Online Marketing for Busy Authors
A Step-by-Step Guide
By Fauzia Burke
Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Paperback: 144 pages
April 19, 2016; $16.95; 9781626567856
Description from publisher:
There has truly never been a better time to be an author. For the first time, you have direct access to your readers via the Internet -- you can create a community eagerly awaiting your next book (and telling their friends about it too). But where do you start? How do sort through the dizzying range of online options? Where is it most worth spending your time -- what is a "must do" and what is a "might do"?
Enter Fauzia Burke, a digital book marketing pioneer and friend of overwhelmed writers everywhere. She not only makes the job of building your online brand doable, but she proves that it can be fun and fulfilling, too.
Burke takes authors step by step through the process of identifying their unique personal brand, defining their audience, clarifying their aspirations and goals, and setting priorities. Once that foundation is established, she walks you through the process of developing a personalized, sustainable long-term online marketing plan. She offers advice on designing a successful website, building a mailing list of super fans, blogging, creating an engagement strategy for social media, and more.
"Once you build your brand," Burke writes, "no one can take it away from you." Your digital brand is a conversation about your book that builds your community one relationship at a time. By following Burke's expert advice, any author can conquer the Internet and still get their next manuscript in on time.
Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. She’s the author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors (Berrett-Koehler, Spring 2016). Fauzia has promoted the books of authors such as Alan Alda, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Melissa Francis, S. C. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. A nationally recognized speaker and online branding expert, Fauzia writes for the Huffington Post, Maria Shriver and MindBodyGreen. For online marketing, book publishing and social media advice, follow Fauzia on Twitter (@FauziaBurke) and Facebook (Fauzia S. Burke). For more information on the book, please visit: www.FauziaBurke.com
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and was in no way influenced by anyone else.]
This is a terrific book for authors interested in utilizing online resources for promoting their writings. While the content tends to be aimed at an Internet novice, more experienced authors can use the tools offered by Burke to reevaluate their current online marketing efforts.
Burke asks, “How do you prevent your brand from getting lost in all the social media noise? The answer: Be uniquely you. Aim for authenticity” (page 9). Sounds simple. Right? But how exactly do you accomplish that? Burke offers step-by-step guidance, including coming up with your own “brand statement” that will help you devise content to share on social media.
“To become a well-known and well-established professional author you have to be ready for the long haul, so adjust your expectations and remember that building an effective brand is a marathon, not a sprint” (page 15).
To maximize the benefit of social media, “You need to know where your readers spend their time and what social media sites they visit” (page 19). Burke provides information to help evaluate your audience and learn which platforms they most likely use.
There’s also an extensive exercise for setting realistic goals and priorities for the marketing of your book.
Burke offers detailed advice on how to maximize your usage of various outlets. For example, regarding using a Facebook author page to advertise an upcoming event, “you can target people who live five to twenty miles from the event location. We have used this type of advertising for many of our clients, and every time we have seen bigger turnouts than expected” (page 45).
This book isn’t only about utilizing social media, it’s also about other necessary online marketing essentials, such as managing your website and your mailing list. Burke includes terrific advice, checklists, and exercises to make sure these tools are helping you achieve your goals.
“Your most important marketing task is to keep your Super Fans happy and engaged” (page 74).
I know personally, I don’t send out a regular email to my readers, because I don’t want them to think I’m “spamming” them. However, Burke gives great advice, which I want to immediately put into practice. She says, “don’t do it only to promote a new book. You should communicate with your fans even when you have nothing to promote” (page 75). This makes sense! I suppose if you only email fans when there’s something to promote, that will feel more like spamming than emailing regularly will. Plus, Burke offers valuable advice regarding content to include in your email newsletters.
I’ve marked up ONLINE MARKETING FOR BUSY AUTHORS with post-its, highlights, and notes, and I’m ready to put what I’ve learned from it into action.
My favorite line from the book: “No amount of social media is going to help you sell a book that is not well written” (page 92).