Are marketing and advertising the same thing?
Lots of people think so, including many of the subsidy publishers whose ads pop up regularly on my computer screen. When I look at their ads and investigate deeper into what they are offering, they often offer some kind of “marketing support.”
What do they mean by that? Usually they mean that for hundreds of dollars, they will place an advertisement in a large publication that attempts to sell your book.
This is not “marketing support.” Advertising is only one promotional strategy that is part of a marketing campaign.
Or else they will let you know about catalog placements or help you design and print bookmarks. And you will pay for them. Unless you have a lot of money for advertising, it’s not going to be all that effective.
The standard rule is that it takes the average person five to seven exposures to your product before they decide to buy it. So unless you have the money for five to seven ad placements, it may not be that effective.
To develop a marketing campaign, it’s always good to go back to the basics of marketing:
Product, of course, is your book. The content is the main thing, but also the cover design, the size, paper quality, if you have pictures or illustrations, if they are in black and white or full color, if you have an index, references, or other features. Not every book will have all of these, but if a book needs a glossary of terms and it doesn’t have one, the quality of the product will suffer.
Place is where the book is sold. No longer are books just sold in bookstores. Online distribution channels have broadened the options. Some authors offer free or 99 cent copies just to get some sales going, and raise the price once they get some buzz about their book.
Price is also more flexible than it used to be. It’s a lot easier to tinker with the price of an electronic version of a book than it is with a paper one, given that there are no printing costs associated with the electronic formats.
Promotions are all the activities that aim at selling more books. These can include book signings, speaking events, blog tours, giveaways, contests, videos, cross promotions with other authors, media interviews, and advertising. Of these, advertising is the most expensive.