Bestselling Author

BookRix Bestselling Author: An Interview with Elvira Zeißler

BookRix Bestseller!

BookRix author sells 5000 eBooks!!!

So far, there haven’t been any big “Success Stories” with BookRix members on the English side of the site. However, things will not always be like this, as BookRix popularity grows with each day. We want to introduce you to Elvira Zeißler (pronounced Zeissler), a German BookRix Bestseller! Elvira (user elviraz) writes in a wide range of genres, from Fantasy and Romance to Children’s Books and Poetry.

Her first book, Fairy Child I (Fantasy), published in June 2012, has sold 2869 copies so far and the numbers are still rising! Her next book, The Bonding of Souls (Romance), published in October 2012, has sold 665 copies so far. And her most recent book, Fairy Child II (Fantasy), published in November 2012, has sold 1466 copies! We’re hoping that she’s going to take the plunge and start publishing her books in English too! So keep your eyes open!

Here is the interview by the BookRix German Team conducted with Elvira back in November, 2012, translated just for you (by RebeckDawn):

The many futile attempts to have my novel noticed by a well-known publisher or even an agent, were really starting to wear me down. It was a dark time and I was starting to doubt myself and my stories. But then I came to Bookrix…

Dear Elvira,

Thank you for this interview and for answering our questions. Many users have sent us questions that we’re sure will make you happy. We have picked out the best questions and don’t want to wait another moment for your answers. Let’s get to it!

1. Why did you choose to publish at BookRix?
At BookRix, I don’t feel like a lone warrior who fights in vain against the “Windmills of Publishing”. :)
Actually, Bookrix was the one who gave me the idea. Late last year, when you announced your publishing service, I first thought seriously about eBooks. Since I wasn’t even reading eBooks at that time, the idea of publishing eBooks was previously non-existent.

2. What was the first book you wrote?
Apart from short stories and poems, it was my novel, Dark Fire, which I had started when I was 17 and finally completed at 24. During the process, I didn’t even really believe that I would ever make it to the end. And yet, I kept pulling the manuscript out of the drawer to work on it.

3. How long did it take you to finish Fairy Child? (Original language title “Feenkind”)
Part One and Two of Fairy Child took me two years of intensive work. Every day after work I’d go to my PC again and write for at least an hour. The story wasn’t simply flowing out of me. Before I fell asleep at night, I couldn’t imagine what I was going to write the next day.

4. The question that all your fans are probably asking: When will the sequel to Fairy Child be released?
The eBook is almost completed, and a beautiful new cover was just added (thanks to Cassyk). Here at Bookrix, the book should be available in November, and therefore it will be in all the shops by early December at the latest.

***This interview is from November 2012. Since then, her second book has been published.

5. Where did you get the idea for The Bonding of Souls? (Original language title “Seelenband”)
The Bonding of Souls was totally “interleaved”. I had a hangover from the fantasy novel that I was writing, and suddenly I had a strong desire to get involved with a romance novel. So I wrote The Bonding of Souls.
* Laughs * No, it wasn’t quite that simple, of course. I’m always very structured when thinking about my characters.
With Valerie, it was important to me that the female readers could identify with her. And in John, it was important that he wasn’t a vampire, werewolf or angel. :o Also, you might have noticed that my romance novels are about what I’m interested in (in the fictional realm, fortunately not in the real world), like mysterious men with a certain dark side. When I brought all of that together, The Bonding of Souls emerged.

6. Some fans of The Bonding of Souls (especially the women) are wondering: Is John inspired by a real person?
The answer is both yes and no! I am happily married and my husband and John definitely share many of the positive attributes. However, he is nothing more than a role model for John or any of my other male characters; just as I am neither Valerie nor Julie Dhalia. My characters are always completely fictitious, even though they may share some properties with real people.

7. Can you explain the success of your novels?
I’m not sure, but I’d like to know so I can repeat it in the future. :) No, seriously, I’m very adamant about keeping my stories and the actions of the characters believable and realistic for the readers. This is especially true with feelings (above all – love)and it is important to me to let them grow and reveal them slowly to convey authenticity. What I do not like are big words, where you, the reader will end up feeling nothing. I always try to incorporate unexpected twists and turns as well, which sometimes end successfully and sometimes fail.

8. Your stories have such a variety of different subjects, so how do you know when it is going to be worthwhile to actually pursue a new idea?
I must admit that I (unfortunately) am not a gushing fountain of ideas, like many other authors who must often decide which idea they are now pursuing further. Before I start a novel, I consider first, which genre I want to write in. Then I think about what is commonly known about this topic/genre and try to find a gap, that is, something that has not already been written about extensively. If I then, at some point in my search, happen upon something that creates a kind of inner excitement and my imagination begins to develop a story, I know I have found something worthwhile. I’ll then take a few days to try it out and see if I can actually get together enough “story” to make a rewarding story-line with it.

