Author Interview with Angela Ackerman: Inside Look at Self-Publishing & Author Platforms | iWriterly

hey book nerds I’m Meg LaTorre and we
have a very special iWriterly episode in store for you guys today here we have
Angela Ackerman writing coach, international speaker and co-author of
six best-selling resources including the emotional thesaurus a writer’s guide to
character expression a quick glimpse into Angela’s experience she’s an indie
author and co-founder of the popular websites writer’s helping writers and
one stop for writers you may also know Angela from her many helpful tweets
providing published materials from a variety of different publications and
platforms on the craft of writing. I will include links in the description below
to her websites and social media platforms so you guys can check that out
so thanks so much Angela for joining us today oh thank you for having me wow
that’s quite an introduction thank you so taking a look at the Raiders helping
Raiders website there are so many resources and writing tools including
character art progression tool studying checklists character profile
questionnaire editing services recommended writing communities and so
much more what sparked the idea of the website and what are some of the
founding principles that hold true today well it’s funny we started the blog I
think like most writers do you know at a certain point in time you hear the word
platform and you’re like oh okay I guess I need one of those and so ten years ago
Becca and I decided to start our first blog it was called the bookshelf muse it
was located over in blogger and then we moved it over and rebranded ourselves as
writers helping writers and I think 2013 and so you know the idea was okay well I
guess we got to do this blog thing you know I I don’t you know well we’ll try
to figure it out as we go sort of thing so it’s just been so incredible to see
how it’s evolved and I think we started with the premise that we just really
wanted to connect with writers because it can be such a lonely process and you
have a lot of self-doubt as you go you know am i good enough you know can I
make it what should I do am i doing things right and so we just wanted to
connect with other writers and sort of give them this sort of information that
they needed to help them along their journey but also to say look like you
have got this you can totally do this we right tools you are going to succeed and
we really wanted to communicate that and when we rebranded as writers healthy
writers I mean that was basically that is who we are we are writers who want to
help other writers and so everything we do is with that in mind we try to think
you know what do writers really need that we can provide for them and we try
to provide it so you know our mission really has not changed no matter you
know where we’ve moved our blog door what it’s grown into it’s really the
same thing like how can we add to the community how can we provide the tools
that writers really need so that they can succeed
so that’s kind of what we do yeah and one stop for writers is another amazing
resources excuse me resource particularly to help
writers improve their craft could you tell us a little bit more about what
sort of information is available there and how writers can access that writers
helping writers I’m I’m so in love with this um a few years ago we got together
with Lee Powell who is the creator of Scrivener for Windows and Linux if you
use Scribner software and we got together with him because Beck and I you
know we we write all these the source books and and people really love them
but each time we write a new one we realize oh my gosh these books are so
huge and so heavy and it would be so great if we had a way where all of our
content was in one place at one time so that writers could just access whatever
they need and then get right back to writing and so we really wanted to look
for a way where we could do that and in talking with Lee Lee’s a developer he’s
brilliant and so working with someone like him allowed us a way to create this
huge database of description at one stop our writers we don’t just have all our
books there we have 14 different the sources because we have a lot of the
source content that isn’t a book form so on weather symbolism colors like all
different types of topics and we also beckon like we really like thinking
outside the box I think that’s one of our sort of our areas where we’re
successful is we try to think of tools things that writers really need that
don’t exist and so one stop again is a way for us to kind of explore that we
have like this to developer where we can kind of all
three of us come up with an idea we’d really love to create some kind of like
story mapping tool and then we talk about what it should look like and then
he can go ahead and make it and so it’s just really fantastic in that sense that
it’s kind of like a playground where we can think about okay what tools do I
really need as a writer what would I find really helpful I want a timeline
tool I want a way to plan my scene so that I’m always thinking about you know
the outer motivation the inner motivation what’s at stake like
remembering to include all those elements scene by scene how can I do
that and then we can go ahead and build it and so it really is a great site for
writers if you like what we do in our books you’ll probably like what’s at one
stop because like I said there’s this huge database of searchable information
you can just go from one to the other find exactly what you need and then keep
writing but then also tons of story planning tools lots of different ways to
keep you on track with your story brainstorm new ideas because we really
