Posts Tagged ‘fsb associates’

Your Website and Google Analytics 101        

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

A sign with a question mark that asks: What are you goals?As an author, you need to have a website so your readers and community can learn about you. In order to know if your website is attracting traffic and is working for you, take advantage of free Google Analytics and connect your website. Google Analytics can tell you so much information even at a glance. If you are new to Google Analytics here’s a little overview to help you get familiar with the data you can collect and review.

Google Analytics 101

Number of visits

Your number of visits is the number of times someone comes to your site. If the same person comes back more than once, that’s tracked as two visits.

Unique Visitors

The number of new people coming to your site. Each unique person is counted once.

Page views

Page views are the number of pages on your site that were viewed. Each link on a website takes you to a new page. An increase in page views indicates that more content is being viewed across your website. You can see where people are going on your site and how many pages they view per visit.

Bounce rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of people who see one page and then leave the site or bounce off the page. Aim for a decreasing bounce rate. It means people are finding content they like and you are likely achieving reader engagement.

Average time on the site

This indicates how long someone stays on your site. This is a good number to track to see if it’s improving or declining.

Top content

Track the content that gets the most page views and best traffic to show your high-performing pages and then you know what works and you can do more of it.

Social visits

Find out what social media sites send the most traffic to your website by going to the Traffic Sources section of Google analytics and click on “All Traffic.” You will be able to see the websites that send traffic to your site.

Traffic source keywords

Track the keywords people use via search engines to get to your site. Keywords people use that have a low bounce rate, high time on site and lots of page visits are the ones you should use in your blog post titles, and as tags and categories. Your keywords also can be a good indication to you of the content that resonates with your readers.

SEO

Keyword search engine optimization (SEO) is important, but so is sounding like you. People expect authentic communication not marketing copy. Make sure your site isn’t so optimized for SEO it hardly reads well.

For more information on how best to use Google Analytics to drive traffic to your website, read my Q & A with Social Marketology author, Ric Dragon. He provides excellent insights on how to gauge if your website is effective. . Understanding what draws people to your website is instrumental to giving your visitors more of what they want and encouraging repeat and longer visits.

Why You Should Connect Your Site to Google Analytics

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Google AnalyticsIf you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Or, what isn’t tracked can’t be improved. If you have a website, you have to know if it’s working for you. It’s important to know what specifically is working well so you can do more of it. It’s great if your mom is visiting your website, not so great if only your mom is visiting your website. The easiest and most effective way to track your website progress, and discover what’s resonating with your visitors is connecting your site to Google Analytics with a little bit of tracking code. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of tracking your site’s Google Analytics.

Benefits of Google Analytics

  • It’s free. Works well as a tracking tool for small businesses or authors who have small advertising budgets. You can use the data to run targeted marketing campaigns.
  • It’s easy to track website visits, page views, user demographics and other information.
  • Identify trends and make changes to your website in real time to best meet the needs of your visitors.
  • Find out where most of your visitors are located.
  • Learn the keywords or topics people are searching for on your site. (Hint: This is a big content clue of the information your visitors are most interested in having.)
  • Find out what pages people click on the most and what pages keep visitor interest for the longest amount of time.
  • Easily identify your best or most effective marketing efforts.
  • Discover how many people access your website via their mobile devices and assess if your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Enhance the user experience by gathering data of what content people like the most and using that data to align your content with visitors’ interests.
  • Make changes in real time if you aren’t satisfied with the performance of your website.
  • See which search engine keyword search terms deliver traffic to your site, and how effective your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts are.
  • Find out which online marketing campaigns bring the most conversions.
  • Use referral and keyword data to improve your site’s search engine rankings and to increase your awareness of who is linking to you when, where and why.

If you are an author and you have a website, hooray! Having a website is one of the top branding strategies I recommend to authors to create community. The next step is to effectively manage your website and let the data to guide you. Use Google Analytics to provide you with feedback on what you should do more of (what’s working!) and what you should stop doing (what’s not working!). Google Analytics is a free tool, so it really is a no brainer.

