Author Photo

20 years ago….

Every writer needs an Author Photo. It’s an essential part of every press kit. It’s been twenty years, since a professional photographer took photographs of me, and, damn, did I look good in those photos. But even I know that I’ve changed (a lot) since then.

I decide to take a few selfies, and to start out by taking a photo without makeup. Then I’ll slap on the war paint bit by bit. Foundation, eye shadow, mascara, lipstick, everything I can find in my bathroom cabinet.

I’ll take one photo after another, with a little more makeup each time, and then decide which photo looks best. I’m happy. It’s a plan. I’m ready to promote my book, The Vegan Tourist: Vienna.

I take the first photograph, and need to sit down. This is me? I take another photo, then another. A stranger’s face stares back at me. She’s pale (like vampire-undead pale), her skin looks botchy and pasty at the same time, and she has dark circles under her eyes. She looks sick – I look sick.

This comes as a surprise, although it really shouldn’t. Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, and two years ago I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I had to take cortisone medication (steroids) for eight years to keep the Sarcoidosis in check, and I need to take thyroid medication for the rest of my life. I had a hard time adjusting to being sick and living with a chronic illness, and the steroids ruined my body and packed on the pounds (while saving my life at the same time). I’ve been feeling much better for the last couple of years or so, and I am off the steroids now. I feel fine. I keep forgetting that I am not fine – and it takes a selfie to remind me of my illnesses.

I abandon my plan to pretty myself up with makeup. Clearly, the Author Photo has to wait a while. Botchy, pasty skin? Dark circles under my eyes? I don’t think so! I decide to sunbathe on my balcony (in a bikini, no less). Weather permitting, that’s what I’ll do for a few weeks: sunbathe! An hour a day.

If this sounds like fun to you, it isn’t to me. I actually have to put it on my “to do”-list, so I’ll stick to it. I never liked sunbathing. I get bored easily, and I’m restless after just a few minutes. Just lying around in the sun, doing nothing? I don’t get it. But of course that’s why I look like a vampire, and why a recent blood analysis showed that my Vitamin D level was so low that it couldn’t even be detected anymore. So now I’m taking my vitamins, and I guess I need to step away from my computer more often, go outside, and spend more time in the sun.

I’ll give that Author Photo another try in a few weeks. Taking a selfie might not be the best idea, though. Maybe it’s time for a professional photographer again…

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Author Ranking #6,467,418

© http://www.vegantourist.com

© http://www.vegantourist.com

My books The Vegan Tourist: Vienna and The Vegan Tourist: Wien are sold on Amazon, and I signed up for an “Author Central” account when I published the book’s first English-language edition back in November 2014. Actually, I signed up for three Author Central accounts, on their Websites in the US, in the UK, and in Germany. I need to log into all three accounts separately.

The Author Central sites have some very useful features like “Sales Info.” There’s the Nielsen BookScan, which apparently provides information about the sale of printed books during the last four weeks. This seems to be a very useful feature, but I decide to ignore it for now. I haven’t sold that many books yet.

Then there’s Amazon Bestseller Rank, which lets me know how well my books are selling in comparison with other books. This number is updated hourly, and I can query rankings for several time periods. At this very moment in time, The Vegan Tourist: Vienna is ranked #6,467,418 (time period: one month). I guess it could do better. But there are more than 8 million books included in this ranking, so at least 1.5 million books are selling worse than mine. That perks me right up.

And then there’s the Amazon Author Rank, which currently lists me as #1,399,526. Clearly, I’ve got some catching up to do, but this feature doesn’t provide any information about the number of authors included in this ranking. Knowing how many authors are doing worse than I would make me feel so much better.

And then I finally notice … that the ranking information only includes sales of the 1st edition of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna. I haven’t logged in to these accounts since November 2014. I completely forgot to add the newly published editions of this book to my Author Central sites. So I quickly add the 2nd English-language edition as well as the German edition of this book to my Author Central (US) account and decide to check back in a couple of days. It can take up to five days for the system to add new titles to my account.

I log in to the two other Author Central sites, in the UK and in Germany. It looks as if all the editions of my book will be added automatically to theses sites as well sometime during the next few days, so I’ll just have to wait and see. Three titles instead of just one – that should improve my author and sales rankings, and yes, damn it, I care. Must. Do. Better.

All the Author Central sites have a feature called Author Page. Any content I add will be included in Amazon’s “Ingrid Haunold Page.” I did know about my very own Amazon page, but never really paid any attention to it. I think I visited that site once (yes, once).

When I first set up my Author Central accounts, I uploaded a short biographical summary and photo, and never checked back. Clearly, I need to pay more attention to my three Author Central sites and make better use of my “Ingrid Haunold Page” on Amazon. (Are there three “Ingrid Haunold” pages on Amazon? One for each Author Central account in the US, the UK, and Germany? Shame on me for not even knowing that much.)

I guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

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Adventures in Self-Publishing

Since December 22, 2011, I have only published one post on this Website: Welcome. I set Viaduct Dreams up as a virtual curriculum vitae, and just updated information about my various projects over the years.

I have now decided to start blogging about my various projects as well – primarily about my adventures in self-publishing, but who knows what will pop into my mind. Anything goes, really.

I just published the 2nd, updated edition of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna, and a German-language version of the book, The Vegan Tourist: Wien. I now need to promote those books. Luckily, I have experience as a public relations professional, so – theoretically – promoting my books should not be a problem.

However, I find that I am completely overwhelmed with all the options available to me on the Internet. There are so many ways self-published writers can promote their books online, it’s difficult to figure out where to start and what to do. I’ve realized that promoting my books is going to be a very long process, and that’s why I decided to blog about it. I intend to publish more books in the future, and am already hard at work on my first work of fiction, so I really need to learn how to make better use of the Internet to promote my books.

It’s time to learn!

And I’m not at all scared.

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Welcome

I set up Viaduct Dreams as a virtual curriculum vitae. I am a writer, journalist, blogger, media & public relations consultant, and vegan activist.

Copyright Ingrid Haunold; Selfie with Daisy, who can't sit still - not even for a second.

Copyright Ingrid Haunold; Selfie with Daisy, who can’t sit still – not even for a second.

In 2014, I published my first book, The Vegan Tourist: Vienna. It is a guide book for vegan tourists to the city of Vienna, Austria, and also a valuable resource for local vegans. The book is available in printed form and as a Kindle eBook. An updated 2nd edition of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna was published in May 2016.

In April 2016, I published the first German-language edition of this book, The Vegan Tourist: Wien.

I also blog on my Website The Vegan Tourist.

In 2014, I created my first television program, a 25-minute service magazine, for a local television station in Vienna, W24. The programm is called Meine Chance (My Chance) and focuses on work-related issues: job search, job training, vocational training, and other work-related issues.

Viaduct Dreams gives a short introduction to some of my projects (past and present), links to additional Websites, and provides contact information for those who are interested in finding out more about my work.

Mag. Ingrid Haunold, MBA
Viaduct Dreams
Vienna, Austria
Last updated May 2016

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