The former part of this title probably sounds familiar to most research students, while the latter part might seem irrelevant, as it’s scarcely talked of. A number one rule of thumb is that any scholarly work, regardless of its nature, should merit academic credential. The only word of caution in this sense is that students are never aware of how they can raise the marketing credentials of their work, and often there is no training in this area. Personally speaking, I believe that students should be seriously considering the latter, rather than the former concept of this title. Take this analogy; if you are a professor it obviously means you have fulfilled the prerequisites- i.e. earning your doctorate. Similarly, your work can not possess marketing credentials if it does not meet the former requirement- i.e. academic credentials.
So what do I mean by ‘marketing credentials’? Until recently, I realised that I was thinking purely like an academician and lacked the fundamental skills which is also required by a scholar, that is a business like mind- topped up with sound marketing skills- purely because I was never trained to think like this! I’ve only realised this gap when I designed my own book proposal and approached potential publishers. Any publisher you approach will ask you to complete a book proposal form, and the questions in these forms will easily reveal the definition of what I mean by marketing credentials. As an illustration consider the following questions:
1) Who are the readers of this book? For whom is the book written?
2) Please provide titles and dates of publication of any recently published or soon to be published books that reviewers, booksellers, or your colleagues might think of as competing or comparable with yours. What makes your book different/unique/better than these titles?
3) Please list all conferences and/or conventions where your book might advantageously be displayed.
So while researchers are keen about the topic and content of their proposed book, publishers are more concerned about ‘how’ they can market your work and whether it appeals to a wide audience. This goes to illustrate the importance of originality once more time! So in essence, if you want to produce a quality piece of work make sure you also consider these questions outlined above.
If you want to disseminate your work: Think like an Academician, act like a Marketing Person. Wish someone had told me this before!