Diana Miller has had experience in both the indie and traditional publishing worlds. She explains why review swaps are a great way to build your reader base.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My debut novel Descent is being published by FyreSyde Publishing on April 14th, 2021. It follows the story of Serafina Thomas. Sera is orphaned at sixteen, and sent to live with her only remaining relative in a small, rural town. Recruited by a dark, alluring young man to attend the prestigious St. Michael’s Academy, she is thrust into the secret underworld of demon hierarchy where one must fight to survive. She quickly meets Justin, who rules the demon hierarchy along with his grandfather the Arch Demon, who has taken a special interest in Sera. Martin is the Watcher; an Archangel with one goal in mind: to eradicate the demons from the Earth, protecting the human race for all time.
All three are thrown together in this sage of time and tragedy, with Sera torn in the middle. Will they bind themselves together in order to save their own species, or burn in the chaos? A millennia old struggle comes to a head in the first book of The Demon Chronicles trilogy. The sequel Feud will be published just a few weeks later!
2. How have your sales been?
I actually had this story self-published for a little bit, and it did ok. I’m excited to reach a larger audience with my publisher. My free short story “5 Days to Die” has been downloaded many times, and I’ve had great feedback. It’s on Amazon for $0.99 or for free if you sign up for my newsletter on my website (dianagmiller.com).
3. You’ve used both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which do you prefer, and what are the pros and cons of each?
It was an exhausting process to manage on my own, and with a full time job I just couldn’t devote the time needed. I’m excited to be partnering with FyreSyde to help with this aspect of it!
My publisher has a greater audience reach than I could possibly have alone, and access to more resources (cover artists, editors, etc.). I owe it to my story to make it the best version possible, and I concluded that I just couldn’t do it on my own while keeping up with my family and full-time job as a music teacher.
I’ve met some amazing indie authors, and read some amazing stories! Some of the very first reviews of Descent were from these lovely people, and it’s been wonderful to be active in the writing community. The con is the sheer amount of work, and how hard it is to be seen in a sea of indie authors lately. I’m hoping to have the best of both worlds by working with my small publisher.
4. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
StoryOrigin is a must for any author growing your network and newsletter list. I also keep an active Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok. I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback, criticism, friends, and Twitter is actually how I landed my publisher! The more connections you can make, the better.
5. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
To get those first few reviews, reach out to other indie authors and request a review swap; you read and review their book, they read and review yours. This has been the best way I’ve found to make new connections, read some awesome books, and get those first few reviews out for your own work. I have found having my short story free to boost newsletter subscriptions has been a great feeder into my newsletter and eventually for Descent. I’ve gained quite a few new fans through Tiktok.
6. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
None in particular. It’s hard to do anything out in public face-to-face due to COVID.
7. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
Get the editor. Just do it. No matter how good you think your work is, someone has something better. Be humble, and always be learning and improving, and reading the work of others!
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
That I had started ten years ago!
9. New authors face the challenge of getting their books into the hands of readers. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Make authentic connections with others, read books to get them to read yours. Offer something as incentive, and keep writing.
10. What other projects are you currently working on?
Working on the release of Descent and Feud, but I’m also working on a military romance and possibly a teacher-based romance.
11. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
YA contemporary paranormal
12. How can readers learn more about your books?