For more information on how best to use Google Analytics to drive traffic to your website, read my Q & A with Social Marketology author, Ric Dragon. He provides excellent insights on how to gauge if your website is effective. . Understanding what draws people to your website is instrumental to giving your visitors more of what they want and encouraging repeat and longer visits.

Making My Case: Why Authors Need Websites

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

a post-it note that reads: Who Are You?I heard there’s a rumor going around in book publishing that authors don’t need websites. I kid you not, in 2014 I still hear people saying authors don’t need a website. If it was a true rumor, many authors would exhale with relief. Who has the time to get a great website up, keep it updated with fresh content and still have coveted writing time? If you are an author, you may view getting your website up as a time-suck or annoyance, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need one. Authors without websites, your careers are like houses without foundations. Not convinced? Here are five reasons why you’ve got to get your author website up.

1. Your readers want to learn more about you.

In our digitally connected world, you can’t put your book out there in the world, but leave yourself in the shadows. Your readers want to know you. They want to know your interests and values, and they want to be able to converse with you online. Your website is the place where readers find out more about you and your expertise. Your website is where you build your brand and keep your content alive in real time. You should own your site. If your publisher owns your site, what happens if you decide to change publishers or decide to self-publish some day? As you develop a blog (which can be re-purposed content from your book) you can regularly reach out to your readers with content of value. Your website houses your content for your email newsletters. And if you want your blog to get more views, you want to be able to share it on Google+ (so it comes up in Google searches). Without a website, your blog is homeless.

2. You need a place to build your community.

As you collect email addresses of your interested readers (I call them your super fans) you are a creating a vetted community of people who are stepping forward and saying, “I am interested in you and what you have to say.” Your website is the ideal place to collect these names for your email newsletter. You are building community. While you can converse on social pages, your website is a home base where collecting emails and generating content meet. Your mailing list is a big asset, you should have control over it. Without a website, it would be difficult to collect email addresses on a consistent basis or have a home base for the content you send out in those emails.

3. You need a place for ecommerce.

If you want to sell other products or services, or that’s your plan down the road, no other social media platform (not Twitter, not Facebook, not Pinterest) can organize the products, books or services like you can organize them on your own website. You can integrate your website with shopping cart tools, add new products all the time and have them organized under a one-click navigation (i.e. under the word, Shop.) Better still, your website can include testimonials from your super fans, solidifying your brand, expertise and the products you offer.

4. Other social media platforms don’t cancel out the need for a website.

Your website is where you are in control. No one else can change the rules like they can on other social media sites. While some players in the publishing industry contend that you can use a social media site in place of having a website, I couldn’t disagree more. A website is where you call the shots. If you are only on social media sites, you are always playing another person’s game. Facebook or Twitter could change the user experience and you just have to follow along. For example, Facebook recently changed its model to more of a pay-to-play platform, so if you opted for a Facebook business page in lieu of your own website, you now have to play by Facebook’s rules. Do you want to be dependent upon Facebook’s algorithm or functionality of who sees your content? If you have a website, you get to decide what your audience sees. Your website and each social media platform are each totally different entities. Knowing your readers and where they spend their time will tell you what social pages you should sign-up for, but bottom line: You always need a website.

5. Why take a hit on your digital reputation when you can avoid it.

Ever hear the quote, “it’s not what you say, but sometimes what you don’t say that speaks the loudest?” Well, that applies to your website too. If your interested reader does a quick search for you and doesn’t find a website, are you okay with that says about you? Not having a website could be viewed as unprofessional, out-of-date, and not connected. Publishers who want you to be a marketing partner for your book, may see your lack of a website as a reason not to take you seriously as a writer. If you want to grow your brand and your business, you need to show up with a website.

Despite popular belief, your website doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. You can keep it simple. WordPress is often recommended as a hosting platform because it’s author friendly, easy to use and easy for people to find (good search capabilities). Keep in mind one thing: It’s better not to have a website, than to have a bad one. If you have a website, make it good one.

Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington PostMariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke and Facebook. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook.

Ask Yourself these 14 Questions to Expertly Market Your Book

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Market Your Book

Market Your Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s really never been a better time to be an author. There is a lot more competition than ever before, but there are also a lot more opportunities. For the first time in the history of publishing, authors have direct access to their readers. Our new world of direct access to readers requires authors to spend more time and effort to get the word out about their books, but with that investment there is great reward. Authors are building community, making a difference and finding great joy in the process.

I own a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors and I often hear from authors who feel overwhelmed with the process of building a brand or finding an audience. Social media has opened the door to a world of possibilities, so where to begin? If you are an author, here are 14 questions you can answer to market your book with expertise.

1. Who is my book for?

Answer this question on paper and a picture of your audience will begin to emerge. Once you can describe your audience, you will have a better understanding of where you can find them online.

2. Who do I want to help?

Think of the problems you want to help solve for your audience and share your knowledge. Create connections through online conversation. Offer value with solutions, ideas, resources or expertise.

3. What does my audience care about?

Don’t follow the next shiny object online; take time to consider what social media platforms make sense for your brand. Just because a social media platform exists or there’s an app for it, doesn’t mean you have to use it. Decide what sites and tools you will use to find and communicate with your audience. To avoid overwhelm, start with a website and one or two social media platforms. You don’t have to do everything all at once.

4. What’s my digital reputation?

Your name and reputation are at stake when you build your brand. You can get help with your social media efforts, but make sure you invest your own time to safeguard your brand. If you outsource some of your social media efforts, make sure all the messaging is consistent with who you are and your personal brand. Your brand is your reputation or story.

5. What’s my top goal for writing my book?

Identifying your goals for writing your book determines your priorities. Nonfiction writers are often driven to write a book to shed light on an untold story, help others with their expertise, build a business or acquire speaking engagements. What’s your top goal? Keep your top goal in mind to decide how to spend your time online.

6. What can I do today?

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

7. Does the content I share on my website or on social media entertain, enlighten, inform or educate?

If it doesn’t, don’t share it.

8. What’s my purpose?  

Your purpose for your book is your most meaningful goal as an author. Maybe you want to help people, make a difference, or offer solutions of value. Those goals have a deeper emotional hook than wanting to sell books. As author Seth Godin so aptly put it: “Build it and they will come” is only for the movies. Publicity won’t happen because you have a desire to sell books. Connecting to your more meaningful goals is how you can make things happen. Give value and you will receive value back.

9. Is my website about me and is it professional?

People follow people, not books. When you build your website, make it a website about you first and then your book. A professional website is the single most important step toward your digital marketing plan because it’s your home base. Make sure you update your content is current and you update it regularly. Make sure your site is linked to any other social media sites where you are active. If a person cares enough to come to your site, make sure their trip was worth the effort.

10. How much do I know about reader?

Do you know if your reader is male or female? Young or on the older side? What are the values of your reader? Education level? Where do you think your reader is online? What social media sites? The more you know about your reader, the easier it will be for you to find them online. When you know your reader well, it becomes easier to know what they want, provide content of value, and stay in your lane of expertise.

11. Am I investing in the relationship with my audience or community?

Assess today if you are truly investing in the relationship you have with your readers. Readers today expect more from authors than just a book. Readers want a relationship with writers. Are you invested in their interests? Do you answer their questions? If you help your audience, they will feel connected to you.

12. What is my dream for my book?

Determining your dream can fuel your motivation to dig in and build your brand for the long haul. Building your brand and marketing your book is a marathon and not a sprint.

Be on TV?

Become a columnist?

Speak at conferences?

Offer consulting services?

Sell movie rights to your book?

Other ________________!

 13. Does all the content I produce sound like me?

There is no competition for you. No matter how much you like how someone else’s brand or business, you won’t be effective if you try and be someone else. People will be drawn to you when you are authentic and relatable. Be uniquely you.

