Fauzia Burke

Author . Book Publicist . Publishing Consultant

My Blog
 

Why Authors Should Write Guest Blogs

Why Authors Should Write Guest Blogs
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

New Website Builder for Authors
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

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

7 Digital Tools to Help Make Your Days Run a Little Smoother
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 allows you to easily create videos to help...

Book Expo America 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

Diversity in Book Publishing
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

The Publishing Timeline
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

IBPA Publishing University Workshop
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

Keeping Your Newsletter Audience Engaged
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

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

Authors Helping Authors
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

3 Elements of a Successful Online Platform
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)

Taking Risks in Publishing (and Life)
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

Where to Start with Social Media
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...

5 Ways Today’s Authors Are Also Entrepreneurs

5 Ways Today’s Authors Are Also Entrepreneurs
by Fauzia Burke
Authors who view their online marketing strategy like entrepreneurs will likely have more success at building a community and will have more opportunities come their way. Opportunities like speaking, consulting, media interviews, teaching, hosting webinars and of course, selling books. Just like entrepreneurs, authors need to come up with ideas, identify their ideal audience, find that audience online and create an online presence that authentically builds their community.

Entrepreneurs play many roles. Entrepreneurs are involved in every aspect of their business. Authors who want to be successful brand ambassadors and become known for their unique message wear many hats. There’s content creation (blogs, ebooks, tip sheets) product development (books, webinars, podcasts) as well as marketing (both online and off), sales and...

BookExpo America 2016

BookExpo America 2016
by Fauzia Burke
Book Expo America is my favorite show of the year. I know people groan about going but I love it. It makes me feel part of an industry that I love. I get to see familiar faces and make new friends. Plus it's a giant room full of book people, who happen to be my favorite kind of people.

This year is even more special because for the first time I will be doing a book signing. My book, Online Marketing for Busy Authors was published on April 19th and my fabulous publisher Berrett-Koehler has arranged for a book signing at the Ingram booth on Friday. On the same day, I will be on a panel in the morning and will...

Now Available: Online Marketing for Busy Authors

by Fauzia Burke
I'm really excited to share a special announcement with you. My new book, Online Marketing for Busy Authors (Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers) releases today. I am grateful by the initial reaction from colleagues, media and readers.

My goal is to make online marketing less overwhelming for authors by providing jargon-free, relevant and actionable advice.

Thank you for all of your support and encouragement.

Supporting Authors in Online Marketing

Supporting Authors in Online Marketing
by Fauzia Burke
Mike Shatzkin said in his opening remarks at Digital Book World 2016, that publishers need to help authors with their marketing efforts.

“At the very least, every house should do a “digital audit” for every author they sign that includes concrete suggestions for filling in gaps and improving discoverability and engagement. To my knowledge, not one does.”

He also wrote an important blog on his site called: When it comes to supporting authors in marketing efforts, no publisher has it right yet. I hear his point, in fact, it is the reason I wrote Online Marketing for Busy Authors. It is an introductory book for authors who have been dragging their online marketing feet. However, expecting publishers to be able to help...

To Get the Life You Want You Have to Take Risks

To Get the Life You Want You Have to Take Risks
by Fauzia Burke
Brene Brown’s insights have really resonated with me over the past few years. Being bold and brave isn’t always easy, but to get to the life you want, I think it’s necessary. If you've been feeling like you're just sitting and waiting for the perfect time, or for permission, I say to you: You can do this. You can take a chance. There is never the perfect time or the ideal situation. It’s always a risk. I share a few lessons I’ve learned from the risks that I’ve taken in my life on Maria Shriver.

Why Blogging Is More Important Than Ever For Authors

Why Blogging Is More Important Than Ever For Authors
by Fauzia Burke
Some authors groan at the thought of developing a long-term online marketing strategy for their books because it's yet another demand on their time. (Time they'd like to spend writing.) Extra time isn't something any of us have in ample supply so I totally understand. This is why I tell authors to select a few things that matter most to build their community and brand. For book authors in a competitive marketplace, the need to blog couldn't be higher. Despite ever-evolving social media, blogging remains a top priority for authors.

Let's take a closer look at some of the compelling reasons why you, as an author, need to blog.

Blogging is the foundation of your digital house. Consider your blog as the...