Saturday, 19 January 2013

Guest post by Jen Minkman + Giveaway

Today I have a special treat for you: I welcome to Ex Libris author Jen Minkman who after having published her novel in the Netherlands (where she lives) took the next step and wanted to win over the Anglophone market and release her book in the US, UK and Canada. I was curious to hear more about her experience, and Jen was kind enough to share it with us. So please give Jen a warm welcome, read on and you could even win yourself a copy of Shadow of Time!

Publishing your work in the Netherlands is very different from publishing it in the U.K. or the U.S. Dutch writers hardly ever have an agent – they usually only get one once they’re really famous. Most aspiring writers send in their manuscripts to publishing houses themselves, hoping they’ll get picked out of the slush pile, always knowing that that pile, in their country, is huge. In fact, only 1% of all new manuscripts/debuts will be published on average. This makes the chances of ever getting published in Holland very slim.

Part of the reason is that the market for Dutch books is quite small – in general, only people from Holland and Belgium will buy books in Dutch. In Holland, the price for an average paperback is twice as high as in England. And then, there is the problem of the ‘bestsellers-from-abroad’ invasion. For any publisher, it is low-risk to acquire the rights to translating a bestseller from the U.S. into Dutch, and high-risk to decide to publish work from a nobody. This means talented writers from Holland get pushed off the market by writers who have never even been to our country.

When I found a publisher for my paranormal romance ‘Shadow of Time’, I was overjoyed. I’d been getting quite a few (friendly) rejections, even from publishers who had lots of paranormal romance books in their catalogue. But of course, those paranormal romances were low-risk translations of famous books like Twilight, Shiver and Vampire Diaries. I was beginning to despair when one publisher finally sent me an e-mail asking him to call me back. Turned out he published only books written by Dutch and Belgian writers, for which I respect him to this day.

Since I always like a challenge, I then decided to take the next step in my writer’s career: translating my second book into English and putting it on the Anglophone market (primarily the U.S., Canada and the U.K.). Myriads of opportunities were available to promote my book online through book blogs, social networks, and the Goodreads community, so I chose to self-publish my work instead of once more sending it out to publishers who would accept manuscripts from a writer without an agent (they are scarce in the U.S. and U.K). I had already walked that road once before, and the lengthy process didn’t really appeal to me again.

The good thing about publishing in the U.S. and Canada is that e-books are hugely popular there. That makes the threshold for indie writers decidedly lower. Very few people will be tempted to buy a $13.99 paperback from a nobody, but paying $0.99 for a Kindle book from a nobody with good Amazon reviews is worth the risk to many. And from that point onwards, your book sales might soar if people liked your book and recommend it to their friends. Of course, no single clever marketing ploy will help if you’ve written a turd of a book. At the end of the day, your perseverance and talent will guarantee sales.

I am happy I have experienced both sides of the coin – being traditionally-published has certain advantages, but self-publishing somehow makes you far more involved and more connected to your readers. I hope ‘Shadow of Time’ will do well in my own country as well as across the border!


For more information about Jen and the book check out her website.


All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship.

But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams?

Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you. Book trailer

Buy at Amazon - Kindle 


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Jen has generously offered an ebook copy of Shadow of Time to a lucky commenter!



To be entered just leave a comment/question for Jen: anything you'd like to know more about her experience?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 2 February 2013!

Good luck!

For more chances to win follow the Shadow of Time Blog Tour.

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