Posted in Marketing books

Publicity and marketing differences in books

Marketing requires directly approaching your potential customers and needs a budget. It includes the cost of printing things such as business cards, posters, bookmarks, press releases etc. plus the cost of hours of labour (your marketer’s time). Writing book releases, posting on websites, blogs and other networking, corresponding with customers, dealing with bookstores, setting up signings, etc. are all part of marketing.

Paid advertising would also come under the marketing banner as would book cover design and the blurb. The cover is often the first point of sale. Secondly, a potential customer will turn over the cover and read the blurb.

Publicity is a different. Publicity is media focussed and usually unpaid. It’s gaining media coverage at little or no expense. This can be via newspapers, magazines, radio, websites and sometimes even television. It can be in the form of interviews and reviews or even news reports if your book topic is relevant.

An example of publicity: an author has written about a hero dog in a children’s book and a when a fire destroys the author’s house, the dog alerts the sleeping man and makes him get out of the inferno. This is news and a slant to publicise the book, the author (victim) and the subject (dog hero).

An example of marketing: a children’s author creates colouring-in pages of characters in her book and hands them out at a primary school she is doing a reading at. Because she has the name of the book and where it can be purchased at the bottom of each sheet this is good marketing. She’s also hit her target audience. Once the children’s pictures are coloured in they’ll probably take them home and mum or dad will pin them up. If they look at it and like the characters they’ll read the information and hopefully buy the book for the child.

Publicists help build a name for the author and the book and marketers endeavour to sell the book. Sometimes the two overlap but both are needed for the success of any book. Authors can take on these roles themselves but most publishing houses should provide a little of both and at least guide authors in how they can market and publicise their books.

This is why I started the Zeus Publications newsletter and blogs, so I can give authors helpful information to use in all aspects of being an author.

Any suggestions let me know.


Donna Munro is the author of The Zanzibar Moon, Kendwa's Secret and Elephant Creek, freelance writer, blogger, graphic designer, content writer, book marketer, administrator, web editor and book reader. She's been published in Take Five, The Australian Woman's Weekly, For Me, She, That's Life, Woman's Day and Club Life and other smaller publications. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia and the current Administrative Assistant. Donna lives in Queensland and is addicted to beaches, reading, Peanut Butter, elephants, koalas, Sydney Roosters and Home & Away. You'll often find her digging her toes in the sand with a book in her hand.

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