Monica Leonelle from

Posts by Monica Leonelle from

About Monica Leonelle

Monica Leonelle was born in Germany and spent her childhood jet-setting around the world with her American parents. Her travels include most of the United States and Europe, as well as Guam, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the Philippines.

She started publishing independently in 2009 and has since published over half a million words of fiction spread across four series, Socialpunk, Waters Dark and Deep, Emma + Elsie, and Stars and Shadows. In 2014, she published 8 books and one short story.

She writes about indie publishing at Her most recent non-fiction book, Write Better, Faster, has earned raving reviews from the independent publishing community for going deeper than anyone else into the topic of writing speed. She currently averages around 3,000 words per hour and writes 25,000+ words per week (most weeks).

3 Unexpected Lessons From the Sterling & Stone Colonist Summit

We are back! The Sterling and Stone team spent the last weekend in Austin, Texas participating in and running the Colonist Summit. The Colonist Summit was an artifact of the first Fiction Unboxed, hence the name “Colonist.” Oddly enough, it didn’t shape up at all to be what we expected (though it was great in […]

10 Reasons We Switched to Asana For Our Project Management Needs

Sterling & Stone started out as a little company and now has three full-time writers (Sean, Johnny, and Dave), five part-time employees, and dozens of freelancers who handle editing, covers, and more. Additionally, the company has six imprints, two podcasts (with another two launching this year), many separate email lists, and a massive website which aims to become the […]

Holy $*&%! The New Alien Invasion Covers Are Kickass

I’m obsessed with the covers from Alien Invasion! Today we’re revealing the next two covers of the Alien Invasion series (though if you’ve been paying close attention, the covers have slowly filtered out to a few of the marketplaces already for the die-hards—you’re welcome!). For those of you who listen to the Self-Publishing Podcast, you […]

Easily Replicate One BIG Book Marketing Technique Used by the Pros

At Sterling and Stone, we talk on and off about book marketing as an important function of self-publishing. All authors need to invest time and effort into book marketing. Yes, we all want to write our books—and for many of us, that’s all we want to do. But we also need to support ourselves, our […]

Should You Write Under a Pen Name? And How To Market It If You Do

Thanks to the anonymity of the internet, the ease of selling digital products, and the popularity of erotica (who knew sex sold?), more and more authors are considering publishing some or all their work under a pen name. There are a variety of reasons you might consider a pen name (and Kristine Kathryn Rusch has […]

The Three Biggest Surprises When Starting (or Attempting) a Daily Writing Habit

Back in August of 2013, I had to face the facts. I had learned to write very fast (at speeds over 3000 words an hour, under the right conditions), but I still wasn’t drafting and publishing much content. There were two problems: I was writing faster, but I wasn’t writing often. When I looked at […]

How To Make Sure You Never Lose Progress On Your Book Again

It came out of nowhere—slow responsiveness, crashed programs, funny noises, and the dreaded beach ball kiss-of-death. My Mac was only a year and a half old, but it was already dying—or, at least it was on life support. One day the screen went as blank as the white heavens in those cheesy paranormal movies. And […]

Why You Need an Email List as a Smarter Artist

You’ve probably heard that you need an email list if you want to be an author, but maybe it’s become a task that you plan to get to “someday.” You might think, “My website has no traffic,” or, “I haven’t published my book yet, who would even want to sign up?” But building an email […]

How Do You Use Scrivener? (And How *Should* You?)

I (Monica) will be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Scrivener, even though I’ve been using it since around 2011. I bought it for two reasons: #1 – Its organizational tools, specifically for the nifty notecard view you can toggle to with a simple CMD+2. I love dividing my chapters into […]

Introducing Sterling and Stone’s Newest Writer, Monica Leonelle

Back in 2011ish, my editor and good friend Matt Gartland couldn’t say enough kind things about a guy who wrote this little blog called Writer Dad (which grew to be not-so-little pretty quickly). Matt probably mentioned the Self-Publishing Podcast to me half a dozen times before I finally decided to tune in, despite not really listening […]