Suzy Milhoan

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.

Read More

William Steele

In his engaging and well-reviewed autobiography, My Journey, Major General William Steele recounts his life and military experience.  He discusses why it was so important to acquire an editor and the specific, targeted marketing techniques he uses.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

This is a unique autobiography and one worthy of your time.  Consider the following reviews:

My Journey is a wonderful story of one man’s lifetime of dedication to his family and to the nation.”—Howard “Bo” Callaway, Secretary of the Army (1973-1975)

“[It is] a story of his life in childhood, in the U.S. Army, in corporate America, and upon his retirement.  [It] includes many interesting and moving details in his life recalled with great clarity . . .”—General William R. Richardson, U.S. Army (Ret.), Commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (1983-1986)

“It is splendid, engaging, written in an appealing conversational style, candid, and told with becoming personal modesty.”—Dr. Lewis Sorley, military historian and author of Westmoreland

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

Actually I intended writing about my life to provide some historical record for my family and future generations.  But I wanted it to be written and printed in a professional manner.  I hired an editor to help me achieve that goal.  After looking at the draft, she thought that others might benefit from my experiences and suggested that it be edited and published with that in mind.  At that point we decided to do so.

3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?

No, because I did not start with publishing as a goal and did not approach a publisher for that purpose.

Read More

Marcia Barhydt

Marcia Barhydt has had success as both an indie author and a traditionally published author.  She talks about working with a publisher and networking with small groups to sell her book.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

My first book, Celebrate Age, is a collection of articles that I wrote for Timeless Woman about a huge variety of topics of interest to women over 50.  The subtitle of my book is “Thoughts, Rants, Raves, and Wisdoms Learned after 50”.  I talk about a diverse selection of topics including how important our girlfriends are to us now, how it helps our lives to learn how to live in the moment, the pitfalls of online dating for older women, finding balance in our lives, jokes about older women and why they’re bad, and how to get out of the box we sometimes find ourselves in.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

For 32 years I was a flight attendant.  When I retired at age 55, I decided to do what I knew best and became a self-employed customer service trainer.  After about five years of doing that, I started writing a customer service column for a local paper and that led to me writing for Timeless Woman.

Since I didn’t get paid by Timeless Woman, I thought I could make up a small income if I turned my articles into a book.  And I also thought I might be able to touch more women, to give them my thoughts on some of the issues that we face today.  I knew nothing about publishing, so I decided to do it myself.  Ergo, an indie writer!

3. Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

My upcoming book, One Small Voice, will be published by a traditional publisher.  And I’m doing that because I have the money to afford that now and, don’t laugh, but my publisher can do the formatting of this next book for me.  I did the formatting for Celebrate Age and it made me nuts!  I hated doing it!  Self-publishing left me with a good looking book; a publisher will leave me with a great looking book that looks more professional.

4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

I was fortunate with my first book to know a woman, my printer, who gave me lots of tips about making the cover, the index, and formatting the pages.  I’m glad that I’ve self-published, glad for the knowledge and experience it gave me, and especially glad to know that I could do it again any time I wanted to.

Read More

Paul Mila

Paul Mila, author and underwater photographer, makes the ocean an integral part of his writing.  Although he uses social media, he also makes presentations at trade shows and speaks before groups to market his book.  He discusses this and a host of other techniques he suggests.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me one of your books in five to ten sentences.

Dangerous Waters is the perfect book if you’re looking for an enjoyable, easy beach read while relaxing under a coconut palm.  Appealing to divers and non-divers alike, the story is a fast-paced, action-adventure thriller about a young woman’s struggle to overcome adversity.  Dangerous Waters has all the ingredients for a gripping undersea adventure: ferocious sharks, friendly dolphins, nefarious criminals, and enough chemistry between an athletic, sexy heroine and a bold, yet sensitive, hero to spark romance in the steamy Caribbean.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I accidentally fell into the indie class as a result of deciding to forge ahead despite rejection from the traditional publishing channels.
My philosophy: I’d rather be self-published than non-published.

3. Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

Nope.  Why not?  It’s not for lack of trying, since I sent numerous query letters to agents for each of my three novels before deciding to self-publish.  Who knows why the traditional community of agents and publishers rejects authors and manuscripts?  They have many reasons.

4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

Self-publishing has been both wonderfully rewarding, and also extremely frustrating.

Rewarding because of the many unsolicited e-mails I’ve received from readers who enjoy my books, and from the incredibly interesting people I have met, and with whom I have become friends, along my literary journey.

Frustrating because you are continually fighting the never-ending credibility battle: convincing bookstore to carry your books, convincing reviewers to review your self-published book, convincing people to buy your book.

Read More

Kathi Holmes

After Kathi Holmes was paralyzed, she turned her recovery experience into an inspirational story, I Stand With Courage: One Woman’s Journey to Conquer Paralysis.  Kathi explains how instead of relying heavily on social media, she reached out first to local venues.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

Was it a miracle, God-given determination, or both, that lifted Kathi from the paralysis that blindsided her, confining her to a wheelchair?

No one wants to face such a life-changing health crisis, but Kathi takes us on her journey of creating a new life with a disability.  With a husband also hospitalized, she is alone in her battle.  A rehab center becomes her home while she searches for strength of body—and mind.

See how acceptance, determination, courage, and faith can overcome the challenges of everyday life.

Reading about her progress, you realize she is just like you—an ordinary person who accepts and achieves the challenge to accomplish extraordinary feats, inspiring us by her power of faith and determination.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

Family, friends and acquaintances told me how my determination was motivating to them.  I wanted to share a story of inspiration and hope to others facing live challenges.

3. You have not been traditionally published.  Why?

I chose self-publishing because I could publish quicker than by submitting my manuscript to traditional publishers.  Also, traditional publishers have cut back on marketing and much would be left up to me either way.  Self-publishing has a much better image and is no longer considered second rate.

Read More