9. In your books fate often plays a role – Is there a special reason for this, or is it your destiny to write about fate?
* Laughs * A good question. I haven’t really thought much about it. But if I had to choose, I would say that I have a tendency to trust reason. There are many forces that can influence our lives, but in the end our freewill decides which path our lives, and therefore our destinies, will take. In that sense I don’t believe in a fixed or predetermined fate, but I find the subject itself rather fascinating.

10. Is there a piece of text, a protagonist, or an idea that you’re particularly proud of?
All my novels have a lot of heart and soul, and of that, I’m really proud. I regard Fairy Child as my masterpiece. However, if I have to pick just one thing, it’s probably the Dark Fairy, Eliza, from Fairy Child, and the transformation that her character experiences in the Part Two. When I started to write the story, which was not really even planned, the character of Eliza just developed a life of its own, which surprised even me. :)

11. Can we expect another book series from you in the near future?
Yes. I’m writing another fantasy novel with the working title, Dragon Tooth and I hope I have it ready early in the New Year. It’s about a boy from our world who lands by accident in a fantasy world and tries to get back. This is not a new topic, but I hope that I gave him, in one way or another, some interesting and new situations. My two short stories, The Oath of the Dragon and The Song of The Ice Desert are small prequels for Dragon Tooth.
The first chapter is already on BX, but because the cover isn’t uploaded yet, the book has not yet received a lot of clicks. ;)

12. Do you do your own marketing and if so, how?
I still have a lot to learn about this area because I’m not really an active participant in social media. I guess I’m too old fashioned. :) The only things I’m doing at the moment are audiobooks of my novels. I have been adding them one at a time onto Youtube.

13. The next question is really overdone, but it’s also one of the most interesting: Why exactly do you write?
First, I just wanted to try and see if I could do it. But now, it has become an inner need. It just doesn’t feel right not to have a story to think about in all my quiet moments. I cannot imagine life without writing anymore.

14. And who are you writing for?
For me, for my family (which consists of my biggest fans), and now also for my readers. It’s an indescribable feeling when someone expresses positivity about the work that you invested so many, often doubt-filled, years of your life to.

15. Do you have an author role model?
Not really, no. There are always books or sites from which I learn something while reading and think, “Ah, so that’s how that works”. My only novel that was inspired by other books and authors is Dark Fire. I started it after I read Phantom by Susan Kay and Dangerous Liaisons.

16. Do you find it more difficult to start or to end a book?
The beginning is definitely more difficult for me. In my mind, I have to have at least the rough draft of the story completed before I start to write it at all. Also, at the beginning I put a lot more pressure on myself and have higher expectations. The reader has to be convinced that the book is worthwhile in the first few pages. That’s also why I like to start with a prologue that makes you curious, without giving too much away.
Writing the end can sometimes be really tricky, but mostly it arises as the story unfolds.

17. Are there any BookRix members who have helped you with your books?
Unfortunately, since I have a serious lack of time at the moment, I barely get to be present in the groups at all anymore. Right now, I’m basically non-existent in the community.

18. Who designed your beautiful cover?
Cassyk, A.K.A. Casandra Krammer. Because I am an amateur cover art designer, I am infinitely grateful for her skills. :)

19. What was the biggest setback to you, in relation to the tests each author must suffer, and how did you overcome this crisis?
The many futile attempts to have my novel noticed by a well-known publisher or even an agent, were really starting to wear me down. It was a dark time and I was starting to doubt myself and my stories. But then I came to Bookrix…

20. How important is contact with your fans?
I find the direct contact with my readers to be really great. Of course, all positive feedback goes down real easy and makes me happy. And I always think a lot about any overly critical comments and try to implement the feedback into my future writing.

21. Have you ever struggled with writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
I decided not to force myself to write. When I have no desire to do it, but would rather read a book or just lazily watching TV, that’s okay. As I have been writing for almost half my life, I know that there are dry patches and that the writer’s block always goes away. That’s one of the advantages of being an indie author – not having a publisher breathing down my neck! :)

22. Do you follow a strict schedule for when you write or do you only write when you really feel like it?
As I said, I no longer feel forced to write. It’s better if I “grab some” free time when I can. I notice more and more that my head starts to work immediately after I’ve had some leisure time. When I had a few days off and my daughter was still in kindergarten, I was writing almost all the time.

