Sign up to the newsletter

Marketing and publicity

This section deals with the marketing and publicity aspect of the publishing process. Here, you can find articles that explain the marketing process in detail, why it's important and what you, as the author, can do to help.

A meeting with your publisher to discuss marketing

Your contract will specify a date for delivery of the manuscript, and (usually) a planned publication date. About six months before publication it’s a very good idea to get in touch with your editorial contact to talk about progress – by this stage the manuscript is most likely nearing the …

Read more

Acting Like a Pro

This is my last real post here. At the end of this week I’ll be responding to the questions you guys have sent in, but beyond that, it’s back to my blog and to normal writing for me. It’s been great fun, great seeing so many people comment and respond, and a good exercise for me too, in …

Read more

Author! Author!

Clay by Melissa Harrison

In this article, Clay author Melissa Harrison explores how much more there is to the business of writing, aside from the writing process itself. Here, she looks at the ways in which writers are now expected to promote themselves and their books, even after they've secured the all-important …

Read more

Book Advertising (Trade, Press, Billboards)

Trade advertising

Advertising in the trade press forms an important part of most publishers’ marketing. With so many new books being produced each year, it’s a direct route to the attention of those making stocking decisions. Space may be taken in trade magazines to reach booksellers and …

Read more

Book Marketing: What Happens and When?

Marketing is much more important to publishers today than used to be the case.

Until about 15 years ago, the industry was editorially dominated; most of the early decisions about the manuscript were taken on the basis of content, with discussion of how to make the product sell starting much …

Read more

De-Mystifying The Book Blogger

Tia Armstrong from YA Shot speaks with Luna of Luna’s Little Library & Annalise of Annalise Books to discuss what exactly it is that book bloggers do...

Book bloggers produce an array of bookish content, from reviews and discussion posts, and from blog tours to reading challenges. They have an …

Read more

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing

Direct marketing means sending a sales message directly to the person most likely to make the buying decision, and cutting out the retailer in the middle. It’s a very effective way to sell high-price and specialist titles.

As titles of mass-market interest tend to have …

Read more

Effective Book Promotion

So you have spent weeks, months, maybe even years, writing and refining a manuscript that you think will dazzle the average reader. What is more, you have managed to get it carefully proofread and edited after finding a publisher. Now’s the time to sit back, forget about your note-book and …

Read more

Effective design makes copy easy to read – and act upon

As you write, think about how the text will appear as a pattern on the page. The key thing to look out for – and avoid – is predictability. Always remember that writing promotional copy is very different from writing essays; formulaic writing suitable for work that has to be read in order …

Read more

Finding New Readers and Markets

Tom Palmer

Tom Palmer shows how, by seeking out unexpected working partnerships, a children’s author can open up mutually rewarding and productive markets and draw in new young readers.

I have managed to make a living as a full-time children’s author for eight years. As everyone who has tried it knows, …

Read more

Forget Spelling, Learn Selling

Tony Schumacher

I’ve done a lot of things wrong in my life; seriously, a lot of things.

There was the time I fell into a rubbish skip when drunk.

The time I jumped off a bus that was doing twenty miles an hour and hit a lamppost that wasn’t.

Or maybe the time I confronted fifteen teenagers vandalizing a wall (I …

Read more

Getting PR For Your Book: How To Think Like A Journalist


It really is a lovely thing to be able to call yourself a writer. What is not so lovely is when you have to turn yourself into a hard-headed PR machine in order to get people to buy your book. But as a self-published author there’s really no getting away from the fact that  you are …

Read more

How To Get Publicity

You will probably have noticed that marketing terminology is used very casually in publishing. In some companies, ‘publicity’ is a catch-all phrase for marketing activity or staff; in others it may be the specific job of one person. In the context of this chapter, I am talking about …

Read more

How to Get Publicity in Newspapers & Magazines

Barbara Fox

So your book is published – congratulations! Depending on how and by whom it was published, it may be several months since you last looked at it, but it’s time to pick it up and get to know it all over again.

If you are lucky you might have had some help with publicity from your publisher, but …

Read more

Know Your Audience & Grow Your Readership: Blogging Tips

Meet Louise Amy Kennedy, the human behind the voice of Bailey Boat Cat - a successful blog-turned-book about the adventures of Bailey, a cat who lives with Louise on her boat in Rome. Here she explains how Bailey's story became so successful and gives her tips for writers looking to grow their …

Read more

Marketing Paperbacks: What Happens After You've Published

You've written the book, you've got the agent, the publishing deal - it's all coming together. But it's not over yet! You could have written a masterpiece, but it won't matter if no-one reads it. In this case study, The Night Rainbow author Claire King tells us about the marketing campaign for her …

Read more

Presentations at a sales conference

Many publishing houses use sales representatives to call (either physically or by phone) on retail outlets stocking books.

