After your open access book has been published, how can you self-promote your work? If your motivations for publishing an open access book include reaching a wider audience and different communities for more reach and real-world impact as well as career advancement, then you may find the following suggestions useful.
Rationale for self-promotion
“Why should I self-promote, aren’t the promotional activities of the publisher enough?” There are several reasons why you should engage in the self-promotion of your open access book.
- Targeting: Arguably, authors are the most informed about how to reach their disciplinary area of specialisation, peer groups and academic network, and these direct channels might increase trust. Self-promotion through announcements on disciplinary or scholarly associations’ mailing lists, blogs, messages and videos allow for targeted and directed sharing of open access books.
- Resources: Smaller publishers may be limited by resources and time. Check what kind of marketing they are able to offer your book.
- Public engagement: Universities across the world increasingly expect researchers to engage in public scholarship.
- Career advancement: Self-promotion, which expands visibility and recognition, is an important part of academic self-branding.
- Increased impact: Promotion via digital channels might lead to the discovery of your work by stakeholders beyond the publisher’s network, including journalists, practitioners, industry and policy makers.
Widespread but divided Self-promotion via social media is increasingly common among authors who publish open access. The affordances of social media, including scalability, visibility and spreadability provide specific opportunities for promoting open access books. A 2017 Springer Nature survey of more than 3,000 researchers revealed that over 95% of respondents use some form of social media or scholarly collaboration network for professional purposes. Using your own social networks for promotion could help to increase the impact of your research (Springer Open, 2018). Self-promotion also gives you an advantage over other authors who may not choose to do so.
Where/how should I self-promote?
Strategies for self-promotion include:
- considering how you can “cultivate a community and curate a conversation” (Ocampo, 2019). Think about which strategies best suit the audiences you want to reach;
- maintaining your own author website, including blogs, podcasts and videos;
- with widespread stable Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), directly sharing links to your open access book with specific audiences, while referring them back to a persistent domain;
- including your Open Researcher and Contributor ORCID ID, which provides a persistent digital identifier that you can control. This way, output will be linked to yourself, even when moving between research institutions;
- linking your open access book to your personal institutional website, as well as to Academic Social Networking Sites (ASNS), such as ResearchGate, SSRN, https://arxiv.org and Academia.edu. Use social media platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Weibo and Facebook;
- considering services such as KUDOS, a web-based platform that aims to ‘help researchers ensure their research gets found, read and cited in a world of information overload’ (Growkudos, n.d.) maximise visibility and impact of their work. A recent case study conducted in 2017 suggests that performing actions on publications, such as sharing, explaining, or enriching, could help to increase the number of full text downloads of a publication (Erdt. Aung. Aw. Rapple & Theng., 2017);
- setting SMART (specific, measurable, attractive, realistic and time-specific) goals for self-promotion (Ocampo, 2019). You could start a Facebook page on the topic of your book, invite 100 friends to like it, then publish a post about your book publication process once a week. Another proven successful strategy is to offer virtual class visits, in which you give a presentation to students in those courses that have engaged with your work (Ocampo, 2019; Kieńć, 2014).