If you're in marketing and PR, chances are good you've considered writing a book. But have you thought about how you'd promote yourself as an author?

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Naturally, you have plenty of transferable skills and insights from the work you do for your company or your clients. On the other hand, those obligations might prevent you from putting in the time to build your own brand as an author.

Enter Fauzia Burke, whose firm, FSB Associates, has run more than 2,000 marketing and publicity campaigns for authors, including Mary Higgins Clark, Tom Clancy, and Robert Parker. 

I invited Fauzia to Marketing Smarts to share tips from her recent book, Online Marketing for Busy Authors, for building an appealing personal brand, engaging with the right audience, and gaining visibility for your work online.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

The topics have all been covered, but maybe not by you (08:52): "I think everything that's important can be written on a post-it. All of these diet books can be trimmed down to one post-it that says 'eat less, move more' and you're done. There's just so many books out there. I think there's a lot of topics that have been covered....

"What I think is important is building a brand so that people are looking for your book instead of just a book. It's probably the most important thing you can do. There's a lot of people out there, there's a lot of people writing, there's a lot of books coming out all the time, but you're...writing your book. If you have enough of a following where people would say 'you know what, I really just want to read her book,' I think you're in better shape. That's why branding and building your following online—and offline—is so important."

Unless you want some "alone time," use geotargeting in book event promotions (21:15): "On Facebook...one thing that I've noticed is that when authors have a dedicated, more engaged audience, we're able to direct them to go to more events and have them be much more engaged when they go to theses events.

"Author events are one of those things that sometimes it's really bad because four people show up and you've traveled and gotten to this place and you're sitting in a bookstore and there's just not a lot of people. That's the nightmare scenario for PR people as well as for authors.

"But what I've found is, with a smaller but dedicated audience on Facebook, we've been able to do geotargeted ads for events and a lot more people show up because of that. It's much more effective as long as they're engaged and want to come to your events."

Becoming a best-selling author is a dream, not a goal (24:52): "Everybody wants to be a best-seller. I've never spoken to an author where that was not something that they wanted. Everybody wants their book to be a huge seller. the problem is wanting to be a best-selling book is not a goal, it's a wish. Goals are things you should be able to accomplish. 'I will tweet 4x more than I usually do and I will build a following.' That's a goal that you can actually achieve because you can do something about it, but getting people to buy your book to where it becomes a best-seller—that's not something that you can control. If you can't control it, it's more of a wish. Goals are things that you can accomplish. You can see the results. You can track your progress. They're doable and there's a timeline for it.... Leave the best-selling part on the table."

To learn more, visit FSBAssociates.com, and follow Fauzia on Twitter @FauziaBurke. You can also get your copy of her book, Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Fauzia and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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