I’m delighted to welcome Gisela Hausmann to the blog today for an author interview. Gisela is possibly best known for her ‘no-fluff’ non-fiction books designed to help authors in the self-publishing jungle. With Are We Nuts? she branches out into fiction. It’s a fable but more about that from the author.
Gisela Hausmann is a 29 yr. self-publishing industry veteran, an email evangelist and a top reviewer.
Her work has been featured in regional, national, and international publications including Success magazine (print) and Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg, The Innovation Show – a show for Square Pegs in Round Holes, “The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling”-podcast, and Austria’s Der Standard and Das Wirtschaftsblatt. Gisela is a graduate of the University of Vienna, Austria.
A unique mixture of wild risk-taker and careful planner, she globe-trotted almost 100,000 kilometers on three continents, including to the locations of her favorite books: Doctor Zhivago’s Russia, Heinrich Harrer’s Tibet, and Genghis Khan’s Mongolia.
Gisela lives with her cats Artemis and Yin-Yang, in Greenville, SC
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”-Napoleon Hill
You may find Gisela here on Twitter.
newsroom & MORE: http://www.giselahausmann.com
EMAIL evangelist: http://www.giselahausmann.com/
As featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), & NBC’s Biz blog.
Winner of the 2016 Sparky Award “Best Subject Line”
Welcome, Gisela, and thank you for accepting my invitation to an author interview. I’m looking forward to it.
Thank you for inviting me.
Why do you write?
LOL – I have had an eventful life, with some events hard-fought-for, others wished-for-and-gotten-lucky, and again others hitting me over the head and leaving a bruise, maybe even a big bruise.
Eventually, I found out that “owning” lots of stories, good and bad, helps with writing interesting, exciting, and captivating books. My first ebook “Naked Determination, 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear” won Gold at the Reader’ Favorite awards, so I thought, “Better keep going.”
You are noted for your non-fiction books designed to help indie authors, so why now write a fiction book – a fable?
That’s a great question.
Like others I see a few big problems in the United States, from attacks on the First Amendment to religious hate attacks. The Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves.
I believe that artists have a duty to speak up. Artists needs use their talents to sing, paint, and write about what they see. They need to encourage people to engage in a dialog and defeat the problems.
Hence, also inspired by Orwell’s work, I decided to write a fable. Its title is “Are We Nuts?”, my protagonists are squirrels, and it’s not a dark fable but more of a mystery fable.
Please tell us something about Are We Nuts?
“Are We Nuts?” plays out after “the great Disastrous Flood” happened. The humans are gone, the country devastated. The squirrels get to “relive” the history of the United States.
Squirrel influencers George Squirrelton and Benjamin Franknut convince the survivors that instead of each living on their own tree all squirrels need to work together. They form the Sciurus States (consisting of thirteen states) on the Eastern Seaboard.
But, life in the young squirrel republic stays difficult until squirrel influencer Steve I’Squirrel discovers that the funny boxes (smartphones) the humans left behind can be used to communicate with other tribes/burrows.
The impact is enormous. Using the smartboxes, squirrel tribes can ask for help, for instance when bad weather strikes. Also, stock piling nuts makes more sense because the different tribes can trade with each other. The squirrels also learn to manufacture goods, for instance, blankets woven from deer and mink hair and cups made from chestnuts.
The Sciurus States begin to prosper and squirrels become the dominant species on the East Coast.
Eventually, young Harry and his Great-Grandpa who are descendents of president Theo Roosquirrel notice strange things happen. Though it’s all hunches and guesses my protagonists “follow the pistachios…” The fable ends in a surprise.
What are you planning to write next?
“Are We Nuts?” is a starter book. The various protagonists will embark on their own journeys solving other mysteries in the Sciurus States.
Which writers or people in your life had the most influence on your decision to write?
Ernest Hemingway, Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin; also, during my college years I read hundreds of plays. Arthur Miller, Thornton Wilder, and Friedrich Dürrenmatt have always been favorites.
What was the last book you read?
Squirrels (The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist) byRichard W Thorington
Biggest frustration as a self-published author?
Since 1988, I self-published two aerial photography coffee-table books, one early childhood education book, two motivational books, two books about best email writing techniques, and quite many author books.
In the long run, certainly, writing “Naked Truths About Getting Book Reviews” turned out to be the most frustrating experience. Smarturl tells me that 15,000+ authors looked at this book. It was a finalist for the Kindle Book Review Awards, genre Nonfiction. Considering that the awards committee chooses only five finalists in only seven categories, per year, this was a remarkable feat. Since 2014, only one other book that was not a biography won in this category.
