What is the elusive literary success?

marketing school business ideaPhoto by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

This month made me think more about the elusive literary success. Now, who wouldn’t want to live from selling their novels, and having a yacht, a shelf of magazines with their interviews inside and so on? Just that it is merely a dream I would fall from my bed and wake up as a consequence of it. And, sincerely, it is not my realistic dream. An impossible one, maybe – the “what if?” category stories are made of.

On a NaNoWriMo November, success would mean at least 50,000 words at the end of the month and a winner certificate. (Failed this year. A bit less than 20,000 words and no way to finish the novel which was 75% written at the beginning of the month… But, of course, I’ll keep writing and I’ll finish it – and the 3 or 4 subsequent volumes of the series, some time next year.)

Day 30 writing badge.jpg

Yes, I wrote every day, all the month, even if not every day at the NaNo novel (some days I corrected the 3 books which have appeared this month). And it may count for something, even if not for NaNo….

For some writers, success means getting paid for writing and not needing a proper job/ career for paying bills. I don’t see things this way. I am retired. I had a job in project management/ European Affairs, I have brought enough EU funds to my country, now it’s the time for the younger colleague to assert themselves. The pension is what pays my bills. I write from passion, because my stories want out of my head and on paper/ screen, to arrive to other people. When it will feel like a second profession, I’ll give it up, because it would mean something got wrong inside me in the meanwhile.

For me, success is about finishing a story and having it read, understood, appreciated. I know that not everyone would like my writing, exactly how I don’t like some good writers’, because I don’t resound with their stories, but I believe that each writer has her readers/ fans. I know some people are waiting for my novels to be published, and this is a success. I have reviews and chronicles, and this is success. I have a fan who sends me every year a knitted doll. All these mean success and appreciation. It doesn’t matter that it is at small scale.

It was a success to have some of my books displayed at the international book fair, even if there weren’t many sold. How could they compete with the big titles and price reductions at the big publishing houses? How would they be chosen, if not by someone who knew already about my name and my writing style? Not many people gamble on reading books by new Romanian contemporary writers…

It was a success to receive two literary prizes and to qualify for being published in anthologies for poetry and short fiction, even in the cases that I didn’t win a prize, because, naturally, others were better. Actually, in 3 years and a half from the literary debut, having ten published books (yes, the tenth is on the way, still in December!) and works in 7 anthologies (I think) and in several issues of 3-4 literary magazines, is more of a success than I’d think…

Of course I’d wish for more readers, for my books to be easier to discover by the readers… For more chronicles too, in order to be able to fill the form for the National Writers’ Union. But things will come in their own time, if they are meant to come. I am not a genius, just an average writer among many YA writers. It is enough, because people need books like mine, exactly how they need many other kinds of books. And success doesn’t always mean laurels and a money rain. (Or, well, a more suitable kind of rain for certain writers like me).

 

 

 

Floare de foc

Pentru zilele trecute, la sarbatoarea Bucovinei. O Bucovina inca fara Cernauti….

Marina Costa

centenar1

(Publicat în “Arena Literară” nr. 11/2018

și în antologia de proză scurtă intitulată “Sub cupola unirii”, publicată la Editura Betta )

În ziua de miercuri, 6 noiembrie 1918, în jurul prânzului, 180 de soldați în uniforme austriece, cântând cântece românești, ajunseseră, în marș forțat, în piața orașului Cernăuți. Îi conducea un tânăr ofițer de douăzeci și trei de ani, a cărui uniformă își pierduse toate insignele. Austria pierduse mai mult… Veneau de departe, de pe frontul din Tiraspol, unde se bătuseră cu rușii. Călătoria spre Mica Vienă fusese o aventură complicată prin ținuturi în flăcări. Erau bucuroși că ajunseseră cu bine, conștienți de seriozitatea și necesitatea deciziei pe care o luaseră, mândri că le fusese dat să întindă, primii, peste aproape 145 de ani, puntea neamului între România și Bucovina.

Locuitorii orașului îi priveau cu neîncredere și sentimente amestecate. Se săturaseră de soldați de tot felul și de formațiuni paramilitare. Pentru…

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My haikus (in English)

Anasylvi with her haiku in English inspired me to search for mine. So I have 4 haikus in English, two transcribed here:

gray concrete tower

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

The princess in the tower

The crusade will end.
My lord will return to me,
Forlorn in the castle.

fire warm radio flame

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A new door opens

The fire in the stone
set ablaze the entire world.
A portal awaits.

sea landscape water ocean

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And two already written on this blog:

Pirate haiku

Halloween at sea

No haikus in Romanian yet. And who knows if I ever try.

