Interview with William Bryan Miller

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I receive regular BookBub, SweetFreeBooks, and FreeEbooksDaily emails. There are some real gems in there. If you don't subscribe to at least one of these, and are an avid ebook reader, I recommend them. I also belong to a Facebook group called the Book Review Depot. Not only are there always thirty ebooks in their Active Review List, but you can submit your own ebook. Once you've read and completed an Amazon book review on any three books from that list, your own ebook goes in the queue. Eventually, it pops out of the queue, onto the Active Review List, where it remains until it has accumulated ten reviews from group members. Want another ten reviews? Read three more books and review them, and your book goes back into the queue, albeit at the bottom. But hey, it's eventually going to get ten more reviews!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I've always been enamored of post-apocalyptic and/or survivalist fiction. A high school buddy of mine and I co-wrote a 30,000-word story about two teens who band together to survive in a post-war nuclear winter. I took a creative writing course in college and authored several short stories. I've wanted to write as an indie author since about 2009. Finally, this year (2013), circumstances aligned to allow me the time and the will to do so. My first full-length novel, Kyrathaba Rising, came out in July. It's about 70,390 words, and can be described as post-apocalyptic science-fiction. The story opens seven years after an alien flotilla has decimated Earth's population. Pockets of survivors remain, in extensive underground bunkers dotting the globe. The sole monitor ship remaining in orbit is crewed by vile aliens that feed upon the fear, dread, and suffering of every creature on the planet, especially the humans. Four brave souls in Compound A-3 decide they've had enough.
What is your writing process?
I'm not an extensive outliner. I'm more a seat-of-the-pants author. I get an idea and it absorbs me to the point that I decide I must write about it. All through the writing of Kyrathaba Rising, I didn't know the ending, or even what would necessarily happen from chapter to chapter. But the characters did. All I had to do was type what they were saying to one another, describe the actions they were taking. Often, both surprised me.

I do go through a do a second draft, with the help of beta- and proof-readers. Anyone who doesn't do this is nuts, IMHO. It's hard enough being discovered among two million ebooks on Amazon. Don't decrease your chances even further by publishing something that hasn't been thoroughly proofed for typos, grammatical errors, even errors in logic/reasoning.

One of my proofreaders for Kyrathaba Rising discovered that I had repeated the same section of text (we're talking several paragraphs). How embarrassing would that have been, to read in reviews? ("It appears Mr. Miller enjoys repeating himself...")
How do you approach cover design?
Do not do your own cover. Period. Unless you happen to be a graphic designer, or artist. Then it's okay. If you aren't artistically inclined (I'm talking visual art: yes, writing books is an art too), don't try to knock something up with a graphics program. It will scream "cheap unprofessional crap: don't buy this!"

You can get decent covers for $5 on Or try If you're going to spend money on any portion of the book-creation process, this is the place to do it.

In the case of Kyrathaba Rising, I have a friend who lives in Australia, who happens to be quite good with the GIMP and many of its advanced tools. Not only did he help proofread the book manuscript, but he created a simply outstanding cover. And he steadfastly refused to charge me anything. No, I won't tell you his name, but if you need cover-art done, you can give me your contact info, which I'll pass along to him, leaving him the option of contacting you.
What are your five favorite books, or book series, and why?
The Holy Bible: I view this as divinely-revealed, though written by human hands over several centuries, by men of multiple continents. In believe in a Creator, God, and I think this is His message/exhortation/roadmap for we human beings on planet Earth.

Tolkien's The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers, The Return of the King, and the Silmarillion. Unbeatable epic fantasy. Enthralling, uplifting. Changed me forever.

Guy Gavriel Kay's "Fionavar Tapestry" series. Wow! Kay's writing is just beautifully lyrical and powerful.

Raymond E. Feists' "Riftwar Saga". Some of the finest fantasy fiction in the past thirty years.

Isaac Asimov's robot series: The first four robot novels The Caves of Steel (1953), The Naked Sun (1955), The Robots of Dawn (1983), and Robots and Empire (1985) make up the Elijah Baley (sometimes "Lije Baley") series, and are mysteries starring the Terran Elijah Baley and his humaniform robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw. Magical science-fiction. Captivating!
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm primarily a fan of fantasy fiction and science fiction. I particularly like dystopian novels, and man against nature themes. I like anything where humans are the underdogs but nevertheless show that they can bite :)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I started with the second-generation Kindle. I've since moved on to a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 with the Kindle app. I've never owned any other dedicated e-reader device such as the Nook or Kobo. However, when I occasionally download a book in .epub format, I find Alkido or Moon Reader both to be satisfactory reading applications.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've made several times as much money selling author-autographed paperbacks of my novel as I have selling the e-book version. Having said that, I'm currently just one of the hundreds of thousands of indie novelists who comprise the Long Tail, those who occasionally sell a copy, but aren't getting rich. In fact, they haven't even developed a notably helpful secondary income stream from their writing. However, I've only written one novel so far. Hopefully, the sequel will help. After that, we'll see. Even now, my debut novel, Kyrathaba Rising, is being turned into an audiobook by ACX, and will be available on,, and Who knows how successful that may be: lots of people buy audiobooks for their regular work commute, or due to vision problems, etc.

I tweet about my book regularly, though not daily. And I belong to the Independent Author Network, which helps publicize my books. I've also made my e-book available in some channels not typically taken advantage of by indie publishers (Scribd, payhip, ebookonfire).

So far, I've completed three separate author interviews. I don't know how much, if any, they've helped; but I don't see how they can hurt, and I'm deeply appreciative of those people who took the time and effort to interview me.

One thing I'd emphasize: lots of Smashwords authors have mediocre sales for months; even for a year or two, and then suddenly: Boom! They take off! I'd be tickled if that happened to me.
Published 2013-09-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Kyrathaba Rising
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,710. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Adventure » Action
170 years from now, aliens decimate Earth. A relative handful of humans survive, hidden in deep subterranean enclaves that offer some protection from surface radiation. Although the main attack is now seven years in the past, one alien ship remains in orbit, and the conquerors are not content merely to let humanity lick its wounds...