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Authors and book marketing – understand the options

The world of book marketing is ever changing. Many authors are confused by the wide array of book marketing choices. Today there are basically four publishing models. These are:

* Traditional publishing

* Vanity publishing

* Package publishing

* Self-publishing

Traditional Publishing

Many authors believe that a traditional publishing deal will eliminate the need for marketing, and that the traditional publishing house will do all the marketing for them. This is often not the case however. Budgets are very tight and this is not the 1940’s. Regardless of the type of publishing deal offered, in many cases the author will be required to do a lot of the marketing.

Vanity Publishing

Vanity publishing models can be very problematic. These models very greatly from company to company. In some cases authors are asked to pay fees and charges for things that can be learned by almost anyone. In some cases these fees can be quite high.

Vanity publishing is what the name implies. It is a book that is published by an author regardless of whether that book might be a marketable work. For some books vanity publishing can be a good option - a family history, a gift book or for a very small niche market. In these cases, generating public sales is not going to be a goal.

Package Publishing

Package publishing it involves purchasing a specific set of services for a set fee. It is a one size fits all approach. The upside is that one can take advantage of a large number of services for one set fee. The downside is that those services are limited to a very specific set of services, and authors may not get everything they need to market the work effectively or may be forced to buy a higher priced package to get things they do need. They may also end up paying money for things they may never use, and may pay money for services that are not appropriate.


Self-publishing necessarily requires that the author learn how to be a publisher. That is a very long learning curve. Becoming an effective publisher requires a lot of research to assure that mistakes are not made, or that important components of the marketing plan are not missed or left out.

This ‘learn through experience’ approach can become a real nightmare, as the fledgling publisher must learn everything there is to know about production, publishing, distribution, promotion, marketing and publicity. There are no shortcuts to success in any of these components.

Marketing a book, or anything else for that matter, is not for the uninformed or the inexperienced. There are many ideas presented on the web that sound good on the surface but produce little or no results at all. Above all authors who take the self-publishing road must be very wary and exercise extreme caution to avoid getting ripped off, falling for the “hype and hearsay”, wasting time and money or all of the above.

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