Zen Habits to Practice on Social Media

Apr 02, 2018 by Fauzia Burke
Have you ever had a moment where you’ve thought, “what did we ever do without our smartphones?” I’ll be the first to admit, life without smartphones, email, and social media seems unimaginable to me now and, quite frankly, more difficult. How did we ever get anything done? How did we stay connected? 

For busy authors, once laborious tasks are completed in just a few seconds. Yes, it’s true, social media helps us get more exposure and attention for our businesses and books, it directs traffic to our sites, and it builds personal bonds with our readers, clients and colleagues. However there is a dark side, too. 

How Facebook’s Changes Will Impact Authors

Mar 15, 2018 by Fauzia Burke
Earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that sent shockwaves through the social media stratosphere. Facebook, the largest of the social media networks, will begin to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.” 

Simply put, this means Facebook, home to over two billion (yes, billion with a ‘B’) users, will begin to de-prioritize posts from publishers, organizations and businesses in favor of those from real people (i.e. your high school best friend and second cousin twice removed). For authors that depend on Facebook to communicate with their readers, this can be shocking and troubling news. 

Small is the New Big in Social Networking

Jan 25, 2018 by Fauzia Burke
Imagine you are hosting two birthday parties for yourself (I know it sounds indulgent, but go with it for now). At the first birthday party, you invite 50 people. Many of your guests bring friends and before you know it, there are 200 people in your living room you’ve never met. You end up being too busy to talk to anyone and ultimately ask yourself, who are all these people anyway? The silver lining is that everyone talks about how popular you must be.

At the second party, you invite 10 of your closest friends. You sit around a table, talk about old times, share laughs and there is enough food and drink to last hours.

Now that your marathon birthday weekend...

The Importance of Authenticity

Nov 14, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
The advent of online marketing has made it easier than ever for authors to connect with readers. Gone are the days when authors had to rely on in-person events for the chance to interact with readers directly. Social media has leveled the playing field, giving all writers the chance to connect directly with readers. No longer does the author with the biggest marketing budget automatically win.

Just remember connecting with your readers is a privilege, so think carefully about what to share. How much information is too much? How do you set your online persona?

The answer: Be uniquely you. Aim for authenticity. Take some time to consider what you want people to think of when they think of you. This worksheet...

Online Marketing for Busy Authors Goes Global

Nov 08, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
When I first signed my contract with Berrett-Koehler to publish my first book, Online Marketing for Busy Authors, in 2015, I was giddy with excitement, but also slightly nervous. While I had been in the publishing industry for decades, I’d always been on the other side of the table--the one helping authors to successfully launch their books. When my book was actually published, it finally felt real. I was a published author.

Of course, even then I had no dreams about where the publishing process would lead me today. I am beyond ecstatic to share that Online Marketing for Busy Authors has officially been released in Australia and New Zealand.

I was privileged to work with the outstanding team at Australia’s...

My Definition of Success

Oct 25, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
How do you measure success? Is it by the neighborhood you live in? The size of your house? Or maybe the lofty title of your job? Perhaps being your own boss conjures the pinnacle of success. Some might suffice to say they measure success by no longer making mistakes. However, mistakes are inevitable. It is how we recover from those mistakes that matter most and ultimately may determine our success. Let's roll back the calendar to 2006. The real estate and financial markets were booming with no end in sight, FSB Associates, our online book publicity & marketing firm, was better than thriving.  John, my business partner and husband, and I decided to expand our company because given those upward moving...

Why Authors Should Write Guest Blogs

Sep 18, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
Blogging is a great way to share your ideas with your readers, and if you can commit to a regular schedule, I encourage all authors (and aspiring authors!) to host a blog on their websites. When you post, you should use your social media accounts and newsletter to amplify your blog, and get as many eyes on your piece as possible.

But what about reaching an even broader audience? Blogging for an established website is a great way to do this. Think about the increased exposure. You’ll reach readers who may not have been aware of you or your work before. It’s also a great way to get a placement on a site that doesn’t necessarily run book reviews.

Share blogs that...

New Website Builder for Authors

Aug 16, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
It’s surprising, but authors still ask me if they need a website. The short answer is, “Yes”. I know building and maintaining a website can sound like a daunting, time-consuming task. And if you’re still in the writing or editing process, you may think a website isn’t the best use of your time. But as I've said many times, authors should start building their platform/brand as soon as they have an idea for a book and a website is the foundation of your author brand. Besides, new tools like Pub Site make building and maintaining a professional website quick, easy, and inexpensive (more info on Pub Site below).

Not convinced? Here are five reasons why I think an author website is necessary.

1. Your readers want...

Beyond the Author Website: Other Arenas to Build Your Online Presence

Jul 21, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
You’ve heard me say this before, and I’ll say it again: every author needs a dedicated website. But a website alone isn’t going to create the comprehensive online brand you need to successfully promote yourself and your books. A solid author brand encompasses many digital assets, including a blog, newsletter, and social media presence.

But there are some additional places to build your online brand that I find many authors forget about. Here are some of my favorites:

Amazon Author Central: Amazon’s Author Central is a great place to build out your online presence. You can post a longer biography, upload your author photo, and even set up a feed to your blog. This is a free resource I recommend all authors use....

7 Digital Tools to Help Make Your Days Run a Little Smoother

Jun 29, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
At FSB Associates, we love trying new tools, especially those that help us save time. While there are countless digital tools that will help you work more efficiently, the list below represents my new favorites--those tools that we use on a regular basis. They’re fun, easy to use, and will make your days run a little smoother. And the best part--they’re all free.

Canva Ever struggle to create social media graphics that look professional and compelling? Then Canva is for you. Canva allows you to easily create beautiful designs and documents using a drag-and-drop feature. Choose from hundreds of graphics, with both free and paid options, and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics.

Animoto Animoto allows you to easily create videos to help...

Book Expo America 2017

May 26, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
Book Expo is right around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Every year I look forward to attending this event because it feels like coming home. It’s a conference where all us book people gather to check out the upcoming fall books and swoon over authors. It’s an event where I can catch up with old friends and peers in the industry and also meet fabulous new people. It’s a total love fest for me because it combines my love for community and my love of publishing.

This year, I am grateful to be hosting three events at BEA: In Booth Book Signing on Thursday, 6/1 from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at Booth 2479 I’ll...

Diversity in Book Publishing

May 22, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
The Guardian published an article about a year ago regarding the lack of diversity amongst authors and referenced a program launched by Penguin Random House UK to “discover and mentor authors from the UK’s under-represented communities, whether this means they are writers from poorer backgrounds, from LGBTQ or BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic) communities, or writers with a disability.” Tom Weldon, chief executive of Penguin Random House UK, was quoted as saying, “We feel very strongly about diversity in publishing. For me it is a real problem when we don’t reflect the society we live in. It’s not good for books, or culture, or commercially. We are going to become irrelevant. We know we have a real issue, and we...

The Publishing Timeline

May 01, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
When I first started my career in publishing, I was surprised to learn how long it took to publish a book. More often than not, it took more than 12 months for a book to be published--from the time a project was acquired until it was a finished book, on the shelves and ready for purchase--and that didn’t even include the time it took to write the manuscript! 20+ years later, much has changed in the industry, particularly with the advent of self-publishing and the ebook model, but one thing that hasn’t is the time it takes to bring a book to market, and much of this has absolutely nothing to do with the production process.

Many of those who...

IBPA Publishing University Workshop

Mar 29, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
Next week, I’ll be presenting at IBPA’s Publishing University in Portland, Oregon. While I speak to groups of authors and publishers on a regular basis, IBPA marks something new for me. For the first time, I’ll be conducting a full-day workshop for those looking to expand their online presence.

During the workshop, attendees will learn about online publicity, social media, email list building, developing a platform, and more, all with an eye toward creating a successful and sustainable plan. Throughout the course, attendees will build their own digital marketing and publicity plans, leaving empowered to to implement those plans when they return home. Think of it as a bootcamp of sorts.

Sessions include: 3 steps for building an online platform; elements of...

Keeping Your Newsletter Audience Engaged

Mar 13, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
It’s very common for authors to come to me looking to build their online platforms. We know this is one of the key things publishers look at when deciding whether or not to purchase a book, particularly if you’re a first-time author and you don’t have a sales track. But where many people go wrong is by focusing only on social media presence and measuring success by the number of followers on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, these numbers are important. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again--your newsletter subscribers are far more important than your social media followers.

Think about it. It takes far more effort to subscribe to a newsletter--you’re not just clicking on...

2017 Marketing Trends, and How to Apply Them to Your Promotional Strategy

Feb 24, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
The beginning of the year always brings the onslaught of trend pieces--what’s going to be hot in the coming year, and what you need to pay attention to. When it comes to promoting your book, it’s important to remember that not every “hot” new trend will be applicable to your strategy.

Here are the 2017 trends that I think will have the most impact on the publishing world:

Mobile: We now know that more people get their news from online sources than anywhere else. But beyond that, more content is now being viewed on mobile devices than on desktops. Make sure all your content is optimized for mobile viewing, and that it fits with this new “on the go” lifestyle. This...

Authors Helping Authors

Jan 23, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
If you’re like me, asking for favors is never easy--this is something I learned firsthand when I published my book. As an author, we are expected to generate pre-orders and reviews and buzz in social media. In order to get this buzz started, we need to ask our family and friends for help, and oftentimes that can be uncomfortable. So the best advice I have for you is to start filling that favor bank the moment you get a book contract. If you have done favors for others, it will be a lot easier to ask for favors when it comes time to start promoting your own book.

There are many ways authors can band together to help each other succeed....

3 Elements of a Successful Online Platform

Jan 06, 2017 by Fauzia Burke
For most authors, the days of writing an amazing book and then just sitting back and watching it become a bestseller are over. It takes countless hours of promotion to see a book become a commercial success. And even authors working with a traditional publishing house are seen as “partners”--someone who will aid, and sometimes drive, the publisher’s promotional efforts. An author’s online brand has never been more important.

I believe there are three steps for developing a successful online brand. With my clients I use the following formula: Design + Engagement + Visibility = Success. Here they are, broken out:

Step 1: Design

Studies show that we judge a person in 1/10 of a second. I don’t think our visual branding is...

Taking Risks in Publishing (and Life)

Oct 31, 2016 by Fauzia Burke
Whenever I meet with a potential new client, I like to ask him what his goals are for his marketing/publicity campaign. More often than not, I get an answer like, “I want to be a #1 New York Times bestseller” or “I want a 7-figure advance on my next book.” While it’s completely normal to have high aspirations, I tend to steer authors toward something more achievable, where actual steps can be made toward achieving that goal. Do you want to reach 10x your newsletter subscribers? Or get 100 book reviews on Amazon? Or sell 20% more than your last book?

When it comes to book publishing, and life, the important thing is to set your goals, and then move forward...

Where to Start with Social Media

Oct 18, 2016 by Fauzia Burke
From all the talk of social media, you may think every author is active and enjoying it. But as I talk to authors one thing is clear, there are lots of them still sitting on the sidelines, lots still saying “I hate social media” and a lot of them wanting to start but feeling overwhelmed. One of the questions I routinely get from authors is, “What should I do with social media? I know I need to do something, but I don’t know where to start.”

It’s no surprise that I believe social media is a powerful tool for building and engaging with an audience--and I’m not just talking about Facebook. I encourage all authors I work with to build...
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