”Pentozali” – Dansul celor cinci pași

Un dans superb, sufletul Cretei… Il dansau haiducii din munti, inainte de lupta impotriva turcilor. E o scena ravasitoare si in filmul El Greco…

Iubim Grecia

Deși aparțin neamului elen, cretanii sunt o fire aparte. Neînfricați, dârzi, neîmpăcați cu soarta de popor cotropit de turci, răsculându-se mereu, îngropându-și morții și pregătindu-se pentru următoarea luptă, împrumutând ceva din asprimea muntelui, dar păstrând în suflet speranța eliberării. Au străbătut secole prin sânge și miros de moarte, dar au renăscut mereu mai puternici și mai hotărâți să pună capăt jugului otoman. Ce a rămas din această luptă? Năzuințe, zbucium, durere, toate puse pe muzica acestui neam insular.

În Creta, totul amintește de istoria locului, iar costumul tradițional este

Sursa foto: ”Ellinikes foresies”, Atena, 1981.

primul care ne vorbește despre ea. Pe lângă elementele oarecum comune cu restul Elladei (”vraka”, pantalonii largi ai bărbaților, ”yileko”, vesta brodată), mai apar și piese specifice acestui loc: ”sariki”, turbanul negru cu franjuri pe care îl poartă bărbații în semn de doliu pentru anii de ocupație turcească, ”katsouna”, bastonul lung, semn al mândriei și…

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Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

These are some of the general reasons. The thin and unpredictable book market in some countries might be another powerful reason….

Nicholas C. Rossis

Linda Cartwright | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis is a guest post by Linda Cartwright. You may remember her from her recent post, Self-Publishing Basics. Linda is an author and a freelance writer with a background in education. She lives in Seattle, teaches creative writing classes online and supports e-learning initiatives. Her darkest secret is that writing is only her second favorite thing to do… after reading. You can follow Linda on Twitter.

Linda has been studying self-publishing basics. She’s sharing here what she’s discovered so far.

Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

Books for sale | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

You were excited with the idea, you wrote with passion, you edited meticulously, you worked and worked, you published… and nothing. Your book isn’t selling.

If anything can dampen creative spirit – that’s the thing. We all depend on feedback and appreciation just to keep going. This situation is even more frustrating for self-publishing authors who invest their time and money into the endeavor…

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Playlist Ocrotiți de sirene

Coperta OCROTITI DE SIRENE

Am început, cu ECHIPAJUL, să pun pe blog playlists pentru cărțile mele. Până acum au circulat, în general, pe e-mail sau pe FB. Aveți aici și fragmentele corespunzătoare unde este tradusă firimitura de cântec sau menționată. De asemenea, nu vă supărați pe mine dacă eu menționez în text un tenor și cântă o soprană – nu întotdeauna am găsit pe youtube interpretul pe care îl doream!

Îmi cer scuze și pentru că nu toate cântecele menționate de mine le-am găsit pe youtube…

Pentru OCROTIȚI DE SIRENE am mai mult cântece despre sirene, în playlist, nu cântece menționate explicit în carte.

Gorgona de Yannis Kaladzis

Yemaya de Celia Cruz și Tito Puente

Melusine de Marie Millifiore și Les Dernieres Trouveres

Rusalka cu Ana Netrebko

La llorona, cea care plânge, în versiunea Chavelei Vargas, din filmul Frida (precizez că nu e cântecul menționat de mine, ci altul pentru o femeie din vremea compozitorului, comparată cu sirena, și tot din Sudul Mexicului, indiană, pentru că în versuri poartă huilpil, rochia înflorată a indienelor Maya)

Fântâna iubirii cu Steaua di Vreari, balada nunții însângerate

Imnul Eteriei, creat de Rigas Velestinlis Fereos și cântat de Nikos Xylouris

Mugur, mugurel – cântecul pandurilor lui Tudor Vladimirescu, cu formația Anton Pann

7 Psychological Tricks For Book Promotion

Always interesting things on Nicholas’ blog!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Book marketing psychology | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksImage: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

Book marketing has come a long way since Medieval scribes advertised their services in the Middle Ages. For one thing, there is an entire branch of psychology that deals specifically with marketing. I recently came across a great post by a marketing student with 7 psychological tricks you can use in marketing. That post formed the basis of this one, only this one deals with book promotion in particular instead of marketing in general. I hope you find it useful!

1. Your Book Needs To Fit Your Genre

It’s important to understand your readers and what they expect from you. Every genre has some common traits. And you need to respect that.

Everything about your book, from your title to the book cover, needs to fit your genre.

Let’s take YA fiction, for example. Your readers will probably be 15-to-25-years-old. The most…

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