Most houses brief their reps twice or three times a year at a sales conference, providing them with binders that list the forthcoming titles over that period, and any …

Read more

Promotional Material, Leaflets and Flyers

Point-of-sale materials

This is the term (often abbreviated to POS, and called Point of Purchase or POP in other industries) for promotional materials displayed where high-profile books are paid for, such as boxes to hold large quantities of stock (usually called dump bins), bookmarks, …

Read more

Promotions, PR and Merchandising

'Promotions’ is a loose term usually referring to the linking of two or more items for a joint push to a related market.

For example, newspaper readers might be asked to collect tokens from consecutive issues of a paper towards a free book, or a promotion might be run offering subsidised …

Read more

So, what’s the best way to get publicity?

Some writers swear by endless author visits and events as the best way of getting noticed. Bookshops, libraries, universities, literary lunches, book groups, festivals, schools…there are loads of places to spread your words. But this all takes up many hours of your time. Others believe that …

Read more

The Author's Publicity Form

At about the same time as your contract is sent out, you will usually be sent an author’s publicity form (it may get overlooked, so do be sure to ask for one).

An advance notice (or advance information sheet/forthcoming title sheet)

The name of this document varies from house to house, …

Read more

Tips for Scoring Book Reviews

You might already know that book reviews can make or break your book. While they won’t directly sell copies, they offer critical social proof that makes readers willing to take a chance on your book. Good reviews will tip prospective readers over the edge and make them click ‘buy’ — and …

Read more

Websites, Cover Blurbs and Catalogues

A website entry

All houses now have a website, and details of your book should appear long before publication (unless they are deliberately withheld to secure a competitive advantage, and prevent another house from copying your idea).

If you are asked to help

Begin by looking at their …

Read more

What an author can do to help the publicity process

Be helpful

Accept that publicity is going to help sell the book; decide to cooperate even though personal coverage in mass media is not to your taste. Be prepared to be resourceful about what you have done in the past. The publicist will want you to be as unsqueamish as you can about others …

Read more

What Does a Publicist Do?

Most publishing houses have a publicity department. It does not follow, however, that all authors and books get publicity organised on their behalf. The author who suggests angles that could be exploited, finds media vehicles to be pursued, and is cooperative in the process (without overdoing …

Read more

What makes the ideal author from a publicist’s point of view?

In broad terms, a publicist wants to know why you are interesting. For authors – who usually want to be appreciated for their work, not their personalities – this can be a difficult thing to deal with.

For a recent seminar organised by the Society of Authors, Tony Mulliken of Midas PR, a …

Read more

What Marketing Means

Marketing means focusing on the customer

This is the one thing everyone does agree on. Every marketing definition I have ever seen mentions the word ‘customer’.

So, thinking about this from the author’s point of view, what kind of people buy your books and why? Don’t assume that …

Read more

What to establish at your first marketing meeting with the publisher

A word of warning before you arrive: remind yourself to listen. You are a writer; you are supposed to be good at picking up the nuances in relationships and conversations. If you fire questions at them, you will alienate them. But by listening and trying to pick up the signals, you should …

Read more

Who Will Buy Your Book?

How To Write a Novel by Melanie Sumner

You published your book! Yay! All over town, people you know and sort of know congratulate you.  Many read about you in the local paper; they joke about your fame, but their pride in your accomplishment is heartfelt.  You feel awkward but pleased — aw shucks – until you hear:

  • I’d …

Read more

Why Don’t Books Get Larger Marketing Budgets?

It’s important to address the realities of book marketing immediately.

Unless you are a blockbusting author, or very famous for doing something else and your book is the by-product of another career, the marketing of your book will almost certainly not rely on the spending of large amounts …

Read more

Why Don’t You Fall in Love With Me?

Tony Schumacher

"Honestly, relax... you can trust me."

Now normally, if you hear or read something like that, I'd advise you to start running and don't look back. This time though, I'm asking you to stick around, mostly because it's me who is sounding like a cheesy psycho in a bad book.

Let me explain why.

I've been …

Read more