Dean Miller, local author, writes by the seat of his pants

Dean MillerDean Miller, local author of And Then I Smiled: Reflections on a Life Not Yet Complete and other works, is a pant-seater, as he calls it, writing by the seat of his pants. Not a recipe for success with longer pieces, he admits, but his muse sometimes visits him in moments of emotion and inspiration and he runs with it. He recalls a windy, damp day spent fly fishing in Wyoming which set the mood and his churning brain into motion as he wrote most of a piece for a blog article in his car afterward. Interestingly, the piece was about inspiration and what causes writers to write. Most of his poetry comes out in twenty to thirty minutes, and it only requires minor editing. He said, “When something moves me and I get inspired, I sit down and just throw up, put it on paper and then refine it from there. But on longer pieces, you’ve really got to plan it out so you don’t wander off on tangents so much.” Dean’s daily writing routine is squeezed into the gaps of his everyday life. Between being a father, husband, home owner, and full-time air traffic controller, he has to make the time for writing. He said, “I don’t have a schedule. My life chooses not to do that. I tend to grab some time at work on my break to write or sometimes if my wife is at work and I have some time at home, I write. I take it wherever I go and when I can, I do.” Dean has learned much from the writing and publishing process. Mostly, that patience is key because nothing moves fast in self-publishing or even traditional publishing. It is very much a group effort whether it’s the publisher, marketers, critique group, or the community of writers. He said, “I thought I’d be off on my own, sitting in my room and not talking to anybody. That doesn’t work very well unless you don’t want to publish anything. As solitary as they say the writing life is, it’s not.” Since Dean writes from the heart, he finds it a challenge to write so that the outside world will like and accept it. His goal is to get valuable products out to the reading public and keep his work visible. It’s the quality content that is key to selling books. No one will be a repeat buyer from a writer who puts out low quality work. Marketing is challenging for any writer, but Dean finds that he enjoys talking to people and doing a bit of research. He’s not afraid to bring up his work in conversation or come to agreements with bookstores to sell it. Here are some things he’s done to sell the book:

  • Guest blogs
  • Trips to bookstores where he asks to have his books placed
  • Online contests for giveaways
  • Book signings
  • Programs such as Books on the Subway in New York City

He said, “There’s so many people out there and when you look at self-publishing and e-books, it’s ridiculously hard to get discovered. But the running theory seems to be that if someone finds you somehow and they like what you do, they start to explore and purchase other things that you’ve done.” With books for sale in eight different countries and over half of the states in the U.S., he still has to work hard at his craft and think of creative ways to get his work to more people. Even writers who sign on with publishers are on their own. The market and money are too tight. Time, patience, and quality content are the keys to good marketing. Dean believes blogging holds real value, but writers must do it consistently and carefully. The majority of time should be spent writing new content for projects, not just spouting off meaningless facts and hoping to create an audience. Bloggers must have something important to say or blogging quickly becomes a time suck. Support other writers, build a network, or build samples of writing. He believes the biggest benefit for writers is that it puts their butt in a chair and they write. As the writer of Literary Fort Collins, I subscribe to all the blogs of people, organizations, or businesses I write about. Dean’s blog update faithfully makes it into my mailbox most mornings around 4:30 a.m. Now if that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is. The last time I saw 4:30 a.m. was in December for an early flight. You wouldn’t catch me up that early for any other reason. But I respect him for that. Dean says he does run across some amazing people in the blogging world, such as the writing community who are willing to make connections and support him. His relationships with people he meets in the blogging community, he believes, will be beneficial down the road. Of course there are some downsides to blogging, like anything else in promotion. Dean said, “I just read something about blogging. Never have so many people said so much about so little to so many people who don’t care.” Blogging can be lonely, like you are speaking to a brick wall. But I recommend it. This blog has created a platform for me to tell other writers’ stories, support them, and gain visibility for my own writing. Take a peek at what Dean has published and received awards for in the past year:

  • And Then I Smiled: Reflections on a Life Not Yet Complete published February 2014
  • The Odyssey of a Monk (E-book) published September 2014
  • Echoes: Reflections Through Poetry and Verse published November 2014
  • The poem Time Warp shortlisted at Torrid Literature Journal Annual contest: Honorable Mention
  • Poems Time Warp and Numb published in Torrid Literature Journal XXIII: Deja` Vu January 2015
  • Article Contributor to anthology “How I Found The Write Path: A Compilation of Letters” to be published September 2015
  • Article Contributor to anthology “Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Guide to Self-Publishing” on November 28, 2014
  • Poem Survivor to be published in Torrid Literature Journal XIV April 2015

Dean is also working on the first draft of his first novel, working title Ghost Guide, which will probably be split into two books. Scheduled release of the first book is March 2016. He is also working with Jim Hensel, founder of The Strength and Honor Code, to publish his story and program work books. To top that off, he is working on a new book of essays focused on fly fishing and started writing poems for a second poetry book. Way to go, Dean. Keep up the writing.

3 comments on “Dean Miller, local author, writes by the seat of his pants

  1. Pingback: Hot Fire News | Dean K Miller

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