Fauzia Burke

Author . Book Publicist . Publishing Consultant

My Blog
 

Book Publishing

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...

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...

When a Publishing Expert Opens a Bookstore

When a Publishing Expert Opens a Bookstore
by Fauzia Burke
Lynn Rosen has viewed the book publishing business from every perspective. She has worked as an editor, literary agent, journalist, and author. I sat down with her to ask her about her latest and maybe bravest endeavor -- independent bookstore owner.

Q. Why did you decide to open an independent bookstore?

A. There were a number of influences. Taking the long view, I think my whole career has been building to this. In the years I've spent in the book publishing industry as an editor and a literary agent, the core of my work has been finding ways to bring authors and readers together. The bookstore is the place where that happens.

The precipitating factors were that a) our nearest bookstore, a Barnes & Noble,...

How to Be Your Own Boss in Book Publishing

by Fauzia Burke
On March 26, 2015, I will be attending and speaking at the Exceptional Women in Publishing (EWIP) conference. If you are in the Bay Area, I hope to see you at this interesting conference for women in media and publishing. I will be joined by two amazing women entrepreneurs, Charlotte Abbott (Content and Media Strategist, Abbott Communications) and Jill Tomich (co-founder of  Slicebooks) We all run companies that specialize in digital marketing, publicity, strategy and content development. Our panel is called: How to Be Your Own Boss in Book Publishing. Lynn Rosen brought us all together, who recently did the bravest thing of all. She opened a bookstore a Elkins Park, Pa.

The topic has me thinking about the pros and cons...

The Biggest Marketing Launch of My Career

The Biggest Marketing Launch of My Career
by Fauzia Burke
You may think the headline is an overstatement. I promise you, it is not. Today I am proud to celebrate the publication date of The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy By Larry J. Sabato (Published by Bloomsbury, October 15, 2013).

This is a must read book for American history buffs everywhere. Not only does the book deliver unique, never before known, information about the assassination of our youngest president, it also gives a unique perspective of the 50 years since his death. It's a really great read, but I am a marketer and not a reviewer. There are people much more qualified reviewing the book. Let me tell you about the marketing roll out of...

10 Important Stats for Authors

10 Important Stats for Authors
by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

Book Buyers 2010 stats: More than 40 percent of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book; the average age of the American book buyer is 42. Women make 64 percent of all book purchases, even among detective stories and thrillers, where they buy more than 60 percent of that genre. Source Study 2012: Avid book buyers skew older, and female 64%; The #1 principal way of discovering new books? Personal recommendations 48.2% Source Book Sales December 2012 retail sales at indie bookstores were up 2.9 percent compared to December 2011, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Bureau of the Census. Source Continued growth of e-book consumption, which rose from 4 percent of unit sales in 2010 to 14 percent...

Does Social Media Sell Books? Gillian Flynn's Agent Gives Her Perspective

Does Social Media Sell Books? Gillian Flynn's Agent Gives Her Perspective
by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

Those of you who know me are probably shocked at the title of this blog. You know I am a true believer in digital marketing and publicity and always suggest to authors that they should spend time developing a relationship with their readers. So why am I asking this question? For a couple of reasons: One because I am seeing social media burn-out in authors and second because I realized that two of the top selling authors of 2012 did not invest much time in social media.

According to Publisher's Weekly, the three biggest selling authors last year were E. L. James, Suzanne Collins & Gillian Flynn. Neither Suzanne Collins nor Gillian Flynn spend much time on social networking....

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

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

Fake Reviews are Worse than Bad Ones

Fake Reviews are Worse than Bad Ones
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...

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

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

It Takes a Village to Promote a Book

It Takes a Village to Promote a Book
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...

FSB Associates at Book Expo America 2011

FSB Associates at Book Expo America 2011
by Fauzia Burke
To celebrate 16 years of online publicity business, FSB founder and President, Fauzia Burke, has taken the company to the Javits Center in New York City to officially debut at this year's BookExpo America 2011. Being a recognized vendor at BEA is a big deal for FSB as it allows the company to better inform the public about its services and how they fit into the ever-changing publishing world which is right now abuzz with digital technologies. The online component of book publicity has become an integral process of today's successful branding and marketing campaigns and FSB is proud to be at the forefront of this movement. See Fauzia's BEA digital marketing presentation online if you missed it at the...

Get Caught Reading

Get Caught Reading
by Fauzia Burke
In celebration of Get Caught Reading Month, FSB Associates is proud to announce the launch of the newly redesigned Get Caught Reading Web site. We have been an active sponsor of the web site since 2004, and decided it was time for a facelift. The new site has updated technology, a more contemporary design, and features the Libraries Matter author videos by such authors as Sebastian Junger, Jessica Harper, Garrison Keillor, and more. We're happy to volunteer our efforts for the Association of American Publishers to show our commitment to literacy.

Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. May is Get Caught Reading month, although the campaign is promoted throughout the year....

RIP Hardcovers ... Long Live the Kindle

RIP Hardcovers ... Long Live the Kindle
by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

I wonder if manufacturing hardcover books makes sense anymore? In talking with fellow publishing friends, we agree that the current publishing model is not ideal. For example, selling books essentially on consignment, taking huge returns, giving advances that don't earn out, not having enough marketing dollars, all create huge challenges to the current model. The biggest threat to this model is not the e-book or the Internet, it is the hardcover book.

As a Kindle user I am noticing more and more that I am no longer buying hardcover books. I recently realized that I may never need to buy a hardcover book again, and this is shocking to me! I love books! My husband and I are "book...

I'll Take a Community with That Book, Please!

by Fauzia Burke
By Fauzia Burke

With today's search empowered readers, do we need to market and publish books differently? Does general publishing makes sense in an age of Google searches, micro communities and niche marketing?

Today's readers are tech savvy and resourceful. They know how to get the information they need and have higher expectations from publishers and authors. They don't just expect a book, they expect a community with their book.

I often hear publishers say that there are "very few brands in book publishing." But to thrive in today's competitive, niche markets, perhaps brands are exactly what we need. What readers choose to read is personal and an extension of who they are. Shouldn't their book choices be supported by a publisher, a...