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

Promoting your research

Practical tips for reaching your audience

Promoting your book or book series will take time, effort and resources, so before developing your communication plan take the time to factor in all the necessary time it will take to put these actions in to play. Some of the first things to consider are:

  • Which are the critical audiences?
  • What needs to be done? Is the activity important or "nice to have"?
  • Who is going to do it? Does it have to be you or can somebody else do it better, quicker or more easily?
  • When? If material is prepared in advance you will be better able to deal with time pressures. Giving plenty of notice of key timelines will also help others to accommodate your needs alongside their other commitments.
  • A clear written summary allows you to set priorities and allocate resources – and to respond quickly to changing circumstances.

Direct contact

Personal contact is a successful marketing tool. Do you, your publisher or your contributors know someone within your target audience or links with someone who does? Do they know someone to ask? Ask the direct question "are you the right person to talk to" and people will often say either "tell me more" or "so-and-so would be very interested" or better yet, "I'll mention it to X". You can then request an introduction and that they pass on your contact details.

Face-to-face contact

Where an audience is central to the success of your book or book series, it is almost certainly worthwhile investing time in face-to-face interaction. You can do this through:

  • Giving lectures
  • Conference presentations or holding a launch party at a conference
  • Sitting on discussion panels.

Reaching people at a distance

Publicity generated by individuals and organizations within your network (such as your publisher, your own organization and specialist or learned bodies that you belong to, or have contact with) can be very helpful in reaching researchers around the world. For instance, you can:

  • Offer review copies to key journals. If you or your contributors know the editor or have been published in the journal before, you have an immediate point of contact.
  • Make inspection copies available to the providers of relevant courses of study.
  • Contact organizations hosting a relevant conference (take in to consideration the advance notice needed for participation).
  • Use trade press advertisements and posters at key events to publicize the book's release.
  • Offer copies of the book for prizes in competitions run by professional associations.
  • Provide press releases, extracts or articles based on your book for inclusion in the newsletters, magazines and journals of professional associations and specialist organizations.
  • Consider hosting a webinar – a web-based presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar with limited audience interaction.

Pass on any positive comments and good feedback to the publicity and marketing department at your own organization, professional association and of course your publisher.

Quick, high impact activity

Use these simple techniques to quickly raise awareness:

  • Reach current contacts by adding an announcement about the book to your e-mail signature.
  • Include a link to your website, that of your publisher, or your Amazon author page.
  • Post information on listservs and discussion forums.
  • Post information on websites popular with your target audience.
  • Add social media IDs and web addresses to traditional offline communications as well as e-mails.

Social media

Social media is also another outlet you can use to promote your work to new audiences. Researchers and journalists now use social media in their work as a matter of course. This is an easy way for them to find out about the research and contact you. Consider using:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Engage with your published via these social media sites.

Who can help you with promotion?

Stakeholders: These are the people who played a part in creating the book and would probably like to get involved in promoting the research.

Key contributors: You and your co-authors all have a good network of contacts, utilize those contacts by letting people who you think may be interested in reading the book know about its upcoming publication.

Your Publisher: The Company publishing your book might have links with other publications and can connect you with their in-house marketing and public relations departments.

Your organization: Research institutions and commercial companies alike appreciate the benefits a well-received publication can bring – they generally have public relations resources, try and get some PR support from your company.

Remember that individual preferences for sources of information vary widely – use several to make it easy for different audiences to connect to you. Your choices should reflect your decision about where being represented will have most impact.