Joining us today is relationship expert Barbora Knobova, author of Tales of Delicious Girls.
Barbora is a writer, relationship coach and expert in Delicious Life. A world traveler, she is one of those rare world citizens who live everywhere and nowhere. Barbora is a firm believer in female friendship, loyalty and bonding. She writes hilarious, sharp-witted, caustically apt, ironic, moving, true books for strong, independent, smart, fearless women. Barbora has also written several self-improvement books and teaches women about the importance of self-love in relationships and life in general. Barbora speaks eight languages and has found her home away from home in New York, London and Milan. She is always on the move, accompanied by her beagle Brinkley, the nasty dog from Tales for Delicious Girls, her latest book, which was published in September 2009. You can visit her website at http://www.barboraknobova.com.
Welcome to Beyond the Books, Barbora. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
I’ve published four books in Europe and Tales for Delicious Girls is my first book that has been published in the States. It’s interesting to have such a great opportunity to explore book markets in Europe and in the States because there are many differences.
What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
My first book was published in 2007, it is called Stories for Big Girls. It was a bestseller in Europe, it was nominated for two literary awards and appeared on the list of 25 Best Books of the Year. In many ways, Stories for Big Girls was the starting point for Tales for Delicious Girls, although Tales for Delicious Girls goes much deeper.
For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
I was very lucky. I found a great publisher and my book has never been rejected by anyone! I know, it’s incredible. Earlier this year I’ve founded my own publishing company, BK Publishing, and I’m always on the lookout for new, talented female authors. I write about women and for women, and I would like to be there for fellow female authors, back them up with my experience and help them get their name and work out there. Although I’ve never been rejected by a publisher, I worked in the movie industry for many years and I know how hard rejections are.
When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
In Europe, all my books have been published by the very same publisher so far. I’ve been very lucky to find such a great team of people. I chose them because when I was about to publish my first book they were new, fresh, had great ideas and great professionals working with them. They also put me together with Nela Vadlejchova, a wonderful, talented artist who has been illustrating my books ever since. When I founded my own publishing company, they were with me every step of the way, advising me and helping me, and they still support me today.
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
It felt great but I don’t think I celebrated it in any special way. I usually don’t celebrate when the book gets published because I know that the journey is only beginning. I celebrate marketing milestones, good reviews, encouraging e-mails from readers, good sales. Getting published is the easier part.
What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
When I was published for the first time, I knew nothing about book marketing and most promotion was taken care of by my publisher. I started learning about book promotion only when I decided to publish my books in the States. In Europe, the approach to book marketing is much more traditional and readers still prefer brick-and-mortar book stores, book signing events, interviews in magazines and newspapers, TV interviews, book fairs. Internet marketing is very limited, virtual book tours practically don’t exist. In the States there are endless opportunities for authors to get attention and connect with their readers. Back to your question, the first thing I did back in 2007 was to write a press release and distribute it. In a few hours, I got a call from a TV producer who wanted to do an interview with me for a popular lifestyle magazine. I was lucky! But the truth is that getting on national television is much easier in Europe than in the States.
If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
Definitely not! I’ve learned so much in the process and I’m still learning. Getting experience and knowledge is extremely valuable.
Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
I grow with every new book, with every new chapter, with every sentence. I’ve become more prolific, I’m able to write with ease and I’ve learned to be really creative about my writing, I play with it, I have fun. Writing your fifth book is definitely easier than writing your first book. And the more I write, the more I love it.
Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
I’ve always preferred going with the flow. Rushing things is never a good idea. When you hit the wall, it’s better to start looking for new paths instead of trying to climb over the wall or break it down. I listen to my gut feeling. When something feels good and natural, it usually means that it’s the right path for you. It’s important to make mistakes because thanks to them we learn.
What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
Even the slightest little achievement is wonderful and important! There have been many achievements, book award nominations, bestselling books, great reviews and interviews, TV appearances. However, there are always new goals to achieve and I always look forward to new challenges.
If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
I would never choose another profession! In my life I’ve been a university teacher, a movie translator, a photographer, a love coach. I’ve turned my hobbies into my many professions and I’ve succeeded in all of them. However, I am, I’ve always been and I always will be a writer. That’s what fulfills me, that’s what defines my personality.
Would you give up being an author for another profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
I’ve had the best of many worlds but from now on I want to be just an author. That’s what makes me truly happy.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself writing books in a house on the beach, surrounded by my family and a pack of spoiled beagles. A girl can dream, right?
Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Being a comparatively successful writer is a good life (Ian Fleming). And nothing worth having is easy, so don’t give up. Write a good book and you will find your way to readers.