In 2010, I commissioned the Freiburg-based publishing house V-JA Verlag Junger Autoren to publish a small print run of my book.
I covered the full costs myself.
In return, I received a perfectly designed edition of the picture book. The high-quality binding, paper, and color printing all met my expectations.
These copies were for a relatively small number of family and friends.
I was moved by their responses. Many said that their grief manifested itself again as they were reading, giving them an opportunity to work through it. It also became evident that my book is suitable for readers of all ages. I therefore decided that I wanted to share my book with a wider readership.
Unfamiliar with the vagaries of the publishing industry, I signed a contract with the publisher Deutsche Buchmarketing-und Vertriebsgesellschaft Berlin DBV mbH.
What followed was a fiasco.
The quality of the picture book printed by this publisher was extremely poor, and as a result, bookstores were unwilling to showcase it on their shelves. I had given the rights to my book away to a so-called “vanity publisher”. I took the publisher to court, winning my appeal in the Higher Regional Court. At around the same time, Deutsche Buchmarketing- und Vertriebsgesellschaft Berlin went bankrupt. I donated the books I had received to social projects. The many letters of appreciation I received reaffirmed the book’s value.
In 2018, I bought back the rights to my books “My Friend Xaverl and Me” and “Trees Are Like People” from the receiver. Since then, my book has been waiting to be discovered, appreciated, and marketed by a suitable publisher. As the theme is a timeless one – grief and its manifestations are a fundamental but often repressed theme – I am firmly convinced that the book should be available in multiple languages.
I look forward to working with a publisher that can share my book with a wide readership.