How to publish your first academic book (opinion)

our end! You have published your first book.

What now?

Tik Tok video? me me? Influential friend?

For many academics, opening a Twitter account is intimidating. Many of us are camera shy, reluctant to promote ourselves and wary of media representations. We dream of long, intermittent hours of reading and writing and shiver at the thought of a face-to-face interview.

I’m with you there. But I also know the sinking feeling of spending countless hours thinking, writing and worrying about a book, only to see that it ranks 581,000 on Amazon’s ranking list. This means about Eight copies of the book sold per month.

I’m told that academic studies typically sell 500 to 1,000 copies—over a lifetime, primarily to libraries. The joke going on at the academy is that royalties from your book will buy you a little latte — but they’ll also earn you a stint, which is enough for most of us.

We also may not feel much outside pressure to market our books, but we will get substantial rewards for doing so. We know a lot about our subject; It is worth sharing this knowledge with other people. I’ve also found that different audiences make me think of my work in different ways. It certainly makes my day to receive an email from someone who has enjoyed reading my book.

I posted my first book On charter schools “No Excuses” and discipline last summer with Princeton University Press. It did not become a best seller. But along the way, I learned that you can do a number of little things to help get your book popular and get your story across to a wider audience. Here are 10 of them.

  1. Target your audience. Find out who you are trying to reach. Aside from the faculty and students in your field, will other audiences be interested in your book? I wanted my book to be read by teachers and charter school leaders. To gain access to these groups, I sent emails to charter school administrators, sent hard copies of the book—with a handwritten note—to hiring school leaders and teacher organizations, and created Discussion Guide On my website for teachers and schools. similarly, Mira Debswhose first book He was at public Montessori schools, organized book lectures at various Montessori schools and obtained funding to distribute free books to participating teachers. She also created The school And the community resources.
  2. Organize a virtual book launch. This is a fun way to celebrate the publication of your book. You can create a file Yvette Using the Zoom link, send the invitation in an email to friends, family, students, and colleagues. You can provide material from your book, or finding someone to interview you about can be even more vital. For the launch of my book, I invited Jennifer Berkshire, an educational blogger and author, to interview me, because she was knowledgeable on the field and a professional in coordinating. Re-recorded from the release of my book on C-SPAN 2 TV book.
  3. Work with your publisher and their marketing department. Academic presses don’t have great resources to market your book, but they can still be useful. Usually, they will send an advertisement for your book to the media list and facilitate communications with interested parties. I also sent a digital or hard copy of the book to a list of 20-30 academics I recommended. They also sent out copies of the book for book prizes, which can be very expensive if you have to do it yourself. they made me Twitter logo. You can also search for websites of different publishers The media Toolkits to promote the book.
  4. Say yes to most everything. I answered yes to almost every media or podcast request about my book. I answered yes to every invitation to speak about the book in university courses or university seminars. If your book is very popular, you may need to be more selective, but I’ve found that I can run those different events, as they are spread out throughout the year. By the time I did some of them, I had to be less prepared and felt more confident speaking off the cuff.
  5. Don’t ignore small opportunities to get the word out. Have you sent an advertisement for a book to your member associations/departments? Will a particular blog feature your book or publish an excerpt from it? How about sending an email to colleagues and friends to alert them about your new book? I received one from an author I didn’t know personally and ended up teaching their book. Connect with colleagues you know in other departments and express an interest in speaking at a seminar, book series, or seminar. Send a brief email to the journal’s editors–or the book review editor if it’s listed on the journal’s website–and ask if they’d consider your new book for review.
  6. Use your academic affiliations. Does your university institution have a reading series? What about your doctoral institution? I was able to include my book in my university institution Book of the month specialand the College Magazine Then that interview was excerpted. Have you also contacted the media relations office at your current organisation? On every tweet I post linked to my book, I tag my organization’s Twitter address and they will repost it, expanding its reach.
  7. Read bios. To identify potential news outlets, magazines, and awards, I researched biographies of academics who have written successful books in my area. This is how I found a file new book network, where she participated in a podcast. It’s also how I found two awards that I ended up winning: one of Education Teachers Association and the Independent Publishers Book Award.
  8. Try your hand at a different type of writing. Opinion articles are a great way to get your message across concisely and to a wide audience. Consider whether there is a recent news event or an anniversary that could act as an attraction to your story. In my case, I framed a piece about the 30th Anniversary of Independent Schools. ConversationIt is an independent non-profit news organization that exclusively publishes articles written by academics, which is a great avenue for you to try. my article Based on my book published in about a week, the catchy images are included. The article was picked up by more than 20 news sites and published in the print edition of Philadelphia Inquirer. It has been clicked more than 57,000 times. You can also try different genres, such as writing an advice article in a post like Within higher education For faculty members who may struggle through the book writing process.
  9. I started early. Media interest peaks on the date of publication, so you’ll need to start drafting opinion pieces and reach potential media outlets several months in advance. OpEd . projectWhich I participated in, is a resource for faculty members who want to learn how to write for a general audience. Listen to the podcast. Find bloggers and influencers in your area. Find and contact reporters who write about your topic. This is also a good time to reach out to independent bookstores. I reached out to my local library a few months after my book was published, and they said it was too late to host the book event.
  10. Spread the wealth. Use opportunities to speak about your book as a way to promote the work of other scholars/activists/stakeholders, especially junior scholars and those from underrepresented backgrounds. The distribution of wealth puts you in interesting conversations and draws attention to the work of others. In Yale Education Studies, I have been given accident With Michael Martinez, a Yale graduate and independent school No Excuses, as we discussed our joint research projects.

To learn more about promoting your book, check this out Media Toolkit Compiled by the American Sociological Association with advice and experience from academics. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can even explore marketing strategies and seminars targeting writers who independently publish books. Next time, consider working with an agent or publishing a commercial academic book.

Marketing a book takes time, but these strategies are fairly easy to implement. Who knows what to follow? You can even attract attention New York times Or a famous blogger. Cumulatively, and with that endorsement, your book on game theory (okay, Jane Austen) may be tentative. Passing ranking number 200 on amazon.

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