Self-publishing in Slovenia

A few months after coming back from France, I hired someone to word process the whole of the story I had written on paper. Since then, I’ve been writing on a computer. When the whole of that first book was finished, I was faced with the problem of how to publish it. As the content was not arty enough, my application for a subsidy from the Ministry of Culture was rejected. Many publishers also rejected me, because according to them even the well established foreign writers were not selling well, let alone beginners. So my only option was to self-publish.
First I had to find a good proof reader. Then the Word file needed to be converted to PDF, but the guy who could do it was constantly busy. I was very impatient and lost many sleepless nights over this guy. It was because of him I later learnt how to use Adobe Designer and convert files from Word to PDF.


Only a few ideas – depressing

The number of ideas in my head is not unlimited. Or to put it differently, I have many average ideas but very few good ones. I try to get them from films I watch on television or from books I read.
A few years ago I was on holiday in Greece and I spent the whole week thinking about my next book, but with no success. And then, a few weeks later, I accidentally stumbled across the idea for the next book Promise Me Eternity. I’m especially proud of this one as the plot is so complex that I was quite surprised with myself at the end.


Dr. Simon Patterson is a successful and well-respected neurosurgeon at Central Hospital in the town of Seattle. Married, though without children, he keeps himself so busy that one day is not much different from another. Until, that is, he saves the life of the powerful mobster Carlo Vucci.

At a dinner in honour of Dr. Patterson, Carlo Vucci introduces him to his alluring wife Christine. Simon is entranced by her beauty.

Three weeks later, Christine shows up at the hospital, complaining of terrible headaches. Dr. Patterson offers to help her, but Christine did not come to see him just because of her headaches. A series of shocking events follow that turn Dr. Patterson’s life into a nightmare. Among other things, he finds himself in court accused of murder in the first degree …

The tempo in the second half is particularly dynamic. Even I had problems whilst editing as I read the novel too quickly. The story pulled me in so much that I was unable to slow down.


Benefits of a scene-by-scene storyline

A scene-by-scene storyline must be well thought out and the timeline of events must be determined. It also has to contain descriptions of things and people.

An example: first we describe all the participating protagonists. Not just their appearance but also their character.

FRANZ HARTMAN        Maria’s father, 48 years old, imposing, demanding, fearless and
obsessed with antiques.
MARIA  HARTMAN    26 years old, currently unemployed, wavy, long red-brownish curls, warm brown eyes, slightly freckly skin. Very spoilt.
EDWIN WEBSTER         32 years old, fitter of air conditioning units, slim, light brown hair, high
forehead, likes to make fun of others, always the cleverest one around, doesn’t like losing. Brags all the time. A homophobe.
And so on.

And then the storyline.

1.    Two men arguing on a cliff. One of them falls into the abyss.
2.    Maria, aged 22, from Newcastle, (rather spoilt and insolent) inherits from the father she had hardly ever seen a castle cum hotel in Eisendorf, Austria. Her father died in an accident, fell down a steep cliff. Maria is told this news by the hotel manager.
3.    Monday – Everyone is shocked. The castle has been renovated and has approximately 40 rooms, plus another 20 that have not been furnished. The manager receives the guests in a friendly manner and explains to them that they can go hiking, that there’s a lake and a waterfall nearby or they can go and explore the nearby subterranean cave.
4.    The young people have a really good time, they swim in the lake and hike around the mountains nearby. They come across a forester who jokingly asks them if they have come to search for Count Wagner’s treasure. When they ask him about the count, he just smiles and tells them to enquire in the village.

In point three, it says Monday. You can also note the date, for example April 1. You note the names of days only if the whole story happens within one or two weeks, otherwise it’s better to write just the dates.


Scene-by-scene storyline

The scene-by-scene storyline has another very important function. Every new idea seems wonderful the first day, two days later it’s already less plausible and after a week it may seem very average. This is why I spend at least three months thinking about the scene-by-scene storyline because I want the story to seem as realistic as possible. Nothing must be left to coincidence.
I once talked to a writer who said that she sits down every day and begins to write. She never knows what will come out. Her system also works, but I think it allows for a lot of unplanned writing that can be superfluous. And some people find it very difficult to delete what they’ve written, which is a big mistake.