Alas, even though my book featured award-winning insider information thousands of authors opted to follow free advice from people who never review books and don’t really know the finer details of how to approach a reviewer properly and how Amazon’s review platform works.
As a consequence, Amazon’s beautiful top reviewer system got destroyed.
Since I invested a lot of time in creating the best book and updated it every year, plus also blogged about the topic, I wonder if I wasted my time.
You are or have been a Top Amazon Reviewer. Do you ever envisage the frustrating Amazon book review system changing? If so, in what way?
LOL, I am still a top-reviewer, #4.8+K, only I have gone into hiding.
Regarding Amazon’s book review system: I think there are frustrated people on both sides. For a second, imagine you or I were the department head who devised all of Amazon’s original free book marketing features. We came up with the ideas, we pushed our teams, and we put the awesome features we came up with live, on Amazon’s platform.
But eventually, we had to deal with the book marketing blogosphere exploding with blogs “how to cheat Amazon’s system.”
What would we say if we’d have to explain to Jeff Bezos why Amazon invests time and money in creating features that get abused and also create a huge mess on Amazon (fake reviews, books placed in the wrong categories, etc.)?
Which is why I can’t imagine Amazon going back and reinstating any of the free marketing features they used to offer. I also doubt they’ll loosen their algorithm.
Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?
I have been at odds with Facebook for years, mostly, because they try to collect too much personal data. My favorite platform is Twitter.
Who is your biggest fan?
Thank you for this question. I’d like to thank my many wonderful fans. They know that I also try to support them by tweeting reviews of their books whenever I get a chance. :))
Any special message for your readers?
Writers who want to be a self-published author need to OWN IT. Authors who try to avoid “owning their career” usually get taken for their money.
Here are two examples:
Every day, I see authors asking for legal advice in Facebook groups. That’s a band-aid method plus, often you have to wait for a day to get a decent answer.
Owning your career means going to the Library of Congress’ Copyright Q&A webpage and looking up what the law really says. Often you’ll find an angle you never thought of, plus, the Library of Congress is accessible 24/7.
Owning your writing means: Forget about discussing writers’ bad habits in various forums and instead study “On Writing” by Stephen King, “Zen in the Art of Writing” by Ray Bradbury, or “Ernest Hemingway on Writing.” All of these books are available at your local library, for free. By the way, three US libraries also carry my “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews.” These copies can be ordered via Interlibrary loan.
Owning your career will lead to being more confident, writing better books, winning more awards, and meeting more people who want to read your books.
In the words of a great poet,
“Nothing will work unless you do.” -Maya Angelou
Wow! Gisela, as always a mine of interesting information and nuggets of wisdom. Good luck with Are We Nuts? I have pre-ordered my copy and look forward to reading it on the July 4 release date. 🙂
It never fails to amuse me when I see authors asking for legal advice on Facebook. A bit like asking a car mechanic to take a look at your chest X-Ray.
Thank you, Steve :))
A highly entertaining fable of squirrels reliving the history of the United States. Will they solve our problems – faster?
After the Great Disastrous Flood recedes, squirrel greats George Squirrelton and Benjamin Franknut convince the surviving squirrels that they have to organize themselves to survive under the difficult conditions. They form the Sciurus States on the Eastern Seaboard.
However, due to excessive storms, life is difficult until squirrel influencer Steve I’Squirrel discovers that the weird boxes the squirrels find in deserted human dwellings can be used to communicate with other burrows.
The Sciurus States, and especially its capital, Nuttington, begin to flourish. Still, over time, problems arise.
The Tribe Council, which is supposed to protect all squirrels, is favoring their own interests more than the interests of all squirrels. Some residents notice.
Young Harry, a descendant of president Theo Roosquirrel, his Great-Grandpa, the gray eminence of Nuttington burrow, and Gary Logisquir, the Sciurus States’ nut-checkers champion, all discover reasons to be unhappy with The Council’s activities.
Meanwhile, one of the Sciurus States’ residents tries to find the nerve to become a whistleblower because, in truth, The Council has an even bigger secret than Harry, Great-Grandpa, and Gary Logisquir can guess.
Then, one day, Harry finds a rare raspberry. Great-Grandpa tells him that finding a raspberry means that an extraordinary thing might be happening.
Will Harry and his Great-Grandpa discover the Big Secret?
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