My name is Vivienna Norna, and I am an author. I am often asked at readings whether it is actually worthwhile to be an author. This question is quite justified, because there is so much to discover in the world of an author, of which the readers can at most only guess at something.
I myself started writing when I was 16. Devouring books was only one of my favorite pastimes. Still, it was the most time-consuming of all. Books are the gateways to unknown worlds that make us forget our own for a moment.
How it all begins
Often it begins with a sentence that runs through your head as if by chance and you scribble it down on your notepad, lost in thought. Before you know it, sentences are created from individual words strung together. From sentences whole chapters and from chapters finally the book.
Or you rack your brains for hours and get very little down on paper. A plot is needed and everything has to be well thought out.
No matter how you start writing. At some point, when you have created something, you feel the desire to share it with others.
But many keep these treasures in their infamous drawer, where no one will ever see them. Often there are thoughts like: "Nobody wants to read this anyway." or "I’m not good enough" that keep you from becoming an author.
But what these people do not suspect is that they have already become authors. All you need is the decisive step in the right direction. But the question is: which one??
My books published so far:
|1||Timeless Trilogy||27 reviews||9,99 EUR||Reputation|
|2||Timeless Beginning (Timeless, Volume 3) (Timeless Trilogy)||8 ratings||14,99 EUR||View|
||Timeless Uncertainty (Timeless, Volume 2) (Timeless Trilogy)||2 reviews||14,99 EUR||Reputation|
Advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing
In this day and age, numerous platforms, including Amazon, offer self-publishers the opportunity to turn their manuscripts into printed books with just a few clicks of the mouse.
But there’s more to it than meets the eye. A cover must be made, and a book sentence hardly regulates itself. The correction of an entire work also requires special care.
Thus some problems come on a beginning Self Publisher, which are connected among other things with substantial costs. Let’s just take a look at the cover and see what a good cover designer would use.
Just as a seemingly endless number of new authors are entering the book market, more and more talented designers are trying their luck.
As a self-publisher, you now have to find someone from this plethora of designers who can implement the wishes you may have in mind. At the same time, however, he must not demand so much fee. It quickly becomes apparent during the search that it is not that simple. Most covers are priced between 150-600 Euro.
Who now thinks, well then I’ll take the cheap offers, which cuts itself into the flesh. At such a price you only get a picture as a cover. Sure, the cover is complete, but it can’t be changed. Would you now like to advertise with beautiful pictures of the cover where z.B. If you want to include quotes from the book, you will quickly run into problems.
You are very limited in your possibilities and that has a strong effect on the success of self-publishing.
The same goes for good editing and proofreading. They charge similar sums, but for this they go through the text several times and ensure a professional work.
But this path also has some advantages that a publisher’s author cannot offer.
You are your own master. The rights are and remain with the author. No one can set you a deadline or tell you what to write.
Likewise the question of the fee. Some platforms do set guidelines on the prices of the books they print and offer, but basically these are still open and have yet to be negotiated.
Authors under contract
The situation is completely different for authors who are under contract with a publishing house.
Publishing authors do have some say, but because of the signed contract, they often have to lose out when it comes to important decisions like the cover design.
This went in some cases even so far that whole text passages were torn by an editor in the air and were rewritten and the author had to nod this only or had not even heard of it. But here we are talking about unfortunate exceptions that will hopefully remain exceptions.
So you should study every contract from a publishing house well and ask yourself what consequences might result from this contract for the future.
But before you even get a contract from a publishing house, what many people are afraid of happens: you first have to go through the application process.
How to become a publishing author?
Applying for a place in the longed-for publishing house. But how does this actually work? Well, in most cases a so-called synopsis and a reading sample are required.
But what sounds simple at first, often turns out to be much more complicated. Because each publisher has specific guidelines on what such an expose should look like.
It starts with the content and ends with the line spacing. Everything is predefined and if this is not adhered to, the synopses are often not even considered further, but end up in the wastepaper basket.
