The Roles of Marketing and Publicity in Publishing

The One And Only Elgon


As a publicist for authors I frequently confront confusion about the role of marketing in the publishing business. It comes from the general association of marketing with sales, which is erroneous. Anyone who has worked in marketing knows that when you apply for a marketing position with many firms the entry level job is in sales. Sure, a little front line experience in the trenches is good for rounding out a marketing professional’s understanding of how the complete picture of a business culminates in an actual transaction. But marketing is a strategic exercise while sales is completely tactical execution

With regard to books, marketing is a strategic phase of promoting a book through many different channels. As a publicist I am involved in some planning in the development of a marketing plan. Publicity is definitely a part of the larger picture of getting the word out about a book. Some…

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