Girl, Taken by Elena Nikitina is the best-selling book in a true crime books category and a literary award winner.
Check out the bestselling author store and follow Elena's blog where she shares tips for writers and discusses book marketing tips.
I’ve always enjoyed writing. Being a writer had been my pipe dream, probably ever since the very first time I had a crush and felt the urge to share my feelings on paper. As I was getting older, I secretly fantasized of becoming a writer, so that I would be able to live my life, to experience things and then to describe events so interestingly that the whole world would like to read about it. But I never had the courage for it, no time, no opportunity, until six years ago. Or
In my journey, consistency and patience were the main measures for success. They were my best friends. Every Monday I kept going. I created a system and followed it. In a process, I changed and improved it. A few months later my system started showing results that demonstrated its effectiveness. I decided for myself that regardless of how tight my everyday schedule was, how many distractions I had in life, and how many things that I was going through in my personal existence,
In my journey, perseverance determined my own situation. I was deeply motivated because I clearly understood that no one would do it for me. In the whole chain, I was the only link that held all the structures and connections between my book and the world. I was the single most important link. I was the one who was making the choice: to accomplish the job or blow it and let the book sink into oblivion. How fine is the line between seemingly unrealistic dreams, which often sto
In the previous blog posts, I told you about my disappointments and shattered dreams. Sadly to say, my book almost became buried in the "book cemetery", along with bundles of other unknown, unrecognized, and unappreciated books. At that time, Girl, Taken hit the lowest bottom and didn’t show any sales whatsoever, for many, many weeks. But I did not want to quit. I created a system and started following it. Instead of promoting the book itself, I decided to try making my story
Part II. Check older blog posts here. “Cold email is SPAM!” “It’s dead with no chance of resurrection." I have heard this many times. I have to disagree. Everything I have achieved on the book promotion journey - I have accomplished through cold emailing. I reached out to journalists, reporters, and radio show producers. It went very successfully although I had to use different strategies to receive responses. Almost every reply led me to amazing results. Cold emails and an a
What writer wouldn’t like to see her book turned into a movie or a TV show series? Which of us hasn’t fantasized about seeing characters that we’ve created and described, portrayed on the big screen? Even just imagining this brings an exciting rush under the skin. For the most self-published authors, this will remain a pipe dream, but for only a few – the most courageous and the most persistent – sooner or later, the dream will come true. I would like to relate myself to thos
You already know that my road to success started on Monday. Even though the first day of the week is usually considered the most undesirable day for everyone, it turned into one of the most wanted and waited for me. My Mondays were committed to my work towards book promotion. Every week brought several new contacts. They were coming from different public and free sources on the Internet and represented a variety of medias. The longer the list became, the more time I needed to
My American Dream started on Monday. (If you haven’t read the previous blog posts yet, please click here and check them out now). I dedicated the first day of the week to my “new” job: I had to work on my book success. In my student years, as part of a school program, we studied ancient myths about origins of the universe. One of the legends expressed that our ancestors believed our planet was flat and motionless, and therefore, it needed some kind of support. They imagined t
The timing could not be more perfect to start realizing that sweet American Dream. (Please read the previous blog post – this is a continuation). The United States is a legendary country. People either love it or hate it, but no one is indifferent. I belong to those who love America endlessly and sincerely. I think it’s the best place in the world to live, to implement ideas, to realize dreams, to raise children. America gives a chance to everyone who wants to take it. If you
To be honest with you, I was enjoying my newly acquired image of a famous and successful author (previous blog posts read here). I did not have a wish to dissuade my acquaintances. I’d rather prefer to turn their assumptions into accomplished facts. I wanted my book to be successful, as they all assumed. Even though I was still receiving a great number of messages with words of support and encouragement, the book sales plunged to a pitiful minimum. From December 2017 to Febru
Once all of the buzz caused by my new book, Girl, Taken, calmed down and another handful of my friends on social media and in real life bought their copy, my book stopped showing any signs of sales whatsoever, neither on Amazon nor in any other online stores. Girl, Taken started to gradually disappear from the world, chewed up by a thousand other books with big-name representatives behind them. Beautiful castles built from daydreams and empty fantasies were inexorably collaps
When I was in the process of writing the book, I hoped that expressing my experiences on paper would be my healing therapy. I looked at that as a kind of cure, even though I had to go through pain while recalling my memories and putting them into words. It was only after publishing that I realized I was wrong: the feedback I was receiving from people was my true healing therapy... My Facebook’s wall had never been that busy before – full of beautiful comments, thoughtful shar
Do you remember why I became extremely fearful before the publication day? That’s right! I was devastated because I wasn’t sure how people would take my revelation. I had to bare my soul in front of complete strangers. There was another terrifying moment: the criminals were never caught. What could that bring? I stepped forward anyways… That remarkable morning in September of 2017 will always be stored on a special shelf in my memory library. I considered it extraordinary, no
Hi there! It's great to have you back ❤️ If you are new here, please check older posts to read the beginning of the story. Back then, it took me about three weeks to wrap up the project – from the day I left the contract till the time I chose for publication. The release day was set up on September 21st, 2017. Just a few hours before that moment, realizing the closeness of the event, I became fearful. The dual feeling was tearing me apart, as I started worrying about the thin
From the previous blog post you know that my goal was to learn how to become a published author in no time. It took me a number of days to get everything ready for self-publishing. First and foremost were the manuscripts. I needed to invest in enough time for final editing, proof-reading and checking, in case anything else needed to be polished or perfected. Luckily, I did not need much work. There was nothing major to change. I already had two fully written manuscripts in tw
If I take a look at my whole life from the past, excluding the first few years of a happy childhood and the following decade of my delighted adolescent ages, I can say that the rest of my existence – starting at about 20 years old till now – was woven with either obstacles or their aftermaths. My wholesome, endlessly pleasant contentment ended in 1994. Since then, black and white stripes consistently superimposed over each other. After almost a whole year that I spent in capt
The more I thought about self-publishing, the more I was tempted by it. The best thing I could get from it was the possibility of publishing both books - Girl, Taken and Неволя - at the same time. The appeal was very abundant and that was what I really wanted. What I definitely didn’t want was to waste another month or six. (Have you read the beginning of the story? Check out older blog posts here) I decided to terminate the contract with my agent on August 27th, 2017. We mut
The Summer of 2017 was about to pass the baton over to the upcoming Autumn. It was already August, signifying six months since I signed the contract and started working with the agent. The remaining eight publishers never responded at all. Unfortunately, the perception of time is not an absolute measure, it’s always being relative. To me, a period of a half a year without any progress seemed insurmountably long. I was losing my recently acquired philosophical patience. I bega
After the contract was signed, I impatiently awaited the next step. I could barely refrain from the desire to keep emailing my agent every day to remind her about myself and my literary work’s existence. Only four weeks later – and to my long-awaited bliss – my agent finally submitted my manuscript to thirteen publishing companies – all great names in the industry. Now, I had to wait and email my agent every six-to-eight weeks in regard to inquiring about possible rejections.