The Secret Self-publishing Companies Don’t Want Authors to Know

Whenever I help clients self-publish, one of the important considerations is how they’re going to reach readers. Too often clients tell me they have already bought marketing services from the company that will produce their book…only to discover that what they’re really bought is PR.
PR is public relations. It’s defined as the management of the spread of information. PR services usually include press releases, feature articles, and author interviews. It sounds like the right step: authors want readers to know about their books, and PR can alert them to the book’s availability, message, theme, and impact.
PR is a powerful tool. The number of individuals who discover an author and their books can reach hundreds of thousands for a single press release, article or interview. But the key is that PR only spreads information. It doesn’t generate a purchase.
Marketing is different than PR. Marketing is geared to generate the purchase of one or more of the author’s books. Marketing plans vary according to the book’s content, the author’s short- and long-term goals, even by the types of distribution channels lined up for the book. Generally, however, marketing aims to generate sales rather than publicity.
Very few of the companies that produce self-published books for authors offer actual marketing services. If you know of one, I’d love to hear about it! Meanwhile, know the difference before you buy. You’ll make wise decisions that can support your career for years, and many other books, to come.


5 thoughts on “The Secret Self-publishing Companies Don’t Want Authors to Know

  1. Peter Wells aka Countingducks

    This rings a loud bell with me. I have found the Marketing part of being an author very hard, so pretty much like everyone else then. I’ve read loads of stuff on strategies but nothing which provides me with any certainty. I’ve only got one book out, although it will be two by Christmas, and that does make a difference someone told me 🙂


    1. Laine Cunningham Post author

      Strategy is important, of course. But we need to drill deeper into actual details…the who and how of marketing.
      If you are interested in an approach that does just that, please visit and look at the marketing plan options. The primary plans run 50+ single-spaced pages, and lay out a 12-month program that can be compressed to a shorter timeframe if you really want to press for a lot of sales in a short time. I recommend the 12-month approach to generate multiple sales spikes over time and enhance word-of-mouth.


  2. LaTanya Davis

    Very insightful post about the difference between PR and marketing and why we need them both to sell books. Thank you for sharing.



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