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.
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About the Author
S.C. Gwynne is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Rebel Yell and Empire of the Summer Moon, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He spent most of his career as a journalist, including stints with Time as bureau chief, national correspondent, and senior editor, and with Texas Monthly as executive editor. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife.
Read an Excerpt
In my twenty years of promoting books online, I have worked with bestselling authors, celebrity authors, longtime authors, first-time authors, and some self-published authors. While the challenges may differ from book to book, all authors have a similar concern: how to spend their time effectively promoting their book and expanding their brands online while writing the best book possible. Whether you’re writing your first book or you write three books a year, you are probably very busy and you must make every minute count.
Together, we will figure out the best use of your time and the best way to engage with your specific readers. I hope to make the marketing process meaningful and fun for you. I am not going to tell you that if you follow my advice, your book will be #1 on Amazon (that would be a great sales pitch, though), but what I can tell you is that if you follow my advice, you will create meaningful interactions with your readers and build a long-term, successful personal brand online. Having visibility online is not just about selling a book, it’s about building a career.
I have written this book to help you do just that. I think it would be helpful for you to read this book once in its entirety before doing the actual worksheets. It will give you the big picture before you take the deep dive. This is an introductory book with a strategic look at online marketing for authors. There is a lot of information to absorb here, so I have made the book interactive. You’ll find worksheets and checklists, as well as bulleted lists, tips, quotes, and advice from book publishing professionals, throughout the book.
Some of the information in the book is available on the web and even in my own blogs, but I find that having a clear road map is really important so you don’t spend a lot of time chasing down information without having a plan to implement the ideas. I’ve organized the book in three phases to help you digest a process that feels overwhelming to most authors. In the first phase, we dig right into understanding what personal branding is and why it is important for you. We work on your motivations, dreams, and goals, and on understanding your readers. This is an important step, because it will help you make choices about where to spend your valuable time. We end with a priority list in chapter 6. This list does not have the coolest options (such as the newest video creation tool), but it does have the options that have produced the best results for my clients.
In phase 2 of the book, we’ll focus on turning your priorities into action. Because it can take a couple of years to see the fruits of your labor, we work on creating a sustainable online marketing plan. I offer advice on designing a successful website, on building a mailing list of Super Fans, on blogging, and on creating an engagement strategy for social media. I also cover DIY online publicity tips and ideas you can use to create visibility for your book. All of these activities will help you establish a strong digital footprint and online brand.
Phase 3 is called Staying the Course and offers tips and ideas to continue this work without feeling the burnout experienced by many authors. One of the key concerns that my clients share is what to post on social media. By the end of the book you should not only know what to post but when and where as well.
The old saying that you can’t be all things to all people is more true today than ever. Be a specialist as you build your community. There is only one you! Your online brand will serve you in everything you do, and it will help you in magical ways by opening doors to unexpected opportunities. It has done that for me, and for many of my clients. I can’t wait to hear how this work helps you.
Table of ContentsForeword by S.C. Gwynne
Phase 1: Getting Organized
1 Personal Branding 101
2 You Gotta Dream Big
3 Know Thy Reader
4 Get Real With Your Goals
5 Best Advice in the Business
6 Your Priority List
Phase 2: Turning Your Thinking Into Action
7 Your Online Marketing Plan
8 Building Your Website
9 Mailing List of Fans
10 To Blog or Not to Blog
11 Social Media and Social Networking
12 DIY Online Book Publicity
Phase 3: Staying the Course
13 Promote Without Being Promotional
14 Monitor and Adjust
Some Parting Advice
About the Author