pressure groups.
  • Media bodies and journalists.

What do you want to say about your book?

You need to create a strong, clear message around the book that gives prospective readers reasons to take an interest in what you have to say.

Things you could include in your message are:

  • Identify key themes and highlight issues within the book.
  • Point out connections with topical issues.
  • Select representative quotations that draw out important points.
  • Create an abstract, or better yet, put together two: one for a specialist audience and a topical, non-technical and jargon-free version.
  • Use part of your introduction or conclusions as an excerpt, so people can sample the book's approach and style.
  • Consider serializing a chapter in a professional body's membership journal.
  • Choose keywords, tags and labels to associate with your book so it shows up in online searches.

A two-way conversation with potential buyers – particularly people who have come across your earlier work – can raise awareness very effectively. For instance:

  • Solicit endorsements, testimonials and quotes – particularly from respected media sources and relevant high-profile individuals.
  • Put forward topics for discussion and debate.
  • Use social media to generate conversations based around your book.

About you

Include a section in your message about you, such as your area of expertise and what makes you an authoritative source, for instance your experience working as a researcher, teacher or practitioner in this area, other publications, awards or membership of influential bodies.

Encourage co-authors to put together information in this way as well, so that you and your publisher have plenty of promotional material to work with.