For academic researchers in the social sciences, significant time is invested into conducting studies, consolidating research, writing papers, publishing books, and so much more. Ensuring your research reaches a broad audience and makes a tangible impact is equally vital. Promoting your work as a researcher may feel like a daunting prospect, but the key lies in effective promotion strategies that can enhance the visibility and credibility of your work.
In this blog, we will explore five powerful ways to promote your research and amplify its influence in the academic community and beyond; in advance of, and shortly after, its publication.
Don’t be disheartened if one mode is more successful than another; all efforts have an impact which will help to promote your work long after publication.
1. Advance praise
Prior to publication, book endorsements are effective for influencing and informing prospective readers. Endorsements help readers to get a flavour for your work through their knowledge of the work associated with those providing endorsements. These quotes would ideally be provided by those who have written on similar subjects or are working within your academic field. You may work jointly with your Publisher to assist with this process, and they may use these quotes for online marketing and on social media.
No promotional efforts are in vain, and even if the individuals you’ve asked to provide an endorsement for your title are not available, you will have at least managed to alert them of your forthcoming publication.
Where these individuals cannot provide an endorsement, ask them to redirect to other colleagues or provide some suggestions for other researchers that might be interested in reviewing or promoting your publication. Where they can provide one, always offer your thanks and ask your Publisher to gift them a copy of your book as thanks for their support.
2. Social media and online visibility
To increase the visibility of your work post-publication, highlight key findings on social media using relevant hashtags to engage with specialist discussions between other researchers in your field.
Ensure that your book is indexed on Google Scholar and other relevant academic databases to increase its discoverability among researchers and update your website, academic profiles and social media (Twitter, ResearchGate or LinkedIn). A DOI link, as opposed to a traditional web link to your book, allows for engagement and downloads to be more readily monitored.
Where possible, use a banner header featuring your book including publication details. This is a good way of passively informing people browsing your correspondences or posts that your work is due to publish. Try to include a promotional banner in your email signature, including a hyperlink to your book’s webpage. If your publication is available open access, highlight this to your audience, so they know they can access it immediately.
3. Use your networks
An easy way of maximising the reach and impact of your research is to approach colleagues, departments and peers via email to inform them of your publication. Be sure to include a DOI and/or ISBN for the book, mentioning the publication date as well as relevant information such as the book’s blurb or press release, as well as promotional digital assets.
Think about existing email lists you have access to at your institution and any collaborators, colleagues, professional association members, or students who you could inform. When doing this, tailor your announcement depending on the targeted audience.
4. Blogs and media
Another effective way of promotion your research is through drawing out key themes from your publication through writing or extracting samples from your work in relevant blogs and publications, such as The Conversation, Medium or specialist sites.
You may also want to consider speaking with podcasts or broadcast media to present your findings to new audiences in alternate formats. Include hi-res images and request a hyperlink to your published work so that interested readers or listeners can be directed to your new publication.
5. Participate in Conferences and Webinars
In-person conferences and webinars provide an excellent platform to showcase your research and connect with fellow researchers and professionals. Submit abstracts to relevant conferences and consider presenting your work as a speaker.
Where possible, engage actively in Q&A sessions and networking events to make meaningful connections and raise the visibility of your research and forthcoming publication.
When attending in-person events, bring along flyers including QR codes linking to your book’s DOI or webpage to distribute amongst colleagues with similar research interests.
Now that you have an idea of some ways which you can best promote your research, it’s important to keep in mind that research promotion is an ongoing process which requires persistence and strategic efforts. Don’t be disheartened if one mode is more successful than another; all efforts have an impact which will help to promote your work long after publication.
Through exploring these five strategies, you can effectively disseminate your research, enrich academic discussions, and drive positive change in your field.