The length of sentences, paragraphs and chapters

You need to know how many sentences to use in a paragraph. And how many paragraphs in a chapter. This is something that’s almost impossible to learn from books. If you write too much, you’ll slow down the reading tempo. A novel can be very thrilling, but if there are too many unnecessary descriptions and superfluous sentences, readers will read more slowly or even put the book down from boredom.
Tempo is very important. In all my novels it increases in the second half so that the chapters get shorter and shorter. Only what is absolutely essential is told, without any unnecessary added extras.
I recommend all those who are still not sure how many words and sentences to use in one paragraph that you start reading out loud. Record a text you like and listen to it as much as possible. Sooner or later you’ll get the feel for it.
But the most important thing is that you start writing. Practice is the best teacher.
And the last important thing. When you’ve written your book, you must spend a few months reading and editing it. Let at least a month pass between two readings so that your brain clears and you’re able to experience the content of the book anew. During this time you can start writing a new book.
In connection with each sentence, paragraph or chapter you must ask yourself whether it’s necessary and whether it contributes to the book being interesting and thrilling. If it’s not, you must delete it without mercy. Don’t feel regret over the deleted sentences even if you have had to work really hard and got up very early in order to write them. The final result is all that matters and that must be perfect.
I often compare writing with the work of a sculptor, who first creates a rough version of a sculpture. This is followed by a phase of concentrating on every last detail until the sculpture is perfect.


The first book

I wasn’t going to take any risks with my first book, so I included all the tried and tested elements:
  • Kidnapping  è shocking, interesting
  • People have always liked reading about the successful and the rich.
  • The main character Emely had succeeded through hard work and dedication. Stories about people who start off poor and then get rich are always interesting.
  • A love story between the kidnapper John and Emely. During the course of the story, the kidnapper falls increasingly in love with Emely, whereas she hates him.  But with time, she begins to soften. There was the desire (John) and the obstacle (Emely not willing).



I warmly recommend you buy yourself a Kindle, which is excellent for reading. I was particularly taken by the black and white screen that does not glare like other computer screens, but looks like paper. Your eyes do not get tired even if you read all day. It’s as if you’re reading a paper book or even better.
And as there is the option of increasing the font size, I use Kindle for other things. When a newly written book has been read so many times that there’s hardly anything left to do, I read it once more on my Kindle. And I find many mistakes I had not noticed before.
Another thing I recommend is reading out loud. When we read silently, we take in a few words at a time, which makes it more likely that we’ll overlook something. When we read out loud, we focus more on individual words.



Just as you have to be able to make your readers cry, you must be able to make them laugh. Humor is very important and I’ve always tried to include it wherever possible. Even when I’m correcting a text, I often laugh at my own jokes.

At one o’clock, slightly drunk and fed up, he looked around for a woman who could finish off his evening. It was too late to make an appointment with one of the beauties from the catalogue, so he drove to his old spot where around ten scantily dressed women were pacing the sidewalk.
He drove past slowly the first time, looking at them carefully. They all puckered their lips and stuck out their chests in the hope of attracting a client. When he drove past for the second time, he stopped his muddy vehicle in front of a girl who didn’t look like she was much over eighteen. She kept shuffling from foot to foot, smiling, and looking at her colleagues in the hope they would indicate to her what she should do next. It was clear she was embarrassed and the other women waved to her to get in the car.
They were well aware of the saying that opportunity knocks only once.
When they had arrived at a hotel room twenty minutes later, she admitted that she had hardly any experience. “I’m very glad you’re not really old,” she said, and laughed in a silly fashion.
He watched her shuffling awkwardly and lit a cigarette. “Take off your clothes,” he told her.
“I beg your pardon?”
He leaned back in his armchair lazily, his legs apart, then slowly exhaled the smoke. “Take off your clothes so that I can see your body.”
“But there’s no music.”
“Imagine there is.”
This was not something she had anticipated. Frightened, she began unbuttoning her skirt and swaying, with her legs pressed together, as if she needed to go to the toilet. John watched the funny scene and felt aroused. He dragged on his cigarette and poured beer down his parched throat. Finally, when she was naked he spanked her bottom so that the poor girl jumped onto the bed, shrieking.
John got out of the chair and nailed her to the mattress. She was terrified and nearly cried for help, afraid he was going to hit her. But he just threw himself on top of her and took his pants off.
“Oh, you’re so heavy,” she said.
He rolled off her like an old log and lay on his back. The girl was perfectly still, not knowing what he wanted from her.
“I don’t really feel like it. You get on top of me.”
She was glad to oblige and clambered on top of him, then began kissing his neck and face while rhythmically swaying her behind. She liked him but was afraid of him because of his roughness. She had no way of knowing what horrific pictures were going through John’s head and that he was barely able to maintain his erection. Her colleagues had told her that it would take ten minutes at the most. “Men are usually very aroused and some can’t last even five minutes,” they said.
They swapped positions, John on top. He was like a rabbit, but what he really wanted was to clear his head. His brain was tortured by images of a dead body, horrible smells, soil, and darkness. Emely all the time. What’s the matter with me? Why can’t she leave me alone?
The young girl kept glancing at her watch in despair. It had been an hour and a half already. They had been in this position for so long that she was completely numb down there, while her head was throbbing. She wanted him to leave her alone at last. If she hadn’t been afraid of him she would have stopped it long ago and threw his money back at him. Does he plan to stay like this all night? she wondered.
He began breathing deeply and shaking like an old steam engine. He huffed and puffed and was glad to have reached the end. It had been an arduous journey and he had to try as hard as never before. He would have stopped long ago but didn’t want to let those wretched hallucinations spoil his evening.
The girl, on the other hand, lay there exhausted, feeling like the bottom part of her body had been severed. When she sat up her legs tingled and the muscles of her behind hurt badly. She got up like an old woman.
“Get dressed already. I haven’t got all night,” he said.
When a few minutes later he dropped her off, her colleagues shouted and laughed as the poor girl sat on a nearby bench, looking pale. Her hair that a few hours earlier had been fixed with hairspray, was now sticking up all over so that she looked like an old broom. She had to light a cigarette immediately.
Comforting her and laughing to each other they said, “You’ll get used to it.”


What you like doing most and narrow specialization

I’ve already mentioned that one of the most important preconditions for success is to know what you like doing most. This is followed by hard work and specialization.
I think it would be good if the state, in addition to free education, also offered children free obligatory sessions with a psychoanalyst. This would enable them to get to know themselves better and make it easier for them to decide what they want to do when they grow up. In spite of this I encourage all those who have made a wrong decision to specialize in the area that is closest to your heart. That is the only way you will end up truly successful and happy. So go to amazon.com and see what books there are in relation to the area you are interested in. Start surfing the Internet and looking at books in libraries. If you persist you will sooner or later begin to stand out from the average.
The same applies to those with a university degree. At university, you learn all sorts of stuff you later forget. But if you like doing something, the knowledge you acquire will stay with you forever.
So start right away.


Finding a good translator and copyeditor

Although I speak fluent English, I didn’t translate the books myself. I let a professional translator do it. There are many translators and finding the right one is all but easy. Not to speak of the high costs. A translation of a book (roughly 100,000 words long) costs approximately 7,500 USD. The same applies to American copyeditors. There are plenty of them, but it’s hard to find a good one.

I typed into Google: How to find a copyeditor?