This is how it was with me. When I was still in the starting blocks, I had no idea how to approach the publishing houses of my dreams. So I just wrote normal applications – similar to those for the place of employment.
There is talk of a 6-month turnaround time for publishers. If a publisher has not yet contacted you, you can safely write it off. Often you don’t even get a rejection, which is not very motivating for you either.
It is therefore advisable to do some research on each publisher you want to approach and find out what they expect from you.
It is also important to ask whether you fit into the publishing program at all. This can be easily verified by looking at the books published by the respective publisher.
By the way, this also applies to smaller publishing houses, although they often do not have such strict application criteria.
Small publishers to grow with
Even with small publishing houses, there are clear advantages and disadvantages with regard to the rights or the rights of the author. the author’s fee.
Some small publishers offer more say as an incentive or entice you with a better author’s fee. Like for example 20% for ebooks and 10% for print books. Which in comparison is of course more than with large publishing houses.
But be careful: small publishing houses are often still in the starting blocks and therefore have a lot to learn. Marketing and social media are often neglected or even assumed to be the author’s own work.
So here you have to decide: do I want to grow together with a publisher or do I want to have the big fish on the hook directly?.
NO to dubious publishing houses!
Caution is advisable with publishing houses, which require a so-called pressure cost subsidy from one. These are publishers who are quick to make a commitment and want to saddle the author with a contract right away. On closer reading, however, the rising shout of joy fades away.
Sums of 8.000 to 20.000 euros demanded to pay the printing costs. However, these would be recouped through the sale of the books. It’s nothing more than a scam, so don’t even think about it!
How are author’s fees calculated?
As mentioned earlier, the fees you get as an author vary. Some advertise 7% profit on the book and others possibly as much as 11. But what do these very small numbers mean below the line??
Let’s assume a book is marked with the retail price of 12.95 euros. With an author’s fee of 10%, the amount received per book sold would be just 1.29 euros.
That’s damn little, but it’s common practice in the book industry. Many colleagues in my field tell me that writing will probably never be enough for them to be able to finance their livelihood. Unfortunately I have to agree with them.
Let’s just take the basis of a 450 euro job as a comparison. You would have to sell a constant 310 books per month to get to the 450 euros.
The average monthly income in Germany is between 1.300 to 1.450 euros.
Accordingly, one would have to pay 1.Sell 124 books a month. (!) Unbelievable numbers, which are however reality.
Sure, there are some German authors who have achieved that. Mona Kasten, Anne Jacobs or Sebastian Fitzek probably have few problems in this respect.
But what about authors who self-publish? Or those who have found a home with small publishers?
When books are not on the shelves
Your books will not be displayed on the shelves of every major bookstore nationwide, and therein lies the problem. The majority of readers buy through the cover or the blurb, but the first thing they see and have to be convinced of is the cover.
The majority of all readers therefore obtain their books from well-known bookstores such as Thalia, Weltbild or Mayersche. But these can now not take any book in their ranks.
If we put ourselves in the position of these large corporations, we will quickly see that they are also reluctant to take risks and place completely unknown authors with them.
Large publishing houses already pre-select works that fit into their store by accepting only those works that fit into their publishing concept.
So it is only difficult for new authors, who are not represented in any well-known publishing house, to stand out from the crowd. It requires a lot of initiative and self-promotion.
Nevertheless, there are some prime examples who have managed to fulfill their dream of making a living from being an author.
Help among like-minded people
In addition, there are Internet websites that provide numerous tips on this very topic. First and foremost is the website Self-Publisher Bible.
But also on social media platforms, groups consisting only of self-publishers have already been founded, where you can build up and support each other.
And of course there are some good books about how to write and publish books. &
|Our book recommendation: Buch& Self-publish an e-book||57 ratings||7,99 EUR||Reputation|
The multi-talented author
In this day and age, you are no longer the silent author who only comes out of his closet once in a while and then disappears again. No, today it takes much more than that.
Being a social media expert, photographer, designer, proofreader and editor, as well as an entertainer at public appearances such as readings, is now one of the "must-haves" of a good author.
