March 25, 2013

Jenny Miller on The Decision to Self-Publish + Giveaway

I'm so pleased so welcome author Jenny Miller to Book Labyrinth today. Her debut novel, Asylum, is being released today (congrats, Jenny!!). Read on to hear about Jenny's decision to go the self-publishing route, and for a chance to win an ecopy of Asylum.

Jenny Miller grew up in Seattle, writing sappy (illustrated!) novels for her obliging parents. She studied creative writing at the University of Washington and holds a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. She still lives in the Emerald City with her husband, two kids, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat. ASYLUM is her first novel.
You can find her at and her food and humor blog

Follow Jenny on Twitter & Facebook

The Decision to Self-Publish
by Jenny E. Miller

Like every author, I've had my fair share of rejections. It doesn't matter who rejects you or how the letter is written; it still feels like a punch to the gut. You've put in so much time and effort, not only toward your book, but also into each and every query letter you've written. You make it personal. You make it intriguing. You make your book sound so enthralling that no one would ever put it down. You send out each carefully written letter. Then you wait and wait to hear back. And then it's sorry, this just isn't for us. Try someone else.

I received (what would come to be) my final rejection email at the gym. I was going round and round on the elliptical machine, half-watching the Today show, when an email popped up. It read like all the rest. Sorry, Ms. Miller. Your book sounds great, but not for us. Not at this time. I burst into tears and nearly fell off the machine. I was in a fragile emotional state already (my grandmother had just passed), and this letter was the final blow. I was devastated.

It took me about a month to pick myself up. It was a month spent wallowing, immersing myself in motherhood (those damn cupcakes were perfect), not touching my book and doing anything to distract myself from the 237 pages that might never find a publisher. I was beat down, and tired of putting my fate into someone else's hands. That's when my husband brought up self-publishing again, for the zillionth time. But this time, I didn't brush it off immediately. I thought about it. And that afternoon, instead of folding laundry (over-perfectly), I started shopping for editors.

In the course of two months my book has been edited, polished and formatted. A cover has been designed, and all the channels have been aligned for it to be put up for sale. Compare that with the average of two years a book spends with a publisher before its put on the market. Two years! And in a month on the shelf if it doesn’t sell well, it could be yanked right off.

The downside of self-publishing? I had to pay the editor and cover designer out of pocket. I have to do all the marketing and advertising myself. But with a good launch, the power of social networking, and a 70% kickback from Amazon, I’ll make that money back and (hopefully!) more.

No one gets into writing to be a millionaire. We’re lucky if we can even cover our bills on writing alone. To have your work out there—being able to be read by anyone and everyone—is the ultimate goal. My fate is finally in my hands, and as a writer, that’s the best thing I can ask for.

June Foster’s summer is limping along. Her life on a 1950′s farm in eastern Washington is boring–full of milking cows, picking apricots and tending to the chicken coops. Her only friends are her record player and her books. But when gorgeous, turquoise-eyed Frank falls into her world, her life becomes anything but ordinary.

June falls for Frank hard and fast–he’s beautiful, impossibly strong, and capable of things ordinary humans are not. But she’s wary about his father Jonas, a creepy man with an agenda. She should be. Suddenly June is deathly ill, falling in and out of consciousness. When she recovers, June and Frank discover Jonas’s deadly plans for her–and June takes revenge.

Convicted of murder, declared insane and sentenced to life at Washington Pines Sanitarium, June is stuck. Jonas’s plans are reaching her beyond the grave, and she suspects that there’s a lot more going on in the sanitarium than group therapy and electric shocks. Something evil has followed her here, or maybe it was waiting for her all along. If Frank doesn’t break her out soon, she’ll lose her mind–and her life.

Add Asylum to Goodreads

Buy the book on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle.


Jenny is generously providing 1 ebook copy of 'Asylum' for giveaway.

Open internationally. Runs until April 2 at 12:00 am EST.

To enter please fill out THIS FORM.


  1. Good for you! Rejection -- especially of a project you worked so long and hard at -- really sucks. I wish you success with your writing career!

  2. The decision to self-publish can't be an easy one, and I admire many authors who have stuck it out to pursue their dreams. Congratulations! Asylum setting sounds pretty cool.

    Thanks for hosting this post, Ashley!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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