Guest Post by Ann Lee Miller, Author of Kicking Eternity
My first book debuted June 1, so this is more of a beginner’s testimonial than the last word on book marketing. I don’t have the time or inclination to get a marketing degree, but I know Someone who’s been in the business a long time. Prayer is the foundation for my promotion strategy.
The wacky idea that got me invited onto Valerie’s blog: give a book away—forever. I’ve got three more novels coming out in the next year. The people who read and like free Kicking Eternity should cheerfully buy The Art of My Life (September), Avra’s God (December), and Tattered Innocence (March 2013). Smashword’s Mark Coker’s lists free books as Secret Eleven in The Secrets of Ebook Publishing Success. Motoko Rich of the New York Times concurs.
Blog Tour: I scheduled a blog stop each day of June. Even at this early stage of the game, I see the need to seek out blogs that have more traffic than my imaginary character’s blog The-Art-Of-My-Life with its equally imaginary following.
Via Facebook, e-mail, and online groups, I asked friends to read my book and post reviews. I gave them two weeks, but two months is a more realistic time frame.
Joel Comm recommends in Twitter Power, building relationships on Twitter three-fourths of the time, and selling one-fourth. His philosophy goes well with my personality. However, my one tweet a day is probably not accomplishing much in either area. So, I’m about to take Melissa Foster’s Internet Marketing class at World Literary Cafe.
Indie authors have to earn respect, and this fact was never more obvious than when I sought speaking engagements. I was ignored by twenty universities, one of which I attended for two years. Even the high school I graduated from, served as vice president of my senior class, and as a member of the homecoming court did not respond to my e-mail.
My alma mater, where I earned a BA in creative writing, would not allow me to speak to students in writing classes. I did succeed, however in slating seven Christian groups related to my alma mater and denomination.
I’m sending news releases about my book launch to newspapers in all the places I’ve lived. To my delight, a reporter from the Hometown News in New Smyrna Beach, where my series is set, interviewed me for an hour on the phone last week and is writing a feature. Also, a nearby Daytona Beach News Journal reporter loved my news release promised me a spot in the books section.
On Launch Day I opened a Facebook Event called “Ann Lee Miller Free Book” as an efficient way to spread the word to my friends so they can “invite” their friends. It’s been a tad confusing because no event takes place. In the first week, about 8,000 people heard about my book through the event.
You never know what tidbit from your life could be an asset in promoting your book. The newspaper reporter called because Kicking Eternity landed First Place Long Contemporary in the 2009 RWA Faith, Hope, and Love Contest. I marveled that God had put this into place three years ago.
Another asset was living on a sailboat while my parents’ marriage melted down. Not a happy time, but an experience that lends credibility to my two books set on sailboats. We all have plusses if we dig around and look for them.
I asked a couple of traditionally published friends if they would read Kicking Eternity and write endorsements which I view as huge assets.
“Ann Lee Miller writes stories straight from the heart with characters who’ll become friends, remaining with you long after you turn that final page. You won’t want to miss Kicking Eternity!” Jenny B. Jones, author of the Katie Parker Production Series from Think and The Charmed Life Series, and others from Thomas Nelson.
“In Kicking Eternity, Ann Lee Miller masterfully weaves the delicate web of emotions experienced in that turbulent ‘twenty-something’ stage of life. Powerful family dynamics, intense loyalty challenges, and tender new loves find their niche in your heart as this story unfolds layer by lovely layer.” Mesu Andrews, Author of Revell titles Love’s Sacred Song, and Love Amid the Ashes, which won the 2012 CBA Book of the Year, New Author Category
Leave a comment with your e-mail address or contact me through AnnMiller.com for a free e-copy of Kicking Eternity. If you’ve read this far you deserve it!
Ann Lee Miller writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.
Fresh from college, Raine scores a teaching job at New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp. A crush on the camp rebel/art teacher threatens to derail her plans to teach orphans in Africa. The broody recreation director spots her brothers meth addiction and Raine’s enabling. Raine believes she is helping her brother–until lives are threatened.
Kicking Eternity Back Cover Copy:
Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.
The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheek bones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ live. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.
Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex.
Raine’s brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it’s too late?