14. Am I super to my super fans?

If someone takes the time to sign up for your newsletter, that person is a super fan.  Treat your super fans as such! Communicate with your super fans by thinking of what you can content of value you can provide for them. When you keep the interests and needs of your community top of mind, you can’t go wrong with what you share.

While it will take work, enjoy today’s direct access relationship with your readers. As you build your audience, you will simultaneously create opportunity for you and your brand, while you make a difference in the lives of other people.

© 2014 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

 

Keep Going: 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
a journal or notebook

Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully you’ve read Getting Started, my first 10 digital marketing tips for busy authors. This is wave two. Remember, the most effective marketing plan for your book is one that you work on continuously. I know it’s easy to get social media fatigue (or overwhelm) by thinking of all the possibilities of what you can do online … but just take it step by step. Soon you will have a process to market your book and build your brand as an author.

Here are ten more digital marketing tips for you.

1)  Connect to your purpose for writing your book.

As author Seth Godin so aptly put it: “Build it and they will come” is only for the movies. Publicity won’t happen because you have a desire to sell books. Your more meaningful goals will drive conversations and make things happen for you (other writing or publicity opportunities, speaking engagements, etc.) Goals like “I want to help people” or “I want to make a difference” are where you can find connection that resonates. Give value and that’s what you will receive. What is your most meaningful goal for writing your book? (Bonus: Reminding yourself of why you wrote your book can be just the motivation you need to sustain your marketing efforts.)

2) Google your name.

(It’s okay, we all do it!) Think of personal branding as your Google search results. Your brand is your reputation or story. Your brand is what people think of you, so stay on top of your brand. For example, if you see a negative comment on a blog post, respond positively and publicly. Don’t delete, use it as an opportunity to show others who you are.

3) Make your website about you.

People follow people, not books. When you build your website, make it a website about you first and then your book. And you really do need a website. Here’s why!

4) Craft your reader profile.

Answer the following questions about your readers to create your reader profile statement.

Is your reader male or female?

What other books/authors/magazines does he/she reads?

TV shows they watch?

What are some of the common values or traits of your ideal readership?

Does your audience have a problem, concern or frustration that your book seeks to solve?

What does your audience want?

What are the top three audiences for the book?

What do you consider the top competitive titles for your book?

Education level of your readers:

Do they need/want your book for pleasure or business?

Is your reader on social networks?

Which ones?

Once you have your reader profile statement, you will get a better sense of who your ideal audience is and where you can find them online.

5) Think about your reader.

What does your reader want? Use your reader profile to identify what your reader and audience wants. How can you serve your reader? What problem can you solve? What can you help with? Write down your answers to get a crystal clear picture of how you can meet your readers’ needs.

6) Create two-way relationships.

Today readers expect more from authors than a just their book. Readers want a relationship with writers. Assess today if you are truly investing in the relationship you have with your readers. Are you invested in their interests? Do you answer their questions? When the content you create helps your readers, they identify with your brand, and feel loyal and connected to you.

7) Be able to quickly describe your reader.

There is no everyone.com. Readers are part of micro-communities. They want good books, and they will support authors who will support their interests and passions. List five ways you can identify your reader. (What are your shared interests and passions?) When you know your reader front and back—it’s easy to know what they want, provide content of value, and stay in your lane of expertise.

8) Dream big.

What is your dream for writing your book?

o   Be on TV?

o   Become a columnist?

o   Speak at conferences?

o   Offer consulting services?

o   Sell movie rights to your book?

o   Other ________________!

Determining your dream can fuel your motivation to build your brand for the long haul. After all, seeing results from your brand is a marathon and not a sprint.

9)  Be You.

Don’t try and emulate anyone else or any other brand. A personal brand lets you carve out your niche. There is no competition for you. What makes your brand unique? List three things.

10) Keep the conversation going.

It’s perfectly normal to feel like your brand is a one-way street. You wonder if anyone other than your mother is reading your blog. Wait for it. Remember, your brand is like waiting for a newborn to smile. It doesn’t happen when you want it to, but when you are patient, it will happen. Keep the conversation going on a regular basis and don’t give up. View each day as an opportunity to do something.

