Online Marketing for Busy Authors
A Step-by-Step Guide
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
If You Want People to Read Your Book,
Writing It Is Only the Beginning
There has truly never been a better time to be an author. For the first time, authors have direct access to the public via the Internet—and can create a community eagerly awaiting their book. But where do new authors start? How do they sort through the dizzying range of online options? Where should they spend their time online and what should they be doing?
Enter Fauzia Burke, a digital book marketing pioneer and friend of overwhelmed writers everywhere. She 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. She offers advice on designing a successful website, building a mailing list of superfans, blogging, creating an engagement strategy for social media, and more. By following Burke's expert advice, authors can conquer the Internet and still get their next manuscript in on time.
A marketing strategy blueprint for self or traditionally published authors
With all the book marketing books available—many at lower prices—I had second thoughts about buying this one*. Also, looking at the author’s bio made me wonder (as a self-published writer) whether her advice would be relevant to me.
All I can say is you won’t be disappointed.
First, no matter the stage of your author marketing efforts chances are that you are overwhelmed by the range of advice you have read, some of it contradictory. This book is from a true pioneer in the business of helping authors build their platforms to sell books and build author followings. It doesn’t matter if you are self-publishing, or published by a publisher, all the advice in this book is relevant.
Second, time is one of the most valuable commodities an author has. Considering that, the price for this one is cheap. Also, you don’t need to keep reading a bunch of other books. In fact, I think that is detrimental to your marketing efforts. Use this as your strategy blueprint and supplement it with books on targeted topics such as blogging strategies, Amazon metadata optimization, mailing list building techniques and so forth. At 168 pages, this book will form the core of your book marketing strategy and you won’t have to wade through filler material that may end up changing anyway—which is why you still need tactic-specific guides.
(Think of Burke like your doctor who gave you a prescription and now you need medicine or a health coach for some specialized care. Now stop going to more doctors.)
The first 4 chapters of the book are dedicated to helping you identify your brand, define the audience for your book, identify why you are publishing, and reinforcing the importance of managing your expectations. It is followed by what she calls the second phase which is her detailed advice about what you need in place to succeed: your website, mailing list, blogging and social media.
My personal favorite was her chapter on DIY Online Book Publicity. She includes a methodology for hiring a firm, and wise counsel for those going it alone, including this fun nugget: “Every good publicist masters the delicate art of begging.”
The only fault I can find with the ebook edition is the use of fill-in-the-blank forms with no reference to where I could download these to easily complete the exercises. This is a not an uncommon oversight of publishers where they simply make the ebook match the print book instead of taking advantage of an ebook-specific capability like hyperlinking to send a reader to their website to get the forms. The solution here was to prop my ereader up and re-type the text into Word. I’ll bet a lot of authors won’t complete these useful exercises because it isn’t convenient. Perhaps this might be added at some point (hint) but in the meantime it does not detract from the quality of the information.
Speaking of the publisher, I wrote this review based on an advance reading copy (iBooks) that they sent me. However, that said, I liked it so much that *I bought the Kindle edition so I could read it on any device. It’s that good.