Range

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.

Dealing with Harsh Criticism

In October my book „George The Man Who Lost Himself“ was published. Since then, I have actually reached one or the other reader and even attracted a few bloggers attention. This makes me utterly proud, especially as the feedback so far has been extremely good. Naturally, there were people who simply aren’t into the genre. But it’s okay, I can live with that. I myself don’t like all kinds of genre either. In fact, I was particularly pleased with the feedback from the enthusiastic readers that my book was so unique. There is a growing hope that my book will stand out from the rest.

As I mentioned in another post, I initiated a readership on the platform Lovelybooks.  Beforehand, I raffled off my book ten times to lure participants. By the way, the reader’s round is still running. After the first really great feedback, for some time nothing else happened in the readership – until last Sunday. The night before, one of the readers wrote a comment on not being very enthusiastic about my story. It hurt and I would have liked to have asked him right away if he had ever bothered himself to write a story. But I stayed calm and even responded to his comments. The bottom line is that he still was polite despite everything, even though he described my writing style as bumpy and unpolished. However, I was able to put that away quite easily, as I was praised especially for my writing style from the other readers.

There is one thing, however, I just can’t get over: he called my story constructed. Of course, I also had to laugh a little, since fiction simply is a construct as it’s made up. Nevertheless, this word hung on me all week the very moment I tried to work on mymanuscripts. Constructed. Far-fetched; that’s what it sounded like to me. As if I were a kid caught lying.

Eventually, however, he had made it through the whole book and left me a two-star review on Amazon. What sounds like a disaster, however, was by no means one. The review was extremely detailed, included one or two good things, and was ultimately written in such a way that it could probably even arouse the interest of potential readers. In the course of the week, I also got three positive feedbacks in the reader’s round.

What also hurt me was the fact that one of my readers, who is writing a book herself, read this review. This, of course, had unsettled her, and that being an author you already have so many self-doubts. How could someone who had also received the book as a gift leave such a critique to a young author? You have to get used to something like that. Yes, you really have to. When you spotlight yourself at the same time you make yourself vulnerable. Every reader should be able to express their opinion about a book frankly. But please do it with respect and always consider how much time, love and self-doubt is behind it.

Anyway, this one experience in the negative area, it will probably have changed my writing lastingly. I will never write like I did before. But I’m going to make something positive out of it. I want to grow on this criticism and you young authors you can do that too. Always believe in yourself.

And Now?

It’s there, my novel „George the Man Who Lost Himself“ is already available as a printbook. The e-book follows. My book is even available in all English-speaking countries. Although it’s in German, there are also people in the UK and Co. who read in German. Therefore …

I publish my novel as an indieauthor via Books on Demand a self-publishing platform where the reader can order my book. My feeling of „my heart drops into my guts“ is constantly increasing. I haven’t slept really well since the Email from Books on Demand on Thursday. Because what just robs me of sleep, but in return gives me a lot of grey hair, is the question of what can and must be done in order to market my book properly. It’s like it is: I’m not a marketing expert or businesswoman. I am an artist. Of course, it is extremely helpful that you can buy some services in this area from BoD and since I have already invested a few pennies here anyway, I don’t want to save at the wrong corner. But the selection is almost smashing and I don’t fully understand all of it. If someone who is familiar with publishing via Books on Demand: please get in touch!

What I do besides these Services, you can see here on my blog and my daily post on Instagram. Admittedly, I treat my Facebook account a little bit sloppily. That’s why I connected the account to my blog and my Instagram account, so that there is at least something going on there.

On Instagram, the community is just bigger and it’s easier for me to post there or leave a nice comment. In addition, I am always very grateful for the those lovely # campaigns by other authors. This helps a lot to post content.

I now love maintaining my blog. I quickly realized that it’s helpful to type down my thoughts and worries regarding my writing here, as this way I can sort my thoughts. So, I don’t find blog writing to be „annoying marketing work“.

What else can I do? I think I will go back to the matter with the Flyer, but this time a little more professional. Means, I’m not going to create them myself on the computer. I will order them from a company.

I could also ask our local newspaper if they would like to write an article about me. There I get a heart beater and the fear of rejection is like an albatross around my neck. But I have been rejected many times, however, kept doing my thing.

What is Twitch? This is recommended by BoD for author networking.

I could also try Lovelybooks. I even have an account already… I could do that during my Christmas holiday, because I need a lot of time for that.

I regularly participate in competitions.

There are tremendously many things that I could do, should do. I need more time and more arms. On each hand a smartphone that takes care of another platform. Two or three extra pairs of ears could be helpful as well.

Okay then, I’m going to cry out in the fetal position for a bit, but then I’ll start right away.

The Last Chance?

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.

In this sense: take a deep breath and get to it!