November 25, 2021-Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends, neighbours, clients, and readers! Enjoy your day and save some stuffing for us!
There’s a well-known saying in marketing that Advertising is what you pay for, Publicity is what you pay for. Today, as we continue to dish out author tips for self and book promotion all this month, we’re going to examine the differences and how you can use Publicity to your advantage.
Advertising: Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea, according to Wikipedia. I define it with much more simplicity-when you pay money to tell the public about your product or service.
Publicity: It is not a paid form of mass communication that involves getting favourable responses from buyers by placing commercially significant news in mass media. Publicity is not paid for by the organization. Publicity comes from reporters, columnists, and journalists, radio hosts, bloggers, and the public. It can be considered as a part of public relations. My definition, simply put, is when people are talking about your product and recommending it without you paying them to.
Why is Publicity so much more effective than advertising?
- WOM. Word of Mouth. How do you find out about new books that you should add to your reading list? Maybe a friend recommended it, or perhaps it was part of a book club that you belong to; whatever the case, word of mouth is the most effective form of Publicity because the recommendations come from people we trust. Our friends and colleagues know us, and they wouldn’t steer us wrong or recommend something they know we wouldn’t like!
- Credibility. Anytime you or your organization control the message, people are skeptical. Look at political ads, for example; Paid for by the Blank Party of Canada. They control the message, and that means that they can spin it any way they want to. When the organization, publisher, or brand doesn’t control the message being provided to the public, that is where the truth is. Of course, authors will say that their new novel is the latest and greatest and akin to Stephen King, but the public may feel differently! Publicity is where the truth is. Think of it this way; advertising builds exposure, where Publicity builds trust.
- Cost. Publicity is free. Advertising costs tens of thousands of dollars a year and sometimes even more than that! Publicity is a journalist (who is not invested in your book by means of monetary gain) who writes an article for their column on your newest novel; it is reviews and recommendations of your book by readers on Amazon or online, it’s a Facebook or social media post that shows the cover of your book and someone enjoying it while they lay on a beach.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why in the world anyone would ever pay for advertising? While there are a number of answers to that, we’ll discuss that in a different post later on. For now, Publicity is critical.
If you’re interested in helping your book gain more traction, check out my courses here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House.