Episode # 150 – The Importance of Focus with Angela McConnell

In Uncategorized by Simon Whistler16 Comments

angelacovernewIn this interview, I bring back onto the show Angela McConnell to talk about everything that has been going on since we last spoke six-months ago. We talk about her decision to pursue an ambitious new writing project, and how she plans to use it to build a loyal fan following.


Links:

Angelas Website
Angela’s Amazon Page

Mentions:

Episode 112 – My first interview with Angela.
Episode 125 – My second interview with Angela.
RSP interview with Michael Anderlee
Dragon Dictation

Show notes:

Background

We don’t go into depth in this interview about Angela’s background. Please check out the previous two interviews, linked to above.

Update since Last Interview

It has been six months since I last spoke to Angela for an interview. A lot has happened in that time. Six months ago, Angela was mostly focusing on her romance pen name, but since then has become more involved with a sci-fi series that she has ambitious plans for.

The sci-fi series stemmed from a short story that Angela had written, but never planned to do more in. After receiving much positive feedback on the short story she decided to expand it into a bigger project.

Romance

When I last talked to Angela she had a plan to put out five books in one romance series, before pursuing any marketing on the series. Currently there are three books in the series, and she also has a related series of short stories in the works.

Since starting the sci-fi series the romance has taken a bit of a backseat. Angela finds it easier to focus on one thing at the time, and once the current sci-fi series is more out of the way, she intends to return to the romance books.

Angela has also changed her marketing strategy since last time we spoke. As mentioned, initially she wanted to wait until five books were out, but now she wants to pursue some Facebook ads with just three books, so she can test the market and see what the response is.

Motivational Pre-Orders

With her romance series, Angela decided to set a pre-order date, and she found that that really motivated her to get the book done, and really get it out on time. (Amazon ban you from the pre-order system for a year if you don’t meet the deadline!).

The Sci-Fi Series

The series opens with a 5,000 word short story, which will be available free everywhere. After that there are 5 longer short stories (episodes), that are about 12-15k each.

Angela has a very detailed plan about how the series will be launched. Much of this plan has been inspired by Mike Anderle.

From the first short story, Angela hope to get people on her email list, as well as a Facebook group for people who want to be on her street team. People who sign up will get the book early and for free.

This seems like a lot of stuff being given away, but Angela is playing the long game. This whole series will help her develop a fan base that she will have for future works.

Release Schedule

The free book goes out on Monday to people who subscribe, and then later in the week it releases wide as a paid book.

Traffic

There are three main ways that Angela plans to drive traffic to the entry point to the series (the 5,000 word short story).

Facebook Ads – something she has been researching, and has set aside a small daily budget for.
Affordable book promotion site
Organic social media outreach

Angela hopes that the combination of these three streams will be enough to kick off the series.

Action Steps:

Is there something that you have been pursuing but not pushing forward? What can you test through a low budget promotion?

Would setting a pre-order date be a good way to motivate yourself to finish a project?

Quotes:

“A lot of the people who are doing really good are just plunging forward!”

“Nobody wants to make Amazon mad…”

“Unless you tell people where to go, they will not find it”

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Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 150 – The Importance of Focus with Angela McConnell
  • Hey, Simon…thanks again for having me on and lighting a bonfire under me! You’ve really helped me a ton. I wouldn’t have gotten going on this if it wasn’t for you. Thank you. 🙂

    • SimonRSP

      Thanks Angela, it was a pleasure to talk to you, as always.

  • Yay, another episode with Angela! I really enjoy these episodes – I totally agree it should happen more frequently!

    I feel like a sloth compared to her :p I’ve only released one book since the last episode, and it isn’t even the second book in the series.

    • SimonRSP

      Thanks Eustacia, glad you enjoyed it. And yes, it mustn’t be 6 months again before Angela comes back on 🙂

    • Thanks, Eustacia! You made my day! And congratulations on your recent release! Don’t feel like a sloth! It just takes time, I think. I’m still slow as molasses…I’ve just been hiding and slowly building it up…and then finishing things in a panic when Simon comes around. ;). I recently sat next to a big name author who mentioned it takes only a month for her to write a book! A month! I asked her how long it took to write the first one, and she smiled and said, “Seven years.” I could have hugged her right then and there! We’ll get there, don’t worry! 🙂

      • That gives me hope! We will get there – writing better and faster 😀

        (And I need my own Simon haha. Someone to make me panic and work)

  • mtr amg

    I still can’t get my head around the edit-ability to ebooks.
    I use the kindle app on PC and it does update new versions, but unfortunately it wipes how much you have read and if you had any highlights etc, they are lost. I get confused sometimes 0% read? wait… I read that. So I made a collection for completed books.
    Thanks for all the good advice Angela and fingers crossed for your success!

    • SimonRSP

      Ah, well good to know that it does work for some! 🙂

      • mtr amg

        I think it is an option you can change in your Amazon settings; to be auto updated.
        But maybe you want to hang onto that really awful version for reasons of your own? lmao

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I appreciate it. And the great tip for keeping track of finished books. I’m gonna try that. Great success to you too!

  • I’m really interested in the ability to put illustrations into Kindle books. It was mentioned that there is an inexpensive tool online for scanning these. Can you tell us the name of that tool? It would be really helpful.

    • Hey, Nathan! I really enjoyed your interview last fall. 🙂 I put together a blog post a while back on how I put my illustrations together for my first book that you might find helpful: http://angelamcconnell.com/uncategorized/newbies-guide-to-book-illustration/. At the bottom of that post, I share the link for the Instructable I used to get clean scans: http://www.instructables.com/id/A-great-technique-for-scanning-your-inked-drawings/. It really was a lifesaver. Hope this helps. Let us know if you get some illustrated fiction out so we can go check it out. 🙂

      • Angela,
        Thanks so much. I will definitely check that out. I doodle all the time in sketchbooks as I imagine stories and have had some people say that they would love to see sketches in the completed books so I may try to make that happen. It will be a fun experiment at the very least. Thanks for another great interview!

        • You’re very welcome. I think it’d be really awesome to see sketches an author made while creating the story I’m reading. Plus, I think it makes for great bonus material. I forgot to mention that in terms of layout, I use InDesign. I think you can drop your images pretty easily into Scrivener, but InDesign gives you more control over how it looks. It’s a steep learning curve though — at least it was for me — but I followed a Lynda course and got the job done. Yay for online learning! Anyway, thanks for listening, Nathan. I look forward to seeing your sketches with your next book! 🙂

  • Hiiii,

    Just a head up, kindle does not push out newer versions of your books to customers. You have to have grounds for replacing the book to all existing customers, i.e. major changes, and apply to KDP for this to happen. So if anyone downloaded the old version of a book, they’re stuck with that, basically!

    Hope that helps,

    Meg

  • iron_mountain

    Well isn’t Angela just a pleasure to listen to. She should have her own show dammit. A very soothing voice and positive energy. Have her on every week Simon.