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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 29 September 2020. In this issue:

NEW online Academic Marketing Workshop, and special rates for subscribers

We’ve now adapted this full day course to run in 2 x 3 hour sessions and set the first dates for 3 and 5 November. Laura Ingle will be joining me as usual to share the Emerald perspective on current challenges in marketing to the higher education market. Both sessions will take place in the afternoon so that we can welcome east coast US-based participants.

We are limiting online courses to 12 places to recreate the informal discussion of our face to face training as much as possible. The price is £350, but eBulletin subscribers can book for just £300.

We’re still taking bookings for our half day Copywriting Workshop on 22 October too. Priced at £175 per place, but book the Academic Marketing Workshop too and we’ll reduce Copywriting to £150. (And the bookings can be for two different people.)

Details of the online course content and agendas are on the respective course pages (downloadable factsheet, bottom right). You can book online too using the standard booking form. We need to update this but it’s still perfectly serviceable – just choose ‘other’ price at the top. And of course, you’re welcome to drop me an email for any further information or just to check latest availability.

More about our Academic Marketing Workshop and Copywriting Workshop.


Handy guides to what we should know about metadata

Thanks to Fiona Green over at Bloomsbury for a conversation which alerted me to these free guides.

If you discuss titles and subtitles with authors, or write product descriptions or marketing copy, then you need an understanding of metadata. It’s one of those topics where you can give expert advice to authors just by having a good grasp of the basics, and where you can really make a difference to your products’ discoverability. And you don’t need to get technical to appreciate the issues.

I’m recording a one hour training session this week on Sales, Marketing and the Supply Chain (yes, all of that in one hour ...) as part of a publishing training programme for China Youth Publishing Group. Current book metadata is on the wishlist of topics, so I’m re-visiting my own guidance on this fast-moving area.

Ingram have several useful guides available:

  1. Metadata Essentials is a book published in three formats and at modest prices, or free if you’re an IPG member. Note that the order now button is only for customers in North America, but you can get it through regular UK online retailers (or search on the title and IPG).
  2. There’s also a useful (but limited) free downloadable checklist taster of this, which would be helpful for conversations with authors.
  3. Title Metadata Best Practices is a free 20 page guide from IngramSpark. The subtitle of ‘Hints and tips to improve book discoverability and sales’ sums this up.
If you need something a bit more structured and detailed, we can also offer online in-company training on SEO and even PPC. Courses are tailored to your needs, always current, and can be either half a day long, or in two half day sessions.


As students return to university, are we any wiser as to what this term has in store?

The answer has to be no. The current situation is so volatile that most available reports are speculative and dated several months ago.

But predictions of international students not taking up places at UK universities may be wrong as the US is looking even less appealing, and Australia not an option. Deferring places for a year is also a less obvious choice for anyone if jobs are scarce and the gap year firmly off the menu. High student dropout numbers are expected, one prediction with which it’s hard to argue.

Current grim news of campus lockdowns are enough to question whether embattled lecturers will be receptive to any of our marketing this term. But in the middle of all of this, life somehow has to go on, and we can still make a positive contribution with thoughtful and supportive contact. Getting the tone and the messaging right, and listening to what our customers want has never been more crucial.

Laura Ingle and I will be following news stories and reports between now and November. Why not join us in taking stock of the current situation by signing up for our Academic Marketing Workshop?


On The Marketability Grapevine on Facebook

  • Why a ‘Bake Off bubble’ was a canny business move for The Great British Bake Off
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Tip of the week: Be careful what you assume

‘How old were you when you got your first mobile phone?’ This question was put by a teenager to a friend of mine; she was hoping for support in persuading her parents to buy her a phone. My friend laughed and said ‘about 35 …’. How fast things move on.

This is a flip anecdote perhaps, but with a serious point to make. Assumptions are always dangerous. Canny professionals, whatever their field, are always methodical in questioning and being objective, in seeing all angles. When we’re about to make a decision, all it takes is a conscious few minutes to check what we’ve assumed and to hold those ‘facts’ up for scrutiny before depending on them.





Marketability (UK) Ltd

12 Sandy Lane
TW11 0DR

Tel +44 (0)20 8977 2741