Friday, November 5, 2010

Ask PZM: November 2010

Why Promote:

Q: Why should I spend time online promoting my book if no one is buying my book?

This is a great question because it gets right to the heart of “why be a book author.”

Is your primary reason for writing your book to:

1. Make money?

2. Enjoy writing for the art of writing?

3. Share a specific story with the world?

First, if your primary reason for writing a book is to make money, that’s probably not going to happen for a majority of book authors. Especially now, when people can self-publish as much as they want, the market is flooded with new books.

And, truthfully, how many books do you buy a year? (If you aren’t buying, how can you expect others to buy your book?)

Second, if your primary reason is because you enjoy writing, then do spread a little of that joy of writing across the major social media sites as book promotion. While you may not sell very many copies of your book, you never know what interesting contacts you’ll make because of the subject of your book.

Third, if your primary reason is to share a specific story with the world, then share that story as widely as you can, regardless of whether people actually buy your book.

This is the reason I wrote my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT– to preserve and share a very specific slice of women’s social history at the beginning of the women’s liberation movement. And because this is my objective, I make the novel’s entire manuscript available for free at (see )

And, yes, I do a lot of online book promotion although I do not know how many people actually read my novel for free.

Of course, this does mean it takes more motivation on my part to continue working on the sequel to MRS. LIEUTENANT, although I may have finally found the motivation. (See my “Kick in the Pants” blog post at )

Still, when you think about whether taking time to promote your book is worthwhile, consider this:
You spent a great deal of time writing the book. Do you really want to abandon your work now? Or do you want to promote it so that you at least have a chance of more people buying your book?

Q: Is there a way to get a customized URL for my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles rather than having those long, awkward URLs?

Yes, having a customized social media profile URL instead of a long, awkward URL can reflect positively on your image as a book author.

Facebook: Sign into your account. Then go to and get your customized URL for your Facebook personal profile.

(Note that this profile must be in your own name and NOT your book title or you are in violation of Facebook terms. See my blog post )

Also, if for your book you have a Facebook Page – formerly called a Fan Page – Facebook currently requires that you have at least 25 people who have “liked” this page before you can go to and get a customized URL for it. But when you have at least 25 people, also get a customized URL for this page.

LinkedIn: Sign into your account. Then click on PROFILE (in navigation bar) and click on EDIT PROFILE.

On the right-hand side of the next screen click on CHANGE PUBLIC PROFILE SETTINGS.

Then you’ll see at the top of the next screen YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE URL and click on EDIT.

© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing. She blogs on social media marketing and website topics at and is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRFATION and of FOUR COMEDY SCREENPLAYS.


  1. I appreciate bringing to our attention the distinction between writing for money and writing because you love to write and/or because you love your story and want to share it.

    All this time, from the bottom of my heart, I've never thought much about the monetary aspect of my work, or for that matter, even being famous. I've never given it much thought past the point of just wanting to be published, and this snapped me into thinking about the 'afterward'...and to figuring out just what my motive is for wanting to be published. And then deciding what to do about it.


  2. Thank you, Carol. You always have been and continue to be a great inspiration. Your hard work will pay off one day, I'm sure.

  3. I've just learned how important the action of people agreeing with the tags of a book is for promoting a book on Amazon -- thanks to Aggie Villanueva of

    If you have a few minutes, I'd appreciate people going to my Amazon author page at and then going to the page of each book to "agree with the tags" for that book.

    Amazon doesn't make this easy to find or do. And Aggie advises that the Kindle edition tags have to be agreed with separately.

    (Apparently the only way to get to the Kindle edition is from the actual page of MRS. LIEUTENANT and I can't figure out how to get to my company blog on Kindle to agree with the tags unless one has the URL for that page -- )

    Why does Amazon make everything so complicated?


  4. I just took a look and you're right, it's not easy. But I'll keep looking.

  5. Joylene --

    Thanks for trying. It is so very difficult:

    If you're on the page of, say, MRS. LIEUTENANT -- you have to SCROLL way down (past the reviews, etc.) to

    "Tag this product"

    Then you have to click "Explore Product Tags" -- which takes you to a page where you can agree with the tags or add others.

    I really don't know how anyone finds this without being given specific instructions.

  6. Your instructions sound pliable now. I'll give it a try and let you know.

  7. Hi everyone, Aggie here.

    Phylis sent me this link after she read my report on Amazon tags. It can be purchased here:, along with other industry reports.

    The reason our Amazon tags are so vital to work is that even though we may not know anything about them, customers absolutely do!

    Customers belong to large communities with the names of the tags you chose (if you chose wisely)and some are highly active in these communities.

    With little effort you can rate page one in several of them, which is absolutely free advertising seen by possibly millions who are already passionate about YOUR topic.

    If you've chosen your tags wisely you are already enrolled in these active customer communities, you just have to work it a little to hit page one or two.

    There is so much you can do, and it's all described in my in-depth report here: for just $2.47.

    Good luck to everyone with their tags. It's amazingly simple, and a genius sales plan on the part of Amazon. For some reason though, you are right, it seems hidden at first glance.

  8. Thanks so much for this, Aggie. Is there any chance I could post it as an actual post? That way more viewers will see it.

  9. Joylene -

    Aggie did a great job of explaining and I'm sure she'll say yes to her comment as a guest post.

    Meanwhile today I published a post encouraging people to get her report for only $2.47 -- -- and I included the link to this guest post of mine here.

  10. Thankx Phyllis for the promotion. I love sharing what I've learned about utilizing all we can to create a web presence like this. I know you all do too.

    Thankx to you too Joylene, for posting my guest article. I look forward to talking with others about their promotion on Amazon at that time. Have the best day ever.

  11. Aggie, it's a pleasure reading your articles. Thank you for all you do.


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