Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Book Publicity vs. Book Marketing

People who work in, and around, the publishing industry -- along with professionals of all stripes -- love to make up their own vocabulary and word usages. That's resulted in some confusion about terms related to book promotion.

One of the best pieces I've read recently about the distinction between book publicity and book marketing comes from the Publishing Basics blog by Penny Sanseveiri. All in all, Penny, great job and great information. Penny pointed out the need to use all tools at your disposal to promote books, and she's right about that. What garners publicity for one book may not work for another, and it's important to stay flexible enough to expand the aspects of the campaign that seem to be working best.

I'd clarify one point that Penny made about book reviews. Obviously, reviews can be important for some books, but here's the hitch. Most book review editors require between two and six months' lead time before the publication date to review a book. That effectively means once a book is published, it's too late to approach most book review editors. Some authors/publishers budget to print a small number of books ahead of the publication date and label them "galleys," and then send these galleys out to the most important advance review media. However, many publishers and authors miss that window of opportunity, and that's okay. When it's too late to send a book to the reviewer at, say, Cosmopolitan magazine, there's still plenty of time to send a relevant story pitch to, for example, Cosmopolitan's career editor (or whichever editor covers the beat most related to your story).

Thanks for an excellent article, Penny!

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