How do you promote a book effectively at a time when e-books may stay in print indefinitely, but not have a physical presence in a store? Internet book marketer FSB Associates has just launched Amplify, a marketing strategy that brings together a list of related titles and creates a Web community and author discussion platform around them that lasts for six months.
Fauzia Burke, founder and president of FSB Associates, told PW that, in the digital age, effective book marketing will have "to engage with readers for a longer period of time and with multiple books and authors." Burke said, "The publishing world has been treating books like events, marketing them around the publication date and dropping them just as fast. There needs to be a different way to build awareness for e-books or p-books."
Burke's solution is Amplify, a marketing program that takes several subject-related titles and promotes the books and their authors for six months. "We create a community of experts, a strategy for free content, and engage the readers for a longer period. We not only help brand the authors but also sell books for a long time," Burke said. Burke works with each of the authors to help build "their personal brands," teaches them how to use social media, and makes the authors (the community of experts) available online to attract readers interested in their content or their expertise. Amplify engages readers around a topic or subject—rather than just a single book—by using excerpts from the authors' books, blog posts, video content and free content all enhanced by FSB's conventional media contacts, and its own social media expertise.
Publishers using Amplify are Wharton Digital Press, which is marketing a list of business e-books; F+W Media, which wants to promote Tyrus Books; and Tor Books, which will promote novelist Deborah Coonts's three Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventure novels. F+W Media group's marketing director, Kate Rados, told PW, "This approach makes a lot of sense."
Rados said that Amplify, "resonated with us. We are looking to drive discovery of our F+W Crime authors like Scott O'Connor [Untouchable] and Bill Cameron [County Line], across multiple titles. Instead of promoting e-books as vacuum-sealed three-month publicity stunts, FSB will work with our company to bring organic attention to their works."
"Building awareness takes time," Burke said, "and it can only be built with the trust of the readers."