I sent a test sample to three different copyeditors and received replies within a few days. The first asked for approximately 600 USD, the second one 1,200 USD and the third as much as 5,000 USD. The latter boasted of being a specialist in creative writing and of winning several awards.
Beware of copyeditors who try to take advantage of your lack of confidence. Their sole intention is to get as much money out of you as possible. I’m not saying they are not good, only that they are very expensive, but maybe your novel does not need such thorough changes. I’m talking about the copyeditor who wanted 5,000 dollars. However, you must never publish a book without it being copyedited.
Because I knew how hard it was to find a good copyeditor I decided to do a detailed market analysis. I sent my test sample to 20 copyeditors I found on the internet and then compared their results and that’s how I found the right one.
A realistic price for a good copyeditor is 1,600 USD for a book that contains 100,000 words. 


How I began writing

After three months in France, I kept toying with the idea of starting to write. By then I’d been listening to audio tapes of writers I liked for at least a year. Of tem all, I most enjoyed listening to Sidney Sheldon.

I said to myself it was better to write a bad book than not write at all.

As I didn’t have a laptop, I began writing on paper. I warmly recommend this to all future writers, at least initially. Due to space limitations you’ll soon learn to create sentences in such a way that there is as little correcting needed later as possible.

And so I wrote the bit where kidnappers kidnap the rich Emely Donnovan and bury her alive out of revenge. Don’t worry – Emely survives. The way I described the kidnapping came as a very positive surprise to me. The hairs on my body stood up as I read it.
Of course I read those 30 pages at least 50 times and found mistakes every time. As I was writing on paper and then had to constantly erase things and correct them, I gradually began making fewer and fewer mistakes. When you read a text for the first time, you catch the most obvious mistakes and the smaller ones escape completely. And when you remove the smaller ones, new ones appear. And then come the smallest, tiniest of mistakes and you finally get the text to be as close to perfect as possible. It’s completely impossible to remove all the mistakes at the first reading.


Interesting characters

It’s important that the protagonists appearing in your book are interesting. Not just in their visual appearance, but also their character. Particularly the main protagonists must really stand out from the average.
In my novel Promise Me Eternity, the main character is Dr. Simon Patterson, who is married to Helen. I deliberately placed Simon in the role of a modest and successful neurosurgeon, whose main interest is science, and his wife in the role of a snooty hairdresser, whose only concern is money. Below is an excerpt describing what happens when they are invited to the home of the mafia boss Carlo Vucci.

She finally decided and chose the right dress. She put it on quickly and hurried to the bathroom. She heard Simon banging about in the kitchen. “Are you ready, dear?”
“Ages ago. I’ll go to the lab while you’re getting ready.”
She answered in a husky voice, “Don’t, you’ll mess up your suit again. I’ll be down in a few minutes.” She used a cleanser and then put on some face cream, added a thin layer of powder, and emphasized her lips with a strong red lipstick. Finally, she did her eyes, coloring them with blue-green eye shadow. She had also bought some new, expensive mascara for the occasion. It’s worth it, she thought. For such an important visit, the cost doesn’t matter.
She took one last look in the mirror. She was happy with her hair, which she had had done in the salon before leaving work. But she was not too pleased with her dress. It was the best she had, but nothing like the kind she would really like.
Simon was sitting at the table reading a scientific journal. The article reported on people attempting to slow down the aging process. They spent hours every week at the gym and took various vitamin supplements to stay fit. What they’re doing isn’t bad, but it has little to do with aging. When my vaccine is on the market—.
“Come on! I thought you said you were ready.”
He jumped when he heard her voice. “I am. Shall we go?”
“We’re late already. You still don’t have your shoes on.” She scrutinized him up and down. “What about your tie? Where’s your tie?”
“I thought I’d go without—”
“No way. I told you already, it’s an extremely important visit. You can’t be without a tie. Go and put one on, please. And not that brown one you always wear. Take the blue one with the red pattern that I bought for your birthday. And put on the dark blue jacket. It’ll go well with your pants.”
Because he didn’t want to argue he went for his tie and jacket.
The drive was unusually silent. Once, Helen commented that it was time they got a new car. “This old piece of junk is already eight years old. How long are we going to keep driving it?”
“We’ll get a new one next year,” he replied. He thought she would keep on about the car but to his amazement she stayed quiet. Obviously, she was too busy thinking about how to behave at dinner.
When they finally arrived at the property, Helen was beside herself with excitement. “Look how much land they’ve got! He must be rolling in it!” Simon slowed the car on the long driveway. She exclaimed, “Will you look at that mansion!” She admired the carefully tended shrubbery on the left. When she saw the enormous two-story house up close, she gasped. On the second floor she counted six large windows. Together with the first floor, she counted fifteen. The façade was a brick-red color, which in combination with the white windows and magnificent entrance pillars created an impression of grandeur. She pointed to the right. “Look at that maze! I can’t believe it.”
Simon glanced at the maze made out of rosemary bushes, which was about twenty yards across. He said nothing.
“What a house! It could hold at least five big families.” She grabbed his shoulder and shook it. “Isn’t it heavenly?”
“Stop shaking me, we’ll crash.”
When they stopped on the drive in front of the house, a young man in a dark-blue suit was waiting for them. He opened the door on Helen’s side. Simon showed signs of getting out.
Helen hissed at him, “Wait, damn it! You’ll ruin everything.”
He instantly pulled his hand back and looked at her in surprise. “What did I do wrong?”
“Wait for the servant to open your door!”
He was relieved it was nothing worse.
When Helen had elegantly got out, the young man bowed and welcomed her. With her head up, she looked around and hardly replied. Then the young man went to Simon’s side and opened his door. “There you are, sir. Welcome to Mr. and Mrs. Vucci’s estate.”
Dr. Patterson smiled and wished him good day.
The servant pointed toward the entrance with both hands and bowed politely.


My third book Forget About the Past will soon be published

I spoke with my translator yesterday and she confirmed that the translation will be finished till end of March. Then my copy editor need about one and half month for final check. In reality my third book will be published in the beginning of Mai in everything goes smoothly.

Forget About the Past

Reporter Anya Horvat, who works at Clarice, a weekly women’s magazine, has relationship problems with men. She is thirty-five years old, yet has never had a single relationship that lasted more than two months. This reality prompts her to consult the well-known and successful psychiatrist, Patricia Bellows, who is later found horribly murdered. Anya has never dealt with a murder investigation before, but when her boss literally forces her to take the assignment, she begins to uncover the murdered psychiatrist’s intriguing past—and at the same time, the source of her own problems …


The quickest way to learn a language

Let me tell you how you can learn a language within the shortest possible time. What you need is determination, persistence and hard work.

First, you must master passive knowledge. You can find lots of books with CDs that you can work your way through within a few months. When I was learning German, I had to go through 12 cassettes of 60 minutes each. In this way I learnt the grammar and approximately 1500 words.

Then you have to buy yourself a simple children’s story. You underline the words you don’t understand and translate them. Then you record yourself in the following way:
·        You start reading out loud and when you come to an underlined word, you carry on until the next comma and stop.
·        Pronounce the underlined word and its translation.
·        Then go back to the comma before the underlined word and read once more the part of the sentence with the underlined word.
·        Repeat the process until you reach the end of the text.

I recommend that you record no more than 60 minutes at once. It’s better to start with 30 minutes. When children’s books become too easy, you move to fiction for adults. In this way you can learn approximately 5000 to 6000 new words in a year, which is a considerable active vocabulary.


An hour a day, 365 hours a year

One of the most significant revelations in my life was that if a person does something for only half an hour a day, in a year this is 365 x 0.5 = 182.5 hours. And if you do this at the time when you’re most productive, these 182.5 hours can be very effective. My advice to all future writers is to decide on the minimum time you’ll spend writing. Even if it’s just 15 minutes.
If at the very start you set yourself a plan that is unrealistic, you’re not very likely to realize it.
Needless to say, you must be very strict with yourself and dogged. Nowadays it hardly ever happens that I don’t write. Including Sundays and vacations.

