Unless your eyes and ears have been closed, you are probably aware of the "N-word" and the "F-word" (sometimes referred to as the "F-bomb") and maybe even the "C-word."
Book publishing involves several related and sometimes confusing or nearly synonymous “p” words.
Someone does promotion (which often includes public relations) to achieve publicity for a product.
- Publicity is lots of people knowing about your book and hopefully buying copies and/or urging others to buy.
- Promotion is all of the efforts intended to achieve publicity.
- Although publicity is the end result of promotion, many people call themselves book publicists and relatively few call themselves book promoters. (Publicists used to be called "press agents").
- The public must be receptive to and stimulated by promotion in order to be convinced to buy your books.
A publicist or promoter can guarantee to provide promotion, or public relations, but cannot guarantee that you or your book will achieve publicity. For book promotion to work, the promotion must stand out among many simultaneous promotions for other books (as well as movies, foods, vacations, sports teams, software, smartphones, stores, cars, banks, restaurants, cosmetics, websites, candidates, countries and maybe even wars).
Despite its name, public relations is not directly concerned with relations with the public.
Media are intermediaries. Writers and their publicists hope to attract the attention of media people by sending out press releases, or by contacting journalists, editors, bloggers, talk show hosts, TV producers and movie makers.
Promotion includes more than public relations. It may include public appearances, publicity stunts and platform building.
If you want to learn more about press releases, this inexpensive ebook will help: