Posted by: anitanolan | October 15, 2010

Marketing and Publicity: What Can You Expect from Your Publishing House?

From Author Online, by Erin Brown:

Authors often ask me this question.  Then they ask, “Wait, what exactly is the difference between the marketing and publicity departments?” Let’s start by answering that question.  And for the sake of total honesty: half of the time, I don’t know myself. All I know is that the publicists dress better.  I am completely joking (I am not at all).

OK, so brass tacks: marketing encompasses paid media, advertising, mailings, websites, blogs, attending conferences, expensive in-store displays, flyers, high-end magnets (more on that later), pencils with the book title, and your ’88 Honda with the cover illustration painted on the hood.  All of these things fall under marketing—whether the publishing house pays for them or you do.

Publicity, on the other hand, involves mostly unpaid attention.  Wait, that doesn’t sound right.  That defeats the whole purpose.  Let’s say free attention.  Who doesn’t love that?  This includes press releases, book reviews, radio and television interviews, being featured in magazine and newspaper articles, and even an appearance you’ve booked yourself at the local Elk’s Lodge to read from your debut romance, Kilts on Windy Days.  All of these things will bring attention to your book—and most don’t cost a thing.

As for the original question, I must first take a moment to preface everything I am about to write with one very important statement: the members of the publicity and marketing teams at the major houses are smart, creative, and enthusiastic (except for Bill R. ext. 5692).  They work tirelessly to promote every single book on the list.  However, you must remember that, at the end of the day, publishing is a business.  A business that does not have limitless funds.

Read the rest here.



  1. Interesting. good reminder. thanks.

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