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How to promote an Open Access Book? Part 2: Abstracting and Indexing

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Abstracting and indexing tools make finding scientific content easier and, what is more important for authors, make scientific content more discoverable. Some of these tools are more popular and some are less. There is no single hegemonic player on the market. Thus, it is in your interest as an author to have your work indexed by multiple databases. The most important are: Directory of Open Access Books, Google Scholar, Thomson Reuters Book Citation Index, Elsvier Scopus and EBSCO Discovery. Among them, only the first two are free for end users. Access to the rest is limited to subscribers, although scientists working for wealthy institutions will no doubt have access to these services. What is even more important is that all the mentioned services accept new records only from selected publishers (with the exception of Google Scholar – you can find more information here). Hence, it is very important for an author, who wants to be widely recognized, to cooperate with an established publisher. Information about available abstracting and indexing services should be posted on publishers’ websites. Do not disregard this when choosing a publisher.

I am writing about this in my second post on book promotion because I would like to stress that choosing a publisher is a step that should be performed early. Of course, it might be done after you have finished your book manuscript, but this is the worst solution for two reasons. Firstly, it might involve more work in the case of (very possible) editorial comments. It is quite a good idea to discuss your work with editors at an earlier stage. It will improve your book and save you time (for more guidelines on the submission process look here). Secondly, when you contact your publisher you should also take note of its Book Processing Charges. The majority of publishers charge authors for publishing a book in Open Access (although there are different models, which are still experimental). It is important to be aware of the possible costs in advance and find a suitable funding opportunity. Sometimes it is possible to include a Book Processing Charge in your research grant, so it is wise to think about it when submitting your research proposal.

Therefore, it should be clear that choosing a publisher is a step that should be conducted as early as possible. Before you make your choice, double-check the Abstracting and Indexing opportunities that the publisher offers. Have a look also at other services that may be available. There is a broad range of other promotional tools that could be used to increase your book’s visibility. It is important to mention the advantages of placing a book on a modern web platform, which is optimized for search engines. Writing promotional texts for science news websites, blogs, etc.and promotion on social media is a plus. Cooperation with e-book distributors and with Amazon and offering a print on demand option are additional services that might be helpful in promoting your work.

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