Sylphide, notre amie québecquoise, vient de réaliser par échanges de mails avec moi une interview en anglais dans le cadre de ses cours. Son professeur nous a gentiment donné l’autorisation de mettre le texte en ligne ici – merci à lui. L’interview sera publiée dans un journal réalisé par les élèves.
THE BOUND BETWEEN INTERNET & LITERATURE
Now that internet is taking a lot of place in our life, some authors have decided to put their books on internet. Like a big library, internet is now a place where you can discover many books from all around the world for free. I asked one of those authors, Anna Galore, about her experience of the “publication by internet”.
First, Anna, why did you decide to publish on internet? Did you look for a « real » editor before?
Hey, that’s two questions! OK, I’m gonna start with the second one, then. But don’t be afraid, I’ll answer the first one too, afterwards.
So… Yes, I did try to send my first manuscript to a bunch of editors. It was Wherever you are, a love story. Actually, I had no idea at all of how to proceed, Anyway, I got a few negative answers and a lot of no answer at all. Then I wrote my second novel called The three pearls of Domerat, a very violent story with a historical background, namely the persecution of witches in the Middle Age in France. There were many very explicit sexual situations in this story, so I thought I wouldn’t try again to send it to editors. And this is why I tried to post it on the internet. I created a very simple web site, with just one page describing the pitch of the book and a link to download it for free.
This is how everything started. Simple as that. And I answered your first question too, isn’t it great?
How is it working? Do you have any copyright?
There is indeed a copyright, although I have made it quite limited. My books are registered at the French « Société des Gens de Lettres ». It is an organisation where manuscripts can be stored as a proof of what was written by who and when. But in my particular case, I have decided from the very beginning to distribute my books for free. Therefore, I do allow any one who downloads my books to freely copy them and forward them to anybody else they want. My aim is to reach as many readers as I can and, because I do not expect any profit in return, I don’t care at all if my books are copied, either in their electronic form or as photocopies. The only thing I am asking for is to maintain their integrity and to respect that I am the author – in other words, it is forbidden to extract pieces and bits out of my stories so as to pretend you have written them yourself, for instance. And it is also forbidden to make a movie without me knowing it and authorising it – but nobody asked me that yet.
When you put online your first book, how was it? With what did the downloads begin?
Just after deciding to put The three pearls of Domerat online in may 2006, I wondered how I could make it known by the rest of the world. This is when one of my very first French readers decided to post a comment on my book on a very visible litterary forum, the one belonging to France Television (the French public TV). I immediately registered as a member and I started to chat with people coming there. After a few weeks, several hundreds of downloads had been reached. After 6 months, I had more than 3000 readers. After one year, close to 10000.
Very quickly, I decided to completely stop doing active promotion but just be myself and talk about my centres of interest, not necessarily my books. To my great satisfaction, I saw that downloads just went on at a growing pace. At the beginning of the second year, most downloads were coming from blogs – much more than from the forums where I used to post. And now, a vast majority is due to direct access to my web site, which means pure notoriety. Over the first quarter of 2008, my books have reached around 6000 new readers per month. As an example, in february, they were located in 44 different countries and in march in 53.
From where do you take the inspiration to write?
My main source of inspiration is the history of primitive cultures and religions – and how they may interact with our current way of behaving or even, with our destiny. I have explored the history of witches, the myth of Lilith (certainly the very first deity to be adored by humans back in the prehistoric times), various so-called heretic movements like the Cathares or the Manicheism, ancient Egyptian and Greek gods and godesses and in the new book I’m currently writing, the free-masons as inheritants of the Temple of Solomon and the Templars.
My books are often made of several threads, which are intertwined and kind of correlated despite the fact that one thread may happen 5000 years ago, a second one in the Middle Age and a third one nowadays, for instance. I love to play with synchronicity, which is the fact that certain events may happen in a similar or identical way to protagonists who don’t live at the same location. I have extended this notion to people not even living at the same period of time, like, for instance, two protagonists separated by several centuries may undergo the same events or say the very same words. I call these echoes, like if time could flow in both directions – toward the future and also toward the past, which would explain why there are premonitions or visions of events which happened a very long time ago.
And, above all, I am inspired by love and feelings.
Tell us about your readers: from where are they? How many readers do you have?
That’s the most miraculous outcome of a free distribution over the internet: they are almost everywhere around the world, despite the fact that my books are available only in French. As of today, more thant 71000 readers in 103 countries have been reached by my books – and there are 196 countries in the world, according to the United Nations web site.
Of course, in non-French speaking regions, the readers are very few but anyway, that’s amazing to reach so many different countries. The top-five countries apart from France where I have the highest number of readers are, by decreasing rank, Morocco, Canada, Belgium, Algeria and Switzerland. The full list of all the countries reached by my books is on my web site.
And do you feel that you can be closer to your readers?
Yes and no. I mean, a vast majority of them will remain anonymous forever. But, on the other hand, several dozens have contacted me by email or through litterary forums (like you!) and, amongst them, many have a direct interaction with me on a regular basis thanks to my blog.
To conclude, Anna, where can we find you and your books on the web?
That’s easy. My web site is http://anna-galore.com, this is where you can download my books and get various informations such as the « download map », a map of the Earth with all the countries which have downloaded my books, it is updated on a daily basis. If you want to interact with me, then you are welcome to visit my blog http://www.annagaloreleblog.com/. And if you can’t remember these addresses, type « Anna Galore » or « romans gratuits » in Google, I am very well referenced on many web sites.
Thank you Anna for this interview.
My pleasure! Thank you to you for your interest in my books.