In 2013, If You Don't Invest in your Career and Brand, No One Else Will Either

Jan 11, 2013 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke,

I know it's not fair, but today along with knowing how to write a book and get it published, authors have to understand the digital marketing landscape as well. If you want to write books, publish them and sell them, you need to make an investment in your career and brand, and today that investment means having a digital marketing strategy all year round.

If you are a little overwhelmed by the rapidly changing world of digital marketing, you are not alone. Remember all of us, experts and novice, are learning as we go. You don't have to become a social media strategist to be effective. By using the most important digital marketing outlets in a targeted way, your...

FSB's 12 Days of Book Giveaways

Dec 13, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
All of us at FSB would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a year full of love, health and prosperity. As a token of our appreciation, we’ve organized 12 Days of Book Giveaways full of great books to give and receive.

To enter (US Entries only), please visit our Facebook page and like or comment on any post labeled FSB’s 12 Days of Book Giveaways.

You can also follow us on Twitter and RT the giveaway message to be entered into the giveaway.

Giveaway will run from 12/13 - 12/24. Each person can enter once a day on Facebook and Twitter for the specific book of that day.  Winners will be selected randomly.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!



Day 1: Treasury of Joy and...

7 Ways to be Effective on LinkedIn

Dec 04, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

All social networking venues are not created equal. Each has its own identity. What works on Facebook may not work on LinkedIn or on Twitter. While you can use all social media platforms for an integrated approach to market your book or business, you have to know your audience. The LinkedIn audience is where professionals connect and help each other to be effective, productive and successful. LinkedIn is a great way to build your network, relationships and your personal brand, but in order to do it effectively, you have to use LinkedIn in a professional manner. Here are 7 ways effective:

Stay professional. If you wouldn't put it on your resume, in your portfolio or say it in an...

Things I Got Wrong, and Things I Got Right in 2012

Nov 14, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

As we wrap up 2012 and start to plan for the New Year I wanted to review the things I got right and the things I didn't. In the past few years, there have been so many changes in the book industry, and in technology, that sometimes my only guide has been my intuition. Fortunately, our missteps can often teach us more than flawless execution. So here are the lessons I have learned in 2012:

Why Press Release Didn't Work For Us. Working as the President of an online public relations firm, I relied on press releases to get the attention of editors. Over time, however, I noticed that they didn't seem to be working as they once did....

6 Steps for Finding the Best PR Firm for You & Your Book

Oct 10, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

Most authors know that a public relations effort for their book is essential for their success. In order to have a campaign to promote their book comprehensively, many look to augment their publisher's efforts by hiring a PR agency. But how do you choose the right PR firm for your book? Here are six steps to help make that choice easier:

Step 1: Needs and Goals

Before you begin your search, think about your PR goals. What is it that you want? Do you want to be on TV? Do you want reviews in newspapers? Or, do you want to build exposure online? Whom do you want to reach? Do you know your target demographic? How long do you want...

New Marketing Mantra: Assess, Delete and Respond

Sep 27, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

Imagine if you opened your inbox, and saw only one email. Imagine if you only got a new one when you answered the current one. Without knowing how many emails you have in total you would take the time and respond with great care. Now imagine you open your inbox and get 200 emails (like most of us). Your process would have to be different. You would have to quickly assess what gets deleted, what can wait, and which emails are top priority. You should approach your job in the same way. Look at everything that needs doing, then assess, delete and respond.

It seems to me that the days of over designing, over thinking, and over obsessing are...

Wanna Be Successful? Make a Do-Not-Do List

Sep 26, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
by Fauzia Burke "Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do." -- Steve Jobs

As women entrepreneurs, we often take on more than we can handle. Often the "to-do" lists from projects, family schedules, home, business, clients, staff, etc., can bury us. However, when I finally learned to make a Do-Not-Do list, I freed up my time and energy to focus on my most important priorities. Now anything that comes between me and my priorities goes on my Do-Not-Do List.

Don't do the same old thing. Stop doing the same old thing if it isn't working. Almost every small business owner says that they need to figure out how to accomplish more in a day, but then we...

September Resolutions

Sep 20, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
Every year September gives me a second start to the year. My kids go back to school and the summer fog lifts from my mind. It's usually a great time for me to get some stuff done. So like my kids, I buy some school supplies: an inspiring journal, a new calendar and my favorite pens. Unlike January when the temperatures are almost the same as December and February, September actually feels like a shift as we transition from warm summer days to cool crisp autumn days (at least we do here on the East coast). This is one of the most productive months for me and I take full advantage of it by setting September resolutions.

Plenty of the year...

Fake Reviews are Worse than Bad Ones

Sep 13, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
Recently I read an article published in the New York Times called, The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy, by David Streitfeld, about authors who are paying for reviews in order to help promote and sell their books and increase their visibility. Instead of real reviews from real people, these paid for, all favorable reviews, are written by people who are just churning out reviews, and sometimes don't even read the book they are reviewing.

Then another story broke about British crime writer...

10 Skills to Thrive in PR Learned from Reality TV

Sep 05, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
I have a confession to make. My guilty pleasure is reality competition shows like Project Runaway, Top Chef and Amazing Race. I know I am not alone because all these shows have seen years of success and ratings. Recently, I thought working in PR is a lot like being a candidate in a reality competition: same pressures, same deadlines, same high expectations. I also noticed that there are some common skills between...

PR Is Stressful, But You Don't Have to be a Stress Monster

Aug 27, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
I have seen PR people stressed out, screaming, sending emails in all caps, and worse. A new study puts public relations as number seven on the top 10 most stressful professions. As a public relations executive, of course I have days that are stressful, but I don't think that has to make the entire profession stressful. Some of our industry's drama may be self-induced. According to a recent article by Rob Biesenbach, some people take a "perverse pride...

