Fauzia Burke

Author . Book Publicist . Publishing Consultant . Speaker

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Career Advice

Lessons Learned in Business: The 25th Anniversary Edition

Lessons Learned in Business: The 25th Anniversary Edition
by Fauzia Burke
This year marks the 25th anniversary of FSB Associates. What started as a one-woman (me) shop from our spare bedroom has grown into a dream small business with a fabulous staff working around the country, and a roster of thousands of amazing clients. While our plans for a celebration at BEA had to be shelved and our planned parties in New Jersey and San Diego will have to wait, we are still thrilled that we’ve been able to celebrate such a milestone, albeit remotely.

Achieving Partial Goals are Also Worthy of Celebration

Achieving Partial Goals are Also Worthy of Celebration
by Fauzia Burke
“There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.” Elie Wiesel
I was talking to a friend recently who said, “At the beginning of the year I wanted my new book to be successful and to find a new boyfriend.” I knew her book was successful so I said, “That’s awesome”. Then with some angst in her voice, she replied, “Now if I can just get that boyfriend.” At first, I thought she was kidding.
 

Tips for Working and Managing Remotely

Tips for Working and Managing Remotely
by Fauzia Burke

Coronavirus is forcing many people to work remotely. For some, this is a seamless transition but for many others, it can be difficult to implement. For 20 years our company had an office in Basking Ridge, NJ, and everyone worked together in one location. I loved being with the staff every day. I felt that the proximity allowed for a better exchange of ideas and made us a better team.

Then 5 years ago, my husband (and business partner) and I decided to move to San Diego. We planned to keep the NJ office and open a second location here in Southern California. Before we moved here, and right after Superstorm Sandy disrupted our lives for weeks, we decided to shift all staff to laptops and to make a plan for people to work at home during bad weather and when people felt too unwell to commute but not too unwell to work. It also allowed us to give our staff with babies and children the ability to adjust their workdays based on family needs.

Digital Self Audit

Digital Self Audit
by Fauzia Burke

Back in 2016, publishing industry expert Mike Shatzkin opened Digital Book World by saying that publishers need to help authors in 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.” Today, some publishers do this but the majority do not.

Cleaning Up Your Social Media Feed

Cleaning Up Your Social Media Feed
by Fauzia Burke

I’ve always been a fan of social media, particularly for authors. Platforms like Facebook or Twitter allow you to connect with a group of fans, share events and photos, and keep followers updated on the latest news in your publishing journey. It can be a great way to easily keep in touch with a large group.

But in recent years, my personal feeds have become overwhelmed with inflammatory political messages and content from people I haven’t seen (or frankly, thought about) in years. It’s all become too much of a distraction. So, preparing for an election that promises to be insane, I’ve decided 2020 is the year to clear out my social media feeds. If you’re the type of person who is always adding friends, accepting requests from acquaintances, and adding news sites and brands to your feeds, but never removing anyone, it might be time for you to do the same.

Setting Realistic Goals for your Book

Setting Realistic Goals for your Book
by Fauzia Burke
Whenever I meet with a potential client, I like to ask him what his publishing goals are. More often than not, I get an answer like, “I want my book to hit a national best seller list” or “I want a 6-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 double your newsletter subscribers? Or get 100 book reviews on Amazon? Or sell 20% more than your last book?

4 Digital Marketing Tools Every Author Should Learn

4 Digital Marketing Tools Every Author Should Learn
by Fauzia Burke

The days when authors could expect publishers to do all their marketing are long gone, but unlike others, I think that’s a good thing. The change has forced all of us to become more independent, and have the ability to build a long term relationship with our readers. Many authors still feel that they can farm their online marketing, as a PR and marketing firm I certainly advocate for authors to find expertise when they need it. However new digital tools and technologies, can help you save money for the day-to-day housekeeping. Learning these tools will help save you time and money and allow you more control over your brand.

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...

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...

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...

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.

How to Be Confident at Work Without Appearing Arrogant

by Fauzia Burke
Originally appeared on Inc. 

I heard someone say once that there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence and I immediately thought: That's not true. There's a huge difference.

I feel some people exemplify the difference perfectly. Malala Yousafzai is confident enough to talk with world leaders and ask them to change their policies. Yet she never seems arrogant.