want to focus on how how can we minimize that space of time where the writers
staring at the screen trying to figure out what’s right next because either
they’re getting tripped up by description or they don’t know where
their stories should go next or they’re trying to figure out how can I make my
character more complex and layered and interesting how can I brainstorm their
emotional wounds we want to create a site where all the answers are right
there and so you’re spending less time staring at the screen and you’re more
time writing your story because that’s what writers are best at so that’s kind
of what we’re doing at one stop were writers is awesome and this actually
really saved me it’s great into my next question which is about your thesaurus
series so for those of our viewers who don’t know Angela and co-author Becca
Puglisi I hope I’m saying that right I’m created some amazingly handy
resources such as the emotional thesaurus the positive traits asaurus
the negative treat disorders the urban settings thesaurus the rural settings
the Souris and more and these books are quite literally the sources okay and the
emotional thesaurus for example you can look up an emotion such as adoration and
there’s a list of physical signals internal sensations mental responses and
more that a character would feel or experience with that particular motion
and Raider I found these tools are
incredibly incredibly helpful as a launching point so if I’m stuck and I’ve
been using missing body language or expressions I can reference us the
source of she makes me think for another possible way to portray that you
whatever the character is going through so Angela
what sparked the idea of finding or creating these sources how did you and
Becca come up with the list of physical signals internal sensations and so on
for the emotional thesaurus for example well the emotion thesaurus was our first
source that we created and it came from a need you know as writers Beck and I
were both children’s writers children’s and young adult writers and we met on an
online critique site and we found that we were struggling you know our
characters were always rolling their eyes there always had their hand shoved
in their pockets you know they’re always frowning they were doing these kind of
gestures and we were kept using it over and over and it seemed so boring it was
so boring and we’re like there has to be a better way to break free of these
static sort of behaviors and think about what else do characters do when they’re
expressing an emotion like fear or worry or anxiety or happiness like what does
that look like and Becca had already previous to this need had started a set
of lists she was kind of independently working on this so she brought her lists
out for the rest of us to kind of look at and we just started building these
lists we started you know kind of brainstorming we take one emotion like
confusion and think okay so what does that look like physically what does the
body do like what kind of body language do you show when you’re confused
what sort of internal sensations happen within the body those visceral
sensations that are immediate that we have no control over how can we describe
that how do your thoughts change when you’re confused versus when you’re
scared because different things happen in your brain you you know you may if
you’re scared you may be thinking of worst case scenario like your brain just
immediately goes to the worst-case scenario you focus on certain things and
that’s different than if you were feeling you know really relaxed or happy
or confident something like that your brain is in a different mode so we
started building these lists and eventually it which is Beck and I who
were doing this and we decided to start blogging and we thought you
let’s share these lists because if her and I are having problems maybe other
people are too and I think that initially was wire blog really kind of
took off immediately as people came across these lists they’re like holy
cows is exactly what I need you know can you do this emotion can you do that
emotion and so that’s kind of where that idea came from and we just you know we
realized that there were other topics that people struggled with another big
one is setting you know with setting quite often we describe what the
characters seem but we’re not thinking about layered nuances of description
where it’s you know the sounds and the smells and especially smell is something
tied to memory so if you can really write strong descriptions of snow you’re
going to get readers more involved because it’s going to trigger their own
memories of different times where they were in a similar setting and they’ve
experienced something and they will have an emotional reaction to it depending on
how well you can convey it so you know we just so then we started the setting
to Saurus and and you know and then just kind of looked at other topics what
other topics are people struggling with you know they struggle with whether and
how to describe that in a sensory way they they struggle with symbolism how do
you incorporate symbolism into writing so we just kind of you know we just
tackle different topics that are struggle points for for readers and I
think the the latest one that we did is probably it was the most difficult topic
and that’s emotional wounds because of course it’s something where all of our
books try to bring the real world into fiction because the more realistic that
we can make our characters the more we can make them seem like real people
the stronger connection you’re gonna get with readers readers are gonna they’re
gonna fall in love with this character you know they’re gonna become memorable
