What exactly is the difference between marketing and sales?
That’s a question I asked myself recently, and after studying the subject a bit I think I have a useful answer. This post and the posts that follow represent everything I think I now know about marketing and sales, but I claim no mastery in the matter. I simply have a better understanding of how each relates to my aims as an author, and I offer these posts in that spirit.
If the average person has a general conception of marketing and sales it’s that they are aspects of business that drive customer purchases — at times by any means necessary. While true, I think this consumer-driven perspective misplaces the emphasis for authors who would like to profit from marketing and sales. Why? Because it’s hard to imagine an author who would like to have fewer readers, which in turn implies that all marketing and sales efforts are inherently useful for every author. They’re not.
In the great majority of cases, marketing and sales are not a means by which otherwise disinterested consumers can be compelled to spend. All the marketing and sales efforts in the world are generally not going to encourage someone to buy a new stove if their stove is working just fine. Treating marketing and sales as weapons of war may be what amped-up marketing weasels do in caffeinated team-spirit huddles, but I don’t think that’s a useful point of view for authors to adopt. And not just because the opportunity to sell books in a predatory fashion is minimal at best. [ Read more ]