23. When do you write best?
Whenever I have some time.

24. If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
You mean, other than that my daughter starts sleeping in her own bed at last? :) I would wish that my novels sell so well that I didn’t have to work full time anymore and could then have more time for my family and my writing.

25. Do you have any tips to share with other authors?
Don’t let yourselves be discouraged by rejections, writer’s block and criticism. I’m sure if you really want something, you’ll find a way. Even if this path leads you away from your original plan of shelves filled with print books and suddenly your eBooks are all over the internet and media. :)

Thank you for this wonderfully sympathetic interview! We wish you continued success as an indie author, and we are looking forward to more work from your pen.

Stay tuned for more interviews with BookRix Bestselling Authors!

Water for Elephants—From NaNoWriMo to Hollywood

So, have you seen the popular film adaptation of author Sara Gruen’s bestselling-novel Water For Elephants yet? If so, you’re far from alone! Box Office Mojo, says that the Fox-distributed movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz and Robert Pattinson has taken in over $40 million worldwide so far.

Water-for-Elephants-Sara-Gruen-Book-turned-into-movieThe story of an orphaned Depression-era veterinary school dropout recruited into a traveling circus, where he falls in love with a dazzling equestrian performer, has captivated readers, movie audiences and critics alike. With 4.3 million American copies of the novel currently in print, translations into 44 languages and multiple awards, this success story is a ray of hope to every aspiring writer in the BookRix community.

According to an entry in Wikipedia, Water For Elephants first made the New York Times Best Seller list for 12 weeks after its hardcover release in May 2006 by Algonquin Books, followed by a #1 ranking of the paperback version a year later. In a resurgence boosted by the film’s debut on April 22, Gruen’s third novel is currently holding FIVE #1 spots on the NYT Best Seller List, including E-Book Fiction, Combined Print & E-book Fiction and Paperback Trade Fiction, where it has held court for 118 weeks and counting.

Here at BookRix, we find one of the more delightful aspects of Sara’s success to be the fact that she first drafted this best-seller as a participant in National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, held in November each year since 1999. Her second novel, Flying Changes (HarperCollins 2005) and her latest work, Ape House (Spiegel & Grau 2010), which has already been optioned by Ellen DeGeneres’ production company, were also penned during NaNoWriMo. In her Pep Talk for fellow participants, Sara shares humorously about overcoming the distractions to writing that life tends to bring. And in this excellent About.com interview, she ‘fesses up to locking herself in a walk-in closet to complete Water for Elephants.

Sara also had some very valuable parting advice from an interview with Luan Gaines at Curled Up with a Good Book that we think everyone should take to heart:

Instead of thinking about writing, just write. You can edit darned near anything into shape, but you can’t edit a blank page.

Love talking about books made into movies? Come say hello in our Books Made Into Movies group on BookRix, where we chat about examples like this one. Love writing fictional stories or have a memoir that you’d like to put down into words? Join the BookRix community and free the author in you! You never know if your story could someday wind up on the big screen!

Self-Published Authors Riding Wave of Success

Self-Published_Authors_Riding_Waves_of_Success_Article_BookRixSo far, her astounding success story has been picked up by Huffington Post, USA Today and is soon to grace the pages of Elle Magazine. Twenty-six-year-old millionaire and self-published writer Amanda Hocking is taking the e-book world by storm with her mega-popular urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels that sell exclusively in e-book formats.

Just this past weekend, New York Times best-selling spy thriller novelist Barry Eisler announced that he recently turned down a $500,000 book deal with an unnamed legacy publisher in order to self-publish his own popular books.  “Based on what’s happening in the industry, and based on the kind of experience writers…are having in self-publishing, I think I can do better in the long term on my own,” Eisler told J.A. Konrath in a lengthy interview posted on his blog as well as Konrath’s.

Successful_Self_Published_Authors_Amanda_Hocking_Barry_Eisler_JA_Konrath_Leigh_Fallon_Karen_McQuestion_HP_Mallory_Seth_Godin_John_L_LockeKonrath, who sells an average of 1,846 e-books daily on Kindle, Nook and other online stores, is a successful thriller e-book novelist who pens a helpful blog for aspiring self-published authors, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.

As the long-standing relationship between traditional publishers and new authors continues to evolve, Hocking and Eisler are certainly not along in their lucrative forays into self-publishing. A first novel by Irish teen author Leigh Fallon, Carrier of the Mark, was discovered as an e-book on HarperCollins’ teen social network Inkpop and will be published in print by HarperTeen this fall.

