Friday, May 13, 2011

Author Dorte H. Jakobsen on E-Booking It

I’m delighted to welcome author Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen back to Thoughts in Progress today as the special guest blogger as she makes a stop on her virtual book tour for her second release.
Dorte, who is also a fellow blogger, recently published her second e-book, LIQUORICE TWISTS. It’s categorized as mystery and detective short stories. It’s a collection of 20 flash fiction stories (from 100 to 2,500 words). While her first volume, CANDIED CRIME DJ’S DAIM STORIES VOLUME I, was crime for fun; these may be called ‘her darker materials.’

As e-books and self-publishing is gaining more and more attention, Dorte was kind enough to explain about ‘E-booking it’ for me and offer a special treat for those dropping by to read her post.

First, I´d like to say thank you to Mason for your kind invitation to visit you during my blog tour.

The established book business seems to have figured out that e-books have come to stay, and while some regard the new technology as the doomsday of the paper book, others embrace it and imagine that in a few years, writers will neither need agents nor traditional publishers.

But does self-publishing your works in the form of e-books mean
you are slumming it, that your books are not good enough for the traditional market so now you are struggling desperately to earn a few cents despite lack of talent? Or are e-book writers the pioneers about to conquer the world of the reader anew?

As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in between. Lately we have heard titillating accounts of writers who self-publish their books and sell millions of copies, but my experiences may be closer to what you should expect if you are no Stephen King or James Patterson.

After several years of writing I have learnt to live with - and admit - the fact that I have not landed the big contract yet. In the beginning each rejection felt like a personal defeat, but they did not make me give up writing. So today I know I have much more to offer my readers, better plots, more credible characters and far better language. Yet, even though I am a Scandinavian, I am just not the next Stieg Larsson. I don’t write thrillers at all so even though I write just as well as several crime writers in my part of the world who had their debut before the financial crisis, it is next to impossible to find a publisher who dares take on a traditional crime novel from the pen of an unknown writer.

So for me it was a rather spontaneous decision to take things in my own hands. In February I published CANDIED CRIME, my first volume of flash fiction, forty-eight hours after getting the idea. You might call it a trial run, something I did to find out if anyone would want to buy my stuff. This time I have tackled things a bit more professionally, preparing the launch of LIQUORICE TWISTS in advance, making a proper cover and arranging a blog tour.

Do I expect to gain wealth and fame in the next few months? No, not exactly. I expect that I will sell more copies this time round, and I quite enjoy not having to ask anybody before I publish. I have not given up the goal of publishing paper books via a traditional publisher yet, however. I am still doing what I can to find an agent for my mystery novel, THE COSY KNAVE, set in a Yorkshire village. I would like the feel of security, knowing that my book was in professional hands, leaving me time to write instead of spending lots of my resources selling the stuff.

But if I don´t succeed - well, there is always that tempting self-publishing button. Doing everything my way is hard but also fun, and the idea does not scare me any more.

If I have made any of you curious, you might want a free taste of my writing style. During the launch period of LIQUORICE TWISTS (May and June) I offer free copies of HEATHER FARM, a short story which is a bit unusual for me because it contains elements of the supernatural and lots of romance.

You can find the story here: And the free coupon code is EP59D.
Dorte, thanks for including Thoughts in Progress on your blog tour. It’s always fun to have you guest posting. I think the world of self-publishing is opening lots of doors for authors, but also giving readers the opportunity to find new authors they might not have otherwise.

Just a little background on Dorte, who teaches English at upper secondary level. In her spare time she reads and writes crime fiction in English and Danish, and in 2010 she sold her first flash stories to American magazines and publishers. For more on Dorte and her writing, check out her blog DJ’s krimiblog.

What are your thoughts on e-books and self-publishing? If you’re a writer, have you given it a try yet?                

**Sorry that I won’t be able to drop back by today and will still be away from the internet for a bit more. Thank you for your continued support for this blog and especially your concern and caring for my mother-in-law. She continues to improve and we are slowly getting into a routine that will make things easier. She is getting a little stronger each day and her attitude continues to be good. She is ready to get out and work in her flowers. Again, thanks so much. I hope to have several book reviews for you in the coming days. 


  1. Mason - First, thanks for the update about your mother-in-law. Thoughts and prayers and best wishes heading your way.... And thanks for hosting Dorte.

    Dorte - Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts about E-books and self-publishing. I think that it's going to take time for the publishing, reading and writing world to catch up with the technological reality of what is possible. In some ways, it's quite liberating. In others, it makes decision-making more difficult, because there are more decisions to make. I'm so excited about the launch of Liquorice Twists, and I wish you all success with it and with all of your excellent writing. Hey folks, trust me, Liquorice Twists is a deliciously creepy collection of stories!

  2. Mason, I am sorry you have had so many problems with Blogger & the internet, but thank you very much for hosting me today (or tonight from a Danish perspective). And I am really glad your mother-in-law is better!

    Margot: thank you so much for your kind words.

  3. Mason - thanks for hosting Dorte! She is a treat and I enjoy reading her blog very much. It is great to have this perspective on ebooks - and am glad to read of your own ambiguity in regard to them and 'traditional publishing'.
    Mason - good for you for knowing what is important and when. Lots of love flowing to your mother-in-law and to her recovery.

  4. I saw this link on Dorte's blog and am glad I followed it. Quite an interesting post!

    Dorte, you really should provide a place in your sidebar linking to all your guest posts. I'm not sure how many you've done, but I've enjoyed those I've found.

  5. Jan: I think ebooks are a wonderful opportunity for someone in Denmark who has her readers scattered around the world, but it still takes a good story + a lot of hard work to sell books :)

    Kelly: great to have you here also. I know I should be more ´reader-friendly´, but I am rather busy right now (has just been away all day for a birthday party etc) so I am afraid I will have to do it on a day-to-day basis.

  6. Dorte, Thanks for the great subject matter. I learned a little more about ebooks today.

    Mason, so glad your precious M-I-L is doing better. Still praying. Thanks for being the hostess of the year! :)

  7. Interesting guest post. Ebooks are definitely making a name for themselves in the writing world.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.