When it comes to book marketing and establishing herself in the marketplace, Miller says: “I have to tell myself to be patient. Building credibility with the readers is very important.”
Rebel Miller has no time to waste when it comes to her career as a writer.
“Recently I went through a number of changes in my life and I started thinking differently about taking risks,” says the Toronto-based author. “I thought to myself ‘why wait’? It’s time to take some chances and do the things that make you happy. Why don’t I just do what I want to do? And so I started writing.”
And how! She started working on her first book, Awakening, in November 2014. Fast forward to this week when Miller has just released her second book, Promising, the second volume of her futuristic New Adult romance trilogy series.
That’s two books, from Chapter 1 to The End, published within a 15 month time span.
“I finished the first book in four months, but it’s one of those things that I had so much of the story in my head for so long and it was just writing it down,” she says. “I started the second book in June of 2015 and it took me a little longer. I finished this January and am releasing it now with a pre-order campaign.”
The rapid pace of to the marketing place is just one of the reasons why Miller chose to go the self publishing path through BookBaby. “I didn’t know anything about publishing and so I did my research on traditional vs. self publishing,” she said. “There were a number of reasons why I decided to self publish. For one thing I’m not afraid of disruption and I think self publishing kind of does that. I’m not afraid of the idea that I can go out on my own. I truly do enjoy the freedom and control.
“The money was certainly a factor. Yes, I’m probably going to have fewer people reading the books initially but I’m going to make much more money per reader. I’m looking at the long term in creating a community of readers. That’s specifically why I created the book series as a trilogy.”
“I also knew for certain it would come out. I didn’t have to spend time in the process to find an agent or publisher who may or may not want to publish my book. So after all my research I just thought to myself: ‘Why don’t I just get my story out there?'”
Somehow Miller has found the time to do just that and more. Miller lives with her husband and two children. Her daytime job as a freelance corporate communication consultant has given her some crucial insights into the often difficult challenge of marketing her books.
“I’ve always worked communications, and I love reading,” says Miller. “With my background I feel very comfortable doing this part of it,” she says. With the help of her graphic designer brother, Miller has created a tremendous author website to serve as a platform for her book.
“With my communication experience, I’m very big on branding,” she says. “When people come to my website, I want them to get who I am as an author immediately. I wanted my website to be very high quality and sophisticated. [Writer’s note: mission accomplished!] I didn’t want anyone in the publishing industry to say, ‘Oh, this is some indie writer website.'”
This month Miller is launching a rapid fire book promotional plan that includes:
- Pre-sale order announcement blasted out through the web.
- Concentrated messaging through the major social media outlets of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and GoodReads.
- Embarking on a Book Blog tour: 15 websites in all that promote books of her genre.
- Using Rafflecopter to coordinate giveaways through her website an other blogs.
- Interviews on a large number of book blog websites.
“It’s all about getting awareness, getting people to know you and your books. I always saw these books as part of a trilogy so that people can really get engaged with the characters over a length of time,” says Miller about her marketing efforts. While her writing has been in a hurry up mode, Miller realizes that sustaining her self-publishing career will take time.
“I have to tell myself to be patient,” she says. “Writing and reading books is part of an intimate relationship. You need to build a dialog and trust. It’s really no different from a lot of other products and services. Building credibility with the readers is very important.”
Miller’s website is truly a model for how self published authors should build a foundation for all their book marketing activities. The design is clean and simple. The focus is split between promoting her books and introducing herself to a potential reader.
“My books are futuristic romance,” says Miller who recently updated her website’s front page featuring her latest book. “Readers need to get that sense very quickly from the visuals and copy. I try to move people throughout the site and encourage them to find more information about me. I think people have a different relationship with books than most other products. When I find an author I really like, whatever she writes, I’ll buy.”
Miller offers some sage advice to other writers who are contemplating self publishing. “Do you research before starting out,” she counsels. “Recognize that with self publishing there are going to be some up-front costs and you should research out every vendor. But unless you know a lot about publishing, you need to get someone who knows what they are doing to help you.”
For promoting books, Miller offers this: “Look at the other books out there in your genre that seem to be selling or getting lots of reviews. Study everything about these authors to get ideas about what’s working for them and see if it can apply to your own book.”
Should You Follow The Traditional Or Self-Publishing Path? Numbers Point The Way.
Creating Your Brand As A Self-published Author
Making The Most Of Print On Demand, Part 2: All You Need To Know About Pre-sales
Book Publicity Tips From An Industry Veteran
Budget Enough Time (And Patience) For Your Book Promotion