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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 6 July 2021. In this issue:

How should we respond to the current turmoil across higher education?

As UK universities announce that they expect online learning to continue into the autumn term, the number of students demanding refunds of tuition fees increases, and student satisfaction surveys are hitting an all-time low. Speculation grows that tuition fees will be reduced from £9,250 to £7,500, as recommended by the Augar review way back in 2019. There are warnings that some universities will go under.

Leicester and Liverpool are beset by strikes and a marking boycott as academics protest against recent redundancies. (Leicester is even the subject of a global academic boycott over its handling of the situation.)

Meanwhile we continue to publish and promote new books to academics, students and librarians, even while they’re battered by the impact of Covid and fearful of what the future holds. Small wonder if they’re a little distracted. It has never been more important to ‘walk in the shoes of your customer’ than it is now. To focus on that individual’s needs, preferences and pressures before thinking of the list of titles it’s our responsibility to promote. If we don’t show empathy, and that there are areas where we can make their lives a little easier, we don’t deserve to be given a second glance.

Our Academic Marketing Workshop has always started with a topical overview of the academic sector before moving on to how to promote our titles effectively. Would you like to join us on the next online course in September? Dates not yet set, but send through a course request now (or email me at and you’ll be consulted before we do.

Catch up on some of the top stories on The Guardian Education website

Read more about the Leicester academic boycott


When jargon is justified, when it’s not, and a cracking video

Thanks to David Crotty and The Scholarly Kitchen for the short article about the role of jargon when describing scholarly research – but especially for the video in which an engineer explains the merits of the (fictitious) Rockwell Retro Encabulator. Smooth as silk while talking nonsense, how did he keep a straight face?

If you struggle to describe complex specialist products in plain English, without ‘dumbing down’, patronising, or misleading your reader, you’ll be in excellent company if you join us on our next online 3 hour Copywriting Workshop. Expected to be early September, register your interest now to be consulted over the date.

Read (and watch) on The Scholarly Kitchen


Social media influence growing but reviews remain ‘holy grail’

This recent article in The Bookseller probably confirms what we already suspect, but it’s good to have it articulated nonetheless. In a nutshell, the conclusion is that social media is excellent at grabbing attention and stimulating interest (ie lead generation), but for generating sales, nothing beats a prestigious review in a broadsheet (or broadcast exposure).

The challenge is that with much less space now available for book reviews, securing them is becoming tougher. Social media is the perfect channel to fill the gap, and becoming more influential as readers of those review pages supplement their interest by looking for alternative trusted sources.

The article is primarily focused on fiction and non-fiction trade publishing but resonates just as much for specialist publishing too. Note that this is subscriber-only content.

Read the article in The Bookseller

Balancing activity across different marketing channels, and an awareness of what each can deliver, is a cornerstone of effective marketing planning. Register your interest in joining our next Impressive Marketing Plans workshop, or ask about an in-company tailored version.


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Tip of the week: Everything you need to know about how to engage on social media

“Be nice, don’t tell porkies, don’t feed the trolls.”

Thanks to Econsultancy for including this memorable piece of advice on their blog way back in 2011. It’s still just as true today.






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