Updated: May 16, 2021
Dear Konstantinos-Alexander Samartzis or I should call you, Ryan van Konsgraard, welcome
to Dusk2Dawn.I could describe you as multi-talented and
innovative. You're behind your computer and you're just creating new projects. Some of them are art, film, classical music and books, production consulting, the process of publishing a book at which you've made an e-book that became a Best seller on the Amazon platform, online courses and how much more people probably do not even know.
But I'd like you to start describing what you've been doing lately.
From the beginning of lockdown I try to constantly train on different skills. In particular, lately, I practice coaching in various fields and design new service packages.
At the same time, I try to update my site, The High Arts Review, with art reviews and of course I am working on my PhD.
Could you tell us about your book "Scrivener" that has become a best seller in a very short of time?
It is a guide book for the Scrivener program. It is perhaps the most famous book-writing program, after Word, used by world-leading authors. The degree of difficulty is great, but it is a program that I have been using myself in recent years and I know "by heart". So I thought it would be good, on the occasion of its new edition, to write a guide that will help writers to use it because literally their program "solves hands" with its capabilities. One might also say that this book was an experiment for me to get into the process of self-publishing and learn up close how to promote and marketing on Amazon.
What were the steps you took to promote your book on Amazon, the largest shopping platform?
First to say that I had done tremendous research. In the last few years I've been reading about book marketing and I've been involved with it, so I'm very aware of the process of self-publishing and book promotion.
About what I have done, I will tell you in general terms:
First of all, it plays a big role for your handwriting to have no mistakes, typographical, spelling etc. Otherwise it will not only be rejected by the platform but it will discourage readers who will leave you a bad review. So my primary role was to have good custody. Then I made sure it had a professional cover and when I say professional I mean to make it look like you've worked on it-the author's name, title, design to adhere to certain specifications and the whole presentation to have a certain aesthetic, harmonized with the trends of the time. When publishing -and this is a tip-you take care in the early days to keep the price of the book low to entice readers.
But the most important advice I can give someone is to have their book sent to beta readers in advance, who will have a review ready to post it as soon as possible during the publication of the book. The reviews help your book a lot because they attract more customers and show that the book is "moving" in the market.
And finally, you have to spend a lot of time reporting your book to relevant forums, online book clubs, places frequented by authors (which is also my target group) etc. In other words, although self-publishing is easy, but that means that since you do not have a publishing house to promote your book, you have to take it on yourself and often this entails many hours of work.
How did you choose to sign your book under the pseudonym "Ryan van Konsgraard" and not with your real name?
One of the top tips in creative writing and self-publishing books is to use a pseudonym depending on the type of books you write. P.Allah. experts in the field of writing and promoting books tell you that if you are a writer of police literature it would be good to write under a different name than if you were writing, say, romance novels.
For example the author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, when she switched to police literature (after Harry Potter) used a pseudonym. In my case it was for marketing purposes: my book is in English, intended for English-speaking authors, and I know that the Scrivener program is used a lot in America, Europe (mainly in Great Britain), Australia, Canada.. So I wanted a name that was an American-European fusion and at the same time I definitely wanted it to have something from my Greek name.
Apart from your book you also deal with criticism, as you mentioned above and you have your own review site.
Yeah. I created the English-speaking site The High Arts Review as an online magazine with reviews of classical music, literature and cinema. It quickly caught the eye of famous artists, award-winning writers, acclaimed conductors and musicologists and its readability skyrocketed. So I decided to create his "brother", the Greek version of High Arts Review. Unfortunately, however, the lack of time and the fact that classical music criticism is not popular in our country, made me not update the Greek version often.
What was your major studies? How do you continue training?
I have a Bachelor's degree in European Studies from the University of London, a master's degree in European politics from the University of Bristol and a PhD in European identity and educational policy at the University of the Aegean.
Apart from academic study and research, I attend non-stop seminars and online courses on various topics related to teaching and education, but also on a wide range of topics: from life and business coaching to neurolinguistics, always making sure that these seminars are reliable and certified.
What advice would you give to young and aspiring entrepreneurs starting their steps online today?
To have their eyes wide open, to observe everything, the trends of the time, to read a lot and to dare their new business activities, having always done the necessary research before. But above all I will emphasize continuous training: to absorb knowledge like sponges! In the age of the internet it seems to me inconceivable not to take advantage of the fact that we can acquire knowledge from leading institutions from all over the world! And of course young entrepreneurs need to be prepared for hard work and dedication to what they do.
Finally, because I said to monitor the trends of the time, to make a correction and to emphasize that some important business books were written decades ago and that many of the principles of organization and administration are inspired even from ancient Greece. So the training should include principles and philosophies from antiquity to the present day. And one last thing: if aspiring entrepreneurs intend to attend online courses, take care as much as they can to be certified by reputable institutions because unfortunately there are many scammers on the internet, who provide unrecognized degrees or seminars with poor content. It is therefore advisable for aspiring "students" to do a relevant research and contact the educational provider before attending an online seminar or to look for reviews and testimonials from people who have already participated in them and are able to evaluate them.
Konstantinos, thank you very much for your time to answer our questions and encourage young entrepreneurs who want to start their steps today. Good luck in your next projects and we hope you continue to innovate.
Enter the site "The High Arts Review"
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Find here The Book of Konstantinos
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