Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

Things I Got Wrong, and Things I Got Right in 2012

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

By Fauzia Burke

As we wrap up 2012 and start to plan for the New Year I wanted to review the things I got right and the things I didn’t. In the past few years, there have been so many changes in the book industry, and in technology, that sometimes my only guide has been my intuition. Fortunately, our missteps can often teach us more than flawless execution. So here are the lessons I have learned in 2012:

Why Press Release Didn’t Work For Us. Working as the President of an online public relations firm, I relied on press releases to get the attention of editors. Over time, however, I noticed that they didn’t seem to be working as they once did. One reason is that the “one pitch fits all” approach was not working online. Bloggers are unique and so are their interests. For example I hear people talking about mommy bloggers or book bloggers, but in truth those communities are made up of people with very different interests.

I took a huge leap of faith and decided to stop doing press releases. Instead of taking the time to write them, proof them, wait for approval, print them and stuff them, we took that time to talk to the editors/bloggers and invest the time in social media. I thought I would get push-back from clients, but once I explained why I was making the change they agreed with the approach.

I am happy to report that this change we got right. It was the right decision and we’re moving into 2013 with no intention of doing the traditional press releases.

Delegating Social Media. I thought outsourcing social media was always wrong. Although it is best to keep your hands in your own social media, the only way for it to be effective is if it is consistent. A writer’s life is not consistent, which means they are sometimes more active on social media than other times. Trying to do it all themselves can be distracting. Of course, it is crucial to delegate this responsibility to someone trustworthy. I would also suggest having clear goals and to monitor activities very closely.

For 2013, we are exploring and open to creating a hybrid system for our clients.

People like to follow people, not books. I thought book websites and book Facebook pages were a good idea. Remember the days of microsites? Today, I believe that the only websites, Facebook pages and Twitter handles should be in the author’s name, no matter how diverse their list of books and activities. I would advise against a title or book site because people follow people not books. Authors are most effective when they work to build their brand, and can increasingly build a loyal following when readers feel connected to them.

In 2013, we will move away from book related digital assets and focus more on the author’s brand.


Keep Learning. Every single job in publishing should be a social job. I did not always think so. But the more people there are to amplify your message the better. Social media is not only a broadcasting tool, it is also one of the best learning and listening tools for you and your business. You have an open forum to observe and study the readers, their taste and comments. At a time when we need to be learning new skills all the time, social media can be a gateway to that learning.

This one I did get right. We shifted our entire staff to incorporate social media and social networking in everything they do: From searching for influencers, tracking numbers and word-of-mouth, to interacting with bloggers, and supporting our clients. In 2013, we will continue our focus on incorporating social media with our online publicity campaigns.

In the coming year, I only know one thing for sure. We’ll need to keep all options open and learn as we go. What have you learned in 2012? Please share your lessons.

© 2012 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.

6 Steps for Finding the Best PR Firm for You & Your Book

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

By Fauzia Burke

Most authors know that a public relations effort for their book is essential for their success. In order to have a campaign to promote their book comprehensively, many look to augment their publisher’s efforts by hiring a PR agency. But how do you choose the right PR firm for your book? Here are six steps to help make that choice easier:

Step 1: Needs and Goals

Before you begin your search, think about your PR goals. What is it that you want? Do you want to be on TV? Do you want reviews in newspapers? Or, do you want to build exposure online? Whom do you want to reach? Do you know your target demographic? How long do you want to work with a PR agency? Do you want to work with a PR agency for a one-time book or project or for multiple projects longer term? Once you identify your goals, you’ll be able to find an agency that can help you achieve them.

Step 2: Referrals

Your search should always start by asking your agent, publisher or fellow authors for referrals of people they have worked with so you can have some names to begin the process. You can compare and contrast the agencies you have, and find the right fit for you. You can also work the process backward and find a successful book that’s in the same realm as your book, and find out what PR firm that author used.

Step 3: Web Research

Look up the agency online. Check out their website and social networks as well as their current and past projects and testimonials. Find out how long they have been in business and what types of people they work with. In our connected age, it’s easy to do your homework ahead of time to be able to narrow down your list based on your research. It’s 2012 so make sure the agency you select is connected in the social media world — Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If they are connected digitally, they will be able to help promote and advice you in the social media space.

Step 4: First Contact

Begin contacting several firms to pick the one that is right for you. Collect information on prices, timeline and availability. Find out more about their area of specialty and expertise. Make sure your book is the type of book the PR agency tends to work with and promote. Now you can narrow your list further.

