Author Branding

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. 

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

5 Ways Today’s Authors Are Also Entrepreneurs

Jun 05, 2016 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...

Supporting Authors in Online Marketing

Apr 12, 2016 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...

Why Blogging Is More Important Than Ever For Authors

Mar 09, 2016 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...

Busy Authors Guide to Online Marketing

Feb 10, 2016 by Fauzia Burke
How do you market your book and still have time to write? It's a challenge a lot of authors face. The scope of needing a website and a social media plan to market your book can seem overwhelming. You are faced with a myriad of choices and not a lot of extra time. Like many things that first appear daunting, it's not so bad once you begin. Let me walk you through the steps of getting started with your online marketing.

Start now. You don't need a completed manuscript to start promoting your ideas, building your platform or creating buzz for your book. Once you have an idea for your book, you can start the conversation online. Finding your audience and...

Three Steps to Online Branding Success for Authors

Nov 03, 2015 by Fauzia Burke
When I talk to my friends who are agents and publishers, they all say they give authors advice and documents that walk them through the online marketing opportunities and timelines. The bigger publishers even have author portals with lots of important and useful information. I wonder then, why do so many authors I speak with say "why didn't someone tell me that."

I speak and work to promote authors online and almost all of them feel that their needs are not supported by their publishers. As someone who has worked in-house, I know how hard everyone works and how passionate they are about their books. So I wonder why there is this disconnect?

The fact that so many authors feel that they...

Digital Branding for Authors: When to start, What to do and Why it’s important

Jun 22, 2015 by Fauzia Burke
Authors, do you know your readers? If you know your readers well and can answer this question in detail, you could be on your way to publishing a successful book. I’ve worked in the book publishing industry my whole career and there’s one thing where we all (agents, publishers and publicists) can agree: the time to start building a relationship with your readers and listening to your audience is long before your book is published. You might think the most important thing is to actually write the best book possible (and it is) but at the same time you need to develop an audience if you want your book to sell well.

Start Early. Go Digital. Writing your book can be...

55 Digital Branding Tips for Authors

Feb 03, 2015 by Fauzia Burke
To help you navigate the digital marketing landscape and build your audience for your book, I put together a list of 55 things that can help you establish your brand over the long haul. You just may be surprised at how much you enjoy the journey of connecting with your readers and how building your brand is not as daunting as you might think.

  Start developing your brand and platform as soon as you have an idea for a book. Identify your values and interests to shape your brand. What’s your reason for being? Find an audience with like-minded interests. Reach out. It’s okay if some of the popular social media platforms aren’t right for your brand. Your time is precious; only spend...

Making My Case: Why Authors Need Websites

Oct 22, 2014 by Fauzia Burke
I heard there's a rumor going around in book publishing that authors don't need websites. I kid you not, in 2014 I still hear people saying authors don't need a website. If it was a true rumor, many authors would exhale with relief. Who has the time to get a great website up, keep it updated with fresh content and still have coveted writing time? If you are an author, you may view getting your website up as a time-suck or annoyance, but that doesn't mean you don't need one. Authors without websites, your careers are like houses without foundations. Not convinced? Here are five reasons why you've got to get your author website up.

1. Your readers want to learn...

Staying Connected: 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

Sep 28, 2014 by Fauzia Burke
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Hopefully you’ve read Getting Started and Keep Going, my first 20 digital marketing tips for authors. Now it’s about staying connected. Branding isn’t about building something and then walking away. Your brand is a relationship you have with your community and something to invest in continually. It may sound daunting to stay digitally connected all the time, but a little effort can go a long way. And as an author, you have the hard part covered—you have content of value to share. Here is wave three of my digital branding tips for authors. 1) Start a Facebook business page. where you can converse regularly with your audience and build a sense of community. Begin by sharing content of value....

Ask Yourself these 14 Questions to Expertly Market Your Book

Sep 23, 2014 by Fauzia Burke
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There’s really never been a better time to be an author. There is a lot more competition than ever before, but there are also a lot more opportunities. For the first time in the history of publishing, authors have direct access to their readers. Our new world of direct access to readers requires authors to spend more time and effort to get the word out about their books, but with that investment there is great reward. Authors are building community, making a difference and finding great joy in the process.

I own a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors and I often hear from authors who feel overwhelmed...

Keep Going: 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

Sep 18, 2014 by Fauzia Burke
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Hopefully you’ve read Getting Started, my first 10 digital marketing tips for busy authors. This is wave two. Remember, the most effective marketing plan for your book is one that you work on continuously. I know it’s easy to get social media fatigue (or overwhelm) by thinking of all the possibilities of what you can do online … but just take it step by step. Soon you will have a process to market your book and build your brand as an author.

Here are ten more digital marketing tips for you. 1)  Connect to your purpose for writing your book. As author Seth Godin so aptly put it: “Build it and they will come” is...

Getting Started: 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

Sep 03, 2014 by Fauzia Burke
You are an author. Your book is finished. Or you are still working away page by page. You wish your book would sell itself due to its sheer brilliance, but realistically, you know it’s going to take some leg work to market your book. You want to share your story and get your message out into the world, but with today’s endless list of social media sites and tools, you feel a little overwhelmed. You are faced with a myriad of choices and the one-word dilemma all of us share: time. How do you market your book and still have time to write?

If this sounds like you, you are not alone. It’s a common problem most authors face. Let me...

How to Engage Readers with Your Facebook Page

Apr 09, 2014 by Fauzia Burke
Just when you thought you were all set to promote your book on your website, I'm writing to you about making your Facebook fan page shine. Spending time on social media sites can feel like a time sink. I know, but there is a bright side. Your Facebook fan page (unlike a personal Facebook page) is accessible to everyone and the sooner you begin, the sooner you can build up your fan base. If you are new to using Facebook, you may want to read my blog on 8 Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook first.

If you want to take your engagement to the next level, read on. As one of the top social media platforms, Facebook is a terrific...

11 Ways to Promote Your Book Year Round

Mar 26, 2014 by Fauzia Burke
I probably don't have to tell you that marketing your book is a year-round endeavor. Today's digital world provides you with endless ways to market your book and connect directly with your readers. Just like we all build relationships in the real world . . . with an investment of your time, you can build your readership online. As you put together your digital marketing game plan, here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. Get a jumpstart. Build up excitement before your book comes out by talking about it on your social media pages. Talk about the process of writing. Share a quote or two from your book. Do a countdown. Create buzz about your book before it's even...