Ryan Miller is the author of "Wizard of the Fiery Crescent," which will be released in the summer of 2010.
Hello Ryan! It says on your Facebook Group page (Monkey Moon Press) that your book is being self-published. So what is Monkey Moon Press?
Monkey Moon Press is a self-publishing company I’m developing for my book releases. There is a website in development, where my book(s) can be promoted/purchased. The term “Monkey Moon” is what my kids and I have always called a crescent moon in the night sky; looks like a big banana.
Tell us a little bit about "Wizard of the Fiery Crescent"
My first book, which is the first of a 3 book series, stands alone as its own complete story/adventure. The book tells the story of how a very well-known wizard from history received his powers, as well as the special circumstances which motivated him. There are a couple of major twists in the story, including a holiday twist.
It says on the cover that this is Book one of the Crossroads of En'dellen Series. Have you already completed the second volume?
No, I’ve not completed the second volume, yet, which is called “The Goblins Gloom,” but I’m several chapters into it and it is going very smoothly. I’m writing 2 other series at the same time, but I should be done with book 2 in this series by the end of this year.
Are you going with a POD or are you doing a print run?
I’m publishing through a company called Createspace, which is POD. The price per book is VERY low, which allows me to sell the book at an extremely reasonable price when it’s released (in late may/early June).
Did you hire an editing service?
Fortunately, I have an editor in the family, who did a fantastic FREE edit for me. The price was right.
What's your background with writing?
No background in writing whatsoever, to be honest. I was a published cartoonist for several years in daily newspapers, but not a writer. In fact, I was 29 years old before I read my first fiction book! I read only science/philosophy/biology books, prior; non-fiction.
Breaking into the market with a self-published book is pretty difficult, what's your marketing strategy?
Well, that is true, it is difficult, so I’ve had to get creative. For example, I have been contacting superintendents from large school systems and proposing donating $1.50 per book sold within each school system back to the schools. In return, I ask to be allowed to market my book for free, such as ads in football/basketball programs/posters in schools/book marks with orders info handed out through school libraries, etc. So far, 3 school systems look to be on board. I also have a large video rental chain willing to sell my books and several newspapers agreed to do big articles on me, when the book is officially in print… All of that, along with traditional book-signings, etc. AND I’m using Facebook, of course.
I notice that you have the first three chapters available on your Facebook Group page. What have the reactions been like so far?
I’ve had very good responses, so far. No matter how good you think your writing is, it is still scary to put it out there for the world to see. The feedback has been fantastic and that just motivates me even further!
What made you chose to go the self-publishing route instead of looking for a traditional or small-press publisher?
Well, I do plan to try to get “traditionally published” in the future, but I haven’t attempted that route yet. I want to see what I can do on my own, then go to publishers with a proven track record. If I can sell a few thousand copies on my own, then maybe lightning will be more willing to strike for me, you know?
Anything else about your book or yourself that we should know?
Well, without giving too much away, the book has a very unique sub plot, which has surprised and delighted the few people I’ve let read the entire book. This secret sub plot is what has helped me get the schools involved, etc., and what I HOPE will catch the attention of a traditional publisher in the future
. Also, I used to keep this hidden, but, I personally battle with severe OCD, stemming from a condition known as Aspergers syndrome, which is high functioning autism. This actually helps me remain extremely focused (obsessively) on task (my interests; my books), but in my personal life is a constant struggle. I Struggle to find a balance with the other things in my life (between my fantasy book life and the real world out there)… Thank God I have a VERY patient/supportive wife!
Thank you very much and I hope everyone who reads this will have a look at book’s Facebook fan page here (let me know what you think!)