25 Promoting Your Open Text

Now that your open text is published, it’s time to let your audience know.

Underlying Principles

Marketing starts at day one, or better yet, day zero. Well before content is written, even before a project officially ‘starts’, the story of the open text has begun, including the reasons for creating it, the subject it covers, your team approach, and the people who make up that team. Get in the mindset of telling that story early and often.

Every open text project is different: and so is the marketing. Our suggestions are guidelines, not a standard. Formulate your marketing ideas based on what happens in your project.

Collaboration in marketing is as important as it is in the content creation. The more voices and perspectives that are brought in, the greater the diversity, which also leads to greater potential for adoption, use, and reuse.

Connection-making is at the heart of communications. Create and tell a story about your project, connect with those who listen and respond to their feedback.

Know your Audience

The story of your open text starts before it’s even written, with the reasons for creating it, the content it covers, your intended audience and your authoring and publishing teams.

Resource – Communication and Stakeholder Identification Template

Please fill out the communication and stakeholder identification template. This template will assist with your communication and dissemination strategies.

Internal Promotion

Your colleagues at UniSQ are a ready-made community that can help promote a new open text. Here are some ways you can make use of your institutional networks:

  • Use email and mailing lists to inform colleagues, as well as the Dean and/or Head of School or relevant committees.
  • Contact relevant departments and ask if your text can be featured in the newsletter (e.g. learning and teaching newsletter).
  • Ask the communications and marketing team to write a press release or help promote your text.
  • Ask your liaison librarian to share your text with their contacts.
  • Promote your text in high schools and community groups.
  • Promote your text at institutional events such as Open Access Week or the annual Learning and Teaching showcase.
  • Contact peer reviewers and others involved in the book and ask them to promote the text.

External Promotion

Here are some ways you can promote your text to external audiences:

  • blog posts (with clear links to more content that is useful to your audience)
  • milestone announcements (providing information on what someone can do next, like contribute, review or adopt)
  • social media (either from your accounts or a dedicated project account, sharing updates and other relevant content)
  • listserv discussions (so you can become an engaged participant in a community, naturally directing people to your resource)
  • conferences (as opportunities to present, be challenged, make connections, and reconsider your text and how to make it better in a future release)
  • professional bodies and organisations
  • book launch (either virtually or in person).

Open Access Week

Open Access (OA) Week occurs in October every year and organisations across the globe run webinars, workshops, interviews, and other activities designed to build awareness for openly sharing content. UniSQ has participated for a decade, and our sessions are open to the sector. In particular, we invite authors and their students to present, and these typically attract a large attendance. As a focal event for the year, you might schedule your open texts for publication around OA Week. You will, however, need to communicate this to the OEP Team well in advance to avoid disappointment as this is usually the busiest publication time of the year.

Key Tactics

Word of mouth and grassroots efforts are easily the most effective tactics for marketing your open text. The team working on your open text is one community, but you and everyone else in it have ties to many other communities and can help the word get out! To that end:

  • Share content updates, success stories, and key milestones.
  • Use every step as a communications opportunity and keep content flowing outward.
  • Showcase the team members behind the work – make it personal!
  • Share aspects of inclusivity, accessibility, and diversity in your concept, content, and design.
  • Engage with new ideas and opinions to connect with relevant, current discourse.
  • Tell your stories honestly and transparently.
  • Provide accessible feedback tools, so that communication can be two-way.
  • Repetition is good: get the word out early and often, using different channels:
    • blog posts
    • social media (with links to useful content)
    • listservs (in your discipline and across communities)
    • email signatures
    • conferences
    • webinars.

Chapter Attribution

This chapter has been adapted in parts from:


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Open Publishing Guide for Authors Copyright © 2023 by University of Southern Queensland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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