Story marketing vs. book marketing: What’s the difference?

story marketing vs. book marketing 5
April 28, 2023
Book Award Pro

Story marketing vs. book marketing

Marketing a book is one of the most important things an author must do to ensure their book is successful. Unfortunately, the traditional methods of book marketing simply don’t work in the evolved publishing landscape of today.

It's no wonder authors feel defeated when trying to market their books. With so much confusing information swirling around, authors often waste time and resources without seeing results.

Story marketing cuts through the fog to bring a fresh, modern, and ultra effective way for authors to get their books discovered.

Never heard of story marketing? No worries! Keep reading to learn the difference between story marketing vs. book marketing, and how to promote your book in a smarter, more effective way.

What is book marketing?

Book marketing is designed around traditional publishing models to get a book noticed in its specific category. It uses legacy marketing approaches, such as press releases, trade shows, and buying ads.

Why doesn't book marketing work?

For most authors, book marketing is expensive, time-consuming, complicated, and the results are unpredictable. It requires continuous work by authors and publishing houses to create growth.

This worked well before the advancement of the Internet that made reaching readers effortless, when authors had no choice but to rely on publishers to promote and sell their books.

Now, with the revolution of independent, hybrid, and self-publishing models, authors need ways to sell their books without the costs of an agency doing the work for them.

That's where story marketing comes in.

What is story marketing?

Story marketing is a new, surprisingly simple solution to book marketing. It uses modern marketing approaches, such as book awards, reviews, and social media, to help authors keep readers interested in their books and career. Here’s an example of how story marketing works:

1. You submit your book to a review or award program.

2. You share a post on social media that looks something like this:

story marketing vs. book marketing

3. Your readers and followers are excited about your book’s success. They engage with your post and generate organic social media leads.

4. You receive an excellent review from the program. Congratulations! You share another update on social media:


5. Your readers are so impressed! They follow the link to your website to read the review, bringing new and returning traffic to your book listing.

As you can see in the above example, story marketing is how you create lasting and unique experiences that keep current and potential readers hooked. The best part? It can be used by every author, for every book, at every publishing stage.

What makes story marketing so efffective?

With 5.03 billion Internet users worldwide, you have to get creative and personal to form lasting connections with readers. It’s one of the principles of good business: building long-lasting relationships is more effective and profitable than relying on one-time buyers.

With over 2 million books published each year, it's not enough to tell readers they'll like your book. You have to show them they'll like your book by creating memorable experiences through story marketing.

How to swap book marketing for story marketing

If you haven't had success with book marketing, you're not alone, and it's not too late to try story marketing. Try trading these book marketing tactics with fresh story marketing ideas:

Use book awards and reviews, don't buy ads

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Print and digital ads have the potential to provide positive results and an uptick in sales. However, once the ad is over, it vanishes, along with any sales growth. It takes time, money, and know-how to optimize ads. Authors may rely on hiring professionals to buy ads for them, which makes the process even more costly.

Save your time, and budget, by working toward winning book awards and receiving reviews instead. Book Award Pro makes finding beneficial review and award opportunities simple. Our Pro plan finds, targets, and submits your book to its best award opportunity, giving you the best chance at winning.

Plus, unlike vanishing ads, once you’re a notable author with impressive awards and reviews, that distinction is yours forever. You will always be able to reap the benefits of that validation.

Each step of the award or review journey gives you a chance to share something special about your book to help readers remember you. Even if you don't win, the award process has plenty of benefits.

Take advantage of social media, don't rely on trade shows

Trade shows are great for getting in front of a limited audience, but once you leave, you're not likely to see more sales. Plus, finding the right trade show, paying the fees, and getting to the show can cost a pretty penny.

In recent years, authors have been more successful by creating an engaging social media following. Start with a platform like Goodreads, which was created to connect readers and authors.

Then, engage with fans from all over the world without having to book a single plane ticket.

Share posts about the awards and reviews Book Award Pro matches you with, and use social media live features to talk about the recent award opportunities you've found. Follow other notable authors, and share their posts, offering your thoughts on the subject.

Interact with your readers by commenting on their posts to create lasting relationships. Join Facebook groups to get involved with conversations and find readers who are excited to try your book.

Maximize author collaboration, avoid press releases


A press release can sound compelling, and if it happens to get in front of the right people, you might see an increase in sales.

Publishers help authors with press releases by finding the right message and outlet for it to get picked up. But, without that expert help, it can fall flat.

Instead, a story marketing approach to create connections with other authors in your genre, and promote each other's works to your fans, is much more effective. Every author collaboration introduces your book to a new audience who loves exactly the kind of books you write.

Don't stop at one author collaboration, either. Instead, find a community of authors to support and uplift each other's works.

Start story marketing today

Many authors don't think about marketing their book until after it is written. With story marketing, that is entirely okay.

You can start story marketing whenever you're ready to discover your audience, spark interest with fans, and see more book sales.

Ready to start your story marketing journey? Sign up for free to start winning awards, getting reviews, and discovering your audience.

Start your story marketing journey with Book Award Pro.

We have plans for every author at every stage.

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