Why is this important? It's an important distinction because we like working with confident people, but we don't like engaging with arrogant people. A UCLA study concluded that likable people ask questions, are genuine and honest, don't seek attention, and smile (among other things). How people perceive you in your social channels can be very important in your career and business.

As the owner of a...

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

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

7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking
by Fauzia Burke
People fear public speaking more than death. No one wants to make an embarrassing mistake—especially with rows of faces watching. Sure it can get your heart racing and your palms sweaty, but that doesn't mean your fear has to stop you. As author Brene Brown says, Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. It may be difficult to overcome your fear of public speaking, but isn’t it worth it if you can help people by sharing your knowledge?

As an owner of a digital marketing and publicity company, I am often asked to speak about publishing, marketing and entrepreneurial topics. It doesn’t matter if I am part of a panel of speakers, getting interviewed by the media, or...

5 Ways to Live Fearlessly in the New Year

5 Ways to Live Fearlessly in the New Year
by Fauzia Burke
I love Theodore Roosevelt’s quote about the man in the arena. “It’s not the critic who counts.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. If we want to truly live, we have to get into the arena. We have to take risks, strive, stumble, sweat, and dare greatly.  Living fearlessly isn’t living without any fear; it’s just not letting your fears call the shots. Here are five ways to push your fears out of the way. 1. Work for yourself. When I had a thriving career in publishing, I decided to resign and start my own digital marketing business for authors. It was 1995 and I didn’t...

The Age of the Specialists

The Age of the Specialists
by Fauzia Burke

Get specific. Those two little words mean so much. Get specific is a great writing tip, and a great way to write a To Do list. When you get specific in conversation, people know precisely what you are talking about. As a business owner, I’ve learned that you can provide the most value to your customers and clients when you are a specialist and not a generalist. The old saying that you can’t be all things to all people is true.  Most of my clients today prefer to have a team of specialists—with specific strengths in which they excel—rather than a team of generalists. At my company, FSB Associates, we specialize in online...

Why Every Author Needs a Digital Marketing Advisor

Why Every Author Needs a Digital Marketing Advisor
by Fauzia Burke
Today, every author needs a digital marketing advisor, or at least an experienced marketing advocate to protect their interests. This can be an agent, a marketing savvy friend or a digital marketing consultant, but the need is unquestionable and the development of your digital brand is essential for your book's success.

I have put together a list of aspects of your marketing plan and the type of advice you need to market your book successfully. If you are a marketing savvy author, consider this a checklist for yourself if not, then think about who is giving you the advice you need:

Website Your digital marketing advisor should advise you on the best platform to use for your website, and work with a web...

Fauzia's Radio Show Interview

Fauzia's Radio Show Interview
by Fauzia Burke
Listen to Fauzia's great interview with Kristin Hiemstra, from The Art of Potential Radio Show to learn about marketing books on-line,  how the publishing industry has changed and the best way to build an on-line following.

From the Chapelboro site: Fauzia Burke is sought after by America’s top authors like Sue Grafton for her expertise in internet book marketing. With experience launching more than 2000 books she knows what she is talking about. Fauzia shares with us what it takes to create your own brand and build a following. A great show for those thinking of starting their own business, upping their professional game, or trying to get their own book published.

Listen here: http://chapelboro.com/wchl/lifestyle-weekly/art-of-potential/november-1-2013-8/

5 Reasons Authors Should Blog

5 Reasons Authors Should Blog
by Fauzia Burke
Writing blogs can be distracting, can be a time sink, can be unproductive, and can be a waste of time. There, I listed most of the arguments against blogging. Now let me make my case. Being an author in 2013 is like being a small business owner. You need a marketing strategy or you will go out of business. If people can't find you, they can't buy your book. You have many choices when it comes to marketing. Here are some options from my blog on Marketing Options for Authors.

Having a digital marketing strategy is absolutely the best option in my biased opinion. Sure you can point to a few authors who don't do anything online and are still successful,...

How to End Every Day with Zero Emails

How to End Every Day with Zero Emails
by Fauzia Burke
Email has taken over our business day as well as nights and weekends. I made a promise to myself at the start of this year to end everyday with 0 emails in my in-box. At first I thought it was impossible, but as time went on I not only learned to manage email more efficiently, I took charge on my day and got a lot more done. So in case you are looking to free yourself from the in-box overload, here's how I do it:

Every email is not Important
 All my emails are important, or so I thought. But what I realized is that every email is not important. Many of them are just disruptive. I made a choice not to...