12 Ways to Build Your Brand and Promote Your Book on Twitter

Aug 07, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
An author recently reached out to me via email and said, "I've been tweeting for a couple of weeks and don't see a change in my Amazon ranking. What am I doing wrong?" I told him, "Nothing. Twitter is just not an instant fix. It takes a long time to build a community in social media." That's the honest truth, but there are still ways to make sure the time you spend on Twitter is as productive as possible.

You know the Twitter basics, right? You tweet. You retweet. You write Tweets in 140 characters or less. You keep your tweets short to encourage retweets and you aren't confused by the terms or symbols of #hashtags or @Mentions. So what else?...

4 Ways to Maximize Your Book's Content on Social Media

Jul 31, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
If you are a published author, you've already done the hard part: You wrote your book and got it published. But don't stop there. If you want to become known as an expert in your field, you need to build your personal brand. There are all sorts of ways you can utilize the content in your book to market yourself in the world of social media.

As an author of non-fiction, here are four ways you can maximize your book's content: Tweet it. If you peruse your book, you will easily see quick sentences that pop out at you as quotable and are perfect for tweets. Look for those compelling quotes that showcase your expertise and are less than 140 characters. Find...

6 Tips for Designing Author Websites in 2012

Jun 07, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

In 1996, we launched our first ever website. It was for the NY Times bestselling author Sue Grafton. Not only was it an honor to design our first site for such an important author, but at the time it was such a big deal that the New York Times even wrote about it.

Today websites are common place and every author has a site. However, looking towards 2013 when forecasts predict that there will be 1.7 billion mobile internet users, authors need to make sure their sites are attracting the mobile and social readers.

Here are 6 tips for designing author websites in 2012 All in the Name - Your website should be under your name. Even if you publish multiple...

We Need Your Voice: An Open Letter to Publishing Sales Reps

Feb 29, 2012 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke Have you been avoiding the world of social media because you view it as a fad, or a waste of time? Do you see Facebook as something teenagers do?  Maybe you think sales should occur in person and not on Twitter. Let’s just say it; maybe you just don’t see the benefits of social media. You have all sorts of reasons for not getting involved, from being too busy (I hear you!), to thinking it is a waste of your time. But here’s the truth, we now live in a social media powered business culture. If you are a sales rep and not engaging in social media, you are missing a great opportunity—an opportunity your competitors may not...

Steve Jobs Makes Me Better

Aug 31, 2011 by Fauzia Burke
by Fauzia Burke

Steve Jobs stepped down as the CEO of Apple on Aug. 24, 2011, and if you read the news on Twitter first, then you also saw the millions of tweets thanking him and feeling sad at the news of his departure. Think about that for a minute: we, the people, were thanking the CEO of a company for making us better.

Most of us don't even know the CEOs of companies, but we know Steve Jobs. We know him because he was always on our side. His decisions about design, beauty and elegance were not about technology; they were about us.

Apple makes great products, but I was not always a Mac fan. Actually, until 2007, I was a...

Twitter Tip: How to Organize with Lists

Aug 05, 2011 by Fauzia Burke
by Ken Ishii

It's no secret that online social networking is an efficient way to spread news fast and far. Great news for authors. And among social networks out there, Twitter has proven itself a powerful vehicle able to drive users to both familiar and new communities with little effort.

If you don’t have one yet, you should really open a Twitter account quickly before you lose a golden username to someone too quick to the draw. Already a member? Then you'll most likely enjoy how useful Twitter lists can be.

If you’re familiar with the ins and outs of Twitter, then you probably maintain a regular stream of tweets, amassed a robust network of like-minded users, and made a habit out of lending a...

It Takes a Village to Promote a Book

Jul 06, 2011 by Fauzia Burke
by Fauzia Burke

"Markets are conversations," said the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto and it is still the number one thesis on their Web site. Social media allows you to have those conversations. When I wrote a Blog on Huffington Post called "It's 2010: You Really Need to be on Facebook", I was shocked by the response. In fact, Donna Fenn, author of Upstarts wrote on her Bnet blog that judging by the response, you'd think that I had asked people to walk around naked. It is surprising that anyone could still deny the benefits of social media for marketing.

Today's marketing is truly about conversations. So if you are going to spend the time and money marketing a product or service, you should think "will this...

12 Social Media Tools for Publicity

Jun 22, 2011 by Fauzia Burke
by Fauzia Burke

The explosion of social media in the last few years has brought with it a whole slew of social media applications and tools designed to help publicists deliver and monitor better results. As I have written before, I think social media has been a huge help for publicity. However, choosing the tools is important in helping you save time and be effective. I've compiled a list of 12 tools that lighten the social media workload at FSB, and I hope you find them helpful as well.

Blog Searches:

Blogpulse: You can search for a URL, name or topic. I think it gives good results for a given topic, even though I'm not always crazy about the results. However, every now and then...

8 Ways to Develop Better Relationships with Bloggers

Jun 15, 2011 by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

When authors come to me and say, “I want to reach book bloggers or mommy bloggers,” I often have to tell them that bloggers have very specific tastes. More specific than you probably realize. For example, when reaching out to mommy bloggers, it is really important to know the age of their kids. Pitching a YA novel to a mommy blogger with a baby won’t get you far. Pitching a Sci-Fi novel to a blogger that loves historical romance won’t work either. Sending a WWII book to a blogger that covers the Civil War will make for a cranky blogger, and sending a press release to the wrong person may actually get you blacklisted.

So here are some tips to...
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