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 BookPlanner.com 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 PublishersDesk.com 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 IndieWriterSupport.com 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 www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.comand her fiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermillerand her nonfiction ebooks on Amazon can be read for free via Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller

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