I recently bought a copy of Online Marketing for Busy Authors: a step-by-step guide (Australian & New Zealand edition) from Major Street Publishing. The book is written by Fauzia Burke, the founder and president of FSB Associates, and while her name didn't ring any bells with me whatsoever, I was interested to see what was put forward in this ANZ edition.
I've met thousands of authors over the 27 years I've been in the publishing industry and many of them are lucky to be published by some of the larger publishing houses. But there is also a downside to that if you want to have more control over your own communications to your readers and the way you build your brand in the longer term. And with those that self-publish or publish with small to medium presses, this book will serve them well. In fact, it is designed for them.
Online Marketing for Busy Authors is a basic step-by-step guide, which is practical and informative for newcomers to the book marketing field. Personally I would have liked a bit more detail and a tad more depth, but I'm not the audience! I was keen to see a copy so I could recommend it for those the book HAS been published for - busy authors and newcomers to publishing who know little to nothing about the online marketing world.
Many authors struggle with branding, communications and marketing in today's online world. They know how to write but they don't know how to market. This is the perfect introduction for them and gives them checklists and tips to make them really think about what they want to achieve in their publishing career - and not just five minutes down the track.
The first chapter deals with branding, which I think is a good place to start. It provides questions for authors to help identify their brand. And from there it goes into strategic planning, identifying your reader, and how to "get real with your goals". I thought the chapters on "Your Priority List" and "Building Your Website" were good overviews but would have liked to see more detail. Again, I'm not the audience! The latter chapters on "Blogging, Podcasting and Videos", "Social Media and Social Networking", and "DIY Online Book Publicity" are very practical and provide some good bulletpoints to review and assess.
This is an easy-to-read summary for busy authors and it's the type of book that publishers should all have on hand to give to their new authors. Whether they are large or small presses, I think this book is excellent for author engagement and marketing planning. For the smaller presses in particular, I think it would work really well as part of an overall "author care" approach. Give your authors a copy of the book and get talking about online marketing and managing expectations. We all want a post to go viral but it's very rare. Let's get practical. Let's be honest. And while we are at it, let's have a frank conversation about what's really possible in the online world. This book is an excellent place to start....
Online Marketing for Busy Authors is published by Major Street Publishing and distributed by Woodslane. Pub Date: October 2017 | Paperback | 192 pages | AU$29.95
Rachael McDiarmid has been in the Australasian book trade since 1990. Working in trade, academic and professional publishing as well as library supply and book distribution, she's known for her no bullshit approach. This is her blog.