Local author Caroline Miller’s third book, Trompe L’Oeil (To Fool the Eye) has just been published by Clackamas publisher Koho Pono LLC. She has stories to tell, the ones that come from her imagination as well as stories about the publishing process.
“Self-publishing and selling on Amazon has locked out much of the world of publishing,” Miller said.
She told The Southeast Examiner that Penguin Books has just merged with Random House reducing the number of major publishers in the US to five. Fortunately there are a few smaller publishing houses available for writers.
Experience has taught Miller a few lessons about book publishing. She recommends using a publisher so your book can get noticed. “If the publisher isn’t too small they can really help with marketing because they have a built-in audience. There is certain criteria that a publisher needs to meet in order to be eligible for public distribution to places like libraries,” she said.
Another suggestion is to get an attorney to oversee your contract. The written material can be owned by a publisher if you are not careful with a contract’s wording.
Miller’s first novel Heartland is being held in limbo by a publisher in England. Since this publisher owns her work, she can’t transfer the book to the her local publisher who can produce in smaller amounts.
“If you plan on producing a quality project you need to pay for an editor,” Miller said. There are many people who do copy editing, selecting someone who is competent is critical to the end result.
Be prepared with book review copies five months prior to the final printing. This gives them time to read the book and enables you to obtain reviews for the book cover of the final publication.
The marketing of your book is the juggernaut. “There are so many books written, they are like grains of sand. Marketing can make that grain sparkle on the beach,” she said. This is where an agent will help. They know how to promote your book quickly and find the appropriate niche to market it in.
Miller’s new book Trompe L’Oeil takes place in the late 1960s during the French/Algerian war. The setting is an ancient chateau in a small village south of Paris. The principal character is a young college graduate student who has come to the chateau to begin her first historical documentation assignment.
All is well until a series of disturbing dreams, deathly premonitions and sinister characters start to invade the pastoral scene. Suspense builds as the reader tries to decipher what is real and what is illusion.
Ms. Miller’s knowledge of literature, art and poetry is cleverly interjected into the story giving the book traces of more classical literature.
She is currently writing her fourth novel and keeps an active blog going daily. She can be found at www.booksbycarolinemiller.com/blog .
Caroline Miller’s novels can be found at local bookstores and online retailers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Ms. Miller published Gothic Spring and Heart Land in 2009.