Girl, Taken by Elena Nikitina is the best-selling book in a true crime books category and a literary award winner.
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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.
I hope you remember how hard it was for me to find a literary agent for my manuscript. (If not, please check my previous blog posts). My new literary agent’s plan was to pitch and submit my book, Girl, Taken, to publishing companies and negotiate a great deal. I imagined her as the middle person, as the bridge between myself with my literary work and a successful publication. During our initial and following phone conversations, she presented a pretty adequate and promising p
"I was extremely interested in this as the premise is aw-inspiring and captivating. Unfortunately, I will have to pass on your manuscript..." "This does not suit our needs at this time…" "This doesn't feel like a match for me, but thank you..." I received another painful rejection after rejection, after rejection. But what does not kill us… (you know the rest). I was still going forward despite any hard feelings I experienced, and it was paying off. With each day on my path,
Painful rejections, placed in a few horrible words “I will have to pass on your work at this time…”, rained down on me. Rejection hurt. (We started conversation about rejections in the previous blog post, so please read it first.) The matter of my narration was so delicate and dear to me, that the agents’ rejections or showed indifferences felt twice as painful. I saw myself totally naked on a pedestal in the center of a large and busy square, in the middle of a high traffic
Wise people say that rejections are inalienable parts of success. Back in 2017, I willingly and voluntarily chose to believe in such a theory in order to not lose my good spirit. As you can remember from my previous blog post, I sent that first pitch letter to twenty literary agencies across the country hoping to find an agent for my manuscript Girl, Taken. Four weeks later I started receiving responses that were all rejections. What do rejections really mean to people? Espec
As you can remember from the previous blog posts, my only desire at that time was to find a literary agent. I spent days creating a successful pitch letter - an enticing bait that could attract agents’ attention. (By the way, if you want to find a literary agent for your own book, you can write an effective pitch letter using the templates presented in my guide, located in Chapter 11 of this book: “From Zero to Self-published Hero”.) Let’s get back to the story. On that promi
As an author, I thought I achieved the majority of my goals and wanted a literary agent to see them within my work as well. I needed to represent my work nicely, served on a beautiful plate like a highly desirable gourmet dish. I learned that a great pitch letter could add that exotic flavor and luxury. (If you have never read my previous blog posts, please read them before this one – it will make a lot more sense. It’s part #13) I realized that a pitch letter serves as a del
To tell you the truth, I was overjoyed by the idea that I was able to create something that I could see and touch – a physical product, a manuscript, a future book – from essentially nothing – out of painful thoughts, deeply trampled memories and years of seeping heartaches. Have you read the previous blog post? If not, please go back and check it. I want you to know what the process of writing actually means to me. You will see - it’s pure magic. My first book - "Girl, Tak
I always believed it was a pipe dream. Until the day when I saw my very first and my very self-published book on the top of charts on Amazon. And I thought to myself: yes, I did it. (Of course, overwhelmed with feelings, I thought about it pretty loudly in my head, with about a thousand of exclamation marks.) Everything is possible when you really desire to achieve it. You just need to make that very first step. I’m sharing my success story hoping to inspire you and give you
Per aspera ad astra. I’ve always liked this Latin phrase, meaning “through hardship to the stars”. Ever since I decided to start a new career as a writer, the famous Latin saying has taken on a new meaning. I think that writing is a marvelous thing. But sadly, the action of writing is not always a path strewn with rose petals. The process of writing can be a complete and utter fiasco, when the moment strikes that every writer is afraid of – a writer’s block. When mine suddenl
With bated breath we wait for miracles to happen, thinking that miracle is only something significant and radically life changing. What about small miracles that happen every day through things that we love, through people that we admire, through friends that we unexpectedly acquired? Everyday small miracles DO happen, we just need to stop for a second and acknowledge them. Back then, in 2017, after a few months of sleepless nights, an ocean of tears and tons of memory tortur
Back then, the decision to write a book seemed incredible and even surreal. Little did I know that it would have a significant impact on my entire life. So, believe it or not, I started writing my very first book! Excited to the core I outlined my future narration and began drafting it in Russian – my native language. I planned to translate it into English and make both versions available for readers. I thought I needed to find a local writer who would be able to help me to g
He told me I should write a book! I would like to thank Richard (remember him from the story I mentioned in my previous blog post?) for planting a seed in the soil of my brain. Writing a book was a great idea in every way, solely because it would make one of my old dreams come true. I have been nurturing the idea of telling my mom about being in captivity, for years. If I could write about it – she could read it. Even if this story wouldn’t be seen or heard by anyone else, an
Speaking about meaningful encounters… Do you remember the conversation we started in the previous blog post? Yes, I think it’s pretty amazing how a chain of brief meetings that I did not take seriously at the moment led to a major change in life. Many years ago, I used to be a photographer – well… a very amateur photographer – I had just started then, actually. Luckily, the stars aligned in my favor and I was invited to shoot a cage fight event, due to the unexpected illness