Monday, January 30, 2012

E-Book Contest Winner

About my January 25th contest, What's He Saying? 

The winner is....

drum roll please ... ba-dum-pump chsh!


 "Nooo! They found me! I've been trying to hide from that darn camera all day!"

Congratulations, Carrie. You win a copy of my ebook Dead Witness. I'm sending it along shortly. Just have to blurb somebody first. 

ps. no, Carrie isn't a relative 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Murder by 4: First Impressions, by Joylene Butler

Murder by 4: First Impressions, by Joylene Butler: copyright 2012, Joylene Butler Remember your first date, the one that changed your life forever? Good things fell into place be...

I'm guest blogging on Murder by 4 today, and I hope you can stop, check out Murder by 4's terrific writers, and take a look around. It's an awesome blog with a lot to offer all writers.

ps. The contest is still going on until Sunday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's He Saying? contest

In this photograph, I think Blake is saying, (he's only 5 months old and doesn't speak legible English yet) "OMG, meatloaf for supper tonight! Mum, I love your meatloaf."

Amanda (Blake's Godmother) thinks he's saying, "HE is my Godfather! NOOO!"

What do you think?

A secret judge will pick the best example of what s/he thinks Blake is saying, and I'll send a free ebook version of Dead Witness to the winner.

Good luck!

Monday, January 23, 2012


THE STORYTELLERS, a sixty minute radio program hosted by John Bell and dedicated to the written word, airs every Monday at 7 PM pst on Prince George's cfis 93.1. I'm pleased to announce that tonight John includes his review of both my suspense novels, Broken but not Dead and Dead Witness. After that I'll be reading chapter one from Broken

Here's a brief excerpt of what he's going to say:

Using Brendell Meshango as the narrator of the story, we get a very interesting look into the fractured psyche of the heroine, who can be turned from a determined fighter to a frightened victim by her mysterious foe.  I am sure that we can all equate to the emergence of negative thought that overwhelms us in uncertain moments of great stress. As in the case of Joylene’s first novel, the heroine pulls herself together and faces down her adversary only when her family is threatened.

Thank you so much, John. I'm still in New Brunswick, so I'll be sure to tune in at 10 PM est. Hope others can too.

Meanwhile, I hear my little man calling...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hugging and Kissing

Had a great time at the book club meeting at Oromocto's Public Library Thursday night. Thank you, everyone for making me feel so welcome. I'm also dropping in to say I miss my blogging buddies badly. Hope you're all well. Thought I could keep up with your blogs and still spend quality time with my grandson, ha--not happening. With 10 days left before I head back to BC, there are just so many hours in a day to hug, kiss, and squeeze this little baby. After that (boohoo) it's back to business as usual.

Since I'm your typical grandmother, here are more pictures I have to share. Can't help myself.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Suspense author visits Portage Library

You'd think participating in speaking engagements to discuss writing and publication would get old. It doesn't. Nor should it. January sixth in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, the place of my birth, surrounded by family, friends, and some new friends, I read from my suspense novels Dead Witness and Broken but not Dead, and then shared my love of writing. For me, it was a particularly wonderful evening.

That didn't diminish my anxiety. Because these people love me, I couldn't help worrying that my stories might disappoint them somehow. I know how silly that sounds, but there's no accounting for self-doubt. I've heard tell of famous writers feeling exactly the same way. 

If you're a published author and you have the opportunity to go back to your roots, back to where you were born, to the place that best defines you... go. It's just one more amazing experience to add to the vault. 

I'm currently in Rusagonis, New Brunswick visiting my grandson Blake and his parents. I'm very behind in my correspondence and my comments, but it's not my fault.

Here's the source of my distraction...

--happy readings
ps. I hope to catch up on blog surfing very quickly. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ask PZM Jan 2012 "Brand"

Before I introduce the first ASK PZM article for 2012, I'd like to extend a warm thank you to all my followers. For quite a while now I've tried to send you a personal message expressing my gratitude. If there's a way, I'll find it eventually. In the meantime, please know that I'm very grateful for your support for this blog. It has been a source of comfort every single day.

Now for your reading pleasure, here's Phyllis's answer to the follow question:

Q: How do I position my books to stand out in the marketplace? What does it mean to have a distinctive brand?

This is a great question, and before I answer it I’d like to step back and clarify something about book marketing.

First, you have to be sure that your book (or ebook) makes it very clear what the book is about. For example, I recently read the front and back copy of a physical book and still did not know whether it was fiction or nonfiction.

Your book is not for everyone. It is for the people who would be interested in your fiction or nonfiction book. Therefore you must make this instantly clear.

(I titled my novel “Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel” to make it immediately clear that the book was a novel and not nonfiction.)

And, second, there are the considerations of whether the book cover (even for an ebook) is effective, whether the book’s title and your author name can be easily read on an online thumbnail photo, whether the price of the book is in line with the marketplace, etc.

Now, to answer this question, we’re going to assume that all these preliminary steps have been adequately covered. Also, we will understand that, whether traditionally published or self-published, you must do most of the marketing yourself if you want to stand out in the marketplace.

This brings us to the subject of a brand.

A fiction author’s distinctive brand might be always writing about abused women who find the strength to escape their situations.

Or a fiction author’s brand might be always writing novels that deal with a specific location or time period or family saga.

This is the spine of your fiction author projects on which you hang your marketing activities for your books.

Let’s take the example of fictional stories about abused women:

You can delve into the nonfiction world of this important topic in order to connect with potential readers for your fiction books.

For example, you could do a search with keywords on Twitter to find real-time conversations about this topic and join in the conversation. Of course, your Twitter bio would include the information of why you are interested in this topic and how your novels are meant to empower women in similar situations. And your Twitter bio link would be to your book author website or to the specific Amazon page where your book is sold.

Although you are a fiction writer and not a nonfiction writer on this topic, you may carve out a reputation for yourself. People may say about you: “She writes novels empowering abused women.” This is the brand you have worked to create.
What if your books have no common thread – nothing you can use to establish a distinctive brand?

In this case you might create a brand around your participation in online social media groups – maybe you are known for giving helpful writing advice to new authors – or around your blog that deals with various writing subjects or around any aspect of your personality or writing whose image can be consistently presented over time.
To be clear, a brand is usually not based on your name. It is based on something about you or your writing that promotes a consistent image over time regardless of what you are writing.

And, of course, you can have more than one brand. Just remember that each brand takes time to develop and needs continual nurturing.

Before you protest that you have no idea what brand you can create/develop for yourself, stop and think about what makes you or your writing unique. Then consider how you can emphasize this aspect in your marketing activities.

Let’s discuss this in the comments section below.

© 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 marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients including book authors to effectively use social media, blogging and WordPress websites.

She is also the author of fiction and nonfiction books and has a new website at about her books and her online volunteer activities (which are part of her author brand).