Step 5: Interview

Once you’ve narrowed down your list based on your budget, goals and timing, you should set up an interview with each PR firm by phone or in-person. A good firm will want to talk with you as well to make sure the fit is perfect. They should also encourage you to talk with other PR firms. Before you schedule the interview, give the firm the opportunity to learn about your book so you can hear their ideas and decide if you like what you are hearing. Ask questions just as if you are interviewing someone for a job. Find out the publications and media outlets where they have built relationships. Remember a good PR agency should have an established network of media contacts. Make sure the agency you are talking to understands your brand. You can even request a preliminary proposal of how they would go about publicizing your book. Good PR agencies have strong track records.

Step 6: The Final Decision

The most important part of your decision process should really be your instincts. It’s all about knowing and liking the PR agency you are going to work with, because if you don’t like the person initially, you will most likely be dissatisfied in the long run. Did you establish rapport upon initial contact? During the interview phase, which firm stood out? What agency do you like, respect and trust the most? In the end, go with your gut, and you will make the best decision for you and your book.

Along with results, a good PR agency should give you valuable information for building your brand and to amplify the exposure you are getting. In the end, it is all about the collaboration so pick your team carefully.

© 2012 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.

10 Skills to Thrive in PR Learned from Reality TV

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

I have a confession to make. My guilty pleasure is reality competition shows like Project Runaway, Top Chef and Amazing Race. I know I am not alone because all these shows have seen years of success and ratings. Recently, I thought working in PR is a lot like being a candidate in a reality competition: same pressures, same deadlines, same high expectations. I also noticed that there are some common skills between the candidates who do well in these shows and the ones who are successful in PR.

Here’s my take on the skills you need to be successful in PR and reality TV:

1. Be open to new ideas — Be a constant student and be open to discovering new ways of doing things. PR is always evolving and you should be too.

2. Initiative — Do more than what was asked of you. Not only will your initiative be appreciated by colleagues and clients, you will be setting a leadership example for those around you.

3. Teamwork — If you are a team player, you probably have the right attitude. You can’t be a component of a team if your only focus is to grab the limelight for yourself. Instead, be a team player by talking less, listening more and encouraging each member of your team to play up their strengths.

4. Time management — If you are late to work, late to a meeting or late with a project, you are saying a few things about yourself that are unfavorable. For one, you are saying you aren’t personally accountable or reliable and that’s not good. Two, you are saying that you don’t respect someone else’s time, also not good. Meeting deadlines is ultimately an issue of respect and trust — two things that are essential in PR.

5. Respect for others — Respect other people’s thoughts, ideas, insights and feedback and they, in turn, will respect yours.

6. Humility – Humility makes you likable and that’s helpful in any work environment. Remember PR is like fashion, “one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.”

7. Resilience – Resilience is all about sailing through the highs and the lows with a clear head and the ability to learn quickly from missteps. PR is full of highs and lows and there is nothing you can do to control that, but you can develop an attitude of resilience to get through the rough days. A healthy dose of optimism doesn’t hurt either.

8. Organization – You can’t survive in PR if you are not organized. A good rule to follow is to plan your next day before the current day ends. Tackle big priorities early in the day. Write everything down — on your electronic calendar or in a planner. Stay on top of everything. Best way to deal with the stress of PR is to stay organized. Here’s a blog I wrote that might help too: PR is Stressful, But You Don’t Have to be a Stress Monster.

9. Hard work – You can’t be a stranger to hard work if you want to work in PR. Roll up your sleeves and dive in. View each day as a blank slate and work as hard as you can — even on the days you don’t feel like it.

10. Curiosity — A curious mind indicates that you have a healthy attitude and the ability to incorporate new ideas — even when they are not your own.

A select few reality TV Shows aren’t without merit, but don’t tell my husband or he’ll roll his eyes at you too. Next time you watch a reality competition show, notice the traits of the best candidates. They may be more helpful than you thought in predicting your success in PR.

© 2012 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 digital publicity and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke.

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.

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.

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.

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.

8 Ways to Develop Better Relationships with Bloggers

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

By Fauzia Burke

When authors come to me and say, “I want to reach book bloggers or mommy bloggers,” I often have to tell them that bloggers have very specific tastes. More specific than you probably realize. For example, when reaching out to mommy bloggers, it is really important to know the age of their kids. Pitching a YA novel to a mommy blogger with a baby won’t get you far. Pitching a Sci-Fi novel to a blogger that loves historical romance won’t work either. Sending a WWII book to a blogger that covers the Civil War will make for a cranky blogger, and sending a press release to the wrong person may actually get you blacklisted.

So here are some tips to help you develop better relationships with bloggers.

Know Their Beat

The best piece of advice to any publicist trying to build a relationship with bloggers is to build it through mutual respect, trust, and consistency. Make sure you know the blogger’s focus and area of interest.

Search For Blogs

If you are looking for bloggers, try AlltopTechnorati, or Google Blogsearch. Another interesting but time-consuming site is called Listorious; it helps you search for people and lists on Twitter.

