Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

"Journey to Publication"

Shelley Hitz Interviews Jo-Anne Vandermeulen




A Self-Publishing Coach, Shelley Hitz believes *If You Can Dream It – You Can Do It!* Click HERE to read more.

Shelley - Welcome, Jo-Anne, and thank you for agreeing to interview with us. Why don't we start off by hearing a little bit more about you. You use to be a teacher, how did you get into writing?

Jo-Anne - Thank you for having me...okay, here it goes...lol...
I taught for 20 years, then in April of 2006, I went in to see the Doctor. It was on a Wednesday, and that Friday, I was back in my classroom, packing-up all my teaching materials, never to return.

I was devastated! Really didn’t think I knew anything else, but to teach. I remember my counsellor trying to snap me out of my severe depressive state...she asked me what else I’ve always wanted to do. I chuckled and made a smug remark, “Well I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I’ve never had time”. She stopped, peering over her tiny spectacles, “Now you have time” .

And that’s how I got into writing. Lol...I remember sitting down to write my first book...I could barely sleep...I was so excited. Couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next...just like reading a real good book.

“Writing saved my life...literally...”

I actually completed my first 100,000 word (400 page) book in 17 days...although it never got published...lol...That novel, “On Guard” did get accepted by 3 different agents as a full submission (although rejected at the end)...AND I got to personally pitch it to the editor of Kensington Publishing where they wanted to read the full manuscript (although, again, was rejected).

I just ‘chalk-up’ “On Guard” as a study to the craft of novel writing...kinda like an education course.


Shelley - Can you tell us about the books you have published and the one that you are currently working on?

Jo-Anne - Sure...Since 2009, I have 2 published books. One is a suspense/romance (seeing ALL 5-star Amazon reviews...and there’s talk of turning this novel into a movie) called “Conquer All Obstacles”...the title is from the brand I created. The second is a non-fiction resource (user-friendly marketing tips) called “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers”. The one I’m working on is another non-fiction resource called “Internet Marketing Made Easy”. I have written this next book for a more general audience—for anyone who has products to sell online, including authors.

Here are short synopsises of each book:

1.)  Conquer All Obstacles” - A WOMAN WHO WANTS TO FIND LOVE ... WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR A HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER ... EVEN TANGLING WITH A PSYCHOPATH ... YET, LOVE HAS THE POWER TO ... CONQUER ALL OBSTACLES. Middle-aged divorcee, Tara Robstead, wants more than a secret love affair with her boss, Josh Henderson. Yet, her search for a happily-ever-after costs her more than a price paid in blood-her soul is slaughtered.
(Available in most eBook formats and paperback) Purchase - http://bit.ly/cVE4A6
 

2.) “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers” - A "must-have" resource book filled with practical online marketing tips for those with books or other products to sell. Although this book was written for writers, these promotional tips can be applied to any products you may wish to promote via the Internet. You will learn how to target your audience, create massive exposure, and drive traffic back to the site where your books or other products are sold.
(Available in most eBook formats and paperback) Purchase - http://bit.ly/8X3xtX

3.)   “Internet Marketing Made Easy” – Contents include:
  • CREATING A FOLLOWING -  BLOGGING
  • GUARANTEEING MASSIVE EXPOSURE - SOCIAL NETWORKING
  • MAKING MONEY - User-Friendly Selling Tips
  • ATTRACTING CLIENTS - Creating a Platform
  • SAVING ENERGY - Targeting Your Audience
  • MANAGING TIME – Balancing Online Activities
  • LEARNING SUCCESSFUL MARKETING STRATEGIES - Informative Interviews
  • REACHING YOUR GOAL -  Success Here I Come!
  • GLOSSARY – Definitions
(Available in most eBook formats and paperback) – Available Soon

Shelley - You published with The Laurus Company, can you tell us a little bit about them, how you found them, and why you chose to publish with them?

Jo-Anne - I discovered Nancy Williams online. Like my business partner, Brian Knight. Oh, and like my second husband...let’s just say,

“The Internet is where I meet folks...lol...”

Nancy Williams founded and manages The LaurusCompany. She is a gem!

I chose Nancy because I knew I could trust her. I also represented a client who had her as an editor and publisher and I chatted with him about her professionalism. After hearing his rave remarks and reading his book (while seeing the awesome quality), I knew I had my editor, cover designer, and publisher. Nancy and I work as a team. Have mutual respect for each other.


Shelley - I noticed on your blog that you paid to have someone else convert your books into eBooks. Can you tell us a little bit about the gentleman that you chose to work with, and why you made that decision? 

Jo-Anne - I had Joshua Tallent convert my physical books into eBooks. He’s the best!...a tad expensive, but I figure you usually get what you pay for, and I wanted quality. It was a good thing I had him too...because, there were some formatting snags with Smashwords...and thank goodness, I didn’t have to do a thing. Joshua did it all! I like not having that extra stress....lol...

“He made sure everything was perfect.”

Before choosing Joshua, I did a lot of research on him. I then had him as a guest blogger where I conducted an interview.  After the blog interview, I then had Joshua as a Special Guest on my radio show “Authors Articulating”. After all of this, I knew I had chosen the right man for the job.


Shelley - You are both an author and an internet marketer, what are some of your favorite parts to each job? Do you have a favorite thing that you get to do with one or both of them?

Jo-Anne – Writing gives me a feeling of total escape from reality...lol...okay, now I’m really sounding crazy...lol...well, you know what I mean.

“As an author, I like the freedom of creativity.”

As an Internet Marketer, I take my job seriously. I view the Internet Marketing work as mental exercise...sort of like a physical work-out, except with the brain. I need that. My mental illness (which the Doctors had first diagnosed me with early Alzheimer’s) requires constant exercise. I joke around with others by saying that a holiday turns my brains to mush...well, to be honest, it is not too far from the truth. 

“As an Internet Marketer, I enjoy the mental challenge.”

My favourite thing I get to do being both an author and an Internet Marketer is the opportunity to meet other fascinating people. I love learning! And...

“My biggest thrill is helping or supporting other fellow writers and marketers.”

To me, this is how I measure success.


Shelley - You have said on more than one occasion that marketing starts before your book is published and released. At what point would you recommend that authors get themselves out there, and where should they start?

Jo-Anne - I truly believe what John Kremer states: 

“Marketing should start when you have the idea of writing a book or selling a product”.
 
It takes time to build a following. Developing a platform, that stands out from the rest, takes fine-tuning and will happen with the more energy you put forth.

“The first thing you need to do is start a blog.”

There are free user-friendly platforms available. I have my blogs on both wordpress and blogger. Blogger is easier to function if you’re a newbie. When blogging, you need to think of your area of expertise or niche.

“When you write articles about your passion, it is simple.”

If you are only writing for your audience, then you will probably run into writer’s block and it will seem like a chore. Hopefully, you can connect your niche with your book or the product you’re selling. It is important to supply content the viewer can take. This will generate traffic to your site and will entice the reader to come back for more. Oh, and make sure you have your book or product on the sidebar with a clear purchase link. This is where you’ll make your sales.

“You must be proactive.”

Having a blog just sit there isn’t going to cut-it. Now you must head out into the Social Media Networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. Share your expertise, meet potential buyers, and leave your signature (with the link back to your blog) where ever you go. 

Give, give, and give some more.

..don’t worry about the amount of time or energy this involves...trust me, it will open the doors for more opportunities and eventually the success you’re striving for. 

“Be patient and persevere.”


Shelley - Jo-Anne, thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to interview with us, and for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience. In closing, can you tell our readers where to find you on the web?

Jo-Anne - Oh, you are more than welcome!  I thank you for giving me the opportunity to share the wealth of knowledge with others.

Lol...to find me?...just Google my name: Jo-Anne Vandermeulen...I’m all over the place...lol...
If you’d LIKE one of my Facebook Business Pages, I leave free daily marketing tips there. Click HERE.
 
Here’s my business “Premium Promotional Services” *You Create – We Promote* FB Business Page. Click HERE
 
And you’re welcome to follow me on Twitter. Click HERE.
 
Please feel free to contact me.

"Have an AWESOME day!"
>Hugs<
Jo

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