IWSG: Ask PZM, February 2015

It’s that the first Wednesday of the month, which also means it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group Wednesday. Thanks to our noble Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, it’s time to share our fears and insecurities, or support and assistance. Doesn’t matter which.

If you’d like to join Insecure Writer’s Support Group, click hereBe sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Our hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for today are: 

Gwen Gardner,
Sarah Foster, 
and M. Pax!

Please stop by and thank them for their time. 

Before we get to Ask PZM, just a reminder that The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is now available for free downloading. You can check out the sites here.


Q. What do you think are the basics for any writer or author in the world of the Internet?

I strong believe that no matter where you are on your writing journey – beginning, middle, one or several books published – you need to have one hand in the writing field and one hand in the marketing field.

And this means the sooner you start the marketing area the better off you will be.

In an ideal world, I would recommend starting a website/blog that you own (self-hosted) from day one.  This website/blog then becomes the home base for all your other marketing activities.  You can share your writing and publishing journey as you build up a fan base.

Let’s say, though, that for whatever reason you are not yet ready to own your own online real estate.  Then choose some entities where you can establish a presence (and hope that the entities remain popular and user friendly).

For example, if you are a fiction or nonfiction writer, you might want to set up a free Wattpad.com account and showcase some of your writing in order to get early fans.  (See my Wattpad account at http://www.wattpad.com/user/ZimblerMiller)

Perhaps you write on nonfiction topics that fit with the business mindset of LinkedIn.  You can now write blogs posts on your LinkedIn profile.  This is a great way to start sharing your writing with target markets.  (See my blog posts at www.linkedin.com/in/phylliszimblermiller)

Remember, if you are writing blog posts, try to include at least one interesting photo with the post.  That photo can draw attention to the post and then be used to add the post to an appropriate board on a Pinterest account.  (See my boards at www.pinterest.com/zimblermiller)

All of these activities – and more – can be done before you have even finished the first chapter of your book.  In fact, starting your marketing activities early on can help you gain input for your writing.  (One of the fans for my dystopian story THE MOTHER SIEGE on Wattpad gave me a great idea I would not have thought of on my own.  I incorporated his idea at the end of the screenplay adaptation I wrote of the story.)

Warning:  I am NOT suggesting that you spend tons of time each day on social media rather than writing.  I am suggesting that you plan to participate in a few places that enable you to showcase what you are writing about and to start connecting with your prospective target audiences.

And, of course, you can join online writing and marketing groups that offer valuable information.  Things change so quickly on the Internet that very few people can keep up with everything.  But if you have online groups that have your back, you’ll be farther ahead than others who are going it alone.  (Those of you who are regular followers of Joylene’s blog have a definite advantage.)

Amazon cautionary tale:

I recently learned of an author who refuses to put his hardcover book on Amazon because he thinks Amazon takes too much of the book’s price.  His book is only available via his own website.

I understand that he is about to have TV appearances as part of a publicity campaign.  I suspect that many of those people who see him on TV will automatically go to Amazon to buy his book either because they do not remember his website URL or because Amazon already has their billing and shipping information.

In my opinion, this author is making a big mistake as I believe he should have his book where the most people shop for books.  (I am reminded of the expression “Cutting off the nose to spite the face.”)

Q: Anything else you’d like to mention?

Those of you who have often read my posts know that I believe in helping others online without the expectation of help in return.  Still, I am pleased that Derin Cag, founder and CEO of the new site Richtopia.com, appreciated my few suggestions for him so much that he reviewed on his site my book TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET ON THE INTERNET WITH PICTURES.  Check out this review at http://richtopia.com/reviews/top-tips-how-to-market-internet-with-picturesand other articles on his site.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a digital marketer as well as a fiction and nonfiction author.  Her ebook TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON is at http://www.amazon.com/Tips-Publish-Market-Your-Amazon-ebook/dp/B009RBJW3E

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