At FSB, we have also set up a directory where book bloggers are listed by category. Each book blogger has registered and submitted the information themselves and others are welcome to join the blogger directory. The directory is available for free to everyone – bloggers and publicists alike.

Value of Bloggers

It’s good to know the traffic of blogs, but don’t dismiss bloggers with less traffic. It is important to look at the “full reach” of a blogger. Sometimes blog features from smaller blogs can generate more chatter on social networks. It’s a good idea to follow them on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook to check out their social networks. Some bloggers post reviews on multiple sites so they can be more valuable for that reason alone. Remember also, that placements on niche sites (with less traffic) can sometimes be more effective than placements on a large general interest site.

There isn’t a consistent way to get traffic information for every type of blog. However, here are a few tips: You can always see the number of people that are subscribed to an RSS feed (usually listed on each blog web site); another way is to use a web tool like Compete or Alexa, but unfortunately these tools don’t keep traffic for all blogs; and lastly you could always check out a blog’s advertising info or media kit.

Make Things Easier

Understanding the needs of bloggers will help you work with them. Make note of the type of coverage they have. Do they like to interview authors, review books, do raffles or post guest blogs? Then make sure you send them the materials they need in a timely fashion.

Because bloggers need quality content often, we have set up a web site just for bloggers called FSB Media. Bloggers can request review copies plus “grab” quality content from published authors. We make sure we have permission already in place so bloggers can feature the content on their site with ease.

Approach Bloggers One At A Time

Every time I say that, people either roll their eyes in disbelief or try to sell me on the benefits of mail merge. Here’s the honest truth: you are better off reaching out to 50 bloggers one at a time than 500 via mail merge. You’ll actually get better results. Is it time consuming and labor intensive? You bet. Is it worth it? Yes!

Don’t Push

Without follow-up nothing will come of your pitching, so you need to find time to follow up and develop skills in asking without being pushy or rude. Every good publicist needs to master the delicate art of begging.

Represent Good Content

Don’t send out press releases, articles, or op-eds that are not written well. Make sure the content that leaves your hands always looks professional and does not have spelling or grammatical mistakes.

There are a few endorsements from bloggers on our site, and I read them as market research for this piece. Many of them noted that being consistent and professional is important to them.

Perfect Your Publicity Database

All of these tips are good and fine, but unless you make some changes to your contact database, these tips will be difficult to implement. At FSB, we have several fields in our custom-designed database that help us develop relationships with bloggers.  We record when the contact was added, by whom, and any notes about their likes and dislikes. We also keep track of all the books sent to every blogger and which ones featured our books. This practice allows us to learn more about the blogger with every interaction and only send them the books he/she would be inclined to cover.

I hope these tips help you develop better long-term relationships with bloggers. A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog on The Huffington Post called Book Bloggers Rock! where I thanked them for their hard work and dedication to books and authors. I stand by that idea and encourage publicists and publishers to change internal publicity systems to develop an ongoing dialogue and relationship with bloggers.

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

Summer Fiction Features

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Summer is upon us and whether you’re on an exotic island, road trip, or just a weekend warrior fleeing the office, chances are you want something to remove yourself from reality. If you’re looking to save the self-help books for the work week, then we have a exciting line of fantastic fiction books that will help you put the real world behind you leaving thrills and suspense ahead. Featured here are books that range from the supernatural to noir to espionage. Let us know what titles listed below interest you and we may make them a part of an upcoming FSB giveaway!

Changeling Moon by Dani Harper

He roams the moonlit wilderness, his every sense and instinct on high alert. Changeling wolf Connor Macleod and his Pack have never feared anything — until the night human Zoey Tyler barely escapes a rogue werewolf’s vicious attack.

As the full moon approaches, Zoey has no idea of the changes that are coming, and only Connor can show her what she is, and help her master the wildness inside. With her initiation into the Pack just days away and a terrifying predator on the loose, the tentative bonds of trust and tenderness are their only weapons against a force red in tooth, claw . . . and ultimate evil.

Changeling from Kensington – Brava is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Keys to the Kingdom by Senator Bob Graham

FORMER SENATOR JOHN BILLINGTON KNEW WRITING THIS NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED PIECE MIGHT GET HIM KILLED . . .

July 6th
The congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks left several secrets unanswered. The top three are Saudi Arabia’s full role in the preparation for and the execution of the plot; the Kingdom’s willingness and capacity to collaborate in future terrorist actions against the United States; and why this and the prior administration conducted a cover-up that thus far has frustrated finding the answers to the first two questions.

Now, there is an even more ominous unknown. Does Saudi Arabia have the bomb? . . . The United States should take prompt action to prevent this potential conflict from becoming a reality.

