One of the notable experts in this field is Fauzia Burke. Fauzia is the founder and president of FSB Associates , an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more.
11 Powerful Book Promotion Ideas for Self-Published Authors
Compare and contrast today to pre-online. How is the world different for authors today? Oh, wow. Everything has changed. Now, for the first time in the history of publishing, authors have direct access to their readers. Social media has changed the publishing landscape. While there is more competition in the marketplace today, there are more opportunities than ever before. The new accessibility of social media allows authors to reach their audience directly, and this makes a long-term online marketing strategy absolutely essential for authors. The key to success for authors today is to build and grow their platform long-term.
If they earn the trust of their readers, they can do anything. What are some of the biggest misconceptions authors have when it comes to book publicity?
Many people feel book publicity is not quantifiable. I disagree with that notion. We can absolutely quantify the effects of publicity. When book publicity works, we see an increase in sales. How a book resonates with its audience is magic. The other misconception is that there is a short launch period when an author gets media hits and goes on a book tour, and then an author moves on until the next book. That is just not the case anymore.
Book publicity is a marathon, not a sprint. Authors are expected to engage with their readers whether they have a book to push or not. Is that your experience? Ah, yes.
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Of course, for every author, writing their book is a labor of love and incredibly hard work, and so understandably they exhale a sigh of relief when the book writing process is finished. We have to adapt. Once authors embrace the need to change with the times, I tell them some good news:. I think authors breathe a sigh of relief when they realize the best way to engage effectively online is to be authentic. Why is personal branding so important today? A personal brand allows an author to carve out their niche and decide what type of content to create and share.
When readers identify with a brand, they feel loyal and committed to that author. For authors to become a well-known and well-established brand, they have to dig in for the long haul and go for the slow build. I tell authors to prepare for a ramp-up period when it may feel like they are only writing for their mom. I tell authors to run their content through the filter of: Is this message congruent with my brand?
I encourage authors to:. What does too promotional look like? Too promotional is being a bullhorn. If you are always telling people to buy your book, share your book, or recommend your book, that could wear thin quickly. Instead, I encourage authors to create and share content of value for free.
When we read something that has takeaway value, we want to hear more from that author. Also a lot of authors think social media is for talking. In my opinion it is more about listening. If authors listen, respond, ask questions and are generous to others, they can then promote their books without being promotional. You know, happiness author Gretchen Rubin is a great well-known example of building a platform and engaging with social media — the right way. She blogs regularly and offers thought-provoking quotes to the subscribers of her list.
She sends out quizzes and turns excerpts of her book into blog posts. She started doing YouTube videos and podcasts where she shares her expertise. Her efforts have resulted in a known platform, bestselling books and numerous interviews, including Oprah. You talk about building a mailing list. How does this compare with other priorities?
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A mailing list is one of the most valuable assets for an author. Their email list is more valuable than all the social media tools put together. The power of your community exists in your list — those people who have actively signed up to read what you write or listen to what you have to say. If you outsource some of your social media efforts, make sure all the messaging is consistent with who you are and your brand.
Stick with it. Consistency is one of the most important ingredient of your online marketing plan. Stay the course. Remember if you don't show up, your readers don't either.
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Realize your small efforts count. You don't have to go viral to gain an audience. Sustained small efforts to keep people talking can be just as effective as a campaign that goes viral. Your ongoing conversation with your readers can result in speaking engagements, paid blog posts, interview opportunities, more fans on your Facebook page, more traffic on your site, increased sales, and a recognition and expansion of your brand -- Brand YOU. Think of what you can do daily to keep the conversation going.
Run your content through this filter.
Does it entertain, enlighten, inform or educate? If it doesn't, don't share it. Think of marketing as connecting. When your true passion is writing, marketing can appear daunting. Instead of thinking about selling books, think about how you can help more people. In what ways can you get your message to more people?
Take a day-by-day approach and realize every effort counts. Build trust. As you engage with your community you will be building trust.
Always think of the value you can provide with content, a video, a free chapter of your book, a tip list or a free guide. When your audience trusts you and equates your name with value, they will be more likely to buy from you. Take a look at what the data tells you. Everything you do online creates a digital footprint. You can track website visits, your content with the most shares, and the engagement on each of your platforms.
Insights and analytics on each platform can give you a picture of what's working and what's not. Use data to constantly improve your efforts month to month. Sometimes waiting to see the rewards from your efforts is a test of your commitment and patience, but your day will come.
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Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of FSB Associates , an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. A nationally recognized speaker and online branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for the Huffington Post. For more information on the book, please visit: www. US Edition U. News U.