Interview

Episode 169 – The World Needs Your Book with Monica Leonelle

In this episode Mark shares an interview with Monica Leonelle, a USA Today bestselling author best known for her young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance series, Waters Dark and Deep. She also teaches writing, publishing, business, and marketing at TheWorldNeedsYourBook.com. Her most recent nonfiction series, Growth Hacking for Storytellers, has helped thousands of writers write faster, become better storytellers, and find their way to success.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a personal, update, some comments and a few words about this episode’s sponsors. These details include

  • Commentary on Robin Cutler joining LMBPN
  • Thoughts about publishing trends and future predictions (based on insightful comments from patrons)
  • A bit about Mark’s early writing history, Tough Guys Big Adventure and a stupid Dad Joke video short
  • Sponsors: Findaway Voices and Clark Chamberlan’s Author Hustle

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.

During their conversation Monica and Mark talk about:

  • Monica’s start in self-publishing back in 2009 in non-fiction
  • How Monica’s first book on social media for corporations allowed her to shift from software engineering to social media marketing
  • Wanting to buy a domain called “howtobeanauthor” but Joanna Penn got it first
  • The era of self-publishing when Amanda Hawking first exploded onto the scene
  • Monica’s first fiction book, Silver Smoke, which was not written to market, but still sold 5000 copies
  • The “early days” of eBook publishing, which often involved learning html coding
  • How learning to write fast was the next major turning point in Monica’s writing career
  • Some of the fundamental marketing practices that Monica recommends
  • How books like Twilight and The Martian are written to super-specific genres, but with some high level story structures that are universal
  • The importance of psychological triggers in a story
  • How Monica has divided up her time working on three different types of writing and multiple author names/brands
  • Trends that Monica has been tracking in the writing industry
  • Some of the things going on with different reading apps outside the major retailers
  • How Monica leverages different tools to sell direct, and her enthusiasm about being able to do bundling of eBook/Audio/Print via direct website sales
  • The interesting history and secrets of the old house that Monica lives in
  • And more…

After the interview, Mark reflects on Monica’s long term experience within indie publishing, and the important of persistence and sticking it out for the long run.

Links of Interest:

Monica Leonelle is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance series, Waters Dark and Deep. She also teaches writing, publishing, business, and marketing at TheWorldNeedsYourBook.com. Her most recent nonfiction series, Growth Hacking for Storytellers, has helped thousands of writers write faster, become better storytellers, and find their way to success. She also founded The World Needs Your Book event series to bring this training to the world.

Before becoming an independent author, Monica led digital marketing efforts at Inc. 100 companies like Hansen’s Natural and Braintree. She’s been an avid blogger of marketing and business trends since 2007. Her ideas have been featured in AdAge, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Inc., the AMEX OpenForum, GigaOm, Mashable, Social Media Today, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Monica lives in a very, very old, 3-story home in St. Louis, MO with her husband and adorable westie, Mia. It possibly has ghosts. And definitely has a secret passage. To find out what she’s up to and get access to her latest fiction updates, exclusive giveaways, advanced review copies, and more, sign up at MonicaLeonelle.com.


The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of www.incompetech.com and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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