But it wasn’t like this at first. Often, I simply didn’t feel like it and slept in. I’ll reveal another weakness, if that’s what it is. Every morning I have an energy drink to get my fill of caffeine. Coffee helps, too, but because of stomach problems I can’t have it. The fact is I can’t write without caffeine.

The first book was the most difficult. I spent a year writing it and it seemed I’d never be able to finish it. At least once or twice a week I didn’t feel like getting up early and if I did get up, I couldn’t start writing. I just didn’t feel like it. At first, I spent 20 to 45 minutes writing, now it’s an hour and a half each day. So I suggest you start with a minimum of 15 minutes. Try and be as strict with yourself as you can. There’s nothing wrong if now and again you don’t feel like it. If the results are good, this will serve as motivation and with years you’ll become more and more decisive and determined.


Going to France

When I abandoned the office supplies store, I got a job in the French company E'Leclerc, which is involved in retail and was going to open the first hypermarket in Slovenia. I liked the fact that they offered to send the key personnel to France for a year’s training. I was 29 at the time. It’s interesting that I could barely speak French. I had done two courses a few years earlier, but had forgotten most of what I’d learnt. But because I had a positive experience with learning foreign languages – by then I’d learnt English and German – I managed to learn approximately 4000 new words within four months by using cassettes. In order to accomplish this, I had to listen to the cassettes for up to twelve hours a day. You can imagine how stubborn and obsessed I can be if I decide to do something. And after a year of living in France, my French was fluent.


Every book is unique

When I wrote the first book, I was afraid that someone would steal it, so I patented it. A few years later I realized no one could copy me. Even if I reveal all my knowledge and tricks, other people will write a completely different book. But the thief would probably find it very difficult to prove his authenticity. Why? Because he hasn’t lived the life I’ve lived. All your experience, both good and bad, influences your thinking. Especially experiences from your early days.

I think it’s very important that a writer deals with all the traumas and complexes that have arisen since childhood. I’ll tell you my own example. When I was just over 20, I was walking one day along a beach with a friend. At that time the television series Dynasty was very popular and I told her that it seemed silly to me how often the love between a father and son was shown. They kept hugging. But my friend told me off: “Just because you never got that kind of love from your father, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to be like that.” I thought a lot about this later and reached the conclusion that she was right. It’s important to face up to our past and admit certain things. Only then we can move on. If we ignore and try to push problems away, they’re bound to show up in our writing.


My failed investment

Let’s go back to when I was 28. I sat dejectedly in the office supplies store I owned, so drained of energy that I didn’t even feel like cleaning the window panes. This was one of my failed investment projects – hiring some premises and opening a shop. Unfortunately, I had chosen a bad location and had to close down. I had borrowed the money in a bank and even from my mum. My final loss was 45,000 dollars. At that time, this was a lot of money and I had to go without many things for quite a few years to be able to repay my debt. But this period was important for me as it made me forget any ambitions of having my own business for a few years at least. And it was then that I first started toying with the idea of writing a book. Until then I’d never had the time as I’d set myself goals that seemed more important.


The length of individual units and the number of chapters

It’s important that individual sections in a book aren’t too long. It’s the same as in movies or on television, when individual shots last only a few tens of seconds or a few minutes at the most and keep changing so that the viewer doesn’t get bored. I use a similar system. Usually, this means three or four different stories, which become more and more interconnected over the course of the book until at a certain point they all come together. The stories are divided into smaller segments, which can range from one to several pages. In this way, the reader’s interest never wanes, as these are extremely readable units that often foreshadow coming events. Usually, I include around 100 numbered chapters in each book. Thus the units are short, from half a page to a few pages.


93 books sold in February!

Here are the sell numbers for February:

I'm very satisfied.

I have big plans how to speed up those numbers in March. We will see what the future brings.


How long does a novel take to emerge?

