By Mark Miller
I write. I write a lot. I have eight books in print and many more eBooks. I’ve been published since 2008, the longest of those in my “inner circle”. It wasn’t until I stopped focusing on my own writing that I felt I reached some level of success.
At first, it was all about me. An author sits alone, plots alone, writes alone. Many times, he or she never sees a human face with their publisher. It is all done electronically these days. So, when the book is finally out there, it stands to reason that the author must promote alone.
I got that wrong.
Trying to promote my first novel by myself was like swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Sure, a boat might come by, eventually, but something in the down deep might get me first.
What I have discovered is that I was not really on my own. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people doing the same thing. I feel that faith and fate led me to where I am now.
I have teamed with two talented authors as part of a brilliant little company called JLB Creatives. Janet Beasley (Hidden Earth Series) and Jean E. Lane (Lill and Mewe Series) and I now work to promote, not only our own books, but any author that has a positive message to share. We offer services to help develop emerging authors and help promote established authors.
Our favorite, and most successful, endeavor is a public event series called Authors in the Park. We plan and present four themed events each year: Spring into Art, Picnic with an Author, Booktoberfest and the Christmas Spectacular. The events are unique in their offerings, range from ten to thirty authors and are designed to bring in repeat visitors. Each event sees some of the same authors, but also different ones to keep the series fresh.
One of the best aspects to Authors in the Park is that we do not charge the authors to participate. Too many big shows charge vendor fees. We know what it is like to be a struggling independent. We also happen to live in a great community with tremendous support for the arts. We have been blessed to find financial support in other ways than taking from the author’s pocket.
The three of us are working hard these days. We have weekly meetings and attend other event, book festivals and schools. We joke about finding time to write, but JLB Creatives has become a full-time job. It is a fun job, though, and we are helping our fellow authors.
The fringe benefit? While we are out there helping others sell their books, ours are selling too. By pointing the spotlight on our friends, we are getting noticed. I have learned in this solitary pursuit of writing that it is not all about me.
Mark currently resides in Florida with his wife and four children. He has achieved some success as a Kindle Best Seller and having one of his short stories selected as a winner in the Florida Writer’s Association Short Story Collection. Growing up in Kansas, Mark graduated from Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences and received his Bachelor’s from the University of Kansas. Mark has written numerous novels, screenplays, short stories and digital series. He has geared his fantasy series, TheEmpyrical Tales, for the classroom and explored his spirituality, writing both with his father and daughter. Inspirational stories with positive messages are his goal with everything he writes. The First in the series is The Secret Queen followed by The Lost Queen.