Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ask PZM: April - New Marketing Opportunities

Q: What new book marketing opportunities have you been exploring?

Book Planner:

Because I think highly of book designer Joel Friedlander I have been trying out his new monthly subscription program after first listening to his introductory video about this new book publication planning software.

I do believe this software subscription may be invaluable for authors who are starting to self-publish and do not know the myriad tasks this requires and the timetable for such tasks.  On the other hand, after eight years of self-publishing I have my own systems and do not plan to continue paying for this subscription. 

Yet as a subscriber may cancel any time, I recommend that, if you are new to self-publishing, you check out the information on the site and consider trying out the system to see if it helps you. 

Publishers’ Desk:

I have had the unpaid subscription to the manuscript submission portal for some time and just now I finally decided that, to be fair to the service and my books, I should try out the paid subscription. 

Thus I paid for a whole year and am in the midst of preparing the submission information for each book.  (Note that a paid subscription allows you to upload as many book projects as you want.)

It is too soon to provide a review of this portal, although now I am giving it a fair tryout.

Indie Writers Support:

I was very excited when I got an email from describing a paid Facebook ad campaign based on an algorithm developed for targeting fans of specific book genres.  As I had recently attended a tech meetup in LA about such Facebook algorithm development, I understood how this could work and that it is a legitimate.

Thus I paid Indie Writers Support $50 for a one-month campaign on Facebook with a link to the Amazon page of my military thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. 

And then nothing happened as far as I could tell.  I emailed Indie Writers Support and got patchy replies that weren’t very helpful.  I then emailed to say, based on my perception of what is or is not happening, I would have to give negative feedback in this guest post. 

I then got a reply that I would receive proof of the Facebook campaign, but so far I have not received this.

In conclusion, although this could have been a great opportunity, I cannot recommend it.

Q: Have you had any unusual publishing experiences recently?

A while ago I queried a traditional publisher for a nonfiction manuscript and, not unusually, did not hear back.  Then months later I got an email saying that this publisher discovered it had more open slots than realized and was going back through submissions it had previously received.  Would I like to submit the manuscript for an answer within two weeks?

I emailed the manuscript and in about 2 ½ weeks I got a surprising answer: Would I like to pay to have my book published by this traditional publisher?  This publisher assured me that it does not reveal which of its books are traditionally published and which paid-for-by-the-author. 

This would supposedly be the appeal for me as I would not have to tell anyone I paid for the publication and, as the company is also a traditional publisher, people would assume the company had published my book.

First, if I were to accept this proposal, I would feel I was being dishonest.  And second, if I’m going to pay for publishing, I’ll self-publish for much less than what this publishing company wanted to charge me.

Why am I not revealing the name of the company?  I do not want to cast doubt on any authors whose books are published by this company.  Those books may or may not be traditionally published.

In conclusion, while I’m comfortable being a self-published author, if any one of my books is published by a traditional publisher, I want that to be a legitimate publishing deal. 

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) blogs on book-related topics at and her fiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at and her nonfiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at


  1. These are great tips and when I self-pub, I will definitely check them out. There is so much to do as a self-publisher!

  2. That's awful about Indie Writer Support. I'm leery of spending money on ads or blog tours, since I've seen far more that do nothing than that help authors. Thanks for the tips! :)

  3. I shy away from fb ads. I tried a couple without any success. I focus on goodreads as much as possible since that's where the readers are concentrated. Thanks for taking the chance on IndieSupport and letting us know what your results were. There's so many places to put your money that it's hard to know what works and what doesn't.

    1. Lee --

      I even sent the link to this blog post to Indie Writers Support in the hope that the site will rectify my paid-for but not apparently run Facebook ad campaign. If I actually get a reply, I'll plan to add it to the comments here.

  4. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Joylene. Look forward to your review of the subscription. Have a great week.

  5. I am trying my hand at the self-pub thing. It is so much more work than I ever imagined.

    That's interesting about the large pub. Do they let you keep all the profit, I wonder. Or do they charge a royalty too?

  6. I wonder what your experience with Publisher's Desk will be like. I haven't heard of it before and will be checking it out.

  7. A traditional publisher offer services for money. Interesting, and sad, are things changing yet again in the publishing world or is it a constant change. Great post, thanks for the information.

    1. I think it's constant. Enough to make your head spin. Well, not your head, but some heads. Thanks, Yolanda!

  8. Valuable info, as always, thanks so much. Appreciate what you both do to keep us in the loop!

  9. Hi Joylene and Phyllis,

    Plenty of handy info her, for which I have taken the liberty of sharing. I will openly admit this is all lost on me. Never mind, eh.

    Also, Joylene, your "subscribe via email" application, has stopped working for me. I haven't had notifications for your good site in months.

    All the best, eh.


    1. I can't figure out what's wrong, Gary. Other than cursing at it. That's not helping. I'll do a search and see if I can come up with a solution. Thanks for letting me know.

  10. It is far simpler to do the research and run your own Facebook ad campaign. That's too bad someone took advantage of you and $50 is barely scratching the surface of what you need for those ads.


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