Many writers are obsessed with the number of books they’re going to write in their life. Initially I also thought about how many books I could write. But later I decided to take a different route. Fewer well written books is a much better option. Now that I have more experience, a book takes approximately 4 months to appear, provided I write an hour and a half every morning. First, I read the bit I’d written the day before and then I write on.

In spite of this, a novel takes another 4 to 6 months to take final shape. During this time I read it through a few times, making corrections along the way. This second phase is even more important than the first. But many writers who are too obsessed with the number of published books devote insufficient attention to this phase, which is a big mistake.

It’s necessary to keep reading the book until there’s hardly anything left to correct. And I don’t mean just words and sentences, but the story itself. The writer must feel everything his main characters feel. You must follow your heart and add or remove sentences, paragraphs and even pages. And with every chapter, you must ask yourself if it’s necessary at all.
I’ve realized that it is best if 3 to 4 weeks pass between two readings. This gives your brain a chance to clear and you can experience the book almost anew each time.


Press Release

Three days ago a made first press release:http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9219482.htm, but frankly it didn’t work as it should . Only two persons have uploaded the book.

I think that in the near future I will concentrate only on book bloggers. As Amanda Hocking has found out they are the most effective way to promote books. 


How much did I earn in January 2012?

Below you can see that I have earned 247.45$. That means that I have sold 707 books. (707 x 0.35$ = 247.45$). Because my price of book is below 2.99$ Amazon gives me only 35% of royalty (0.35 cents per book). If my price of book would be 2.99$ then I would gain 75% of royalty (2.24$ per book).

Not bad for the beginner. I’m very proud that 14.000 new readers have uploaded the book: Only the Strongest Survive in one day. In because of that the next day I have sold about 200 books for 0.99$. And the day after about 150 pieces. And so on.
You must understand that if you sell so many books (even for free) in one day, then you have positive consequences for the whole week. Amazon has a computer system that rates you higher and consequently you sell more books.

Imagine how much would I have earned if the sell price of my book would be 2.99$. In that case I would earn about 2.24$ per book.

Here is the calculation:

707 books x 2.24 $ = 1.584 USD

But I have decided to work on readership. Here is an interesting article about pricing the e-book: LINK


Amanda Hocking

A few months ago I read an article about Amanda Hocking on http://amandahocking.blogspot.com. I must admit I was very impressed. It gave me a lot of ideas about self-promotion. If you read her blog from the beginning, you’ll see that she too tried to find an agent in America, but without success. In April 2010 she began publishing books in electronic form and a year later she’d already made 2 million dollars. And two months later another 2 million. The woman isn’t even thirty yet and she’s already financially secured for life. Unbelievable. Amanda is very honest in her blog, revealing important information that every future self-publisher needs. She is a decisive and persistent person who didn’t give up as soon as agents rejected her. And it was her stubbornness that allowed her to succeed where most people fail. Besides, we mustn’t forget that she loves her work and is narrowly specialized and, of course, writes interesting novels that people like.

Thank you, Amanda. You were a great inspiration to me and a source of excellent advice.


Excelent Midwest Book Review for Only the Strongest Survive

Another intriguing opening marks Ian Fox's style, which is to grab the reader's attention from the first paragraph of description: "Emely Donnovan, the CEO of Donnovan Corporation, slipped out of her black Porsche

Carrera GT sports car and hurried to the entrance of the office building. "Here are the keys, Mr. Kruger," she said to the porter. "The usual space, please."

The day proves anything but usual for fast-paced CEO Emely, one of the wealthiest women in America, when she is kidnapped and buried alive; and the story that evolves will delight mystery and thriller readers who would initially predict quite a different outcome from the initial events.

As Emely and her kidnapper evolve some unusual bonds, a strange dilemma comes to unfold: what happens when terrorism and a plot for financial gain changes to unexpected romance which is experienced on both sides?

There has been much written about emotional connections between victims and captors that evolve as a response to a struggle for survival on the victim's part - but none hold the depth and dilemma of ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE, where the captor himself is drawn to his victim.

