I was intrigued by the news about ‘Oumuamua, the first known interstellar body observed within our solar system. Speeding at tremendous speeds, ‘Oumuamua’s trajectory is hyperbolic, which will take it out of our solar system. And as the object doesn’t seem to have had any gravitational encounters with our planets, ‘Oumuamuamost likely came from interstellar space, and may have been traveling for several billion years. It doesn’t seem to transmit any signals though – so it isn’t an extraterrestrial rocket filled with little spacemen. The core of this unusually elongated shape seems to be icy, but the surface consists of red grey dust that has collected over millions of years and which has turned into a hard layer under the merciless radiation levels of interstellar space. Read more in Wikipedia!
Finally, I stumbled across the company motto of Gartner, the famous market research company. They came up with an impressive yet simple statement that seems to capture the company philosophy and value in just three words: “Smartner with Gartner“. Congrats to the Garter Markneting department!
I have been looking at a couple of articles that, although not #realnews, may be interesting for you to take a quick glance at, even if only superficial.
Stumbled across an article about a Bodybuilder from Germany, Ralf Moeller, who became quite a celebrityin Hollywood. You can read more about this 1.96cm celeb here. Ralf made quite a success of himself.
From there it was (however) only a small step to a list of the worst movies ever, some of which feature (drumroll – but no surprise whatsoever)… Adam Sandler. This depressed me no end; just imagine spending a year or more to write, act, direct, edit and market a movie; all that time & effort, to then be featured in this list as one of the worst movies ever: Life is cruel.
The discrepancy between the worst movies in that list and the movies that bomb at the box-office is intriguing. I actually kinda linked The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Blade Runner 2049, Hello Dolly and One from theHeart. But none of those made a lot of money. Sad! The audience is merciless.
Better quickly turn the page on that unsavory topic, and zoom in on some of the best movies ever made– especially the country lists contains some gems: the Dutch Turkish Delight (an early work by the famous Hollywood director Paul Verhoeven), Australia’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, and the UK’s The Third Manand Lawrence of Arabia. All absolute favorites of mine.
Before you get the impression that I am a couch potato, only watching old movies on my TV: I actually saw two movies in the cinema this week: The new Star Wars movie and The mountain between us. I enjoyed both, the former because the makers managed to reinvent the series yet again; the latter because two excellent actors excel in a very intimate what-if, end-of-world scenario. Naturally, the idea of being left on a deserted mountain is close to my heart (as reflected in my own work, see the section “books”)
Cinema – hard to imagine life without it. Pronounced close to death for years… but nevertheless artists keep on cranking out movies, and good ones too. Why do people enjoy cinema so much? A cinema is a unique place: you visit it with dozens of people, no need to talk, great for a first date, and (added bonus) you have to switch off your mobile. To keep track of all the movies, and some of the television series and shows that I’ve seen, I began creating a list many many years ago.
What makes a great movie?
I’ve seen hundreds of movies over the past 50+ years. The first-ever movie was Mary Poppins, I was a boy of 5 or 6, and going to the city cinema with my parents and older brother and sister was an amazing experience, engraved in my memory. Shortly after that: the Sound of Music. No wonder I still rate these two movies as top of the list. The miracle has never left me. From The Godfather, to Young Frankenstein, all the way to Hannah Arendt and Bohemian Rhapsody… I love cinema.
One key criterium for a great movie is great acting. Charlotte Rampling, Harrison Ford, Stephane Audran, Robert Mitchum, Isabelle Hupert – these actors immerge in their roles so that you actually believe they are the character. Great directing. Francis F. Coppola, Martin Scorsese, John Ford, Margarethe von Trotta,… all these directors managed to great a convincing, wholeness, an consistent atmosphere. A great movie also depends on a great storyline, which may be fantastic and absurd, but which is totally consistent within itself. Most of all, a great movie is memorable. Many movies are utterly forgettable, interchangeable. Good movies you will never forget, even when they were made on the tinniest budget, even with unknown actors.
As an author, you are probably always on the look-out for ways to get more readers of your work. There are different ways of promoting your work, and below I describe my mixed experiences with a few eBook Promotion Campaigns that I have used for my eBooks and paperbacks. Admittedly I use many methods to get into contact with (potential) readers (this blog is one of them – enjoying it so far?), so this is just a glance at the possibilities. Since I can track my eBook and paperback sales in quite some detail (minute by minute if need be, and by rough global location), I can track the success of any campaign quite well. So below a couple of ideas of what works and what doesn’t work if you are thinking about promoting your work.
