In this blog I had the great privilege of interviewing my friend, author Anna Jensen, who also took on the role of project manager for the launch of Under Construction.
Q: Please give the readers a little bit of information about yourself.
Hi! I’m Anna, a British expat who moved over to South Africa when I married my husband, Craig. We have two children and live in the small coastal village of eMdloti, a few kilometres north of Durban. I started writing in 2017 and had my first book, a collection of inspirational devotions and poems, published in May 2019. Since then, I have self-published 11 other books – a series of daily devotions, a historical fiction novel and a short Christmas novella. My second historical fiction is currently in the first draft/edit stage. I have also had a number of poems and articles published in various Christian publications.
Q: What type of projects do you normally get involved in on a daily basis?
My days are pretty varied! I try to write or edit on most days if I have a project I am working on. I also spend time creating marketing material for my newsletter and social media platforms. Beyond working on my own projects, I offer a range of author services to other writers. This can be anything from book cover creation, to book formatting for paperback and ebook publication. I also help authors get set up on Amazon and other sales platforms and guide them through the process of getting their books to publication. I have a great job.
Q: How did you meet Allyson?
I met Allyson online through a writer’s group for Christian Writers of Southern Africa. I was excited to discover that she lives fairly close to me, so made contact with a view to meeting up with each other some time. As it turned out, our first in-person meeting was at the book launch of my historical fiction novel, Given Lives.
Q: How did you become the project manager for Under Construction?
Allyson and I chatted several times after that first meeting, and realised we were in a unique position to offer a full service to authors seeking to publish their work; Allyson is an editor and proofreader, and I work on the other areas.
Allyson sent me a beta copy of her novel Under Construction. I was delighted to be asked and offered to help her with getting this fun story out into the world.
Q: What does the ‘job’ of a project manager look like in this instance?
Essentially it involves creating a programme which takes the book from a fully edited manuscript to a published book available on Amazon and other platforms. So I have been busy formatting the manuscript, advising regarding cover design and creating graphics for marketing. In addition to tasks directly related to the book itself, I have assisted Allyson with creating her online author presence through a brand-new website.
Q: How have you structured the launch programme for Under Construction?
There are two main aspects to the launch programme, the first being the author's presence and the second associated with the book Under Construction itself. The main thing is to make sure the two processes dovetail together and happen in the right order.
Q: Is the project management process interactive or do you prefer to hold the reins?
I enjoy empowering authors to learn a lot of the process themselves for any future books they publish. However, I am happy to run everything if the author prefers that. Either way, I do involve the author in as much of the decision-making as possible – it is their book which is being launched into the world, not mine, and as such the launch should have their unique flavour to it.
Q: Will you be involved in future Adine Investigates projects?
I really hope so! I feel as though I’ve only just started getting to know Adine. I’d be a bit sad to say goodbye to her so soon. Mind you, Allyson has done a great job of launching Under Construction so I’m sure I won’t be needed to do too much!
Allyson says: There is no doubt in my mind that Anna will be involved with the publishing process for future books in the Adine Investigates series. Why mess with a winning formula?
Q: Are your project management services available to other authors and prospective authors?
Yes, Allyson and I offer a full service to all authors, from a full, all-inclusive package to individual elements of the publishing process. Look us up at www.allynaauthorservices.com or email us at email@example.com
Q: Any other info you would like to share?
Don’t be daunted by the process of getting your story out into the world! We’re here to help every step of the way.
Stay tuned! My next blog will provide information on where and how to buy your digital or hard copy version of Under Construction.