After years of rejections from traditional publishing houses, Wisconsin-based novelist Karen McQuestion self-published several novels as e-books on Amazon’s Kindle in 2009. Since then, one of her novels, A Scattered Life, has been optioned for film and printed as a paperback through AmazonEncore, Amazon’s new publishing division, with more on the way.

The same USA Today article that profiles Hocking also mentions rising self-published author H.P. Mallory, who recently signed a three-book contract with traditional publisher Random House, and the success of German novel The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch, a top-selling (100,000+) Kindle book.

We’ve previously sung the praises of best-selling author Seth Godin in the BookRix blog after he chose to ditch his publisher, Portfolio (Penguin) and sell his books directly to fans via print-on-demand. Another non-fiction author, John L. Locke has gone the same route, selling his books through Amazon with excellent results.

We hope to report about future best-selling BookRix authors someday soon, so keep writing and posting on our site…and share it with your friends!

BookRix Provides Novel Opportunity for Authors Online

BookRix Provides Novel Opportunity for Free Easy Exposure for Authors Online!

BookRix Mobile Website - Read Free BooksBookRix (www.BookRix.com), an online community connecting authors, readers and publishers makes it easier than ever for authors to promote themselves online for free.  Authors and writers will find a wide variety of useful resources and tools to easily upload their written works into the more than 10,000 titles currently listed on www.BookRix.com with free editorial and design software supporting many file types.

Once your “book” is uploaded, it’s comfortably read with ViewRix, a state of the art book viewing software that’s easy to link to from an email and share through Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Digg and Delicious as well as be embedded into a blog or website for sharing – much like a YouTube video.

BookRix can be compared to how musicians use MySpace as a site to connect with potential audience members and fans that they otherwise would not have had free promotional access to with their creative works.  Authors on BookRix control whether they share all, parts, or one section of their works depending on how much they want to offer publicly and whether their works are read only online with ViewRix, or set to be an eReader download.

Large numbers of potential readers are now only a few clicks away, with nearly 140,000 registered members as of October on BookRix.com who may be willing to read, review and provide feedback for written material – not to mention thousands of readers who visit the site anonymously each month.

Award Winning Professional Speaker and Best Selling Author, Jim Cathcart is now part of the online literary community and has made three of his books available on BookRix, including Relationship Selling (Spanish) and Win Through Relationships (Audio). In the first month of being available, Cathcart’s audio book had been heard more than 230 times – connecting with new audience members who otherwise may not have ever come across his materials.

In 2000, noted bestselling author Seth Godin allowed readers the chance to see his book Unleashing The IdeaVirus for free online for an entire year before it hit bookshelves.  This alternative method for reaching his audience resulted in increased sales as many fans had shared his work virally online – expanding his name across the web organically and effectively with a simple link to his eBook.

The BookRix online community is comprised of a wide variety of users and groups from vampire lovers and gothic fans, poets and foodies, to accomplished writers wanting to perfect their style or discuss all things editorial.  BookRix actually hosts writing contests that pay generous cash prizes with an official line-up of qualified judges that review the top choices voted by BookRix members.

BookRix users owning an iPad, smartphone or a similar mobile eReading device also have the ability to download eBooks from the BookRix mobile site, http://mobile.bookrix.com. The BookRix mobile website allows for browsing of books from 55 different literary categories providing access to mobile readers, bringing yet another reason for potential author success through effective free promotion with BookRix.

About BookRix:

BookRix is an online eBook community of members who use the site to read and create eBooks, share work, ask for feedback and promote their published work to other members. BookRix makes it possible to read free books online. Publishing houses also can use the site to promote new releases and authors, stay in touch with fans and communicate news. For more information on BookRix, visit the FAQ or About pages on www.BookRix.com.

Eat Pray Love – After the Movie

Inspired by Eat Pray Love - Chocolate Italian Gelato I  finally went to go see one of my favorite books that had turned into a mainstream movie this summer, “Eat Pray Love,” authored by Elizabeth Gilbert starring Julia Roberts, with Brad Pitt having released the movie under his production banner Plan B Entertainment in partnership with Columbia Pictures.

My question to our readers (and myself) was simply this: will I enjoy the movie as much as I did Gilbert’s published memoirs and will it inspire me the way the book did to enjoy life, practice healthy discipline and let myself love and be loved without hesitation?

The movie did in fact inspire me, and yes, my heart was captivated. However, it did not move me in nearly the same strength as the book did, but nonetheless I did enjoy them both.

What I missed the most from the movie version was Liz Gilbert’s clean and thorough departures and arrivals from country to country and her vivid reflections before moving to the next alluring destination. Each country held a special meaning in the book filled with life lessons and great quotes from Gilbert.

