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Online Marketing For Busy Authors



"There has never been a better time to be an author," says Fauzia Burke, "because for the first time authors have direct access to their readers. While there is more competition in the marketplace, there is also more opportunity."

However, "readers don't just expect a new book, they expect a community along with their book. You'll need to evolve your marketing to accommodate this new kind of reader: a reader whose loyalty you can have -- once you have earned it," explains Burke.

Because of this new dynamic and opportunity for authors, Burke, founder and president of FSB Associates, wrote her new book, Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Burke has been promoting books online for twenty years and her book addresses the major concern of most authors: how to spend their time effectively promoting their book and expanding they brands online while writing the best book possible.

The book is organized in three phases:
  1. Understanding personal branding and why it is important to you.
  2. Turning your priorities into action.
  3. Staying the course and how to continue working without feeling burnout.
Burke covers these topics, as well:
  • Building your website
  • Blogging
  • Fan mailing lists
  • Social media and social networking
  • Promoting without being promotional
Today, Burke answered these questions about her book:

Question & Answer with Fauzia Burke


Author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step-by-Step Guide

Question: Do you believe many authors confuse the need for a blog versus the need for a website, and why is that?

Burke: I think there is a lot of confusing terminology and information on the web. It's easy for authors to get lost. My philosophy is authors need both a website to present the story of their career, and a blog to share the value of their expertise and writing style.

A website is an extension of a resume and it helps authors build trust with their readers. Which is why it is so important to have a professional website. People do judge a book by its cover, and they judge an author's professionalism and quality of writing by the look of their website. That's why I tell authors that it's better to not have a website than to have a poorly designed and outdated one.

Here's some good news though. Despite popular belief, a good website doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Authors can keep it simple. WordPress is a great platform because it's author-friendly, easy-to-use and easy for people to find (good search capabilities). Some of my clients are starting to use Squarespace with some success.

Blogs continue to be the best way for authors to drive traffic to their website and build an author platform. A blog is also the foundation of an author's online marketing strategy because it helps people find and learn from that author. As I say to authors, "If people can't find you, they can't buy your books." Authors can blog on their own websites, or better yet, blog for a bigger site to get more exposure. LinkedIn and Medium make it easy for everyone to blog and build a following.

Question: What are the primary reasons for an author to engage a publicist even if they glean great tips and techniques from your book?

Burke: My book is an excellent place to start learning how to build an online platform. There are also many other good books on marketing and on DIY publicity. Book publicity is not rocket science, but it is time consuming and labor intensive. In my experience, most authors would rather write their next book than spend hours and hours chasing down publicity options.

Plus, marketing and publicity is more complicated today (even for professionals) due to numerous options and ever-changing social media landscape, but it is also more exciting and measurable than ever before. Ideally, where authors spend their money, time and talent should be a calculated and customized decision, and with the right advisor/publicist, it can be.

When you work directly with a publicity firm, you are paying for their time, expertise, advice and valuable access to media contacts and established relationships. With the right connections, you will get more quality media exposure for your book and in less time.



Question: Why is it so important to create the reader profile?

Burke: As authors we might hope the book we write appeals to the masses, but books and online marketing efforts are a lot more successful when we know the audience we are targeting. As I tell my clients, there is no everyone.com.

It's important for authors to know their audience, because then every piece of content they create will be on target with their readership. And when they begin to formulate their online marketing strategy they will have a better idea of where to find their audience and what that audience needs from them.

The identification of the majority of our readers is directly related to the quality of our marketing plan. Knowing your readers will save you valuable time and help you make better decisions with your time, resources and efforts.


Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. 

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.

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