Do you have any questions about marketing your book? Chime in below and let’s get the conversation going!

© 2014 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

Books to Make the Best of Your Workplace

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Labor Day signals the end of summer for most Americans which means it’s time to get back to business. The kids are in school and hopefully you’ve had enough time to recoup from family outings and vacation getaways to get your game face on. Done with rotating summer schedules and shorter hours, the office is a full house which means a lot of catching up with co-workers, swapping anecdotes from your holidays, and gearing up with team members to plan upcoming projects.

While we would all like to imagine the office as sunny as a trip to Montego Bay, the truth is, the typical work environment just isn’t so. In fact, sometimes the office can be downright stormy with torrential misunderstandings, high pressure competition, and raging rivals.

New books on our shelves this month focus on weakening those nasty office climates and alerting of any bad weather on the horizon. Whether you’re a leader, follower, or someone in between, the titles found below hold tremendous value as resources for creating and maintaining a company and office culture that’ll stretch those blue skies from your vacation right into your work.

The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking…Because People Do Busines with People They Like by Michelle Tillis Lederman

We all know that networking is important for success, but the networking tactics we read about take a lot of work — and can feel so phony! Wouldn’t it be great if you could network in a more relaxed, authentic way?

The 11 Laws of Likability reveals a painless new way to network that’s based on one simple truth: People do business with people they like. In this empowering book, you’ll learn how to identify and accentuate your most likable characteristics, and also how to:

  • Start conversations and keep them going with ease
  • Avoid coming across as manipulative or self-serving
  • Convert acquaintances into friends
  • Tweak your own personal style to enable engaging interactions with different kinds of people
  • Stay in others’ minds long after your initial meeting
  • And more.

Featuring real-life scenarios and packed with activities and self-assessment quizzes, this powerful yet down-to-earth book will help bring to light all of your natural likability — and give you easy, comfortable methods for creating honest, enjoyable interactions that become “wins” for you and for all parties involved.

Forming relationships is the foundation of success. And once you discover “The 11 Laws of Likability,” your road to success in any field will be faster and more enjoyable than you ever imagined.

The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking…Because People Do Busines with People They Like from Amacom is available in print and digital format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts by Dr. Peter T. Coleman

ONE IN EVERY TWENTY DIFFICULT CONFLICTS ends up not in a calm reconciliation or tolerable standoff but as an acute lasting antagonism. Such conflicts — the five percent — can be found among the diplomatic and political clashes we read about every day in the newspaper but also, and in a no less damaging and dangerous form, in our private and personal lives, within families, in work-places, and among neighbors. These self-perpetuating conflicts resist mediation, defy conventional wisdom, and drag on and on, worsening over time. Once we get pulled in, it is nearly impossible to escape. The five percent rules us.

So what can we do when we find ourselves ensnared? According to Dr. Peter T. Coleman, to contend with this destructive species of conflict we must understand the invisible dynamics at work. Coleman has extensively researched the essence of conflict in his “Intractable Conflict Lab,” the first research facility devoted to the study of polarizing conversations and seemingly unresolveable disagreements. Informed by lessons drawn from practical experience, advances in complexity theory, and the psychological and social currents that drive conflicts both international and domestic, Coleman offers innovative new strategies for dealing with disputes of all types, ranging from abortion debates to the enmity between Israelis and Palestinians.

A timely, paradigm-shifting look at conflict, The Five Percent is an invaluable guide to preventing even the most fractious negotiations from foundering.

The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts from Public Affairs – Perseus is available in print and digital format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works for You by Adelaide Lancaster and Amy Abrams

A guide to building a business you enjoy running without caving under the pressure to grow.

After initially launching their company, small-business owners are bombarded with a flurry of “advice” on how to grow fast, be more profitable, and imitate other successful start-ups. While these tips may work for some people, they fail to consider the astounding variety of needs, motivations, and goals that each entrepreneur has for starting her business.

