Suzy Milhoan has managed to turn her grief into a learning experience, one she seeks to share with the world through her writing. Find out more about her proactive marketing approach and how social media enhanced her networking.
1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.
The Healing Game shares Suzy’s journey of losing her beloved husband, Kevin, hitting rock bottom, and painfully finding her way back to her life. Suzy’s deeply personal writing reveals how she learned to grieve, work through her emotions, remember the good times, and once more embrace love.
For those who have lost a loved one, The Healing Game not only offers comfort and support, but also shows you that God is ever-faithful and always by your side.
2. Why did you become an indie writer?
This was my first book, and I thought I could get my book finished and published sooner by going this route. I didn’t have a platform yet to try to sell to a publisher or agent, so I went off on my own.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
No, I didn’t have the confidence to seek out traditional publishing because I was just starting a new career (writing) with a brand new book, and a non-fiction at that.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
I like it. I like that I had more control of the overall process.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
One of the first things I did was get my social networking established, or revamped. I got a Twitter account, LinkedIn, Facebook, blog, etc. Those are the avenues to use to sell your books. I made great connections to other writers and learned so much. I also had my website developed and allow my customers to order directly from me. You can make a little more money if you do that and I found out, it’s okay to ask your customers to pay their own tax and shipping and handling. I know as an online shopper myself, I expect to pay for that.
6. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
It is hard work to market and promote yourself and your book, but it is well worth it. I was surprised to hear the word “yes” when asking to speak about my book. What I think helps is to have some overlaying theme to discuss. In my case, it’s about how to journal through grief. That became the topic of my speaking engagements.
7. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I would have done more planning up front for my marketing/promotion plan. I kind of started thinking about that after the book was published and played a hurry-up game to get things scheduled. I should have started much earlier.
8. Indie authors face the challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers. What advice do you have for an indie just starting out?
Go to your local libraries and bookstores and convince them your book is worth putting on their shelves. Provide them a copy to read. Schedule book readings/signings at libraries, coffee shops and book stores. They do the advertising for you. Use your local newspaper to market yourself. Don’t give up!
9. What are you currently working on?
I am working on a children’s book currently titled, “Where’s My Family?” It’s a story about a family of rabbits that disappear, one by one, but eventually get reunited in the end.
10. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence what would it be?
I like to use my own experiences, bad or good, to help others.