IWSG: Ask PZM May 2014

It’s that wonderful time again, the time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group day, compliments of our very own fierce and noble Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you think this group sounds like a good place for you and you’d like to join, click here.

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.”

Our Twitter Hashtag is #IWSG

Alex’s other awesome co-hosts for today are Elsie, Mark Koopmans, and Lisa Buie-Collard! Please stop by and thank them for their generous time and effort.

Please help us spread the word about the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website. And if you don’t already know we have a IWSG Facebook site too.

IWSG Facebook Guidelines:

1. Since the focus of IWSG is support, the Facebook page should reflect this ideal.

2. You are encouraged to support your fellow IWSG’ers who share their writerly-related experiences, which include accomplishments/disappointments/challenges, with the rest of the group. Keep in mind that writers are at different points of their respective writerly journeys. Some lurk for a long time, before finding the courage to share with the rest of the group. Since the IWSG is all about community, a word of encouragement or advice may be just what somebody needs. Or even just a smiley face/thumbs up…

3. News & Promotional Saturday is your opportunity to add a link. The IWSG administrators reserve the right to remove promotional links, especially if they are posted haphazardly.

ASK PZM – MAY 2014

Q. Any new changes on social media that are good for authors?

The one change that I think is particularly good for authors is Twitter’s new profile image header option. Basically, this new large-scale image is similar to the image header on Facebook and Google+.

For this new Twitter option I have used an image featuring some of my book covers (as I have on Facebook and Google+). Check out this new option at http://twitter.com/ZimblerMiller

And if you are not yet on Twitter, this is a good time to join!

Side note: I actually think this new layout does not work as well for checking out people’s Twitter bios and tweets. But that’s another topic.

Q. Any other tidbits of information?


I’ve often mentioned Wattpad here (and here is a post on my author site about some Wattpad changes – http://budurl.com/Wattpadchanges)

Recently a Wattpad contest submission period ended. I only knew about the contest because, as an author on Wattpad, I was sent a notice about the contest.

The contest rules allowed each author to submit up to three entries. I quickly removed my screwball romantic comedy novella HOT POTATO from KDP Select and added this novella to Wattpad so I could submit the story as one of my three entries.

Then I added two other of my short stories that, while also available via Kindle, are not on KDP Select: the PTSD short story SOLOMON’S JUSTICE and the YA short story PINKY SWEAR.

This kind of flexibility – that of owning the rights to one’s work – allows us indie authors to take advantage of new opportunities. And we should definitely be on the lookout for such opportunities.

(See the stories I currently have on Wattpad at http://www.wattpad.com/mystories)

Innovative author blog tour:

Prolific author Helen Page asked me to participate in an innovative author blog tour. I said yes and then at first had a hard time finding three other authors with blogs who wanted to take part.

Luckily I was reminded about the LinkedIn book marketing group that I started (and last September turned over the admin of this group). I posted an announcement there and quickly got two very interesting authors.

Here’s the link to the blog post I wrote as part of this tour: http://budurl.com/authorblogtour

And perhaps this innovative marketing strategy will inspire you to undertake a similar effort.

Q: What about the case of disappearing reviews on Amazon?

This is a serious issue that, as often with big sites such as Amazon, is cloaked in published rules and unpublished actions.

I know from experience that an author friend of mine is blocked from writing a review for any of my books on Amazon even though we have NO financial arrangement with each other and she only wants to do so when she really enjoys one of my books.

Apparently Amazon mistrusts that authors who are friends (and how does Amazon know this?) can actually want to read each other’s books, and if these authors like the books, contribute reviews about those books!

I also know anecdotal information about older reviews being taken down for what appears to be unclear reasons.

Thus the blog post “Authors’ New Amazon Headache” by Sarah Pinneo about authors using Amazon gift cards to give out books is very interesting.

Disclaimer: I cannot be assured that everything in the post is accurate due to the secrecy cloaking Amazon’s relationship with its authors.

That said, here is the link to this informative blog post – decide for yourself what you think of the information: http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2014/04/authors-new-amazon-headache.html

TWEET #1 – New changes on social media that are good for authors (click to tweet)

TWEET #2 – Newest changes on Wattpad (click to tweet)

TWEET #3 – The case of disappearing reviews on Amazon (click to tweet)

Phyllis Zimbler Miller on Twitter is at http://twitter.com/ZimblerMiller and she is the author of fiction and nonfiction books on Amazon. Her fiction books on Amazon can be found at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller and her nonfiction books at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller

She is also a digital marketer who blogs on book topics at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com and you can download a free copy of her YA short story PINKY SWEAR at http://www.phylliszimblermiller.com/keep-in-touch/

Joylene’s afterthought:

I was so caught up in finishing my WIP (just broke 90K words) and preparing for the release of BREAK TIME I forgot to host an ice-breaking contest. If you’re new, it’s a contest where everyone guesses when the ice is going off Cluculz lake. If we’re still here next year, I’ll try to remember.

Oh yeah, it left May 2nd.

photographed by Joylene Butler
April 26, 2014

May 2, 2014

May 5, 2014

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