At first the two are separated by their different objectives: hers to survive, his to reap financial gain: "When she lay on the bed or sat at the desk, she replayed the memory of what had happened to her. She thought about it so much that it gave her a headache. When she wasn't thinking she was crying, and when she wasn't crying, she was asleep.

John was not thinking of her. His thoughts revolved around the money that would soon be in his account. Every morning he rang his bank to check the balance. He knew that a transfer from abroad took at least three days, but still hoped that things would perhaps happen sooner."

Add to the budding romance other protagonists who have different interests in the changing situation plus swiftly changing motives and treachery and you have a story that follows no predictable path ... and herein lies its delight.

Ian Fox's writings will prove compelling to readers who seek complexity and difference in plots. ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE is especially recommended for readers who, in the past, have read many thrillers with too few real surprises. Those who seek the thrill of the unexpected will find Ian Fox's works satisfying on many levels: filled with the depth, detail and turns that you just don't find in too many novels nowadays.



Are traditional books dead?

Here is an interesting article about e-books: LINK

Traditional books are slowly withdrawing. There is no doubt any more. It is true that the traditional book looks prettier and more attractive, but if one thinks of how many trees are cut down each day in the woods then it is slightly different.
Everything is just a matter of habits. I was very pleasantly surprised when I first touched the Kindle. When I saw that the screen no longer shines and the man can read all day without adverse effects on the eyes, I immediately fell in love in it.

Write that which you’ve always liked reading

I want to stress once more that the most important thing is to write that which you’ve always liked reading. Future writers must ask themselves what sort of books you’ve always liked reaching for. You must also at the very beginning think about your target readership. I have a friend who wrote rather demanding, intellectual books. Later he was very disappointed by the rate at which his books were borrowed in libraries. Not to even mention the fact that he couldn’t sell a single copy. If you’ve always liked reading intellectual content, then that is what you must write. But you must be aware that you’ll reach a much smaller circle of readers. There are many writers who write a single book and then, due to disappointment, throw in the towel. If you don’t expect too much to begin with, your disappointment will be smaller. 


How many books do I sell?

I started self promotion in December 2011. Here are the sell numbers for this month:

I sell approximately 3.5 books per day. It is not a lot but is a gut start. I must be grateful to Amazon.com that has allowed offering each of my books for free for 5 days.


The key to success

I’ve made many mistakes in life, but they were probably all necessary for me to arrive at the knowledge I have today. I’ve realized that only strict specialization brings results and personal satisfaction. But before you specialize, you must know what you like doing. And therein usually lays the problem.


School and university education only give you a basic knowledge. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to begin specializing in a specific area, be it cooking, hairdressing or chemistry.


You can find books on any subject at Amazon.com. All you have to do is find and read them. Journals and other written material on the internet are also important. I’ve realized that if you specialize, you find out after three to five years that you stand out from the average. Besides, you begin to see things that others can’t or are unable to because they don’t have the same knowledge and experience.


There are three main problems that stop most people from being more successful:
  1. They have a number of interests and they can’t decide what they like doing most.
  2. They can’t be bothered.
  3. They’re not persistent enough.

I could be bothered and I was persistent, yet I still needed many years to find out which work I liked best.


Wonderful reviews!

Here are two reviews that have been published recently on amazon.com:

I didn't know that an author could ever express the passion felt between 2 lovers, like Mr. Fox does in this book. NO, this is not a girlie romance book. IT'S SUSPENSEFUL, breath taking , relief and surprise! I just purchased another one of Mr. Fox's books and can't wait to start it. PLEASE Mr. FOX, GIVE US MORE EMELY DONOVAN!

This book is up there on my list of one I will always remember. It was definitely a page turner. I stayed up late a couple of nights as I just couldn't put it down. The twists and turns in this book was crazy, just like a few people in this book! But that is what made it such a page turner. Great book that I highly recommend.

I liked very much the sentence: “This book is up there on my list of one I will always remember.” Those kinds of statements make me tears in my eyes and because of them I will always continue to write.