All this sounds sobering at first and you inevitably ask yourself whether it is really worthwhile to become an author. The abundance of tasks seems arduous, the prospect of success rather slim from the start.
My experiences as an author
That’s what happened to me. In my early days, I had high expectations for my existence as an author. Being called a bestselling author was not long in coming, but of course it turned out quite differently.
Only a few people got to see my books at all. Because they were not displayed in all the big bookstores. Only a few branches could be persuaded to do so.
Despite many efforts through competitions and other PR projects on social media platforms, the great success failed to materialize.
But I received a small crowd of loyal readers who knew how to build me up. They showed me that the expectations for my very first works were way too high and they were right.
Everything takes time. I began to follow this advice. I focused instead on my feelings about writing. So here’s to what’s really important.
What I would like to give you on the way
Let me tell you this: as a writer, I love writing so much. It started as a hobby for me alone, but now it’s much more than that. The people you move as an author with your stories will always stay in your mind when you write and this knowledge gives you power.
It begins to fulfill you and a profession develops into a vocation. It puts an amused smile on your face when you wake up in the morning, check your email and unexpectedly read a lovely message. In which a reader pulls your ears for having built a nasty cliffhanger into the ending. &
You can hardly contain your joy when you hold your own book in your hands for the first time, knowing that you created it yourself. Nothing and no one can take away that indescribable feeling.
At the end of the day, it is the fulfillment of a dream that one should not give up so easily, just because it does not turn out the way one had imagined.
Every author is successful in their own way
Some people write and publish all their lives for a small select readership that they have worked hard to build up. Nevertheless they are happy with it, because they enchant people with their books. Something that only a few can claim.
Still others write two or three books, realize how much work it entails and decide to stop again. It’s perfectly fine and nothing to be ashamed of. Because they have nevertheless fulfilled the dream. Once an author – always an author. &
Finally, there are those who have actually made it. Authors who barely keep up at book signings and yet always stay on track. You have reached a higher level of the author’s dream. Many want to get there, but only a few make it.
The dream of having your own book
With a little luck and hard work, anyone can become a successful author.
And to answer the question whether it is worthwhile to be an author, I can only say this: What will be more significant in the end??
The certainty of having brought something of your own into the world that enchants and inspires people.
The messages that reach you at the most inconvenient times because a reader just couldn’t help but express their excitement.
The moments when you read from your book at a reading and the audience is so spellbound and silent that you can hear your own heart beating.
Last but not least, of course, the money earned from doing so.
Dreams are up for grabs
So it remains a question of perspective. For my part, I have decided to pursue the dream of becoming a well-known author.
Maybe one day I will really make it to the list of bestselling authors and if not? Well then no, but I will still be able to be proud of what I have achieved.
Dreams are for the taking, and not just for the nights.
From your point of view, is it worth it to become a writer?
Your opinion is important to us, so we have included a small poll here.
Also, of course, we’d love to hear from you, especially if you’ve had some experience with writing yourself!
My books published so far:
|1||Timeless trilogy||27 reviews||9,99 EUR||View|
|2||Timeless Beginning (Timeless, Volume 3) (Timeless Trilogy)||8 ratings||14,99 EUR||View|
||Timeless Uncertainty (Timeless, Volume 2) (Timeless Trilogy)||2 ratings||14,99 EUR||View|
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1 Comment on Is it worth becoming an author??
Hello Vivienna. Actually, none of the answers in the survey ups are true!
1. You can have different dreams, z.B. after a manager career retrain in the direction of hospital to be able to help people. You don’t need to be an author to do this.
2. No matter how / what you do or what expectations you have: as you already write: who likes to write or / and regularly is an author. "Once a smurf, always a smurf" is what I always say.
3. Yes, there is a lot of truth in it: no sow who reads me (at the moment)! & But if you never write, you will never know afterwards if the world needed you.
As for the newspaper article, I can be brief: all aspects are in it that have to do with being an author (and many I recognize& ). So: congratulations girl, you did it again. ("Girl" is meant as a compliment, as it was once before.)
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