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The Winner Takes It All and other thoughts of a self publisher

Nine years ago. The yellow fleece is still there.

Okay. So this blog entry is entirely written in English. Why that, you may ask. Because I hope that none of my facebook friends will bother to read this entry. Yah, it’s a kind of a rant and I try to do my best to be as truthful as possible. As Billy Wilder famously said: „If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you.“ Or you could write in a language nobody understands. The only language to tell the depressing truth and be funny the same time is English. Seriously. Want proof? Go, look up the late standup comedian George Carlin and watch his shows. It’s great. It’s funny, hell, this guy was a genius, he could play with words, with meanings and every sentence, every gag tells the truth, nothing but the truth.

Ro2069B_3D_222ROkay. So let’s get straight into the matter. I am a writer. Yes, I write books for a living. Or I try to do exactly that – all on my own. You know what that means, do you? Right. I am a self publisher. In 2006 I published my first book Rotkäppchen 2069. A Science-Fiction-Terry-Pratchett-meets-Douglas-Adams-type of adult literature. The complicated virtual-reality-story is very absurd, very funny and I can assure you, in the end all works out. But for most of my readers, it was too absurd, too weird, too kinky. „Shyte“, as one of my best friends told me back then. But nevertheless, I sold some copies.

Tiret_3D_222RTwo years later I tried a new approach. This time, I published a historical novel, the first in a historicalfictionseries about the French Revolution 1789. The second part came out 2010 and had an Agatha-Christie-like setting – at the end of the book, the crime will be solved but, of course, with a twist (actually there are two twists). The third (2012) and (not published yet) fourth part are darker and bloodier. No publishing house in this world would have allowed his author to change the light and amusing tone within a series. The reader might get confused or could be deeply shocked („Darling, calm down! What do you mean with rape scene?“).

Schwarzkopf_3D_222In between, I wrote a screenplay. Until now no one in the Austrian Film Biz shows the slightes interest in it. Despite the fact, that the plot plays with the most iconic Austrian movie of all time. Sound of Music? Nope. The Third Man. I published the whole screenplay in 2009 – and the book got good reviews, sold pretty well. Hell, even a nice guy in Oregon bought the ebook and read it. I hope Steve is doing well with his own books.


Conspiracy_3D_222RSome years later, I discovered the manipulation of the people. I became a conspiracy nut. Hell, that was exciting. John F. Kennedy. The Apollo-Missions. Watergate. The Federal Reserve. 9/11. The War on Terror. You name it. I looked into the matter. I did my research. For almost 3 years. In the end I published the non-fiction book „Conspiracy – a different truth“ in 2014. Almost 700 pages long with over 1200 foot notes. But I didn’t touch the usual suspects. That’s boring. By now everyone should know that the Apollo Missions are fake and that Oswald was a patsy. So I decided to tell the reader historical facts the mainstream media and publishing houses are ignoring or downplaying. My book is only the tip of an iceberg but nevertheless it’s a start. If you don’t know the past you will never understand the present. If you really want to know what is going on in this world, you have to walk the walk, down the rabbit hole. The reality is not pretty but it’s the reality. 

Erik_3D_222RLast month, in May 2015, I published my new novel (an autobiographical fiction as I call it). The book tells the story of a young man and his relationship with 10 women. Nothing new under the sun, you would say. Except that the guy is struggling with his inner sex-demons. In other words, he is into Bondage. If you don’t know what that means, it’s about tying up a girl. Yah. That’s it, more or less. Could you compare it to Fifty Shades? Yah, you could but be aware that the Shades-Trilogy is a nice fantasy – the story in my book on the other hand deals with real life, real people, real problems. Sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes it’s everything in between. 

I tell you it’s a hard time to publish books all on your own. It seems that everybody wrote some kind of novel. If you go to a party and talk to the hot lady you can be sure that she will ask you one question only: „Who is your publisher?“ As soon as you tell her that your are a self publisher, she nods with a smile and walks away. Nobody is interested in an unsuccessful artist. You can do whatever you like – shit in your pants, urinate on a painting or sprinkle your blood on a blanket – as long as you make a lot of bucks you are the darling of the press. Quality? Don’t be kidding. Quality is not important at all. Nobody will tell you that – because it’s embarrassing for our society. We pretend to see the new clothes the emperor is not wearing. Take Fifty Shades as a good example for that. It sold zillion of copies. I read half of the first volume and I wonder why is it that this sloppy written book is on almost everybodys bookshelf. I am not a native speaker but I know for sure that the writing is awful. The answer is plain simple: It’s on everbodys mind because it’s on everybodys mind. The more reader the more reader. Therefor you can do whatever you want you will never be successful – with only one exception: you know the right people in the right places. But make no mistake you cannot call these key players, instead they call you. Perhaps.

If I look around I see a lot of unsuccessful artists. Everyone is trying. Everyone is failing. And not one will tell you about his or her misery. Smile and keep going – this is the mantra of the losers. It’s sad to see their facebook and twitter postings – they want success and the only thing they get are likes and re-tweets. Imagine a friend of yours knocks on your door and he tells you that he is in deep shyte and he needs some money and a bed for the next couple of nights. „Great. That’s fun. I like it, bro“, you smile, close the door and swallow some antidepressant-drug. That’s how it works. Social Media is a hellhole – if you like it or not, you have to play the game.

Our society is in danger. Because success – if ever – is short and the walk you have to walk might be painful – but almost everybody is looking for it. We compete against each other. That’s not how it should work. Civilization is based on cooperation not fighting. But you will never read something like that in the Mainstream Media. Quite the contrary, the media encourage you and me to try and push harder. Because, they will tell you that everybody can be a winner. But that’s dead wrong! Because the winner takes it all (believe it or not, but ABBA knew that already) – there is nothing left for the losers and ran-also-guys. The winners are always and exclusively the key players on the top of the pyramide, the so called suits. They know how to play the game because they invented it. Period.

Okay. So I know that I am not successful. So what? The thing is, if I give up, I have no hope for society. See I did everything to be the one guy who fulfills his dream. I worked hard, I paid my taxes, I wrote letters, I did stuff – but I never sold my soul. But how long can you take the punches? The only way out – it seems: I have to sell my soul to the devil in (corporate) disguise (Elvis knew that too, apparently). So if I cannot stand the ground, who else can? Who has the guts to fight the system? But don’t fool yourself – in the end you don’t fight the system you fight all the other contenders (and pretend to be on their side).

The last words belong to John Denver, the late American singersongwriter who inspired me. I have to thank him. He was a great musician, a great man – yah, he was always looking for space.

On the road of experience, I’m trying to find my own way.
Sometimes I wish that I could fly away
When I think that I’m moving, suddenly things stand still
I’m afraid ‚cause I think they always will

All alone in the universe, sometimes that’s how it seems
I get lost in the sadness and the screams
Then I look in the center, suddenly everything’s clear
I find myself in the sunshine and my dreams

And I’m looking for space
And to find out who I am
And I’m looking to know and understand
It’s a sweet, sweet dream
Sometimes I’m almost there
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
And sometimes I’m deep in despair

On the road of experience, join in the living day
If there’s an answer, it’s just that it’s just that way

When you’re looking for space
And to find out who you are
When you’re looking to try and reach the stars
It’s a sweet, sweet, sweet dream
Sometimes I’m almost there
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
But sometimes I’m deep in despair
Sometimes I fly like an eagle,
Like an eagle
I go flying flying

Looking for Space
John Denver
taken from the Album: Windsong, 1975