Author's guide to book publicity

Book Marketing Vs Publicity: Knowing the difference

One would think as an author, you’d know all the available strategies to get your book to your target audience, and of course the differences between each strategy applied and in extension, their impact. 

One of the age-long misconceptions among authors is the differences between book marketing and publicity- many still think they are the same thing, when they obviously aren’t. Knowing the difference between book marketing and publicity is a great tool to your arsenal of strategies as this will help you fully grasp its importance in your author’s journey and how to make the right approach for meeting your goals as an author and measuring its progress. 

Book marketing and publicity, of course, both have their unique benefits and if you’re wondering which is a better approach? Well, the answer to that complex question is equally complex. However, to help point you to the right direction on what possible strategy to follow, we have outlined three major differences between book marketing and publicity. 


There is a very thin line that differentiate the concept of book marketing and publicity. When a brief explanation of what they both mean, we hope this is a start to your discovery journey of how different both concepts are.

Book marketing is all activities carried out towards creating awareness of your book, employing all Successful Tips Towards Book Publicity: mostly in the book markets( online and offline). This is done to generate massive book sales. 


Book publicity on the other hand, is all the activities that are carried out in order to attract the right attention to your book. The goal for this is to connect with the right media channels to in order to offer more opportunities for earned media/editorial coverage. This could either be done by a publicist after signing a deal with the aid of your Literary Agents


  • Book Publicity: A gateway for author credibility 
  • Book marketing provides control

The most self-accomplishing moment for every author is having their book published and ready to go into the world. That is often considered a big deal, whether as a startup or a professional. That moment is often associated with anxiety as most authors are overwhelmed by all available strategies to put in place to achieve success with their book promotion. 

At this point, you should have at the back of your mind, when promoting your book, that while book marketing and book publicity-as a book promotion tool, may seem similar, they are not. Educating yourself on the differences between both types of book promotion, will make everything easier ( this includes budgeting, time frame, the energy put into promoting your book and the overall success of your book). 

Let’s dive into the two basic differences between book marketing and book publicity in hopes that this makes it easy to design your book promotion plan. 

Book Publicity: A Gateway For Author Credibility

As mentioned earlier, the goal for book publicity is to connect with the right and relevant media channels, by the publicists in order to secure earned editorial coverage on behalf of the author. 

Here, your publicist organizes book conferences, where they present the work of the author to an array of media channels, magazines, broadcast channels, newspaper channels and all available channels that gives publicity to the author and his work, which eventually leads to interviews, Q&A sessions, giving credibility to the author. 

Book publicity is mainly focused on the media appearance of an author in turn  driving more opportunities to the author. 

Book Marketing Provides Control

In a wide contrast to what book publicity is targeted at, book marketing focuses on the promotional activities that ensures that your book is available to as many bookstores as possible. This, unlike with book publicity, gives a higher level of control to the author. The author exercises his control over the book through various means; launching an author’s website, advertising on available social media platforms all of which are targeted at book sales.

One distinct advantage to all of these means of book promotion, is the provision of analytical means: conversion rates, analyzing click rates and thus by measuring these tools (paid and unpaid), you can evaluate and formalize your strategy. 


While the differences between book marketing and publicity is glaring, both mean well for the author. They are promotional tools done to drive visibility of the author and their work. 

Where book publicity relies on trends, and editorial coverage is dependent on the editorial calendar; book marketing relies on the sales statistics and of course, the consumer market, both are ultimately done to give an author a lead way in the competitive market. 

It is advisable that both promotional tools, be efficiently employed for maximum result. The book market grows large each day with the competition on a rise as well. Many authors are actively competing for the same market space as you are, thus, you’d need all the help of all the tools you can get. 

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