Entrepreneurs Abrams and Lancaster explore how to grow an enterprise that is not only successful but also sustains the owner’s personal goals and needs-in terms of size, culture, and level of involvement. Drawing on their experience as well as on interviews with more than one hundred successful women business owners, Abrams and Lancaster guide readers through the principles that matter most when you work for yourself.

More a supportive guide than a list of dos and don’ts, this book empowers entrepreneurs to ignore popular “wisdom” and peer pressure and take charge of their businesses in a way that will help them succeed on their own terms.

The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works for You from Portfolio Hardcover is available in print and digital format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Steve Jobs Makes Me Better

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

by Fauzia Burke

Steve Jobs stepped down as the CEO of Apple on Aug. 24, 2011, and if you read the news on Twitter first, then you also saw the millions of tweets thanking him and feeling sad at the news of his departure. Think about that for a minute: we, the people, were thanking the CEO of a company for making us better.

Most of us don’t even know the CEOs of companies, but we know Steve Jobs. We know him because he was always on our side. His decisions about design, beauty and elegance were not about technology; they were about us.

Apple makes great products, but I was not always a Mac fan. Actually, until 2007, I was a PC user. I just assumed that Macs were for those creative types, the artists and graphic designers and photographers and movie makers. I am a publicist and a small business owner. I figured I could do with a PC.

Our family’s love affair started with the iPod, of course. John, my husband and our home and company CIO, had bought several MP3 players and told our tween girls that they were the same as an iPod, just a lot cheaper. Of course, that was not going over well, so we bought them iPods. Those were the first Apple products in our home.

Upon seeing the elegance of the design, both John and I got iPods, as well. Then John bought a Mac Mini for the home to test it out in June 2007. We thought our girls would enjoy the music, photo and movie programs. Not only did they enjoy them, but we loved them, as well.

In fall 2007, John then bought himself a MacBook Pro, and for our daughter’s 13th birthday we got her a MacBook (we owe our current Mac devotion to her love of Apple products). After seeing John’s laptop, I, of course, had Mac envy and wanted a MacBook Pro for myself.

Now our home was almost totally powered by Mac computers, and we were loving them. The programs and templates allowed me to do my best work. The laptops were effortless. Gone were the days of my laptops overheating (yes I am talking to you, HP) or freezing for no reason (that’s you, Microsoft). I could already feel that this laptop was about me. It just worked.

In our Web design department at FSB (our firm), we moved to Macs in the office. Now the Macs had started moving into the office, as well. We were switching our website development to Dreamweaver and did not want to buy the expensive program for PC, so in came the Macs. They were, of course, a big hit.

In the meantime, one of our publicists’ computer crashed from a virus (remember the blue screen of death?). By this point, John was frustrated by how much tech support was needed by the PCs and decided to get her a Mac Mini. This required our company to change our software needs, which were PC based, so we developed an awesome database that was Web-based. Now we were platform-agnostic and could work from anywhere. Fabulous!

By 2008 the entire FSB office was converted to Macs. Everyone loved them and felt that they were so much easier to work with. None of us was thinking about how to work with our computer. We were just doing our work, and the Macs were just working. It was all about us.

Then there is the classic story of getting our first iPhones. John really wanted one, but I figured a phone is a phone, and I did not care. But he convinced me that it would be a great anniversary present for each other. I rolled my eyes but went along with it. So on our wedding anniversary, we were standing in line at a Mac store waiting to buy our iPhones. I rolled my eyes and told him he owed me. Then we got the iPhones, and 24 hours later I was converted and was found saying, “You can take my iPhone from my cold, dead fingers.”

There was no turning back. We were Mac devotees. Yesterday I started to count how many Apple products we own, and I lost the count at 30. Our home and our office are completely powered by Apple products, and we could not be happier.

As a small business and a tech-savvy family, our Apple products have made our lives better. We do our best work on our Apple hardware and software. The Macs in the office, including the server, have saved us money and hours of frustration in tech support.

