via my Instagram account I was invited to a bloggerherz-interview by the audiobook speaker Christian Gera. At this point, again a big thank you for that. For the interview I was invited to answer a few questions and upload a photo of myself. All this went quick and easy. To what extent this interview – which was posted three days later on his Instagram account as well as his homepage – has brought me any advantages in terms of my range, I of course cannot foresee yet. After all, it was only this week.
However, I would like to take this opportunity to compliment Christian very much on the questions. Because they really made me think and showed me how much I actually did last year. About eleven months ago, a dear colleague and now a friend had kindly given me a piece of her mind. After having published my book at the beginning of January I honestly expected things to run just run on their own. Thinking and writing about it this really makes me laugh. Of course, the selling didn’t run by itself, how could it be? I had used a self-publishing platform at the time and published George only as an eBook.
I had to get out of my comfort zone very urgently. But most urgently. And so it started. This giving me a piece of her mind involved discussing marketing opportunities, becoming aware of my strengths, finally starting to tell more people about my story and last but not least treating George with a second attempt of a release and investing more this time. What I have done the last year to promote George and to expand my range as an author could be read here again and again in my blog. It didn’t always seem so world-shacking to me. Anyway, due to this the interview with Bloggerherz I became aware of all this.
Furthermore, I was allowed to make an introduction about my humble self for the Blogger-Author-Network on Instagram as well. However, it has not been posted yet. But I would also like to thank you for that.
What’s next? By the end of the month, I will be submitting a post for a Short Story Competition in England and this morning I have registered with an American writers‘ portal.
There has not yet been any positive feedback for my press inquiries, anyway my day may come.
Last week I received my book cover from Books on Demand for my novel „George The Man Who Lost Himself“. My book will be published there in the coming weeks.
The actual drawing was designed by a friend and then it was packed into a neat cover by BoD. I’m absolutely stunned by the result, because the book cover is kind of edgy and therefore, stands out from the crowd. That is at least my hope. In addition, the drawing hits the mood of my novel extremely well. The advantage here clearly was the fact that the draughtsman and I know each other and therefore could swap ideas.
I am very happy to go down this path of self-publishing and invest my money in this matter with complete conviction. Even if I run the risk of not getting the costs out of it. Not making a profit doesn’t drive me over the edge. What would go with not making any profit, however, would be the fact that my novel won’t go down well, that it gets lost in the crowd. I wrote this story over a long period of time and ultimately it reflects many phases of my life. A second course of study, which had made me very unhappy – after all, I finally came back to writing due to that time – as well as the termination of my teacher training program, which I still think was absolutely liberating. During my short trip to that traineeship, I did not come to write at all and as a teacher at a grammar school with two writing-intensive subjects it would not have gotten any better. With the termination of my teacher training program and thus the teaching profession itself, with complete commitment I decided for myself, for a life as an author.
Back to the actual topic. After having quieted my training program I of course had more than enough time and I used it to finally finish writing George. It was a wonderful time. This story is very special to me and very close to my heart. And that is precisely why the coming time also causes me so much sorrow.
I hadn’t found a publisher for my novel, the first self-publishing platform I used initially hadn’t brought me anything and now this is the next – the last – attempt. Of course, this won’t be my last book, because I have enough ideas and material, but I am concerned about this one story. I sincerely hope that George sooner or later will reach many readers. For this I also have to take many steps out of my comfort zone and continue to tackle the vexed topic of self-marketing. I don’t know where to start.
But when I look back on this year, I sure can be proud of myself, because I have already taken some steps that have demanded from me to overcome a fair amount of willpower. What can I say, I’ve survived.
Writing the last blog entry was absolutely liberating. As I was writing it, I noticed blockages dissolving and structures were forming. Talking or writing about things usually helps. Why hadn’t I done this before? Probably because I just needed some time. To breathe or simply to gain strength.
As mentioned in my last entry, unfortunately, a sad event occurred in my family at the beginning of the summer. Someone who was important to me in different ways has said goodbye to us. After a long illness, he had died. However, since our relationship was quite ambivalent, it is correspondingly difficult to say goodbye. I mean the thoughts and feelings I had with his death were equally ambivalent. In addition, his death had also left me with a few other painful facts regarding family. That had occupied me for quite some time time.
In my last entry, I also mentioned that I am thinking of participating in a competition which’s deadline is the end of September. Well, these two things go together, because the subject of the competition is dark moments. I had kept it a little open to whether I would process my emotional chaos by writing a piece that I could contribute. And so it happened that it got up completely unexpected and thus absolutely unadulterated. On a Friday night, an hour before I wanted to leave the house, a poem left my emotional world. The fact that it became a poem was a bit of a surprise to me, because I hadn’t written one since puberty. But if you think about it a little more closely, it’s not too surprising, as a poem is the most natural way to express one’s feelings. It is impulsive, fragmented and focused on the essentials. Just like an outburst of emotion.
It’s feels tremendously good being able to free myself a little bit and at the same time getting back into a productive writing process. I feel so much more connected to myself again.
After a longer break I would like to report back with a blog entry. After I had uploaded articles about my novel George or various other writing projects quite regularly, I ran out of ideas. In addition, I was quite frustrated at times, and there were a few reasons for that. Let’s start with the most harmless.
