Thursday, January 24, 2008

Marketing and Publicity - What's the Difference?

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.


  1. So marketing is a sniper and publicity a machine gun?

    And not sure if I agree that you need to think about them as you write. Often it is better to stay in the creative writing groove and put your business hat on after the ink has dried.

  2. The problem is ... the ink doesn't dry. Once you've written the manuscript, edited it, polished it and it's been taken on by an agent, the process isn't finished. The agent will most likely offer suggestions for changes and edits before he/she sends it to agents. Then if it's bought, there will me more edits and proofs. Plus, you have to start on the next one.

    If you put off starting a database or contact list of people and places to market your book until you're out of the creative mindset, you'll find you never get it done or your rush it and do a poor job.

  3. Arh okay I see what you mean.

    Okay by writing I should have said the first draft. I would agree that once you are into rewrites, editing etc, that then that would be a good time to put your business hat on as well. Otherwise you would never do it as you can rewrite to the cows come home!

  4. It's been a joke that most writers would continue editing until the point when the manuscript is jerked out of their hands -- and even then, I've known writers who look at the finished product and see editing opportunities.

    I still feel though that writers can do marketing preparation even while in the first draft stage. Clearly, it would be less intense than in later stages. And it can be delegated so it's not interfering with the creative juices. Even as you write, you're going to still be meeting people. Rather than lose those contacts, set aside thirty minutes a week to enter them into your database.

    Even that small amount of time can be helpful when you get to the stage where you're really focusing on marketing.

  5. Thanks for this - you have just answered my question!
    I have a book coming out in October and have access to both a publicist and a marketing agent and I was wondering what they are for;-)

  6. Good luck with the book, Dr. Miller. With two professionals lined up to help you, you're definitely a step ahead of most authors. Stop in and let us know what's happening with the book.

  7. What is the difference between creating a publicity plan for your business and a marketing plan for your business?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...