Developing the Release Plan – Distribution & Marketing

Distribution Channels

Ensuring your textbook reaches the intended audience is a crucial part of the publishing process, and your institution and 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 the usage of your text.

Repositories and Collections 

As open 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 texts 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.

The following are repositories and collections where you could share your open textbook. Each space will have there own collections policies. Make sure to review the collection requirements.  For assistance with finding the most suitable places to share your open textbook, contact UBC Library.

Sample Repositories and Collections


Marketing Channels

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.

Spaces to Share Your Open Textbook Message

When you have the audience(s) you are interested in reaching, you will need to develop the messaging and media assets about your open text.  The message should be reflective of the audience you hope to reach. What would get this group to use, adopt, or adapt your resource? Media assets refer to any visual resource (e.g. Twitter banner, video, pamphlet, etc.) that conveys information about your text. There are many tools that can help you develop these assets, many of which can be found on the DIY Media and UBC Brand websites.

In addition to the message and the media assets, developing a  list of possible spaces to share your open text is the next step.  Spaces for sharing can include:

  • 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 associations 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

Example – Global Storybooks Portal Sharing Plan

An graphic of a young boy reading on his bed.Global Storybooks Portal is a free multilingual literacy resource for children and youth worldwide. Read, download, and listen to a wide variety of illustrated stories in a variety of languages.

The project team is hoping to reach an international community of educators interested in early language learning. They are looking to share their resource in general and language learning-specific open educational repositories.  They are interested in a broad population, including K-12 educators.

Working with the Global Storybooks Portal team, UBC Library developed this sharing plan [Word].


UBC Release Support

One of the easiest ways to share your open text 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:

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


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


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


Media Attributions


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

UBC Open Text Publishing Guide Copyright © 2022 by Erin Fields; Amanda Grey; Donna Langille; and Clair Swanson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book