Hybrid author Angela Page approaches writing books as she would getting a degree. She recommends studying and learning all you can from other published authors and books. "Join a writer’s group, take a class, pick a genre and learn all you can about your genre." Read her full Author Interview below!
1. List the titles of your published books (include publisher and year published) plus your author website/Facebook page links.
Matched in Heaven
Eternal Press (now Caliburn Press)
Suddenly Single Sylvia
Indie release through Sambuca Media
2. When did you start writing your first book? Where did the idea come from? Include the synopsis.
My first published book Matched in Heaven was inspired by personal experience and the overwhelming sensation that my love life was being influenced by the departed.
Synopsis: Heaven may not be what you imagine. Jake and Mimi are dead and riddled with guilt. They play matchmaker for their spouses on Earth with the help Marcel, a disgraced priest. A May/December romance blossoms for Samantha and Syd on Earth until fate steps in.
3. What was the hardest part about writing your first book? What hurdles did you have to overcome?
Since it was inspired by my own experience, the sections dealing with death and grief were difficult and even hard to read today.
4. Once your manuscript was finished, what did you do?
I sent the ms. off to a pro editor and proofreader. Then I sent out a query to 30 publishers and had 2 publishing contract offers within 6 months.
5. What did you expect from the editing process? How was the experience?
My favorite editor, Maria Trahan, is fantastic. She provided not only suggestions but was a great writing coach. The publisher did another edit and that was a tough slog lasting 6 weeks and some rewrites.
6. Describe what re-writing involves and how it makes you feel. How is it different than the initial writing?
I re-write based on intuition and also after feedback. I feel inspired to improve when an editor or peer tells me positive and negative comments.
7. Did you have non-editors read your book for feedback (Alpha/Beta Readers)? What did you get out of that?
I get constant feedback from fellow writers and highly recommend that process. Every writer should have a peer group and/or belong to a writer’s group.
8. Who designed your cover? How much input did you have? How important is the cover design?
The publisher’s creative team designed my first book cover. My second book cover was a talented designer (Angelleya) who also did the interior design.
9. How did you go forward with publishing? Why? How was that experience?
My first book took a year from contract date to be released. I feel lucky as many folks wait longer. My second book I decided to go indie given the short length and the fact I had experience in book marketing. I thought, “why not?”
10. How have you marketed your first book?
I paid for a lot of publicity, reviews and blog tours. I did a book signing where only 2 people showed up despite extensive publicity. There are approx. 50 reviews on Goodreads and Amazon which I’m told is not bad for a small press release.
11. How was the initial feedback from readers?
I’ve got approx. 4.5 out of 5 ratings.
12. How have sales been on your first book? Did they go as expected? What helps you the most to sell books?
Sales were very poor and I will be re-releasing as indie given that rights reverted to me. It was recommended to market other titles when you release a new book.
13. Talk about print vs. eBook. Do you get more sales with one than the other?
The reports I received where inaccurate and spotty so have no idea.
14. Did you set the prices of your print and eBooks? How do you decide how to price them?
Publisher set prices of first book. For second I studied similar books in subject and length as well as read online chat on subject.
15. What made you decide to write more books? How were those experiences (writing/editing) compared with your first book? Did you do anything differently?
I had the opportunity to draw from real life dating and singles expert’s material and expertise. At first we spoke only of a dating guide but I decided that to pair it with a quirky novella would be fun. Also, I had written a TV sitcom pilot, about the main character and her housemates, that was getting positive feedback. I had a robust peer writing group this time to help shape the novella and story line.
16. Anything different in the publishing process for your other books?
As my second is indie release, it was a great feeling to be in control.
17. When did you consider yourself a "writer"?
When I had my first article published in The South China Morning Post. It was about teaching English in Hong Kong as a newly arrived expat
18. When do you write? What motivates you to write?
Unless I’m on a deadline, I’m a nocturnal writer. I like deadlines of contests or editor’s schedules. This is a great motivator.
19. What do aspiring authors ask you?
How to be disciplined and organized. Where do I get my inspiration.
20. What advice can you offer for aspiring authors about writing, editing, publishing, and marketing?
Join a writer’s group, take a class, pick a genre and learn all you can about your genre. Always get a professional line editor and proofreader before sending out your work. Design a killer query and have 3 different summaries, short, medium and long. Make sure you your book can be described in one or two sentences, or a logline, as done with film and TV scripts. If you are aiming for adaptations to screen, make sure you have three acts. Study other successful author’s journey in publishing and marketing process.