ASK PZM: Sept 2013 Bublish

You may or may not have noticed that apart from sharing ASK PZM posts, I haven’t blogged since May. Dead Witness was published in 2008, Broken But Not Dead in 2011. Consequently, for the past 5 years, I’ve been blogging, hosting, promoting, and marketing 24/7. Prior to that I spent 25 plus years writing, editing, and querying. And if that wasn’t enough, last March we put the house on the market.

Suffice to say, I’m worn out. Most days exhausted. On occasion, simply uninspired. Because today is IWSG day, it seemed a good time to say that if you find yourself in a similar situation… know that it’s okay. Sometimes we just need to do something else, like garden (paint a faux granite finish on our counter-top); in other words: regroup, and remember that everything will eventually get back to normal. Or perhaps onward to resembling something even better.

Now, on with the show!  HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY IWSG!

Because today is the first Wednesday of the month, you know what that means — YES, it’s IWSG day, compliments of Alex J. Cavannaugh, our Ninja Captain! 

It’s a simple process: 
“Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your
struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.” 

My IWSG aren’t exactly words of encouragement as much as they’re me sharing with you Phyllis’ answers to questions about marketing.  They’ve helped me; hope they help you. 

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

September co-hosts include Chemist Ken at My Hogwarts Sabbatical, Michelle Wallace at Writer in Transit, and S.L. Hennessy. Check them out!!!

Now for Phyllis’s post… 

Q: Have you been trying out any book marketing options?
I have been trying out various book marketing opportunities, and one such unique concept that is free to join is – where authors can upload the ePub format of their books and create “bubbles” that allow authors
to share the stories behind the book.  

I have uploaded three ePubs so far – and you can see the first “bubble” for MRS. LIEUTENANT at Plus I have spoken with Bublish founder Kathy Meis, and I am very impressed with her knowledge and her vision.  I expect this site, which is still in beta, to truly blossom with connection opportunities for authors and readers.

KDP Select:

I have also read Jeff Bennington’s ebook WINNING WITH KDP SELECT: 5 STEPS TO HIT #1 IN THE AMAZON FREE STORE and I have followed his steps for KDP Select free days for MRS. LIEUTENANT. Although I think his advice is very good, be warned that following the steps takes a financial investment as well as a time investment.

News flash: While it is generally believed at this time that each free download counts as 1/10 of a sale, I have just learned new information that seems to indicate the free downloads no longer count at all towards being considered as a sale.  If this info is now correct, it is important to keep in mind when reading the above book.  Perhaps the steps in the book recommended by Jeff Bennington will work for bargain book campaigns.

On the other hand, if you want your book to be discovered on Amazon, you do need to give it extra loving support. For example, I am assuming that you have recently reviewed your book’s keywords and categories as well as your Author Central profile on Amazon in order to make these the best they can be. (There are no more tags on Amazon.)

The perspective of Amazon reviewers:

I have also read Theo Rogers’ ebook HOW TO GET GOOD REVIEWS ON AMAZON: A GUIDE FOR INDEPENDENT AUTHORS & SELLERS. This book is a big eye-opener because it is from the other side of the aisle, so to speak. We authors have one perspective – active Amazon reviewers often have a different perspective.

Particularly interesting is his admonishment to restrain from commenting on a negative review your book might get on Amazon. While I know how difficult this is to do, I agree with his advice.

Wattpaid update:
In both the July Ask PZM and the August Ask PZM I mentioned my experiment with writing THE MOTHER SIEGE: A DYSTOPIAN THRILLER entirely on the free site Wattpad.  (Go to and click on the dropdown table of contents to read all the chapters written so far.)

I explained that to continue the experiment I created a “Mother Siege” blog on Tumblr at for both the commentary posts I write in connection with THE MOTHER SIEGE and the automatic posts that I “share” from Wattpad each time I post a new chapter there. 

Now I have decided to extend the experiment by simultaneously writing a nonfiction project on Wattpad – TALES OF AN AMERICAN OCCUPYING GERMANY: A COLD WAR MEMOIR – at

I have also created a Tumblr blog for this project at

If you want to experiment with something you are currently writing, Wattpad may be a good option for you. Just be sure to click “All Rights Reserved” each time you upload a new chapter and be sure to add tags (think keywords).


The truth is that we authors could spend all day every day trying out different marketing options for promoting our books. But we also have to write our books besides do all the other things in our lives. It is a balancing act, and one we can only hope to do well.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON.   

You can see all her books at her author blog and find her on Goodreads at

She is also the co-founder of the online marketing company

TWEET #1   “Different marketing options for promoting our books”  (click to Tweet)
TWEET  #2   “Create “bubbles” that allow authors to share stories behind the book.”  (click to Tweet)
TWEET  #3   “The perspective of Amazon reviewers”  (click to Tweet)

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