Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ask PZM: November 2010

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. Thanks for the inspiration to continue promoting my books.

  2. Kathy, you're so welcomed. I know it's tough. Have a great weekend.

  3. Hi Joylene,
    Phyllis has submitted some absolutely superb information for those out there who could use that extra bit of promotion.
    Wishing all writers, aspiring and established, much success and happy writing.
    Hope you are managing to stay warm, Joylene. My mother in White Rock was all excited by the few flecks of snow they have gotten there:-)
    Take care, Gary.

  4. thank you, Gary. I'm in totally agreement. Phyllis is a gem.

  5. Thanks for the inspiration to me, to learn to promote my book when the time comes.

    It's that part of the process that I don't think enough about, I'm afraid.

  6. Carol, you'll find a lot of useful tools when it comes your turn. It's a daunting task trying to promote a book, but somebody's got to do it. LOL. Having a community to support you is going to make the ordeal a lot easier. I promise.

  7. Thanks for all the useful info. I keep thinking I ought to get a customized FB URL but at present it doesn't seem all that necessary. But I'll be bookmarking this for future use. :)

  8. Great advice. We all wonder what and why we're doing when it comes to promotion, but it is a great way to make friends, and who knows -- maybe someday you'll find the key to selling tons of books, which will never happen if you never promote.

  9. Glad you liked it, Pat. I'm doing very nicely meeting friends. Now, if I can sell a book or two, what a treat that would be.

  10. Carol, you're working at your own pace. I'm sure things will fall into place when you need them to. Have a wonderful weekend.


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