Friday, August 18, 2006

Marketing and Publicity

What's the difference between "marketing" and "publicity"?

This can be confusing. Am I marketing my book? Or am I publicizing it?

To differentiate the two, let's go back to basics. Marketing your book is two-fold. First of all, it means figuring out who and what your audience is -- i.e., you define your audience. Who is going to read this book; why would it appeal to them; and how do I reach them? The second part of marketing is coming up with a plan to sell your book to those readers and to sell books as fast as you can.

Your marketing plan is something you think about long before you finish writing the book. As you write, you can jot down notes in a marketing notebook.

This is not to say you don't think about publicity as you write. Publicity, however, means getting your book (and you) mentioned in as many media forms and as often as possible. Newspaper, book reviews, TV, radio, church bulletins, blogs, ezines, websites, alumni magazines, and so on.

Marketing and publicity are words that are sometimes used interchangeably. And, of course, when you publicize your book and yourself, you're marketing your book. But if you can try to keep the basics in mind when you're using the two words, you'll understand more of what your publisher's marketing person is saying to you.

And speaking of the marketing department, you can't depend on them (or her/him) to do all of your marketing. You need to be prepared to do it yourself. So, develop your own marketing plan and media/VIP contact list.

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