Ruins of Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany

Visiting the ruins of Hanstein takes us back to medieval times - Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany in 2012 More »

Vietnam War protestors demonstrate - Wichita, KS, 1967.

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Solingen, Germany after the bombing, November 1944. - Stadtarchiv Solingen

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My grandmother Grete with her sisters in the early 1920s in Germany.

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B17 Bomber above German Airfield in WWII

U.S. Bomber flies above German airfield in WWII. More »

 

Category Archives: Two Families

New Reviews of ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ from NetGalley

Surviving the Fatherland with IndieBRAG medallionLast month I offered NetGalley readers a chance to review my bestselling and award winning WWII novel, Surviving the Fatherland. Here are snippets of their reviews, which I have to admit, are great fun to read.

  • “Definitely 5 stars. I can see why this book is so loved. Very engrossing, deeply moving and character you will not forget. Everyone that loves a well researched historical will want this one.”
  • “Recommend to teens and adults. Highly readable.”
  • “I highly recommend it to anyone that likes coming of age stories or is fascinated with WWII as I am. This book should become a classic story of the German people during and after World War II because of the knowledge it imparts to each reader.”
  • “…this novel completely exceeded my expectations. It was heartbreaking, brutal, and beautiful. The fact that this is a true story, makes all of these characteristics stronger. I cannot encourage you enough to check it out!”
  • “This is a fascinating and in places a heartbreaking read. It is an honest, true, look at how two peoples lives were affected by World War 2.”
  • “…truly unlike any of this genre I have read and that’s a lot! A very remarkable book that everyone should read.”

German Translation of Surviving the Fatherland

I’m super excited to share that the German translation of Surviving the Fatherland, currently called Vaterland, wo bist du? will be represented by my literary agent, Dr. Dorothee Schmidt. This month she’s going to take the novel to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Please keep your fingers crossed!

 

A New Adventure in Audiobooks

Follow my Journey to Publish ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ as an Audiobook

book cover surviving the fatherland by annette oppenlanderIt makes perfect sense that readers have different tastes, not only in books and genres, but also in the formats they prefer. I’d been reading a lot of publishing advice that urges authors to offer audiobooks because more and more readers love to ‘read’ while driving or being otherwise active or unable to read printed versions.

Since my new award-winning novel, ‘Surviving the Fatherland,’ is doing very well, I decided to jump into the unknown and learn about audiobook production. As with eBooks, Amazon is a major player. Their company, ACX, offers a well-organized system through which authors can find professional narrators and vice versa.

Getting Started with the Audiobook

So a week ago, I jumped onto the ACX website to see how it was done. I selected a 2-page sample from my book and determined criteria to narrow down the search for a narrator. One can choose gender, age, accents and of course, price ranges.

Once I had made my selection, I uploaded the sample and wrote up a marketing blurb, describing my novel. The better the blurb, the more likely a narrator will be interested in reading. Within 24 hours I received auditions from eight narrators.

What surprised me the most was how different the voices sounded. Some were upbeat, some slow, one sounded almost angry. Some assumed the different characters in my book effortlessly, others not so much. One thing became clear to me immediately. Unless you’re trained as an actor, you don’t want to attempt this yourself.

After listening to the sample narrations, I pretty much knew right away who I wanted for my novel. Drum roll please…

My Amazing Narrator

headshot of naomi jacobson, actressHer name is Naomi Jacobson and she is an actress living in Maryland. Her voice was engaging and had just the right speed and feel. I loved her impersonation of the different characters and her articulation. After choosing her as my narrator/producer, I provided an offer through ACX. Naomi accepted and we’re on our way.

Next stop is a 15-minute read. Once that’s approved, she’ll finish the book and I hope to have the audiobook on the market by the end of July. I’ll definitely share progress and experiences here. I declined ACX’s exclusive royalty plan, offering the audiobook only through Audible, Amazon and iTunes. It pays a higher royalty, but I feel strongly that I want ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ available through other retail channels.

To be continued soon…