The movie had almost no transition at all between countries, and I found this rather disturbing since I wanted to say goodbye to the journey she had just been on with me following along in the audience from Italy to India to Indonesia. I guess when reading a book you usually have time to settle between big scenes, chapters or sections, take a deep breath and revel in the beauty of words and say goodbye – but in a movie no one except a storyline warns you that change is happening – and quickly!

During the two weeks between my original blog post “Eat Pray Love – Bestseller: Before the Movie” and going to see the movie with my endearing husband, I received a few thoughts from fellow EPL book fans. Two statements in particular from women who gave me a fair warning, but did not rant or rave beyond reason, should be shared here because they allowed me to walk in that theater prepared to want less than the book offers.

“Amber, I think you’ve gotten the best of the Eat, Pray, Love experience already. So savor that. I felt the same way about the book. I was especially impressed with the eloquent and accurate way Elizabeth Gilbert described the guru-disciple relationship and ashram environment in the book. The movie didn’t do this or, frankly, any of the other parts of the journey justice. It left me hungry.” ~ D. Andre

“I loved the book, loved listening to the very eloquent Elizabeth Gilbert who appeared on Oprah two times and I still hesitate to see the movie.  I think I’ve encountered only ONE woman who actually liked the movie. The rest I spoke to found it flat and someone I talked with said she walked out after 20 minutes, in time to get her money back.” ~ D. LaTourelle

Inspired by Eat Pray Love - Orchid Heart CircleI myself did thoroughly enjoy the scenery in all the “I” countries she visited, particularly the scenes where Roberts was riding her bike through the palm trees and next to the rice paddies. In those moments I wished I were riding on the handlebars getting the wind in my hair too.

Well, maybe someday, telling your true story will create a masterpiece that showers readers everywhere with some of the same hope, inspiration, vibrancy, reality or honesty that Gilbert’s story did – and then maybe someday you’ll see it on the big screen. Whether someone likes your story in the end or not, it never hurts to try writing it down and sharing it! I think even the women who were disappointed by the Eat Pray Love movie can appreciate just how monumental getting a bestselling memoir published is, and that landing a Hollywood movie deal so quickly is pretty darn fabulous.

According to an article I read by Lauren Streib with The Daily Beast, the Eat Pray Love movie has spawned a $350 million EPL industry, with $135 million generated by the original book sales and $175 million from the movie. To top it all off, the movie’s release put Gilbert’s book back onto the current bestseller list! So, if you haven’t read the bestselling book yet, now’s the time! Love, or shall I say EPL, is in the air!

Grazie, Namaste, & Terima kasih,

Amber

P.S. If you love everything EPL, check out this slideshow of EPL product sightings!

Eat Pray Love – Bestseller: Before the Movie

Italian Flower PastaIn 2007 when I brought the New York Times bestselling memoir Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert on a summer trip to Europe, I had no idea that I would end up reading parts of her story while actually visiting Italy – one of the book’s captivating settings!

Since this novel is based on true adventures for Gilbert, I suddenly became engrossed with noticing details as she did while I roamed the streets in a small town in Italy.

I knew that if enjoying simple pleasures like gelato or pasta could be that life-changing and descriptive for her that they could be for me as well (and they were). I began to eat gelato at odd hours and pasta a few times a day and found myself appreciating her vivid journey as I connected with the pleasures of taste and texture as she once had.

Fast forward from that memorable summer in 2007 (a year after the book’s release) to now, 2010, when this delectable, divine and desirable written story comes to life in a block-buster film starring Julia Roberts!

This movie will surely fill my mind with vibrant visuals as she tries to convey Gilbert’s journey as her own on screen in front of millions of readers like me.

My trepadation is simple. Will watching the movie change how I feel about this beloved book I personally connected to? Despite my hesitation my curiosity will surely out win and I will go see, “Eat Pray Love.”

Below is an interview with Gilbert before the movie was made about her reflections on the bestseller and spending that fateful year of her life in Italy, India and Indonesia.

Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat, Pray, Love bestselling author

Prayer Beads - like the ones featured in Eat Pray LoveGilbert’s memoir captured my heart. Will the movie do the same for me? Will I feel connected to the screen the way I was connected to the pages that summer?

Gilbert’s novel was a New York Times Best Seller as “Paperback Nonfiction” for over 182 weeks. With over seven million copies in print, and lord knows how many downloads for kindle, this movie will surely be seen by millions across America and beyond.

I’m on a mission now to ask readers like me, what they thought about the movie, and if they were glad to have read the book first. I’ll report back what my findings are after I see the movie as well.

Grazie, Namaste, & Terima kasih,

Amber

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