So just what do publishers do, exactly, when it comes to book marketing?

This is one of those wannabe-author-essential-reads because it’s, a) not what you think it is, and b) not necessarily obvious from the outside. Which means if you don’t know, you’re going to get either angry or screwed over or both. But the tl;dr is that, in general, publishers market to book sellers (including libraries, for this purpose), not readers.

Which is also, incidentally, why authors are “expected” to do the “market to readers” part of the equation. The problem is that a lot of publishers, both big and small, don’t really hold up their end of the marketing bargain all that well, meaning a lot of books get pretty much o effective marketing whatsoever.

You remember how we just talked about “not what you know but who”? Yeah. About that. Again.