IBPA Member Spotlight: Daniel Miller
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Posted by: Christopher Locke
Daniel Miller’s The Gifts of Acceptance Honored as a Library Journal Best Book of 2018
|Author publisher Daniel Miller poses with his book, The Gifts of Acceptance, which was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2018.
“I was totally overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and started crying when I learned from my publicist in late October that Library Journal was going to name The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are a book of the year award winner [in the “Wellness” category],” said author publisher and IBPA member Daniel Miller. “It was such a validation of the importance of acceptance in our lives and world today. My being able to effectively convey that message to others after six years of a heartfelt writing and publishing journey was extremely rewarding.”
Being named as a Library Journal Best Book of 2018 came as a surprise to Daniel. Originally, his publicist submitted The Gifts of Acceptance in hopes of receiving a review in Library Journal, and not only did it receive a favorable review but it was a starred review. Then, out of the blue in September 2018, Library Journal requested two copies of the book for year-end consideration, and a few months later the book was announced as a winner.
|Author publisher Daniel Miller's award-winning book, The Gifts of Acceptance.
Daniel goes on to explain why being named as a Best Book of 2018 was especially flattering. “It is very encouraging for indie authors and publishers that in 2018 Library Journal changed its selection process to make it more inclusive so that librarians could enrich their collections beyond bestseller lists and highly-publicized books. They also increased the award categories to twenty, including ‘Wellness.’ I believe this may account for the fact that The Gifts of Acceptance was acknowledged even though it appears to be the only print-on-demand paperback in its category, and has no distributor. This is another reason I am so grateful to Library Journal for honoring my book.”
Daniel was pleased to report that all this glowing recognition from Library Journal has been a great boost for his books. “Both the starred review in Library Journal and the book award in December spiked sales, not only for The Gifts of Acceptance, but also for my earlier book, Losing Control, Finding Serenity, a 2011 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award Finalist. December and January sales for both books were more than double those of previous months.”
Three Questions with Author Publisher Daniel Miller
IBPA: How has it been beneficial to you to be a member of Independent Book Publishers Association?
Daniel Miller (DM): I have certainly benefited from my membership in IBPA since I joined in 2011 concurrently with the publication of Losing Control, Finding Serenity. I am an avid reader of IBPA Independent and have successfully applied some of the marketing tips and strategies in the informative articles. Attending the educational sessions and “Ask the Experts” sessions at IBPA Publishing University several years ago in Austin were particularly helpful as I was then writing and planning the marketing for The Gifts of Acceptance.
IBPA: Can you list three key lessons you’ve learned about how one can succeed as an author publisher?
- Write about what you deeply feel. I believe the success of both my books is primarily due to my striving to write about deeply felt life issues in a personal and experiential manner. Having been an excessive controller for most of my adult life who was unable to accept people and things as they were, allowed me to recognize and examine the considerable harms of those choices and endeavor to find effective ways to overcome them.
- Collaborate with a team of talented book professionals. In particular, my experienced line editor (Beth Lieberman), my knowledgeable book shepherder (Sharon Goldinger), and my artistic interior and cover designer (Mayapriya Long), brought clarity, continuity and flow to my writing and an overall professionalism and aesthetic to the book that could not otherwise have been achieved. And my publicist, Javier Perez of Page Turner Publicity, wrote a compelling press release that helped secure positive editorial reviews.
- Be patient and don’t rush the process. It’s important to be patient and not press the writing and publication processes, especially during the final phases when the excitement builds. It’s also important to recognize that delays are a natural part of the multi-faceted writing and publishing process and trust that they will result in a better end-product. On one occasion, publication of my book was delayed for four months because of the need to secure necessary permissions for some of its stories and quotes.
IBPA: Can you give marketing tips to other indie publishers out there who are hoping to spread the word about their books?
As we all know, there is a vast and constantly expanding array of marketing tools and strategies. While I truly enjoy reading and learning about them, many seem too time-consuming, some too costly, and others too unpredictable.
While it helped to have articles published in major blogs such as Tiny Buddha and Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, and to have written over 70 posts for my own blog, my main marketing success has resulted from focusing on marketing tools that I can understand and implement myself, and where I can see a clear path to resulting sales.
For me, that means using pay-per-click sponsored product ads on Kindle/CreateSpace in which I select subject-related keywords. Amazon analytics enables me to monitor costs/sales ratios for the ads on a daily basis. Through trial and error, I have been successful in keeping the average per click costs of the ads to between 8% and 28% of book sales. Simply put, I make more than I spend.
More recently, I am also having success by posting short subject-related quips on my Facebook fan page (“Too Controlling?”, “Are You Accepting Enough?”, “Give The Gifts of Acceptance”) with direct links to the Amazon book pages. I then create and budget Facebook ads of those posts on an affordable pay-per-click basis that are directed to targeted Facebook audiences. Finally, I monitor the results and make appropriate pay-per-click and audience adjustments. While tracking is not nearly as good as for the Amazon ads, I still get a pretty good idea of their effectiveness by monitoring book sales.
These methods have contributed to making Losing Control, Finding Serenity an Amazon bestseller most days in one or more categories for seven years, and The Gifts of Acceptance in three categories since it was published last May.
IBPA: Thank you, Daniel, for sharing your story and insight with the IBPA community!
Click here to learn more about author publisher Daniel Miller!
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