they’re gonna be thinking about them like after the book is over they’re
still gonna be remembering what it was like to be with that character in that
situation and so you know with emotional trauma it’s a it’s a really big driver
of behavior you know we’ve all been hurt in life things we’ve experienced
negative things and these things affect how we see the world how we see
ourselves how we behave it’s also part of character arc within the story it’s
something that the characters need to overcome if they’re going to move
forward but stronger and achieve whatever goal it is
that they’re after in the story if they’re in a change arc and so we
started tackling different areas of emotional trauma looking at different
things like you know losing a loved one in a random act of violence or child
abuse things like that and so it it’s really difficult topics to kind of
explore but really important areas for writers to understand well so that they
can figure out what their characters emotional wounds are and then how that’s
going to change their behavior how that’s going to change how they interact
with different people what it is that they want out of life and then what’s
missing from their life so anyway it’s kind of it’s it’s a huge topic it was a
huge challenge but I’m really glad that we did it because I really I really do
hope it helps writers I’m sure it will coming from a writer who actively uses
your thesaurus and I am sure it’s gonna be very a very handy tool but so it
sounds like the emotional trauma book recently came out do you have more
thesauruses coming down the pipeline that people can keep an eye out for I
get that a question a lot we have not actively decided on what next new the
source that we’re going to do but the best way to kind of stay on top of what
we’re doing is to follow us at writers helping writers what we do is we explore
a thesaurus there right now we are working on occupations so we will
profile a different occupation every week I think this week it was assistant
to a celebrity so what does the job of a personal assistant look like when they
are you know working for a celebrity what are what are the things that
they’re asked to do what kind of training do they need you know just to
kind of again make that realism come through your writing because you know
our characters should have jobs jobs should help characterize who they are
and so you really want to make sure that you can write those well so we explore
something on the blog first we kind of see what the reaction is from people if
it’s something that they’re really excited about then it’s often a book
that you know will turn it into a book but not all of the topics that we
explore are big enough for a book I guess you know we’ve had a lot of
requests for like whether for example but there’s
only so many different types of weather that you can explore so I don’t know
like that one it’s a tough one to say whether or not that one will become a
book but what we do is whenever we complete if the source we move it to one
stop for writers and then we expand on it there and then some of them turn into
books so yeah to see what we’re doing right now the best place to be is
writers helping writers and then if you want access to all of them like I said
we have 14 right now one stop for writers they’re always all there and the
nice the other nice thing about one stop for writers is with a book we’re kind of
limited by page count you know we can only do so many entries in a book some
of our sources are so big we’ve got to split them in half like the setting one
we have a rural setting thesaurus and an urban one because it’s just such a huge
topic but at one stop for writers we can write as many entries as a Hawaii wants
so there’s a lot of stuff there that that isn’t in the books so for example
the emotion thesaurus I think there’s 75 emotions in the book but at one stop for
writers I think there’s 98 or something like that right now so it’s just nice to
have it’s nice to have one stop because then we can just add whatever we want to
there and we don’t have to worry about updating the book and things like that
so shifting gears here so you’re an indie author and many of our viewers are
writers and aspiring authors so what led you to choose the indie or
self-publishing path and what would you see are some of the perks to
self-publishing our emotion to Saurus was on our blog at the time as well as
several other through sources that we were working on but we discovered that
someone had pirated a bunch of our content and they were selling it so we
realized okay this is going to keep happening we need to do something about
this we need to turn this into a book to protect it
but at the time Beck and I we weren’t published we had no fiction under our
belts we weren’t editors we weren’t agents like we didn’t have any of that
sort of wanted collateral is the wrong word but we we didn’t have what we
needed to be taken seriously we felt in the traditional industry because we
didn’t have any of those you know big koala
fires okay yeah these are subject matter experts in writing we didn’t have
anything that said that other than we had this idea and people really liked it
so we decided okay maybe what we should do this soft publish it and so we did I
it was the best decision we could have ever made what I love about
self-publishing the most is you have complete control over your product you
can decide what it looks like I mean our books are very unusual in that they are
mostly lists and at the time that we published the emotion thesaurus this was
2012 you didn’t see that that was very unusual to find a book where it was part
you know kind of how-to but then the rest of it is actually a set of lists so
