Sunday, February 5, 2012

ASK PZM Feb 2012 Little Things

Q: What are the “little things” that an author can do for book marketing?

This is an excellent question because “little things” can be added to a “to do” list. When you have a short period of time to do something specific for marketing your book, pluck an item off that list and do it.

1. Ensure that you have a professional email rather than using aol or gmail or the like for your book marketing emails.

While the blog post I wrote “What Does Your Email Say About Your Business” is targeted at business owners, the same advice is also relevant for book authors who are treating their books as a business. (Read the post at

(And if you are doing book marketing for your book, we can assume you are treating your books as a business.)

2. Participate occasionally on author forums or other author-related websites.
If you are reading this blog post, leave a comment about something connected to the post. And at the end of the post you can include your name and the URL of your author website. (Use the http:// because there are sites such as LinkedIn that only make a link hot if the http:// is included.)

The thing about leaving insightful comments is that you never know who else will read these. Perhaps it is someone who clicks on your book link and then decides to buy your book.

3. Whenever you can, clarify what your book is about – is it fiction or nonfiction?

When referring to my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT in a blog post comment, for example, I’ll often put “my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT.” Or for my nonfiction book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. I’ll write “the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION.”

Although it would be nice if everyone wanted to read our books, the truth is that we are really appealing to those people who like to read the types of books we write. By clarifying whether you are referring to a nonfiction or fiction book, you are making it easy for people who would like to read such a book to know this book is for them.

4. Make samples of your book available where appropriate.

On your website or elsewhere, if you can provide a sample chapter, do so. You want to encourage people to read your books, and an interesting free sample may do this.
This is why, for example, having your book as a Kindle ebook can be valuable – Amazon offers a sample of the ebook. (Tip: Especially for nonfiction books -- put your author bio at the beginning of the ebook rather than the end of the ebook so that the bio is included in the sample.)

5. Be on the lookout for new author opportunities wherever you may find them.

I just signed up for a new site – – and while it is too early to tell whether this will be a good investment of my time, I believe in the saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I signed up for free to see what the possibilities are on this site.

Why? Because, again, you never know who you will “meet” on these sites.

In conclusion, what other “little things” do you recommend authors do to advance their book marketing?

Let’s share our best tips with each other.

© 2012 Miller Mosaic, LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company, which is now WBENC certified.

Visit Phyllis’ Google Plus profile.
Check out Phyllis’ books and other projects at


  1. You're absolutely right, Phyllis -- all good ideas and all very quick and easy to accomplish. Excellent advice for any author!

  2. Linda --

    Thanks for letting me know you like these ideas. I appreciate it.


  3. Thanks Phyllis, good points especially about the email.
    Una Tiers

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Una & Linda. Phyllis, thank you for making my world make sense. Marketing is one-step at a time, for sure.

  5. Sounds like good advice. Thanks for sharing these ideas, appreciate it!

  6. Thank you for sharing more tips on marketing!

    With a book nearly completed, all marketing suggestions are welcome!

  7. I sometimes do, but more often, do not put my link in a comment. I wasn't sure about commenting etiquette. I feel I am "horning in" on the guest author or host, but if you say it's okay, then I am going to try to remember to do it. It's YOUR fault, Phyllis, that my link appears below. thank you!!

    J Q Rose

  8. J Q Rose --

    Here's the thing: No one is forced to click on your link. But if someone wants to know more about you, you have made it easy for that person to do so.

    Una, Karen and C -- Thanks for the comments.

    And here goes my link --


  9. I'm with JQ Rose on this one. I know a link is small but I tie myself into cringing knots over whether to or not. But you are quite right about the reader clicking "if they want to", as I just did.

    And then the second problem comes up, as it has here. Neither above are clickable links, and like most people I'm not going to copy & paste as that would be stepping out of the one-click ease-of-use. There is a very long string, which I thought might have been added into the post itself, but I'd have to hunt for it - so again I use it rarely, again for the cringe-worthy fear that it might not turn into a link but put the horribly long string in instead.

    As I'm keying this in I notice that Google has me down as my new pseudonmyn (for a Western line)not me - argh, more problems - but at the very bottom offers a Name/URL identity, so I shall try that here to see how it looks.

    [Edit: it doesn't show]

    Thanks for the post Phyllis, and for spreading the word Joylene.


  10. Linda, it is very interesting that my link and Phyllis link is not a hyperlink here in the comment section, but yours works. I must say in the comments emailed to me, however, the links are live. I don't see a place to put a URL below. Just wondered where you found that so your link is live. Thanks.

  11. Great tips. Marketing can be a challenge and it's nice to have guidance. I appreciate it!

    Paranormal Romantic Suspense

  12. Excellent post. Loved these, and it was good to know most of these are things I've considered doing/are on my "to get accomplished" list.

    Joylene, the Indie Write Net link doesn't work for me, and neither does the link pointing to the "professional email" post.

