Posts Tagged ‘fsb associates’

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!

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.

Twitter Tip: How to Organize with Lists

Friday, August 5th, 2011

by Ken Ishii

It’s no secret that online social networking is an efficient way to spread news fast and far. Great news for authors. And among social networks out there, Twitter has proven itself a powerful vehicle able to drive users to both familiar and new communities with little effort.

If you don’t have one yet, you should really open a Twitter account quickly before you lose a golden username to someone too quick to the draw. Already a member? Then you’ll most likely enjoy how useful Twitter lists can be.

If you’re familiar with the ins and outs of Twitter, then you probably maintain a regular stream of tweets, amassed a robust network of like-minded users, and made a habit out of lending a hand by retweeting others. With that, you probably realized how hard it is to keep track of users that relentlessly enter your network.

Like any social gathering, you’ll always find a few folks that seem to linger in the spotlight a bit too long. Twitter being no exception, you’re bound to be surrounded by virtual soapbox speakers unless you manage your tweet listening skills. So how does one handle those overly-ambitious users that drown your Twitter fellows into oblivion? You could just stop following the post-happy users altogether, but then you’ll be burning a bridge you might need to cross when time comes to promote your work. A less antagonistic approach would be to simply avert your attention away from the noisemakers. Creating lists offers a friendly solution that won’t cause tears when users find out who stopped following them on Twitter. With Twitter lists, those chatterboxes can keep their seats at the party, but you’ll get to choose which table to join.

So let’s get started. To make your own lists, visit and log in to your Twitter account. You say you rather use Hootsuite? We do too, but we’ll get to that right after this.

After logging in, you’ll be taken to your Home screen. Right above the news stream on the left are several tabs including one labeled, “Lists.” Click it, and a drop-down menu will appear where the option, “Create a list,” can be found. Think about all the categories you’ll want to get updates from regularly and then decide how many lists you want to create. Again, it might help to imagine a party with tables of different groups.

I need to throw a bit of caution out there when creating lists. With public lists, the list name, description, and users you add to the list will be visible to everyone on Twitter. You can specify lists as private to keep them hidden from other users, but keep in mind, lists make great sharing resources that others might find helpful.

Next you’ll need to add people to your lists. Search for new or familiar Twitter users and find the drop-down menu on his or her profile to add them to a list.

You can add a user to more than one list if you wish or you can create a new list right on the spot if you think of any new categories.

Over time, users might find social media management tools such as Hootsuite necessary to organize and enhance their networking experience. If you’re one of these people, you’ll be relieved to know that you don’t have to go to the main Twitter site to put together a list. There are several ways to create a list on Hootsuite. The method I like is to simply click the “Add Stream” button in the upper left-hand corner just below the tabs.

In the window that pops up, click on the Lists tab to reveal the required entry fields. If you have multiple Twitter accounts, select the profile you want your new list assigned to. On the third line, click the “Create a new list” option and then name your list. Select whether you want to make your list public or private, click “Create Stream,” and you’re done!

If you already have a list created or subscribe to a list you want to add new users to, just click on the user’s Twitter profile picture and click on the “Add To List” button in the profile box that appears. Next, select the list you want to add the user to from the drop-down menu and, within seconds, the user’s tweets will be included in the stream of messages filtered by the list.

With lists in place, Twitter comes alive with customized channels you can surf to find whatever suits your mood. You can create lists consisting of general news outlets, industry experts, valuable followers, competitors, family members, friends, favorite stores, or find other creative uses for lists to enhance your tweeting experience. If you’re looking for pre-made lists or recommended Twitter users, you can browse a Twitter list directory to save you some legwork or even get yourself on a public list.

Don’t feel like you need lists right now? Maybe it’s time to go and follow more tweeps? You can start with our FSB home team on Twitter!

It Takes a Village to Promote a Book

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

by Fauzia Burke

“Markets are conversations,” said the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto and it is still the number one thesis on their Web site. Social media allows you to have those conversations. When I wrote a Blog on Huffington Post called “It’s 2010: You Really Need to be on Facebook”, I was shocked by the response. In fact, Donna Fenn, author of Upstarts wrote on her Bnet blog that judging by the response, you’d think that I had asked people to walk around naked. It is surprising that anyone could still deny the benefits of social media for marketing.