I think to the traditional industry I don’t think they would have been ready
for a book like that at that point in time now you see a lot of books with
lists I think in part because people see that it’s been quite successful with our
type of book so you know there are actually quite a few how-to books now
there that are in list format so definitely the control aspect is
fantastic you know where we decide when to release these books were in control
of every aspect we decide what we’re going to outsource and what we’re going
to do ourselves we decide how to brand something I mean it’s just it’s terrific
if you want to change your price you can if you want to put something on sale you
can if you want to collaborate with other authors and do something together
it’s so much easier you just make the decisions yourself versus having to get
permission from a publisher to do something so I mean there’s a lot of I
don’t want to make it sound like it’s all cherries there’s a lot of work to
being an indie author you really have to work on your platform your relationship
building you have to understand who your audience is and really make sure that
you’re any marketing that you’re doing is connecting directly to that audience
so really taking the time to invest in learning marketing is really important
if you’re an indie author because that’s a big part of it you can’t rely on
somebody else to take that for you and I think even in traditional
publishing right now they’re really more and more is being expected of the author
I think whether you’re traditionally published or Andy published it’s the
same you need to take control learn what you need to learn in order to
be successful yeah as far as like the traditional process you’re definitely
right there’s a lot more that the authors are expected to do you know
trying to launch their platform maybe even before they you know have an agent
or a book deal and do a lot of the marketing and so yeah that it’s
definitely a trend that you know you need on both sides of the coin so now as
far as your editing process what does that look like for you do you work with
critique partners or beta readers beta readers give it every time or
freelance editors you know what does that look like for you um in our case
our books are a little bit different so we have a few different editors that we
use our books are kind of broken into two sections the first section is how to
so on any subject that we’ve written on whether it’s emotion emotional wounds
character traits whatever it is we basically have a huge section on how to
write this topic well and how to show it in different ways but it’s very
condensed and I think that’s one thing that that writers really like about it
is it’s not we don’t go on for pages and pages and tons and tons of examples but
we tell you exactly what you need to know about every topic and then we have
a tool that shows you exactly how to use that topic well because we provide a ton
of different ideas and so in our case we use freelance editor her name’s CS Lake
and she’s fantastic for all of our teaching content so we gave that to her
and then she goes over it all really really carefully for us catches all of
our errors and for the rest of it we use someone else his name’s Michael Dunn and
he’s he proofreads all of our entries because the entries are really more
specific to us they’re they’re specific you’d need a subject matter expert to
really edit them well so between Beck and I you know we each split the book in
half we write half of it each and then we edit each other’s content and so
that’s why it’s very seamless you would never be able to say Oh Becca wrote this
section and Angela wrote this section because we both edited each other’s work
so it’s very a universal flow that we get going on and we are pretty
self editing ourselves because we have had so much experience in it before we
started writing all these books we were part of a giant critique group online
called the critique circle we moderated for we’ve done thousands of critique so
we’re very we’re quite strong in the editing department ourselves but still I
firmly believe everyone needs an editor people definitely pick up our mistakes
another challenge for our proofreader is that I’m Canadian and Becca is American
and our books are for the American market so quite often there will be
Canadian isms that sneak in there and then he’s got to kind of correct those
and stuff like that so there’s definitely that kind of challenge with
the emotional wound to Saurus we had an additional person look at it we actually
reached out to a psychologist she’s called the character at the therapist
online she’s got a great website she’s a writer and a therapist and we just
wanted someone to go through all those entries to make sure that they are a
hundred percent correct that we didn’t mangled our research anywhere it was
especially important with that one because we realized that while the books
we create are for fiction in the past we have seen people use them in the real
world – and with emotional wounds unfortunately it’s trauma that we’ve you
know you may get to an entry and it may touch on something personal to you so we
really wanted to make sure that we did our due diligence to really get the
details correct so sure yeah and I was curious because I just feel like like
your books cover so many different topics and so many different specialties
or niches in the industry so very interesting you know the absolute you
have to work with a lot of different people just to kind of collaborate and
make sure everything is where you want it to be so for writers debating on if
they want to pursue traditional or indie publishing what are your recommendations