Like millions of others whose lives have been made better by your products, we, as a family and a business, thank you, Steve Jobs, for improving our family life, saving us money in our small business and giving us the tools to do our best work. We all wish you the best of health and continued success.

Dina R. Rose: It’s Not About Nutrition

Friday, August 26th, 2011

This week we welcome Dina R. Rose who has a PhD in sociology from Duke University and is the author of the popular blog, It’s Not About Nutrition where she focuses on helping parents find the right approach to get kids eating right.

After her mother’s premature death from obesity-related illnesses at the age of 65, Dina knew she wanted to give her daughter a better — and happier — food-life. Dina made helping parents solve their kids’ eating problems her life work. Most parents know what their children should eat, but have trouble putting this knowledge into practice. Dina offers parents the relief they need: practical, research-based strategies so they can stop struggling and start succeeding.

A Food Sociologist, Dina answers the how not the what when it comes to nutrition. The foods children should eat is not so much a mystery as getting them to actually accept and enjoy a regular healthy diet.

In her workshops and one-on-one sessions, Dina gives parents the tools to teach kids to eat right without having to rely on calorie counting systems, complex menus, or portion limits. By making smart decisions based on the latest in parenting, sociology, nutrition, and food psychology research, parents can learn to:

  • Deliberately and consciously shape children’s eating habits.
  • Identify why children eat the way they do.
  • Manage events as they happen so unexpected treats don’t ruin your plans.
  • Use taste and texture to teach kids to eat a wide variety of foods.
  • Avoid the 3 most common ways parents inadvertently teach bad eating habits.
  • Teach children how to try new foods.
  • Identify how parenting style influences children’s eating.
  • Solve eating problems that arise at different developmental stages.
  • Know what to do instead of bribing and begging kids to eat.
  • Consciously shape children’s relationships to food.

Look for Dina Rose’s upcoming book, It’s Not About Nutrition: Unexpected Lessons In Teaching Your Child Healthy Eating for Life. For more information on how to get a preview of this book, visit the It’s Not About Nutrition Web site and make sure you visit Dina’s blog as well for the latest in parenting and nutrition.

The clip below features Dina Rose on Better Connecticut where she provides tips for parents on how to feed their children healthy foods.

Are you a social media fan?

Join the It’s Not About Nutrition community on Facebook and catch up with Dina Rose on Twitter.

Get Smart and Inspired with Back to School Books

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

With back-to-school right around the corner, we thought this would be a great time to introduce some terrific books to dive into before the first bell goes off.

Reader’s Digest just introduced their series of popular and fun reference books in e-book format. Be the smarty-pants of the family at any time or place with a wealth of facts from art, literature, and history to geography, science, and math at your fingertips on your tablet, e-reader, or smartphone.

My Grammar and I… Or Should That Be Me? How to Speak and Write It Right by J.A. Wines and Caroline Taggart

Sharpen your language skills and navigate your way around grammatical minefields with this entertaining and practical guide. For anyone who has ever been stumped by dangling modifiers and split infinitives, or for those who have no idea what these things even are, My Grammar and I…Or Should That Be Me? offers practical and humorous guidance on how to avoid falling into language pitfalls.

Write (Or Is That “Right?”) Every Time: Cool Ways to Improve Your English by Lottie Stride

Whether you’re writing a report or a creative essay, the more you understand about the workings of the English language, the better you’ll do. Write (Or Is That “Right”?) Every Time provides a fun-and-easy way to tackle tenses, sort out spelling slip-ups, put a full stop to punctuation problems, and conquer clauses.

I Wish I Knew That: Cool Stuff You Need to Know by Steve Martin, Mike Goldsmith, Ph.D., and Marianne Taylor

Have you ever been excited to find out you knew something others didn’t? With I Wish I Knew That you’ll learn fascinating tidbits — on everything from art, literature, and history to geography, science, and math — from just one quick-and-easy read crammed with fun and cool stuff.

The entire collection of Reader’s Digest eBooks are available on major digital formats including iPad/iPhone, Nook, and Kindle.

