@feb20-cohort I’ve written up a short recap of our session for those who are interested. Hope this helps you all keep some our marketing and communications principles in mind!
Marketing and open communications are all about developing a community around your book, and ultimately gathering a group of adopters that will help maintain your book in the long-term. Rebus’ own marketing philosophy is built on the principles of openness, collaboration, and inclusion. The way we see it, marketing is really a series of connections: more often between people & projects, and in our case, between collaborators and communities. Marketing is about creating and telling a story that will resonate with others and inspire them to join you. The story of a book starts from day zero, right from the moment you thought about creating the resource. So get the word out early and announce your project’s existence, and don’t forget to highlight why you decided to start the project or what makes it unique. And keep this up! Frequent communications will mean that the project stays on the radar for those outside the team, and helps build the momentum leading up to the official release (take a look at our list of tactics). Being public about your project work also ensures that it isn’t being replicated elsewhere – others may just decide to join forces with you instead. Instead of thinking of marketing as a single phase in the publishing process, try to look at each stage through this lens (look at our slides for some hints on how to weave marketing in every phase). Make sure that your communication is providing value to others: whether by surfacing the advantages that a particular task will bring to the project or by sharing success stories when milestones are hit. Don’t forget about your biggest marketing asset: the people around your project. Since the project is made up of you and others, we don’t want you to hide behind the scenes! It’s important to recognize you and the work you do — so showcase the team, solicit quotes to share, and get them involved. This also makes your project more compelling to others, as this taps into the general audience’s interests in the personal aspects of publishing. Finally, remember that a big portion of marketing and communications is listening: validating and recognizing external comments is important to build the connection and trust with those new to the project or simply following it. Respond to comments in a timely manner, and you’ll be surprised at how this small human touch can set your project apart from others. The support of those around your project can have a bigger impact than any other tactics you may employ.