Shortly after this appears in print, his suspicion comes true: Senator Billington, a co-chair of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Commission, is murdered near his Florida home. Sensing the danger he faced before he was murdered, Billington left ex-Special Forces operative Tony Ramos detailed instructions for an investigation into Saudi complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Now Ramos, in conjunction with Billington’s daughter Laura, must uncover a shocking international conspiracy linking Saudi Arabia — the Kingdom — to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, in a race against time that will span Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

But will Ramos and his team be able to stop al-Qaeda from unleashing nuclear disaster on American shores and beyond?

Destined to be a titan amongst thrillers, Keys to the Kingdom is infused with inside information and insight into the world of terrorism that only Senator Bob Graham — as former Chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence — can offer.

Keys to the Kingdom from Vanguard Press is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Lucky Stiff by Deborah Coonts

Lucky O’Toole — head of Customer Relations at premier mega resort the Babylon — thinks it’s just another night in Las Vegas. A tractor-trailer has spilled its load of a million honeybees, blocking not only the Strip but the entrance to her hotel. . .The district attorney for Clark County — apparently the odd man out of a threesome on the twelfth floor — is hiding in the buff in one of the hotel’s laundry rooms. . . And Numbers Neidermeyer — one of Vegas’s less-than-savory oddsmakers — is throwing some major attitude at Las Vegas’s ace private investigator, the beautiful Jeremy Whitlock.

The next day, Lucky discovers Ms. Neidermeyer has been tossed into the shark tank at the Mandalay Bay Resort as a snack for the tiger shark. When the police show up at the Babylon with a hastily prepared search warrant, applied for by the district attorney himself, and Jeremy lands in the hot seat, Lucky realizes her previous night was far from routine.

Amid the chaos of fight weekend, the Babylon’s hiring of an eccentric new French chef, and her madam mother’s scheme to auction off a young woman’s virginity, Lucky is drawn into a deadly game where no one is what they seem, a game that will end only when she discovers who made fish food out of Numbers Neidermeyer.

Lucky O’Toole and fabulous Las Vegas — life doesn’t get any better.

Lucky Stiff from Forge Book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Untouchable by Scott O’Connor

It is the autumn of 1999. 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. David, a trauma-site cleanup technician, spends his nights expunging the violent remains of strangers, helping their families to move on, though he is unable to do the same. Whitley — an 11 year-old social pariah known simply as The Kid — hasn’t spoken since his mother’s death. Instead, he communicates through a growing collection of notebooks, living in a safer world of his own silent imagining.

As the impending arrival of Y2K casts a shadow of uncertainty around them, their own precarious reality begins to implode. Questions pertaining to the events of Lucy’s death begin to haunt David, while The Kid, who still believes his mother is alive, enlists the help of his small group of misfit friends to bring her back. As David continues to lose his grip on reality and The Kid’s sense of urgency grows, they begin to uncover truths that will force them to confront their deepest fears about each other and the wounded family they are trying desperately to save.

Untouchable from Tyrus 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 so suddenly and without explanation.

The discovery of a dead man in Ruby Jane’s apartment and an attack by a mysterious stalker send Skin from Portland to California — and into a charged encounter with her one-time love Peter McKrall.

As questions mount and answers grow increasingly out of reach, Skin and Peter cross the country on a desperate journey deep into Ruby Jane’s haunted past — and toward an explosive confrontation which will decide if any of them has a future.

County Line from Tyrus is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

FSB Associates at Book Expo America 2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

To celebrate 16 years of online publicity business, FSB founder and President, Fauzia Burke, has taken the company to the Javits Center in New York City to officially debut at this year’s BookExpo America 2011. Being a recognized vendor at BEA is a big deal for FSB as it allows the company to better inform the public about its services and how they fit into the ever-changing publishing world which is right now abuzz with digital technologies. The online component of book publicity has become an integral process of today’s successful branding and marketing campaigns and FSB is proud to be at the forefront of this movement. See Fauzia’s BEA digital marketing presentation online if you missed it at the show. You can also hear her discuss these trends in a special podcast presented by BEA.

Each day at the FSB Associates booth a different set of members from FSB’s team along with Fauzia and Vice President John Burke will be greeting attendees with an in-depth presentation on the latest trends in book publicity and personal branding. Keeping with the digital theme, the company’s social publicity brochure and valuable resources are presented on USB flash drives for participants to take with them for later reference. There’s even an Amazon Kindle up for grabs for those that enter FSB’s giveaway.

Midway through BEA, there have already been tons of celebrity sightings and friendly exchanges with the big movers and shakers that make the publishing world go round. The photos below capture a taste of the fun and excitement FSB has experienced so far. Catch more up-to-date happenings on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Or better yet, come to booth #4304 and visit us in person if you’re in town!

Whether you attend or not, make sure to visit BookExpo America’s web site for information on the large number of programs and events taking place.

BookExpo America (BEA) is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an international audience. It is organized with the support of association partners including the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA).  BEA is recognized for the media attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the convention itself.