First of all, I was annoyed by the „downsides“ of social media, and that, although this is about such small things as „Follow to unfollow“. I know there are many more serious problems for other accounts, such as inappropriate and disrespectful comments. If I don’t like someone’s account, I just don’t follow it. End of story. But I am annoyed by „follow to unfollow“ because on the one hand it is disrespectful and on the other hand quite naive. Do people really think that with my smaller account, I don’t realize that someone isn’t even following me for 24 hours? That is a bit spoony. I also simply abhor disrespect.
Okay, let’s get to the things you should really be annoyed about or that’s worth pausing and reflecting on. So far this year I have participated in three competitions and a casting for a short film. That I was not taken for the latter was to be expected and not really painful. The three competitions are two short stories contests and the other one was about winning a contract with a publisher. In the former case, I am still waiting for the results, but the closer the date of the announcement gets, the more disillusioned I become. Moreover, the time between submission and the date of the announcement gives me the feeling that I am completely inactive and that I would do nothing for becoming an author which is actually nonsense. But now we are dealing with my actual and biggest problem, which I will come to talk about in a moment.
With regard to the competition for the publishing contract, I have to admit that I had participated very spontaneous in this, since I had found out about it at the very last second and had therefore not put too much expectation into it. The fact that I had not been shortlisted was not a huge disappointment. However, the day before I had received the cancellation for the casting and on the same day my billing of my self-publishing platform Neobooks for my novel „George“. I think on the bill were 2 sold copies. With each previously received invoice, fewer copies were sold. It was frustrating. All three things so close together was just absolutely frustrating.
And then one pauses. One starts to get a little petulant. One begins to question whether this is all a waste of time. One starts to think that you could just do it for yourself, just for fun. In that time I started writing my little fantasy short story. But that’s not me. I don’t do anything just for fun. I have to make sense of things. I have to fight for something. Moreover, this is not the first time I have been at this point. And for another time you get up and improve because you reflect, consult with others, take advices, put out feelers to learn about new possibilities. In fact, these lowpoints can do a lot of good. So, I keep fighting and that’s why I started to reshuffle the pack – I hope this makes sense – and now approach things differently. At least for my novel „George“.
I canceled everything with Neobooks and dealt with the option of using the platform Books on Demand. If this is the best story I’ve ever written, I would like to leave no stone unturned in bringing it to as many people as possible. So much for that and, ultimately, it’s easy once you’ve made a full decision. I have put together my BoD package so to say and currently I am waiting for all parts, such as proofreading etc. to be done.
Let us now turn to my biggest personal problem, as mentioned above: to feel idle. While my dear George is getting ready by and for BoD and then will be published I have to pursue some other project. I can’t possibly recover from the work week on my weekends. At the moment, I actually treat myself to a whole day off every Saturday and during my summer holiday I refused writing even for a week. But it’s about to come up again: that feeling of dissatisfaction.
Thank God I am not running out of ideas. Quite the opposite. There is always a story going on in my head that haunts me until I put it to paper. As a matter of fact, I’m rather a little lost in my thousand projects at the moment. The first thing I did was putting my fantasy short story aside. That was the easiest step. Although I will deal with it in a moment.
I now have to decide what makes more sense: to continue writing my story, which I began at the beginning of the year? It is set in the genre of crime fiction and already has over 24,000 words. It’s kind of a unique story. The story takes place in winter and in May at the latest I wasn’t quite up for winter feelings, so I came to a halt.
Or should I continue rewriting a slightly older manuscript that I had written completely in English. The story, from the genre Young Adult, is very close to my heart. I had once chased the manuscript through the Word translation program – for fun actually – and was surprised how well it went. During the summer holiday I had started to correct the nastiest translation errors. It is, in fact, a work that goes well. But the story actually makes me feel low, since it is quite psychological and goes pretty deep. I have proper mood swings on the days of revision. In the short or long term, I definitely want to publish the story.
And oh my God, I still have a finished manuscript that a friend currently is revising. This is written in a finished way, but I would like to change a lot in terms of storytelling and especially in relation to the end. But this actually has time and it can serve as a kind of back-up manuscript for possible dry periods. This story is also more Young Adult.
Okay, as far as my stories in book length are concerned, I am so far quite well replete with. I just wonder if the question of „with which story should I continue“ really is the most important one. Shouldn’t I increase my “prominence”, i.e. reach first by participating in more competitions? There are actually still some quite interesting contests this year and I’m even considering taking part in one in the UK. One short story competition is about fantasy. As you know I’ve already written the beginning of one.
I dally with the idea of participating in a competition whose deadline is as late as the end of September. Quite crazy, because I’m still busy with the release of „George“ and I also have quite stressful weeks due to work. However, the theme of this short story competition is interesting as it is about dark moments and I recently had not only a crisis in writing, but also regarding my family. Perhaps this short story could help with the processing.
Well, while I am writing everything from the soul and thinking about it, I come to the realization that I am only just – once again – at the very beginning of a publication and therefore a potential manuscript for my next publication can or should be secondary. That’s why I’d rather compete for a few contests. The only question now is whether I would like to submit something as early as the end of September…