Publishers vs. Publicists

What is the difference between a publisher and a publicist? They sound similar, but they are two completely different groups with different ways to help you with your book and your business. You might not know the differences and you’re not alone! Here’s more on how to make sure you aren’t asking one to do the job of the other. 


Defining the differences

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is to look at the focus of their positions. Publishers are responsible for all aspects of publishing your book. Publicists are responsible for marketing your book and your business. It may seem pretty straightforward, but their duties often overlap, so let’s dive a little deeper.


Creating the final product

Once you have written your book, a publisher would take that and finalize it by doing things such as designing the cover, setting up the internal layout, and making final edits. They also handle distribution and how your book is sold. 

A publicist’s job often starts months before your book is written and finalized, and it will continue for some time after it is published. While they have nothing to do with the finishing touches or distributing the book, they will help advise you on ways that you can get the word out about your book while it’s still in the works. This will guarantee that people will be waiting to buy your book once it hits the market and even get some pre-sales if that’s possible. A publicist will also help you map out your book launch and marketing campaigns. 



Marketing is where the two worlds tend to meet. Both publishers and publicists help market your book, but they do it in different ways and to different lengths.


Your publisher will create a basic marketing plan that is meant to sell your book. They will also create some marketing materials and distribute them to their audience. They will create some social media content and use it across their platforms to help get your book in the hands of readers. If you work solely with a publisher, you will still be responsible for much of your own marketing to sell your book and your business.


A publicist will not only market your book, but will market YOU and your business as well, using your book as a tool. A publicist’s job is to create a comprehensive marketing plan to help get sales and grow your business. They help support you to ensure that the publisher’s marketing plan is carried out and you get more exposure. They help you create meaningful content that gets distributed to your audiences, as well as help you utilize your content in ways that are engaging. 


Added opportunities

Working with publishers and publicists helps you gain more opportunities than if you went about publishing completely alone. It makes navigating book publishing and managing the process much easier.


A publisher will help ensure that your book is distributed and that there is availability at all times. They help make sure that your book is on physical and digital shelves so that they can get them in the hands of their readers.


A publicist can help you get book signing opportunities, interviews, and featured spots in magazines and other publications. This will help get the word out about your book and your business. They can also help with supporting or establishing your social media presence to utilize those platforms to their greatest potential. 


Bottom line – publishers are interested in marketing and selling the book, and only the book. Publicists market YOU and your book as your tool to help you reach your goals. We have worked with a lot of different publishers and know what questions you should be asking them and how we can all work together!