  13. Hello again, especially JQRose

    As you might have guessed by my live link above I found the long string, but when I tried to put it underneath with gaps it *still* gave the live link, and I ran out of time.

    I've just had another go and it refuses to show the string no matter what I do. For anyone who wants it, email me and I'll send it

  14. Thanks for sharing your great suggestions, Phyllis. Taking every opportunity for marketing is good advice, although I agree with JQ and Linda's initial reaction that leaving links within a comment isn't popular with most bloggers. In fact, because of spam comments with links that point to commercial sites or, even worse, viruses, many bloggers moderate or even eliminate automatically any comments that include links. Some of the agents I follow have a note that says only links pertaining directly to the topic of discussion may be included.

    Most blogs allow for a URL to be added along with the ID e-mail before posting a comment, so that automatically leaves the commenter's name as a clickable link anyway, and allows the blogger's anti-spam software to identify any comments that are suspect.

  15. Thanks to everyone who has been participating in this question of "to leave or not to leave a link."

    I want to clarify that I think it is preferable to leave a link at the end of a comment (as if it were a signature) rather than including a link inside a comment unless that link is very pertinent to the comment.

    That said, I do wonder why my link wasn't live. I'm going to try something different below and see what happens -- this is a direct URL to the Book Marketing group on LinkedIn that I founded and manage --

  16. Obviously Blogger doesn't always co-operate, but with apologies to Joylene for using her space for experimentation, I wonder if a straight HTML link will work:
    Careann's Musings

  17. @Karen, thanks for stopping by. "That" is appreciated.

    @Carol, if you need any help marketing, just shout. If I don't know the answer, I can always ask Phyllis. Thanks, Phyllis.

    @Janet, when I see your link under your name, I just assume it's part of your signature. It sure makes it easier for me to visit your blog. Rather than searching down my blogroll. Sometimes the link are highlighted and sometimes they aren't. It's a mystery.

    @Linda, I've had various problems with Google, and now it's Yahoo. Thanks for stopping by.

    @Linda, I've been marketing for quite awhile and believe me, it's still a challenge. That's why I like sharing Phyllis' knowledge. She's made my life easier.

    @Adriana, thanks for pointing that out. I fixed them. I think. At least they're working now. Come back tomorrow and who knows.

    @Carol, it's one reason I like Wordpress because they make it accessing author links easier. It's not enough of a reason to switch though.

    Have a super great day, everybody.

  18. Carol, yours worked. Oh, and experiment all you like. I'm going to too.

  19. It's great that mine worked, but the html coding converted into the actual link so that doesn't help your readers. Maybe this will make sense instead. Use the following code, but eliminate the quotation marks when you insert your specific and complete URL address, and also change the words "link text" to the words you want to show up as the actual clickable link:

    Link text

  20. Aghhh! I can't get the html not to convert!! It's the A tag, used with the HREF= tag. If your readers want a good explanation perhaps they would do better to go directly to this site for one:

    And no, I'm not making it clickable!! Copy and paste, folks.

  21. This is a huge help, Carol. I'm jotting all this down so I have it for future reference. Off to check out the school link now. Thanks!

  22. I can't wait for the time when marketing will be a very important issue for me...and my book. I have a looooong way to go first, but it's nice to have a little knowledge beforehand.

  23. That's the thing, Nancy. When you're ready to publish, the information you'll have access to will make the process much easier. I still don't understand it all. I just think you should enjoy as much of this as possible. The first time is quite thrilling.

  24. Below is the link to a guest post of mine I just did for book guru Judy Cullins. I'm going to experiment by putting here both the shortened URL -- -- and the complete permalink --

    Let's see what happens now.

  25. Wow--I didn't know my comment on linking etiquette would turn out to be so interesting and informative. Thanks for the link to the html info. I had that once upon a time,so glad to find it again and stick in in my evernote file where I can easily reach it. Enjoying all the comments and testing.

  26. Thanks for this brilliant article. I enjoyed reading it.

    Sample letters

  27. Thanks Phyllis for sharing those great tips. They will be very useful to me in the future as I am a soon to be published author and need all the networking/marketing advice I can get! And thank you, Joylene for posting this information on your blog.

    Angela Robbins

    Website & blog:


    Twitter: (@Angela_Robbins_)!/Angela_Robbins_


  28. @Janet, I'm thrilled we got to explode this new tool. I'm going to use it. Thanks for getting the idea started.

    @Jaylen, thank you for stopping by and checking it out. I like your webpage. It's hard to imagine that students actually need instructions on writing letters, but of course that's where we at now. I've written a fair amount of letters in my day, and I have to admit I don't miss it.

    @Angela, congratulations on your upcoming novel. Thank you for participating in our experiment. If you use html code next time, you'll create live links to your sites. Something like:

    Angela Robbins

    Off to visit your sites.

  29. Excellent articles Since then, I visit every day. Thanks for useful information.
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