Release Plan

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Promoting your open textbook will require you to develop a plan of activity. Unlike traditional publishing models, where marketing and promotion are completed for authors, engaging in open education activities requires some effort from practitioners in getting the word out there about their resources. Books benefit from a range of marketing practices and many of these apply equally whether a book is being published open access or commercially.

Blue Download.png Downloadable Templates

The Release Plan Template [Word] will give you a road map and checklist of how to prepare for the publication of your textbook.


Marketing Plan Considerations

The following are a few things to consider when developing your marketing plan.

Audience

Spaces to Share your Open Textbook
  • Use communications support at your institution.
  • Provide accessible feedback tools (e.g. survey, contact form, etc.), so that communication can be two-way.
  • Notify your professional association and related organizations.
  • Get the word out early and often, using different channels:
    • blog posts
    • social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
    • listservs (in your discipline and across communities)
    • email signatures
    • conferences
    • webinars

As with any marketing plan, identifying your key audiences is crucial for developing a marketing plan; this is particularly important for textbooks where those who select the book for course use (e.g. course directors, lecturers, faculty members) are not those who use the book during the course. You may develop separate marketing plans or different messages depending on the audience.

Timelines

Work backwards from your target release date to distribute workload and allocate time for tasks.

Message

You do not have to wait until your textbook is complete to send out messages about the upcoming resource. There are several different milestones you can share along the way to your final product. You can share content updates (e.g. completed chapters, sections, etc.); information about team members behind the work; aspects of inclusivity, accessibility, and diversity in your concept, content, and design; and engage with new ideas and opinions to connect with relevant, current discourse. The important part of your messaging is to tell your story honestly and transparently.

Promotional Spaces

Once you have shared your open textbook in an online environment (e.g. open education repository, catalogue, etc.) you will need to promote the textbook. Word of mouth is always a good place to begin as a grassroots method has the potential to gain authentic use of your textbook. Additional promotional spaces, such as social media and listervs, can bring an international community to your work.

Distribution Channels

Ensuring your textbook reaches the intended audience is a crucial part of the publishing process, and your institution and your team will expect this as part of a good publishing plan. Indeed, if your institution or a granting organization is funding your activity, they may want to see that their investment is justified via extensive usage of the books by the intended audience. This section outlines potential open access distribution channels to support usage of your textbook.

Metadata

Standard Minimum Metadata for Open Textbooks
  • Book title and subtitle
  • Author/editor name
  • Book description (blurb)
  • Author bio
  • Format (paperback/hardback/ebook)
  • Subject Areas Covered
  • Specifications (e.g. trim page size, number of pages)
  • ISBN – a separate one for each format
  • DOI for OA books
  • Licence details (for open access publications)
  • Publisher name

Example of Open Textbook Metadata

Before distributing your textbook you will need to develop a standard metadata structure. Metadata is structured descriptive information that describes your information object. This information will be used when you uploaded and share your textbook in different platforms.

Projects, Organizations, and Catalogues

Ask open textbook projects and OER organizations to spread the word about your book. It is common practice for these groups to monitor communication channels for new open textbooks so they can let their networks know. Below are a number of OER organizations in Canada in the United States. In addition, you can reach out to open-education organizations in English-speaking countries outside of North America, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Sharing your resource in a catalogue provides you with greater visibility for your work.  With traditional publication processes materials are entered into a database or catalogue by either publishers or libraries as a part of the process of making materials accessible. Making open texts and resources accessible is often dependent upon the creator of the material. Working with open textbook publishers and organizations (e.g. BCcampus, OpenStax) may provide you with an avenue for sharing your resources. 

Canada

United States

Additional Spaces

*Some of these make a small charge for inclusion, others are free; some require publishers to meet minimum requirements, and others may not. Most of these will also provide you with download and usage statistics, so that you can assess whether your books are being found by your target audience.

UBC Library ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a system of unique identification numbers for books, pamphlets, educational kits, CD-ROMs and other forms of print, digital and electronic publications. Once an ISBN has been assigned, it acts as a unique, internationally recognized identifier.

UBC Library can issue an ISBN for the text if you are not associated to one the departments listed. If you are associated to one of the listed departments, contact your department to secure your ISBN. For all other request, fill in the request form.  