We’re really excited to share The End Of Molasses Classes with teachers and parents out there. The inspirational book by New York Times bestselling author Ron Clark from the Ron Clark Academy will electrify dull learning environments everywhere with a wealth of innovative tips and techniques for both inside and outside the classroom.

The End Of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck–101 Extraordinary Solutions For Parents and Teachers by Ron Clark

Practical, innovative, and powerful methods to enliven classrooms and ignite a passion for learning in each and every child. It is time to “GET ON THE DESK” and make every school in America the absolute best it can be. These are the 101 most successful strategies we have used to help uplift our children and enliven our classrooms.

The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck–101 Extraordinary Solutions For Parents and Teachers from Simon & Schuster is available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon in hardcover, audio, and e-book editions.

The start of the school year also means kids will be busy with clubs, activities, and friends. Keeping in touch with them can be quite a challenge for parents as can be seen in the humor-filled book on digital disconnects in the family, When Parents Text by Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli.

When Parents Text: So Much Said… So Little Understood by Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli

A collection of insanely funny texts between parents and kids, When Parents Text is a surprisingly affecting window into the complicated time when parents aren’t ready to let go, and kids aren’t ready to be let go. Launched as a website just last year, www.whenparentstext.com is a phenomenon.

When Parents Text: So Much Said… So Little Understood from Workman Publishing Company is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Publishers Looking to Amplify eBook Marketing

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Our new Amplify e-book marketing program is off to a running start. Publishers are realizing that e-book publicity is going to have to play by different rules than those traditionally found in paper book campaigns. Why? Walk into a bookstore and you’re practically tripping over new releases placed strategically on tables and shelves for all to see.  E-books on the other hand aren’t availed the same service online where millions of titles vie for attention.  The hit-and-run campaigns publishers are used to are short-term events for paper books that won’t cut it with e-books and now with brick-and-mortar booksellers against the ropes, book publicity faces a whole new challenge and importance.

FSB’s Amplify marketing program focuses on turning a short-term event into an extended engagement that increases a book and author’s online visibility. By grouping similar e-books together and promoting them over a six month period, campaigns are amped by boosting their volume, duration, and networking communities. Early adopters of the Amplify program are spearheading the online book publicity movement and among them are publishers such as F&W Media, TOR BooksVanguard Press (Perseus), and Reader’s Digest Trade Publishing.

F&W Media is currently featuring a line of crime novels under the brand, F&W Crime, whose titles seen below are a good example of what makes up a typical Amplify program lineup. By promoting individual books as part of a whole, each title benefits from the support of other titles, the publisher, and FSB’s 16 years of experience, personal relationships with online media outlets, and a far-reaching social media network that includes a team of Twitter support.

Screams & Whispers by Randall Peffer

Young Cape Cod public defender and commercial fisherman Michael Decastro ventures to Saigon with his father to come to the aid of his long-lost client and love-interest Tuki Aparecio, who is in a fight of her life with a mysterious dragon lady from Indochina’s underworld. Screams & Whispers from FW Crime is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Untouchable by Scott O’Connor

A year has passed since Lucy Darby’s unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to mend the gaping hole in their lives. The Kid hasn’t spoken since his mother’s death, and only communicates through a collection of notebooks. Untouchable from FW Crime is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

County Line by Bill Cameron

When the steadfast Ruby Jane Whittaker drops out of sight, dogged ex-cop Skin Kadash sets out to discover what drove the woman he loves to leave her life behind. Skin and Peter cross the country on a desperate journey deep into Ruby Jane’s haunted past — and toward an explosive confrontation. County Line from FW Crime is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Liquid Smoke by Jeff Shelby

Private eye Noah Braddock has found peace in his relationship with Detective Liz Santangelo and has called a tentative truce with his alcoholic mother, Carolina. So when lawyer Darcy Gill demands that he look into a death row case, he’s more interested in catching some waves. Darcy then plays her trump card: the man scheduled to die is the father Noah never knew. Liquid Smoke from FW Crime is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.