Method 1. Facebook ads and promotions
It is possible to create ads on Facebook either to make your books better known throughout the community or to get more followers on your Facebook account. I have tried both. How to do this? Basically what you can do in Facebook is to create an ad with an image and an action, tailored to your audience. For my books I have for instance selected the “interest keyword” post-apocalyptic and I have also selected the regions where I would like to position my books (e.g. United States, Canada, Australia, UK or combinations). You can also select the age groups or other demographic characteristics of the people who you would like to target. Finally you can decide on the timeframe: one week or four weeks or only one day. Extremely easy to set up, even a fool can do it (of which I am living proof). The result? I have followed his approach with different variations over the last three years and the result has been disappointing in regards to increasing book sales. Although it is possible to reach thousands, if not millions of Facebook users, I have seen marginal increases in books sales at best. Urgh Yuck! I did succeed in generating a handful of followers for my Facebook page… but that is a nice to have and it is question whether this increases the book sales – not in the short run, mate. Taken together, Facebook is not ideal for eBook Promotion Campaigns.
Nothing speaks against reading paperbacks. Let me guess, the biggest challenge, however, is something called “prejudice”. Ebooks are not your type, and most probably you find them too difficult, too messy, and definitely not sweet enough?
The second approach
There are special services on offer like the one below (picture). “Shout my book” promises to reach hundreds and thousands of people through retweeting on Twitter, over a distinct period of time. For me this was an interesting experience, the provider was very kind and engaged and did more than promised actually, BUT the effect on the number of e-books sold was negligible. The number of Twitter followers did show some slight increase. In conclusion I would be hesitant to use this option again.
Option number three for eBook Promotion Campaigns
Twitter. Here a very interesting observation, as some of us (many of us?) may regard twitter as a channel where everybody is simply shouting and hoping that somebody picks up their hollering from the resulting chaos andturmoil. However, what I’ve noticed is that as my activity on Twitter decreases (e.g. if I am “out of office” for longer times) a detrimental effect on the sales of my books occurs. Aha! So continuously engaging with the audience through twitter seems to have a direct effect on sales. The tweets shouldn’t be a steady stream of ads for the books though, I notice that most people will mostly follow links to interesting blog posts. People are interested to hear about my (weird) life in general.
This is a just a small and superficial glance at some eBook Promotion Campaigns that I have run. What’s your experience?
Moments later, the author of this blog was hijacked by an obscure Egyptian who took me to a store where several of his acquaintances tried to sell me cheap lotus perfume at a price 10 times higher than the actual market value. Fortunately my telephone rang at the right moment allowing me to get up and escape.
My books and short stories received additional attention, this time in the newspaper Rhein Neckar Zeitung. A great interview about my work and sources of inspiration. The English translation of this German article can be found below. Here is the direct link to this February 1st, 2021 article. Here is the Article as PDF.
Curious about my books? Find them here on Goodreads.
The “Rheinmonster” short is available in English and German. For the English version, refer to the short story bundle “SHORT STORIES”.
English translation of the interview.
Clemens Suter-Crazzolara likes the city of Hockenheim: “I really enjoy living here.” Now he has set a monument to the city with his first horror story “The Rhine Monster”. It’s a mini science fiction book for young and old that is a little scary. It’s about a grandfather who tells his grandchildren a horror story about a dangerous monster. This monster is up to mischief in Hockenheim until two heroes take action against the monster. Will they actually defeat the monster?
That will not be revealed at this point. “It is my first book that I wrote in German,” says Clemens Suter-Crazzolara. So far, the 60-year-old has written three novels in English. It usually finds readers in Great Britain, the USA or Australia. A fourth novel is in the works and should appear later this year.
The author wrote his debut novel ten years ago: “I could no longer hold back the urge to write.” So he regularly got up at 3 or 4 a.m. to sit at his desk. Then he went to work. His first science fiction book is downright prophetic: An epidemic threatens the world. “By chance I chose a corona virus. As the current situation shows, it is one of the viruses that can quickly become dangerous through mutations.” The novel was published in 2011 and was successful. “With the actual Corona crisis, interest has increased again.”
Clemens Suter-Crazzolara actually comes from the Netherlands. Even as a child he loved to write. “I started a novel then,” he says. He still has the fragments. “They’re flying around somewhere.” After school, he had the choice of studying history, journalism or biology. The author decided to study biology. The first professional station was in Switzerland, where Suter did research in cell biology, also on HIV, and afterwards did his doctorate. He remembers the moment when he and colleagues looked at the first batch of HIV viruses delivered from the USA in their tubes: “We had respect for the danger.” He came to the Heidelberg University Clinic via the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne and did research on Parkinson’s disease. “I was always on the search for the truth. This is how you advance research in small steps in search of cures.”
When he switched to the IT company SAP, the expert once again dealt with health issues, this time from the perspective of the software industry: “How is it possible, for example, to gain new information from the flood of data?” This know-how about viruses, infections, software programs and data flows into creative writing. Readers can deal with current future topics in an entertaining way.
The author publishes his books himself and markets them on the Internet as paperback and e-books. He is now looking for a publisher to publish his English books in Germany. The horror story of Hockenheim is already written in German. It should be noted that the chairman of the Kunstverein Hockenheim also paints and exhibits pictures. After deducting expenses, Clemens Suter-Crazzolara donates the proceeds from pictures and books to a good cause. “It’s great that I have the opportunity to write and paint – that’s where I want to help other people.”
Info: The e-book “Das Rheinmonster” is available in all eStores for 0.99€.