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What is the difference between Marketing and Publicity?

     Both marketing and publicity deal with promoting you as an author and your novel. The marketing department of a publishing company works internally, building interest within the publishing company itself, developing materials to capture the attention of distributors, and working to get promotional materials out to the booksellers. The marketing department will arrange your book signings, speaking engagements, and attendance at conferences. The publicity department of a publishing company is responsible for getting the word out about you to all media outlets, for planning strategy, and for creating a positive image. The publicity department will handle press releases, author biographies and interviews, and media tours. Marketing and publicity can work together, but often times, especially with larger companies, these two departments have distinct functions and so work separately.

What can I expect?

     Since so many authors are being published every year, and most novels published will not earn back the advances that were paid out, many companies may not put forth much effort to market and publicize your novel. Some promotion will always be done, but if you intend to see larger returns for your efforts, you will need to put some of that effort toward your own publicity. I have heard of authors hiring a publicist when first starting out. If your advance will cover a publicist, this may be a good investment. Be sure to keep the publicity department at the publishing company informed of your efforts in this area. Even though they may discourage you from your own publicity, they will still appreciate being told of any promotions you put together. They may even incorporate what you do into their own strategy.

     A writer can become discouraged with doing all the work to finish his or her novel, only to have to put in even more time and effort to get the novel on to a bookstore shelf and to the attention of the media. But if you really intend to have your novel make a big splash, realize that no one will have as much buy in as you. Use this experience as an opportunity to learn even more about the industry. Learn what you enjoy about promoting your novel. You will find it much easier to put in the effort needed when you are excited about your novel and getting it to your interested readers.

     If you are interested in contacting Eric Manske, use the e-mail below or follow the Leave Feedback link.