A conversation with Ed Teja often turns educational. I wrote something about “marketing” and Ed responded very much like this:
There are numerous discussions, blogs, courses and (of course) books on things writers can do to sell their work—both better and at all. They are comprehensive, exhausting and often contradictory. Partly the problem is that we confuse the activities that make writers more visible and their books desirable purchases. So, after hearing various comments from writers online, I thought it appropriate to help clarify what are becoming muddy waters.
Writers are supposed to be wordsmiths, so let’s start with some definitions.
- Marketing activities are things we do to sell books.
- Promotional activities are things to help with discovery of a product (yes, even a book.)
- Publicity is work done to gain mind share…to ensure readers are aware of and think about the writer—the person.
We tend to blur these together, resulting in a great deal of confusion. They are quite different. Note that you can squish a bit of this or that from one category to another. I won’t quibble over specifics. The important thing is that an effective business plan must address all three aspects. Although they overlap, they do different things.