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI)

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique identifier associated with an electronic object and contains metadata that makes the object significantly easier to find and track how it has been cited. DOIs can be assigned to any entity for use on the Web. Digital objects may include:

  • images
  • data and data sets
  • books
  • book chapters
  • research reports
  • dissertations

DOIs help level the playing field between prestigious journal articles and other research outputs, artifacts and resources by:

  1. Making your research more discoverable. DOIs are widely used in scholarly publishing to cite journal articles and research data. They contain metadata that speaks to Google, ORCID, Datacite. Crossref, VIVO, DataOne and many more, making it way more visible online.
  2. Providing a persistent home. A DOI is a persistent identifier that is available and managed over time; this means it will not change if the item or object is moved or renamed.
  3. Helping you track your scholarly impact. The DOI standard (ISO 26324:2012) is the foundation of Datacite/Crossref linking service, which allows location and tracking of both cited and citing references in the scholarly record. DOIs are widely used in scholarly publishing to cite journal articles and research data.

UBC Library provides automatic DOIs to objects deposited into the following UBC Library repositories:

  • cIRcle (for text, PDFs, audio and video resources)
  • UBC Dataverse @Scholars Portal (for research datasets)
  • CONTENTdm (for digitized images)

Assign a DOI to an Open Text

For an open textbook DOI, a deposit in UBC Library cIRcle is the suggested approach.

For all other questions about DOIs and the DOI service at UBC, please email – doi.library@ubc.ca or visit https://doi.library.ubc.ca/

Open Educational Resource Repositories

While there are several ways to share your Open Educational Resources once you have created and licensed them, posting them to an Open Educational Resource Repository is a great way to increase the accessibility and audience for your materials. Many repositories will also archive your materials to ensure they are available long-term. By submitting your book in multiple repositories, it increases the chances that your book will be discovered by educators and researchers looking for openly licensed content in your field.

Many open textbook collections allow authors to submit requests for their book to be included. Some repositories require that a new textbook meet certain criteria, such as an evaluation by a subject-matter expert. Here are a few examples of where you can apply:


UBC Library Open Education Guide

Additional high-quality, peer reviewed Open Educational Resource Repositories can be found in the UBC Library Open Education Guide.


UBC Release Support

UBC Institutional Repository cIRcle

UBC Library has an institutional repository, cIRcle,which is UBC’s open access digital repository for published and unpublished material created by the UBC community and its partners, including faculty, students, and staff. Its aim is to showcase and preserve UBC’s unique intellectual output by making the content freely available to anyone, anywhere via the web.

Sharing your work in cIRcle provides the following benefits:

  • Support for submitting and indexing to make your content easily find-able.
  • Indexing in high-profile search engines such as Google as well as academically focused search engines and collections such as Google Scholar and OAIster, making it quick and easy for scholars and others to find your work.
  • Archiving of your work for the long term.  cIRcle provides permanent URLs so the links to your materials will remain the same over time.

UBC Library Systems

One of the easiest ways to share your open textbook is to have it made available through library systems. UBC Library will work with you to get your textbook added to our General Search (Summon) and/or our catalogue (Books & Media).

BCcampus Open Textbook Collection

If your textbook is catalogued through the BCcampus Open Textbook Collection, the records are created and loaded through the British Columbia Electronic Library Network quarterly and will be pulled into UBC Library through the General Search (Summon) and the catalogue (Books & Media). If your textbook is in Summon, all libraries using ExLibris Summon will have the record available to them as well. For the textbook to be included in the BCcampus catalogue, the textbook must pass the SME Evaluation Rubric for the B.C. Open Textbook Collection to be included in the collection. Access Points - Available through ExLibris Summon and UBC Library General Search (Summon)| Available through the UBC Library Catalogue

UBC cIRcle

If the text is loaded into cIRcle, the textbook will be available through Open Collections and through the UBC Library General Search (Summon).

All content loaded into cIRcle are automatically assigned an Digital Object Identifier (DOI). A DOI is a persistent identifier use to standardize and identify objects. Assigning a DOI assists readers in easily finding the object.

For example: Tony Bates, Teaching in a Digital Age:  https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0224023

Access Points - Available through UBC Library General Search (Summon)| Available through Open Collections

Other

If the textbooks is not catalogued through BCcampus or loaded into cIRcle, UBC Library will need to create a catalogue record for your open textbook. For the library to create a catalogue record, your textbook must have a permanent, stable URL (such as a DOI). Access Points - Available through UBC Library General Search (Summon)| Available through UBC Library Catalogue

UBC Library ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a system of unique identification numbers for books, pamphlets, educational kits, CD-ROMs and other forms of print, digital and electronic publications. Once an ISBN has been assigned, it acts as a unique, internationally recognized identifier. UBC Library can issue an ISBN for the text if you are not associated to one the departments listed. If you are associated to one of the listed departments, contact your department to secure your ISBN. For all other request, fill in the request form.

For all UBC Library Release Support, contact Erin Fields



Adaption Statements

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Documentation:Open_Textbook_Publishing_Guide/Release_Plan