Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ask PZM: June 2011

Do you think there's still a place for audio books considering where technology is going?

Audio books for MP3 players definitely still have a place. These audio books can be listened to, for example, while exercising or doing household chores.

Also audio books are good as CDs in your car. (You wouldn’t want to use an MP3 player with earphones in your car because you might not hear emergency vehicles.)

Do you believe authors -- newcomers to the Internet -- can learn the new technology and effectively sell their books?

Absolutely these newcomers can learn if they have an open mind to trying new things. On the other hand, if they go around saying “I can’t do things on the computer,” they are probably not open to learning. (If you fall into the second group but would like to have an open mind, read Carol Dweck’s book MINDSET: THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS.)

Do you believe a middle-of-the-road author can find success without embracing the Internet?

I don’t know what a middle-of-the-road author is, although probably any author can achieve a measure of success without being on the Internet. But that author is going to have to work really hard to use other methods to get known. For example, this could include visiting area bookstores and other retail stores plus speaking at every opportunity in order to create interest.

What are the 5 steps a new author can make without the aid of money for travel, website design, and blogging experience?

Let me first ask this question:

As an author do you believe in your book? If so, you should be willing to invest in the marketing of your book.

In my opinion, if you utilize the Internet effectively, you do not need to spend any money on travel.

On the other hand, unless you are a whiz at html coding and website usability, I do NOT recommend you create a do-it-yourself website. Many of these do-it-yourself websites are missing essential elements both for search engine optimization (SEO) and for optimum online marketing. (Note it is not website “design” but website “creation” that we are talking about.)

In addition, while you can get a free blog at or, do realize that this is a hosted blog and you do NOT actually own your blog. If you are in the book marketing business for the long haul (and, yes, it is a business), then you would be better off getting a (referred to as simply WordPress) self-hosted website and blog combination.

Although WordPress sites and blogs are relatively easy to manage after the sites are live, they are not that easy to set up. Read the guest post my business partner Yael K. Miller recently wrote for -- -- about why authors need websites they can manage themselves.

As Yael points out at the beginning of her guest post, our company builds WordPress websites for clients. But our opinion of do-it-yourself websites is based on how many websites we see that are missing important elements for effective online marketing.

The question comes down to:

Given limited resources for marketing your book, where are these best spent?

As I’ve written before, I wish I hadn’t bought business cards, bookmarks and postcards for my novel “Mrs. Lieutenant.” I still have almost all of these because I almost exclusively market on the Internet. On the other hand, if you are almost exclusively marketing in person, these might be a good investment.

In conclusion, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer about where to spend your book marketing resources. But do think of your book promotion as a business, and then make your marketing decisions accordingly.

P.S. Here’s a special book marketing opportunity that will only cost you the price of one Kindle version of your book:

Author Tony Eldridge is starting a new Sunday Kindle Giveaway for Kindle books. See

Plus, here's the actual link to leave a comment in order to be eligible to win the Kindle version of MRS. LIEUTENANT --

© 2011 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 social media marketing company Miller Mosaic. You can learn about her fiction and nonfiction books at her Amazon author page at

* “Mrs. Lieutenant” is now available on Kindle for 99 cents:

For more information on Phyllis and her work: -- the first one is this Sunday, the 5th, and the Kindle version of MRS. LT is one of the two giveaways. -- this is a six-part free Facebook for Authors telesummit starting June 6 -- and Phyllis is the first presenter then -- but this is an affiliate link because people can buy the recordings and transcripts after listening to the free telesummit. -- LA Times review of YA book Starcrossed that was released May 31. -- an encouraging blog for authors by Phyllis's daughter, which also links to her earlier blog post explaining how she discovered the book.  It is a Facebook story and may encourage other authors. -- this is a post Phyllis wrote for Technorati about a game changer for the publishing industry.


  1. A fascinating post, lots to learn and remember!

  2. Thanks, Carole. Hope your Sunday is peaceful and warm.

  3. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  4. Carole Anne and Sewa --

    Glad you like the article.

    And here's the actual link to leave a comment today only in order to be eligible to win the Kindle version of MRS. LIEUTENANT --

    The Kindle give away link above in this post goes to info for other authors to submit their Kindle version to be considered for a future give away.

  5. Loved reading this essay, it has a lot of good info. Thank You.

  6. You're welcome, Anthony. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  7. Lots of information here and plenty to think about. Thanks for the post!

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Laura. Have a great Sunday.

  9. So pleased that people are finding good info in this post.

    I've recently been on a quest to learn as much as possible about the different ebook platforms -- not an easy subject to wrap one's head around.

  10. E-Readers. Good for you, Phyllis. I use a Kobo, mostly because it was cheap. It's definitely made life interesting. Looking forward to hearing what you learned.

  11. I hope there will be a place for auido books for years to come!

    I, for one, am writing more now, and almost all my spare time is consumed with my own writing. Audio books leaves me the luxury of reading in places where I CAN'T write..riding or driving, particularly.

    As it is, the only time for reading is in the bathtub, where I can justify the stopping of the writing wheel. LOL...

  12. Great post - so much invaluable info - I bookmarked it! Thank you for sharing!

    A free site for jigsaw puzzles, OMG! I keep one going on a table in the family room, but would love to try online. Could you drop a comment with the link??

    And thanks to Yael. We have Israeli friends - their oldest daughter is named Yael. It means 'deer' in Hebrew (specifically, a smallish fleet-footed deer.)

  13. I love audio books, too, Carol. Especially on long trips. When we went to visit relatives, one book lasted the entire way there. Kept us both alert.

    Bathtub reading is the best.

  14. Kittie, be warned. The jigsaw planet is addictive. I can waste more time there than I can in a computer store. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. Please stop by my blog to pick up the award I've nominated you for.

  16. Susanne, thank you! I love awards!

  17. Thank you for doing this, Joylene! A great resource for authors who are looking for advice on marketing.

  18. Wonderful questions and answers! Glad you shared them with us. This advice is timely and helpful. :) Thanks for the links, too.

  19. Thank you for visiting, Adriana. I'm fortunate to have Phyllis host on the 5th day of every month. She's been a blessing to me and my career.

  20. You're welcome, Karen. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

  21. Oh, JQ, thanks! I shall convict your mother's wise words and tooteth! Have a great day.

  22. Hi Hilary. I worried about Broken being too frightening, but Leanne, my editor said it's only the first few chapters and the end, and the rest balances itself out. So readers will be okay. LOL. She's pretty smart, so I'm going with Leanne. But can't help the butterflies. Thanks for your support, Hilary. Have a great day.


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