Today’s marketing is truly about conversations. So if you are going to spend the time and money marketing a product or service, you should think “will this start, maintain, or enhance the conversation?” Will this get people talking, will they take it to their twitter feeds and Facebook pages? Will they forward, post, or retweet this?

I have found that it is seldom that one big hit that results in conversations. You need a lot of attention, some big, some small, all moving the conversation forward. If you compare hits to the old formula that big is best, then the smaller blogs have little impact. But if your goal is to truly broaden the scope of the discussion, you need lots of people talking on lots of different Web sites and blogs.

Even a feature on Web sites like CNN.com or Oprah.com does not guarantee instant increases to your Web site traffic or book sales. In fact, these days even a Today Show appearance is no guarantee. However, I believe a sustained effort to keep people talking results in speaking engagements, paid blog posts (yes there is such a thing), interview opportunities, more fans on your Facebook page, more traffic on your site, increased sales, and a recognition and expansion of “brand YOU.”

Selling books is almost always the first goal of every author, however if you chat with them a bit they’ll say things like, “I want to help people,” “I know my book will make a difference,” “I want to make sure people know what is really going on,” “I want to make people laugh,” “I want to entertain my readers” or “I envision a world where people love what they do and if they read my book they would.” I often take on projects based on these secondary goals, the goals that speak to the truth of the person and the importance of the book. These are the goals that are worth talking about.

As a marketer, I can’t ever get people to talk about the author’s first goal. Not once has a reviewer said, “Please buy this book because the author would like to have a bestseller.” However, those secondary goals have always started conversations and sparked interests and led to interviews and discussions.

Many of the bloggers we work with post their reviews on multiple blogs and Web sites like Twitter, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Ning, Library Thing, Facebook, and more, all of which increase the search visibility of the book and author. In that way, those reviews or features are all fluid and viral. They do not stay where they are created. They often take flight and have a much broader life than just the traffic on their own blogs.

Search results, conversations and virality are most important in today’s connected market place, and they are achieved by a broad spectrum of coverage, not just the sites that get the most hits.

So as of today, think about the real reason you wrote the book, the reason why only you could have written it, think about those secondary goals, and then get on with the business of starting conversations.

What do you think it takes to promote a book these days? Please share your comments. Thanks.

Mass Media Books for the Masses

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Those who successfully apply the power of persuasion eventually gain something very valuable in return. Control. And while that may not surprise most, the ways in which people are deceived today will startle even those astute observers. For money, fame, entertainment, and power, forces in our media will employ tactics at any cost to keep the public enchanted and thus misdirected from any number of ulterior motives and important issues facing the world. The following books are written to inform readers of today’s biggest media machinations at play that are designed to influence a person’s everyday behaviors. Explore each book to get the upper hand in this complex game of mass media poker.

Spinning the Law: Trying Cases in the Court of Public Opinion by Kendall Coffey

High-profile courtroom dramas fascinate our nation, especially when they concern the rich and famous. And while the American public has come to realize that the spin factor is a prime ingredient in political tactics and marketing campaigns, many are unaware of the strategies for shaping public opinion when it comes to major courtroom battles.

This behind-the-scenes analysis of media strategies presents intriguing and often entertaining insights into what they do not teach in law schools or journalism classes. As the lead counsel in some of the country’s most notable cases and a savvy legal commentator with hundreds of television appearances, author Kendall Coffey brings a distinctive combination of depth as a legal practitioner and experience as a media analyst to this illuminating, provocative, and practical book.

He begins with a historic election fraud trial, relying on his personal experience with the basics of law spin. He then masterfully guides the reader through an abbreviated, engrossing tour of spinning cases through the ages — including the trials of Socrates and Joan of Arc, as well as the Charles Lindbergh kidnapping case. Modern cases include the author’s firsthand experiences in the international Elian Gonzalez controversy — and his thoughts on the possible overwhelming effect that that controversy had on Florida in the 2000 presidential election between Gore and Bush.

Coffey also examines the most famous cases of recent times — those of Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Martha Stewart, Scott Peterson, and former governor “Rod” Blagojevich.

Along the way, Coffey exposes many of the myths associated with the law, debunking assumptions about legal concepts ranging from circumstantial evidence and cooperating witnesses to so-called prosecutors’ vendettas.

Coffey’s many entertaining examples and engaging explanations make this book ideal reading for everyone fascinated by celebrity legal problems: all of us who make up the court of public opinion.

Spinning the Law from Prometheus Books is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World by Lisa Bloom

Girlfriends, what is happening to us? Lisa Bloom asks.