for them what should they consider before they make their ultimate decision
ah good question um you know it’s a tough question to answer because it
really is such an individual choice I think you have to
really researched the traditional industry well to understand whether or
not it’s a good fit for you if you write something that is more niche you might
find an easier goal of it if you are traditionally published because first of
all you can focus on that particular niche that audience yourself more
thoroughly than a publisher that has like a million different things on the
go but also publishers now are more and more you know they’re they’re more
careful than they’ve ever been on what they take on and I mean that is saying
something because I’ve been doing this for a long time and they have always
been careful it’s always been difficult but even more so now so I think if you
write something that is kind of you know a little bit not quite as mainstream
what you see publishers publishing on a regular basis you might find it better
to go with indie publishing I think you definitely want to consider traditional
publishing if you really struggle with anything to do with marketing
relationship building and that kind of stuff because unfortunately you need to
do all of that if you’re an indie publisher I think that regardless of
India or traditional like that’s something that I’m you know we can’t
just as writers just sit on our side at the keyboard anymore and just write our
novels and give it to somebody and hope that they will do something with it but
perhaps you would get more support in that arena if you were with traditional
publishing you can always hire a publicist too but again I think you
really need to regardless of which channel you decide to go you need to be
careful about that you need to really research and find a good fit find
somebody who’s gonna you know work with you carefully and make sure that you’re
getting that individual attention so again it’s just it’s it’s a difficult
question because it really is so individual for a lot of people I just
recommend that no matter whether or not you want to traditionally publish or any
publish to take your time the biggest mistake I see writers make over and over
is that everybody’s in a rush they see their friends publishing especially with
sub publishing it’s very fast it’s very easy you know and most people you know
they tend to rush it and that’s really unfortunate
you should you know if you think about how much time and energy you put into
learning the craft of writing you’re putting your name on something you
really want to honor that you want to make sure that that book is as good as
it possibly can be you want to make sure that you’ve got it thoroughly edited and
it takes time you know all of that takes time it takes time for us to develop as
a writer I’m still learning so much the more you learn the more you realize how
much you still have to learn so I’m just taking your time and not being in a rush
either way I think it’s the best thing I mean even if you’re trying to find an
agent or an editor you know you don’t want to waste anyone’s time you don’t
waste your own time you don’t want to get discouraged so really make sure that
that product is strong before you try to sell it and I saw on the one stop for
writers website that you’re also a fiction writer and write middle grade
and young adult books how do you brainstorm new book ideas for fiction or
or nonfiction um I used to be a used to be quite a
pantser but the more I’ve learned about writing the more I’ve come to respect
structures so I’m definitely have a more structured approach now for me I love
like with one-stop tools that I love are things like the timeline tool because
you can use it as a timeline for events of different things that are gonna
happen but because you can kind of drag around all the boxes it’s really good if
you’re storyboarding or something like that so if you’ve got little ideas you
can kind of play with the order and figure out what you want to happen and
same thing with this story mapping tool is really really excellent to make sure
that you’re getting not only all the pieces that you should have in a story
but also the the internal stuff that needs to go on with your characters so
that they’re they’re developing and growing throughout their journey so I
definitely I love those two tools um I tend to spend a lot of time
brainstorming before I write I like to know my character thoroughly I really
need to understand what’s motivating them a lot of another question that I
often get is I you know I’m writing my story and now I just I don’t know what
to what’s gonna happen next I don’t know what my character wants and it’s it’s
like okay well right there like we need to stop right now and figure out what it
is that’s motivating your character through the story because every single
scene they should want some and you should know is the author
exactly what they want why what’s pushing them to act because if you don’t
you just kind of have a random you know scenes happening where things happen to
the character and you need your character to direct that you know their
journey they need to be pushing for whatever it is that they’re after so I
really like to know all of that in advance I like to understand my
character right down to their bones you know understand their backstory
understand their past positive and negative influences in their life that
kind of shaped the way they see the world and how they view themselves and
things like that so I might do a bit more brainstorming than the average
person just because we’ve just gone so far in depth with that with all our
books but that’s kind of my process before I even start writing I need to
know all that stuff so my next question I’ve asked this one before but I
absolutely love it and that is what is one thing you wish you knew before
starting your journey as a writer be more confident in my abilities because
like I said I think the the thing that we all share is this sense of insecurity
that we have you know is my writing good enough can I do I have what it takes and
we question ourselves and I think that we probably unfortunately spend a lot of
time feeling self-doubt and it can get us down and it unfortunately I’ve seen
people leave writing because they are they feel that they’re not succeeding
quickly enough they feel that they’re not getting those publishing deals
quickly enough they’re seeing people that they you know know and they get
publishing deals and they’re not and I think that it’s just remembering that we
you know have confidence in yourself and understand that it’s completely
different journey for every single one of us we’re all on our own little path
we’re all doing the same thing but we’re at our own speed and we have different
challenges to overcome and different areas of growth and that’s okay
it really is not a contest and I think that you know it’s something that I
understand and realize now and I wish I would have realized it sooner so that I
would have spent less time in that sort of feeling of self doubt it I firmly
believe that we are all capable of becoming published if we put the time
and energy into it but it’s gonna happen at different times
for every single one of us and we just have to kind of be patient and you know
roll with it so what would you say is the number one challenger writer
drafting their miniskirt faces and how can they work to address that I think
probably if I were to guess like overall I would say probably the biggest one is
that people haven’t planned enough in advance and I I don’t want to get into
it you know planning is more is better than pantsing sort of argument or
anything like that I’m not trying to do that because everyone’s process is
different but just my own observation is is is if you spend more time especially
that motivation component understanding what’s driving your protagonist
throughout the story you really have to have that one thing nailed if you don’t
know what’s pushing your character to act you’re gonna struggle with
everything how do you describe that what kind of things are they gonna go after
you know what are their objectives you’re not gonna know any of it so
really understanding what it is that your character needs most what is their
goal what goal represents that Missy need the thing that’s missing from their
life that you know they start the story where they’re incomplete or something is
missing or they’re unhappy understanding what that is and what goal can they try
to achieve that’s gonna fill that need I think that is is a huge piece of the
puzzle that you really need to know really really well in order to be able
to write and I think that the people that get stuck especially when they get
stuck in the middle it’s because they don’t have a strong enough sense of what
that is so that urgency isn’t there and their
characters just kind of wandering around doing stuff but there’s no urgency to it
because they don’t actively understand okay this is the finish line and this is
why it’s so important that they reach the finish line if you know those two
pieces then you understand the urgency involved and you can create different
things that are gonna happen to the protagonist that’s gonna challenge them
challenge that our believes challenge their their dedication to the goal all
of those things and that’s what’s gonna create that compelling story so that
would be my you know I don’t I can’t say with certainty cuz I can only know like
my own people I’ve worked with and myself but I would say it would be a big
one I kind of along the same line what would you see is one of the toughest
challenges during the editing of the writing process or what has been
one of the biggest challenges for you personally in your career for me editing
I this is this is gonna sound ironic but I really struggle with the writing part
of it as in the right words and so I will
spend just a crazy amount of time working the same sentence over and over
and over and over because the more I understand about writing the more I
understand that we really need to be impactful with each and every word every
word that we put in our story needs to have a reason for being there so I’m
very very picky about that and I will look at my descriptions and I want them
to be doing like double or triple duty you know I don’t want to just paint a
picture for readers I want like the description to be characterizing one of
the someone in the story or I want it to be symbolizing something or I want it to
be providing mood you know or I want it to be providing some kind of conflict in
the story like everything should be there for a reason and so I’m very
analytical in that sense I look at the sentence and I’ll go is this as strong
as it possibly can be so I think for me I’m just a very slow editor and that can
mess me up a little bit because sometimes you feel like oh my gosh like
all I got done today was a page but you know at the same time like I just that’s
my process is to be really think very carefully about each word I use so yeah
no that is definitely reasonable I know a lot of people like they’ll add it as
they go some people will add it after the draft is done so everyone you know
has their own process but um so shifting gears again what are your thoughts on
author platform what social media outlets do you recommend authors take
advantage of and what are your thoughts on author websites newsletters and so on
um well I think first of all this comes back to your audience like the first
thing you need to ask yourself is where is my audience and it really does depend
I mean you write children’s fiction it’s difficult because you’re not you you’re
not gonna find kids on Facebook you’re not gonna find kids on Twitter but who
you are gonna find perhaps in those locations are the gatekeepers of that
audience you’re gonna find teachers you’re gonna find homes
schooling parents are gonna find librarians so it’s about understanding
who your audience is and where do they spend a lot of time and it’s kind of
something where you go beyond just genre – you could write romance but if you’re
trying to connect with all readers of all romance that’s kind of it’s not
narrow enough for you you need to figure out what’s special about your book so if
I wrote a romance book that was all about people that loved animals
especially dogs you know like maybe it was some kind of romance about someone
who rescues dogs and a veterinarian a lot of the content in that book is going
to be about dogs so a book like that is something that’s gonna appeal to romance
readers who love dogs so I need to figure out okay so where do people hang
out that you know they love animals and so I would consider you know like first
of all I would look for groups on Facebook you know are there specific
groups that you know you know there’s a big kind of this group of people you
know they love to read but they also love this this sort of thing they’re
interested in this special thing are their Twitter handles and stuff like
that are their chats that sort of our romance focused but even more so maybe
in this one area so really you want to figure out where your audience is and
then spend your time in those areas I think – like newsletters are hugely
important I mean that personal content contact contact between you and them
through email it is it’s a really great thing that you can do not only to keep
them updated on what you’re doing but to try to create those personal connections
because social media it depends what platform you’re on and how you’re using
it sometimes you can be more personal but sometimes it’s difficult Twitter it
can be difficult because it you know things happen very quickly there it’s
soundbite stuff sometimes you can create conversations but things get lost very
quickly you know you can say something and then you know you lose track of it
because five minutes later it’s gone and there’s all this other stuff happening
so unless you have a hashtag or something like that to kind of focus on
that topic it can be difficult so definitely I would I would say
newsletters I think all writers should have a website I
know that all writers need to have a blog that’s kind of a personal decision
as to whether or not they want to but I would say that if you don’t have a blog
it’s really good idea to be guest posting on other people’s blogs
especially people who are tied to that particular interest so going with the
you know the romance author who’s really you know they’re her books a lot about
dogs and things like that I would be looking at you know if that were my book
what websites did I visit when I was researching for that book and who had
blogs you know that deal with that topic and is there a way that I could blog for
that person in some way you know to write a piece that’s about that topic
but also about the book that I wrote because the people who read that blog
are gonna be the most likely to be interested in a book about two people
falling in love you know in this kind of community about dogs so it’s kind of
about figuring that sort of stuff out are there any last pieces of advice
you’d like to share with writers and aspiring authors watching this video I
think I covered it with my you know don’t be in a rush that’s usually my
biggest piece of advice is just don’t be in a rush really take the time to you
know learn your craft respect the craft read a lot write a lot you know and and
don’t get caught up in how fast you get to the finish line I think the more we
enjoy the process of learning and growing
you know our writing craft and just creating those stories the easier it is
because then we’re not we don’t get caught up in that end result it’s more
about just developing and realizing that we’re growing and we’re becoming
stronger writers so I think it’s really important that we all have a learners
mindset where we enjoy the process of learning versus I just want to get good
enough so that I can blah blah blah blah blah because I don’t think we’ll ever
get to that like don’t get me wrong we’ll all get to a point where we can
publish books but there’s always so much more to learn so just enjoy the process
of learning in and take your time whatever that looks like for each person
thank you so much again Angela for joining us today and I write early if
you haven’t ready be sure to subscribe to my channel
give the video thumbs up if you love these off your videos and want more and
let me know in the comment section if you have questions about anything we
went over today as always thanks for tuning in and keep writing

4 Replies to “Author Interview with Angela Ackerman: Inside Look at Self-Publishing & Author Platforms | iWriterly

  1. Such great advice. Angela Ackerman is one of my writing heroes and it was amazing to get to feel like I had 1:1 time with her. BIG THUMBS UP!!!

  2. I got the emotion Thesaurus maybe about a month or so ago and I'm IN LOVE with it! I soooo want to get more of the books in the series! A big thank you to Angela and Becca for these wonderful books!

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