Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Journey to Publication

One of the most exciting things about modern technology is that our blog reaches authors and readers all over the world.        
It gives me great pleasure to welcome this weekend's guest Beate Boeker who hails from Germany!

Her name in itself, is rather apt ... she tells me that while "Boeker" means "books" in a German dialect, her first name "Beate" can be translated as "happy." I love that.

Beate's work has been short-listed for the Golden Quill Contest, the National Readers' Choice Award and the Best Indie Books of 2012. As well as being a prolific writer, Beate holds a degree in International Business Administration. She is a marketing manager by day which—she says–gives her plenty of fodder for her novels—be they hilarious or cynical.

Beate speaks German (her mother language) and is fluent in English, French and Italian. She lives in the North of Germany with her husband and daughter.
Please extend a hearty hello to Beate Boeker.

Hannah asked me to share my journey to publication with you, and as it is a bit unusual, I'm happy to write about that topic.

I was in my mid-thirties when I decided to pen my first novel, and when I had finished it,  tried to sell it right away.  You have to know that I'm German and live in Germany, so this was in the German market.

As you can guess, I got plenty of rejections, and while re-reading  my precious manuscript one day, I realized that some places sounded kind of stilted or plain wrong. I cringed when I imagined how others would react to my writing if even I, the loving author, could see so much room for improvement! Clearly, I needed to learn more about the craft of writing because I had no idea how to fix those mistakes. So I started my research and tried to find courses that would teach me how to write well.

Soon, I realized that there is a fundamental difference between Germany and the U.S. when it comes to dealing with dreams. Tell any German that you're planning to write a book, and they'll pat you on the arm and will tell you kindly that it'll go away soon, much as if you had hay fever! If you tell an American, they will tell you that that's a cool idea and to go for it.

Due to that fundamental difference in attitude, I found plenty of online workshops for the beginning writer in English, but none in German. Finally, I shrugged, put the German novel into a drawer and wrote a new one in English. When it was done, I invested some money and found a book doctor in the US (Elizabeth Lyon) who kindly set me right on a zillion details. She then pointed me to Avalon Books, who (after much waiting), bought that novel—and two others in the following years. I was over the moon with joy. Over the time, I built up friendships and ties in the industry and learmed more than I ever dreamed I would.

With the change in the publishing industry and the sale of Avalon Books to Amazon, I decided to go indie.  Ten novels and short stories are already available online now, and I love to be in charge of my destiny! The best thing is that I don't have to wait for anybody anymore. When I'm done with my novels and all the edits, I upload them right away. In the past, I had to submit them and wait for nine months or a year to hear back, if all went well.  Besides, traditional publishing is just a small step away—if you're successful as an indie author, they will come knocking on your door anyway—so I can only recommend it.

After many years of learning and publishing in English, I have now decided to go back to my roots as well and have just translated my short story Chic in France into German. I'll soon upload it and others will follow.

Having started with romances, I have now also expanded to cozy mysteries. The first series "Temptation in Florence" is called "Delayed Death" and I can't tell you how much fun I had while creating this eccentric family.  Below, you can find more information about it, but as we chat, make sure you tell me about your journey to publication too.

What do you do when you find your grandfather dead half an hour before your cousin's wedding? You hide him in his bed and tell everyone he didn't feel like coming.
Delayed Death is an entertaining mystery set in Florence, Italy. When Carlina finds her grandfather dead on the day of her cousin's wedding, she decides to hide the corpse until after the ceremony. However, her grandfather was poisoned, and she becomes the attractive Inspector's prime suspect. On top of that, she has to manage her boisterous family and her luxurious lingerie store called Temptation, a juggling act that creates many hilarious situations.


Find Beate on:
Facebook – Beate Boeker Author
Twitter - @BeateBoeker
Homepage (you can sign up for her newsletter here) - www.happybooks.de

And if you want to buy the book ... here is her associate link to Amazon:
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9 comments:

Hannah Dennison said...

Welcome to Type M Beate. It's always great to hear people's stories of how they came to be published. I look forward to reading your books!

Irene Bennett Brown said...

Your books sound like so much fun, Beate! Elizabeth Lyon and I were in the same writers group here in Oregon ages ago. She has authored some excellent books for writers, The Sell Your Novel Toolkit, and Manuscript Makeover.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

You've proven that once you set your mind to a project, you go after it with gusto, and come out the winner. Great interview, Beate.

Beate Boeker said...

Thank you for welcoming me, Hannah! I appreciate the invitation!
Oh, Irene, I envy you because you met Elizabeth in person! I have both her novels on my shelf and have read them time and again.
Thank you for your kind comment, Loretta. I often have the impression that winning means hanging in there and going on with clenched teeth - though I was lucky in many ways when it came to being published.

Sheila Claydon said...

A lovely post where your bubbly personality and enthusiasm come through Beate. You deserve all your successes and I hope we see a lot more Beate Boeker books in the future

Beate Boeker said...

Thank you for stopping by, Sheila! You'll definitely see more romances and mysteries by me. The next romance is set by the lake of Garda in northern Italy and will be released next month.

Mitzi Kelly said...

Great interview! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Beate, you have a wonderful way of bringing readers into whatever you are writing, be it an article, or a novel. I look forward to many, many years of newly-released books by "Happy Books!"

Sydell Voeller said...

I enjoyed your personal story, Beate. It's always fascinating to learn how other authors that started out with Avalon have continued their publishing journeys in new ways.

Beate Boeker said...

Thank you, Mitzi and Sydell. Yes, it's amazing how many different options are opening up for writers at the moment due to indie publishing. I love to see that development!