ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing»
  • Making Money as a Writer

Book Marketing is NOT the Same as Marketing with Books

Updated on December 30, 2017
heidithorne profile image

Heidi Thorne is a self-publishing expert, nonfiction book editor, author of 21+ books and eBooks, and a former trade newspaper editor.

Source

Wrong Question, Wrong Answer

Business Author Wannabe: "I'm thinking about writing and self publishing a book to help market my business."

Me: "Awesome! How do you plan to use your book in your marketing?"

Business Author Wannabe: "I'm going to use Facebook ads to get book sales."

At this point, I just start shaking my head since I realize that either I didn't ask the right question or I'm talking to someone who doesn't really understand this important distinction:

Book marketing is not the same as marketing with books.

What many authors do is confuse the marketing of their books with the marketing of their businesses. Two completely different efforts!

What's the Difference between Book Marketing and Marketing with Books?

These two terms relate to two separate aspects of the business book publishing arena.

Book marketing is a term that describes marketing and promotion efforts designed to increase sales of a book. This can include tactics such as social media, email newsletters and promotional giveaways.

Marketing with books can describe using a book as part of a content marketing program to help build the author's or the author's business' status as an expert resource. Using books in this way is designed to help build sales of the business' regular products and services.

Is One Better than the Other?

No. Both of these efforts have different objectives and both can be beneficial to a business. However, business authors need to be extremely clear about how they will use both functions to benefit their bottom line.

Once business owners or entrepreneurs get the book writing bug, they often go into book marketing mode to turn sales of the book into another profit center for the business. That's certainly an added benefit of writing and self publishing a book. But the danger in putting too much faith in this revenue stream is that royalties and sales can be limited due to heavy competition from almost everywhere, thanks to the Internet. And, as is often the case, book sales can be low dollar volume sales. So these authors end up chasing pennies which can drag a business' revenues down to pitiful levels.

Book (or blog!) writing can become a hideout activity for those who don't like selling. Book writing can make them feel like they're "working." They believe that merely having a book will magically bring regular sales to their doorsteps. While these authors understand that marketing with books can build their reputation, they actually don't do anything but write the book and hope that it will be enough to generate sales.

So the solution to effectively melding book writing and publishing into a one's marketing mix is a mix of marketing both the book AND the business.

Don't confuse the marketing of your book with the marketing of your business. Two completely different efforts!

— Heidi Thorne

So What's the Best Way to Integrate Self Published Books into a Marketing Program?

Writing and producing self published books are like any other business efforts. They require these investment and monitoring activities to gain and retain their effectiveness as tools for building sales:

  • Monitor Profit Margins for Book Sales. It is usually best to set up separate income and expense line items for books. This can help avoid a "robbing Peter to pay Paul" scenario which can hide sales and profitability problems. Consult a CPA or other accounting professional to learn how to track these items.
  • Promote It! As discussed above, some authors think that merely publishing a book will draw people into their sales funnel. Not true! Some book marketing will have to be done with social media, email marketing, public relations, etc. Even though the ultimate goal would be to increase sales of regular products and services, a book will be lost in the glut of Internet information if promotional tactics are not used at all.
  • Understand Where the Book Fits into Overall Marketing and Sales Programs. While sales from books can be an additional revenue stream, the primary purpose of writing and self publishing a business book should be to build sales of regular products and services. Thus a book can be a centerpiece of a business' content marketing strategy.

Disclaimer: Both the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and both parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice and strategies presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional advisor where and when appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential or punitive, arising from or relating to your reliance on this information.

© 2015 Heidi Thorne

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 3 months ago from Chicago Area

    Hi Kristen! It's a subtle, but significant, difference that many authors don't understand. Glad you found it helpful. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

    Heidi, this was so interesting and informative to learn the big difference between the two. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hi Lawrence! We're all Luddites at times. ;) But at least you've got plans to take your writing to the next level. That's a big step in itself. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays!

  • lawrence01 profile image

    Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

    Heidi

    This is good advice for the internet 'Luddite' like me. It's also part of my plan for the next year which is going to 'stretch' me as a writer.

    Thank you

    Lawrence

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hi FlourishAnyway! Yep, easy to hideout. :) Thanks for the kind comments. Also, so appreciate your friendship and support. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

    I can definitely see how book or blog writing can be a hideout activity if one isn't careful! Great explanation of the distinction. HappyThanksgiving!

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hi AliciaC! Appreciate the kind comments. Glad you've found the info helpful. Thanks for your support here on HP! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is another useful hub, Heidi. Thank you once again for sharing the helpful information for both business people and writers.

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

    Thanks, Larry, for the kind comment! Have a great weekend!

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

    Helpful analysis.

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hi Reynold Jay! I sure do hope it helps our book writing pals. Thanks for the kind comments! Have a great day!

  • Reynold Jay profile image

    Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

    Sounds like good advice. Let's hope it helps our book writers. Well done.

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hey there, billybuc! Glad you can verify this scenario from the front lines. It's so easy for authors, especially new ones, to get caught up in the book marketing hype. Good luck with the ghostwriting! Happy Tuesday and Thanksgiving season as well!

  • heidithorne profile image
    Author

    Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

    Hi purl3agony! Yep, confusion abounds with many authors. Then they wonder why they're not getting anywhere. Thanks for reading and chiming in! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Great read! I'm currently ghostwriting a book for a real estate broker....this has been mentioned and I will have him read this....a must read.

    Have a great Tuesday and beyond.

  • purl3agony profile image

    Donna Herron 2 years ago from USA

    Very informative hub! I can see where these two goals could become confused and marketing a book could become a distraction from marketing your business or services. Thanks for offering some hints and advice for accomplishing both objectives!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)