Thinking Through a Release Plan
Promoting your open text will require you to develop a plan of activity. Unlike traditional publishing models, where marketing and promotion are completed for authors, engaging in open 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.
Before developing a release plan, it is important to think about the audience, purpose, and requirements you have for sharing. There are many places to shared OER and selecting the places that meets the needs of your project is important to reducing time and frustration.
The following questions assist in focusing on the intent for sharing your open text. This will help to narrow down the spaces the resource will be uploaded and shared.
What do I want my text to do for me?
It may be that the intent for sharing your text is simply the use by others. This is a fine reason to share your resource. However, you may also want to share to connect with other educators, to gain metrics around the content being used, to promote the work so others may improve upon it. Knowing your intent can help direct where the content should be shared.
Who do I want to have primary access to my text?
Identifying your key audiences is crucial for developing a plan for sharing your text. Different spaces may cater to specific audiences, age ranges, and subject expertise. Some spaces may provide functionality that allows you to network with other educators creating similar content. You may also need to develop separate marketing plans or different messages depending on the audience.
Are impact metrics important to me?
Impact metrics refer to whether the repository tracks data about how your resource is performing (e.g., number of downloads, citations). Some repositories will provide very detailed metrics about your text (e.g., geographic location of downloads, number of views, etc.). Deciding what kind of reporting is important to you and how you will use the metrics is a way to focus where you may share your content and what additional planning you may need to undertake to get the right impact metric details. For example, tracking if others have modified your work can be complicated and may require a different approach to data collection.
Do I have support for my sharing plan?
This is simply answering the question of who will do the work of sharing. It takes some time to make sure the content is loaded into spaces and to send out messaging and promotions. If you have limited support in this area, we can direct you to the most important strategies for sharing rather than spend time on a more expansive process.