November, 2016

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Want the Perfect Gift for the Author in Your Life?

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Consider the following gift ideas for the writer, publisher or author on your holiday gift list!

A Copy of The Write Way

(Small enough for a stocking!) download

An Hour of Consulting with Amy Collins 

(Time with Amy has proven to be a clarifying and educational experience that allows the author/publisher to get all their questions answered. Plans, assistance, guidance… why not give your author the gift of help as they navigate the world of publishing?)

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Gift Certificate

(Let your author/publisher choose their own Templates, Materials, or Video Tutorials so that they can get what they need and want.)

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Social Media Basics by Fauzia Burke

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Originally published Oct 2016 on fauziaburke.com 

fb From all the talk of social media, you may think every author is active and enjoying it. But as I talk to authors one thing is clear, there are lots of them still sitting on the sidelines, lots still saying “I hate social media” and a lot of them wanting to start but feeling overwhelmed. One of the questions I routinely get from authors is, “What should I do with social media? I know I need to do something, but I don’t know where to start.”

It’s no surprise that I believe social media is a powerful tool for building and engaging with an audience–and I’m not just talking about Facebook. I encourage all authors I work with to build a presence not only on Facebook, but also Twitter and LinkedIn. Actually pick any two or three social media platforms that you would enjoy using and focus on them. There is no reason to be on every platform and spread yourself thin. It’s more important to build engagement with consistency.

Social media platforms give you an amazing way to interact directly with your readers. But, contrary to the famous line from Field of Dreams, if you build it, they may not come. So how do you attract people to your social media pages? Here are a few tips I have found successful in the past:

  • Start slow and build out your page before worrying about attracting others. When you do get people to your pages, you want to make sure there is plenty of good content for them to peruse. How many times have you followed an empty social media account?
  • Once you have some content built out, start following others. Think about people who are influencers in your field, fellow authors, relevant media sites, your endorsers, etc. Many times, they will follow you back.
  • Cross-promote. It may sound simple, but many people forget to promote their social media pages. Be sure to include links to your social media accounts on your website and on your Amazon author page. And don’t forget any “offline” activities: include your handles on the back flap of your book jacket, and on any print pieces you might be creating. Whatever you’re doing, you should always be promoting your online presence.
  • Start participating in relevant conversations. Are there things happening in the news that you feel comfortable commenting on? Use hashtags to get more people reading your posts.
  • If you already have a personal Facebook page, create a second page that is strictly devoted to you as an author. Remember, the people who want to see pictures of your high school reunion and keep up on neighborhood news are not necessarily the same audience as your readers. Adapt content to appeal to each distinct group.
  • Try experimenting with Facebook ads. They are relatively inexpensive and allow you to specifically target users. Say you want to target fans of Kristin Hannah who are women and live in Massachusetts. Facebook ads will let you do that. I recommend running a few different ads simultaneously. After a few days, see which ad is getting the most traffic, then focus your attention there. It’s very easy to “turn off” the ads that aren’t working. Just remember to set a campaign end date, or you’ll get charged indefinitely!
  • If these tools are new to you, take a quick online course (I like the ones onwww.lynda.com) or ask a friend to spend an afternoon with you showing you the best ways to use the platform.

As you engage with your readers in social media 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.

Check out Fauzia’s newest book!

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Fauzia is the founder and president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. She’s also the author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, April 2016). Fauzia started her career at Wiley and Henry Holt before starting FSB, and 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. For online publicity, book publishing and social media advice, follow Fauzia on Twitter (@FauziaBurke) and on Facebook (Fauzia S. Burke). More information can be found at www.FauziaBurke.com.

 

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Step-by-Step Instructions to a Terrific Back Cover

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For non-fiction authors, back covers are the best place to convince potential readers to open your book and check it out.

It is the front cover’s job to get the reader to flip the back over and read the back cover. It is the back cover’s job to convince the reader to open the book (in person or online).

For small press and self-published authors, WHAT to put on the back cover can be a hard decision.

Here is my formula for a killer back cover that has a terrific chance of convincing a reader to open your book:

  1. Big, bold, exciting headline: LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT DIETING
  2. List 3-5 questions that will allow the reader to identify with an issue. (Are you struggling to lose weight? Have you lost and then regained the weight before? Do cravings and hunger plague you when you are trying to lose weight?)
  3. Write 3-4 sentences addressing the problems listed in those questions.
  4. Write a short paragraph describing the book and giving the reader a list of benefits they will receive when they read the book.

Done.

There is no need to put the author’s photo or even a bio on the back cover. The days of back covers being where folks went to learn about authors is over.  Put your bio, photo, and information on the last page of the book and save that amazing real estate on the back cover for showcasing the benefits of your book.

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Sales and Review Assistance Agency Opening This Week

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10653854_10204287604364058_1701356355901810191_nI am very happy to introduce you to Cyan Agency and Andra Maguran.  Andra worked for New Shelves Books for the last few years and has just launched her own company to help authors and publishers get their books in front of buyers and reviewers.

Andra and her team will create sales materials and sell your book into the bookstores and libraries across the US. In addition, she offers authors her help in finding and contacting book reviewers on Amazon and online.

She has very reasonable hourly rates and offers discounts for those interested in purchasing her time in 10 hour increments.

To learn more about Andra and Cyan Agency, email andra@cyanagency.com or call 917-658-4751.

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