Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mrs. Lieutenant: Thanks for a Year of Learning and Sharing

Almost exactly a year ago at the end of December 2007 I had the epiphany that I didn’t need to wait any longer for someone to say yes to me. I signed up for BookSurge – Amazon’s print-on-demand publisher – to publish my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT.

In January I learned that MRS. LIEUTENANT had been chosen as a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (an occurrence totally separate from the BookSurge decision). Amazon gave each of us semi-finalists an online page for people to review the beginning of our novel. And that was the moment I stumbled upon blogging, social media, and all the other things I started learning.

In March I began my Mrs. Lieutenant blog and in April my novel was published (and my older daughter Rachel threw a surprise birthday/book launching party).

In June I took a virtual book tour and “met” some terrific book bloggers. That same month I also co-sponsored a military spouse contest with Nancy Brown of And later in the summer I helped fundraise online for Operation Soldier Care with Trish Forant of and Nancy Sutherland of

Nancy Brown, Trish Forant and Nancy Sutherland are three of the people I most want to thank. Working with them to support our military personnel and their families has been an amazing experience. And one benefit of working with these women is that in November Nancy Brown asked me to be her co-host on a new BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life – and we’ve already interviewed both Trish Forant and Nancy Sutherland on the show.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to “meet” military bloggers such as Big Tobacco, whose R-rated reports from somewhere in Iraq lend an immediacy to the news of U.S. troop fighting. (And through email I’ve advised him on a novel he’s writing when off duty.)

All my intense learning about marketing on the internet led to my establishing Miller Mosaic, LLC and hiring my younger daughter Yael to work with me. We now have the site and are offering website package solutions for book authors and small businesses to quickly and easily get a website presence. Plus in the new year we plan to offer training workshops for using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to market books, films, tv and other such projects.

One of the first websites Yael built was, a showcase for a proposed graphic novel series my husband Mitch and I want to write about a lieutenant commander in the Navy. (The first website Yael built was to help my 84-year-old father get senior improv gigs on cruise ships.)

Yael’s newest site is for her sister Rachel –, which is launching now.

And thanks to learning about the Military Writers Society of America from book author Carolyn Howard-Johnson of, I now have a journalist who has been embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan as a weekly contributor to this blog – Andrew Lubin. (And this Mrs. Lieutenant blog feeds into the blog section of

And Carolyn and I – who met on Twitter due to a shared interest in supporting our deployed troops – are busy writing a proposal for a non-fiction book on fiction marketing. (Yael is building us a website for this project.)

I look forward in 2009 to continuing to provide information on organizations and people supporting the troops – both here on this blog and on the BlogTalkRadio show.

And thanks again to all of the above people as well as the wonderful others I’ve met along the way this year and to those I look forward to meeting in the future.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

What a wonderful post this is, Phyllis. The timeline for a first year in publishing fiction, really. It just gets more and more exciting. And I am proud to be part of it. And I'm eager for the new year of collaborating with you and eventually sharing with others some of our book promotion tricks.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books

nancymkqueen said...

I am so grateful for the pleasure of getting to know you and work with you this year. I am really impressed with reading your story of the last year. I know that 2009 will be even more full of abundance and new ventures.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Carolyn and Nancy,

Thanks so much for these wonderful comments. So happy that both of you are in my life.


Nancy Brown said...

Phyllis this has been an amazing year and I am very happy to have shared experiences with you! I am excited about what the future holds for our businesses! I am thankful to have met you.

susan@booksicals said...

Great post Phyl. You've been so intstrumental in helping me launch Booksicals, my line of children's books, and in helping me launch its marketing campaign. It's so great having a working partner like you - We've had a wonderful and exciting year. I look forward to the new year of working together.

Happy New Year and Success to all!
Susie Chodakiewitz

Sun Singer said...

This is such a joyful and positive year-end post for an author to read because it shows what can happen when a talented person dives into new challenges with a can-do attitude.

Best wishes for an even more dynamic 2009.


Yael K. Miller said...

This is a lovely post -- and not just because you mentioned me so many times. Thanks.

Serena said...

This is a great post and I commend all of your efforts. I think it has helped you and others.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Nancy B., Susie, Malcolm, Yael and Serena --

I want to thank all of you for being such terrific supporters of MRS. LIEUTENANT. I really appreciate all of you.