In Think, Bloom reveals the stark paradoxes that American girls and women are living today, including:

  • We are excelling in education at every level but are likewise obsessing over celebrity lifestyles and tabloid media, leaving many of us unable to name a single branch of government — but nearly all of us can name at least one Kardashian.
  • We are outperforming our male counterparts in employment in urban areas for the first time in history, yet spending more time and money on our appearances, including electing life-endangering plastic surgery in record-breaking numbers.

In a culture that continually rewards beauty over brains, it’s no wonder that straight-A high school girls believe “it’s more important to be hot than smart” as they giggle into television cameras that they don’t know how many sides a triangle has, nor in which country Mexico City is located.

All of these factors have left Bloom wondering: How did we get from the Equal Pay Act and Title IX to celebutainment and Botox, and — more importantly – what can we do about it?

Bloom offers the solution, and it involves one simple word: THINK.

In this provocative, entertaining, and thoroughly researched book, Bloom illuminates specific steps to reclaiming our brains, regaining focus, and taking charge of our lives. As a working mom who appreciates the value of time, Bloom first revels how rethinking some common but outdated practices can give us more time to breathe and engage our minds. Next, Bloom details how to use these newfound hours more meaningfully by turning away from reality shows and toward compelling and substantive news sites, magazines and books (reading list included), reconnecting with our communities, and becoming more thoughtful and proactive contributors to local, national, and global causes.

Packed with thought-provoking, revelatory points that will get your gray matter growing again, Think is delivered in a no-nonsense, straight-talk manner that will make you laugh, squirm, and question yourself — and most importantly — make you start thinking again.

Think from Vanguard Press is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

12 Social Media Tools for Publicity

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

by Fauzia Burke

The explosion of social media in the last few years has brought with it a whole slew of social media applications and tools designed to help publicists deliver and monitor better results. As I have written before, I think social media has been a huge help for publicity. However, choosing the tools is important in helping you save time and be effective. I’ve compiled a list of 12 tools that lighten the social media workload at FSB, and I hope you find them helpful as well.

Blog Searches:

Blogpulse: You can search for a URL, name or topic. I think it gives good results for a given topic, even though I’m not always crazy about the results. However, every now and then I find things here that are missed by Google or Google alerts.

Google Blog Search: This is the most thorough blog searching tool around. You can find blogs for any topic.

Technorati: This is a great site of blogs by topic and ranking. Very helpful.

Digital Presence Assessment and Management:

Addictomatic: This site is very helpful in gauging a digital footprint as it searches the web for latest news, blog posts, videos and images. A cool element is that you can customize the dashboard by simply dragging the boxes around.

Hootsuite: We use Hootsuite in the office and even pay for the pro version. I think it is an excellent program that we find more reliable than Tweetdeck. You can manage several accounts and schedule posts for Twitter and Facebook.

How Socialable: This site gives you an evaluation of your brand’s visibility. It’s not great for personal brands, but a good tool for big brands, like your company.

Klout: One of the most popular Twitter popularity tools, Klout measures influence rather than just followers.

Social Mention: This site allows you to search an author, company or topic across the Web. You can get results from 100 social media sites in one place. My favorite part is that it gives you sentiment (positive, neutral or negative) of the mentions all over the Web, along with top keywords and top hashtags. It’s handy.

TweetReach: This is one of my favorite sites. It allows you to search a topic, author, handle or name and see how many people were reached by those Tweets. You can also see who sent the Tweets and how many followers they have. Very helpful for publicists looking for influencers.

TwitterCounter: I love this site. It allows you to see the Twitter stats for any handle. You can see if the trend is for gaining followers or losing them. Also shows you how many Tweets are made everyday by any handle. Good for research and for monitoring the success of your company feeds.

Topic Search:

Google Trends: If you are working on a news topic, this is an excellent source as it gives you insights into the traffic and geographic visit patterns.

Twazzup: This site allows you to filter news from live Twitter content. It’s good to see trending topics and influencers for a given subject. Better for topic than an author’s name.

Having a social media platform for communicating is extremely important for the success of your publicity campaigns. The majority of the tools presented in this list can make communicating your messages on target and easy to manage/track. I invite you to choose the ones that help make your social media experience more productive and better still, enjoyable. Do you have a favorite tool not on this list?

For the latest on web publicity, social media news, and personal branding, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke.