South African Publishing Industry Biased Against Indie Authors


When it comes to the publishing industry, South Africa is at least 50 years behind everywhere else!

First of all, it’s nigh on impossible to get a foot in the door at a so-called ‘traditional publisher’ in South Africa – I know, I’ve been trying for almost 30 years!

My books are available internationally via distribution channels such as Amazon, Nook, Barnes & Nobel, iTunes, Lybrary, Lulu, Kobo – and even a few I don’t even know about – and yes, even in South Africa, you can find and order them online – but you still can’t walk into a CNA or an Exclusive Books to flip through the pages of a copy on a shelf. More

Publisher Bails On “Non-pure-horror” Writers


My dear fans,

As you know by now, I’m a writer living in South Africa – and for over twenty years I’ve been struggling to get a foot in the door as a writer, having worked the self-publishing route for thirteen of those years.

I write a peculiar blend of sci-fi/fantasy/horror, sometimes using vampire characters in sci-fi situations. I also write some LGBT characters since I am part of that community as well. As I’m sure you also know, getting published while writing material of that nature in today’s world is not as simple or easy as people may think!

In late 2014 I was lucky enough to sign with a small press (traditional publisher) based in Texas, who agreed to re-release all of my completed works under their label. The publisher was fairly new and popular and grew quickly – too quickly perhaps, to be able to handle the workload.

Some of you may have noticed over the past year – as I have – the output from that press seemed to diminish, perhaps as a result of the staff becoming swamped with work. Something had to give, and apparently, something finally did.

A few days ago, I received news from the publisher that they are downsizing their stable of authors and also the scope of their genres. They plan  on narrowing their focus to publish “pure horror” material only. As a consequence, they are letting all their non-horror writers go, including me!

As part of the termination agreement, they are releasing all our (the writers) contracted works back to us, including use of the covers our works were published under.

This morning, I returned the signed release form for “Blachart“, “Demonspawn“, “Dead Beckoning” and my dad’s anthology “African Assignment“.

What this means for me is… well, it’s pretty devastating really. After all that hard work and all that hopefulness… it’s like having the rug ripped out from under your feet at the top of a tall staircase!

Anyway, as per the agreement, my books as released through JEA will be taken down from Amazon.com soon (meaning they will go ‘out of print’) while I negotiate with another publisher to take me on or look at other alternatives. They are still up for now, and I have no idea when they will come down, or when the master material and cover templates etc. will be forwarded to me.

As you can imagine, having to make alterations to each cover and each manuscript to reflect a change in publishers and editions etc, takes a little time. There is also no guarantee I will be able to just find another publisher, albeit a ‘small press’ again easily, or soon.

Like those of you (however few you may be) who follow my postings and are truly interested and supportive of my writing and career, I will be waiting impatiently to get everything up on again in order to get back in the game!

I apologize to those who enjoy my writing, for the inconvenience and for the disappointment – believe me, I am disappointed as well! This isn’t over – this is just a slight setback. I will keep you all informed of progress in this matter.

All the best!

Christina Engela

Help! I Really Suck At Marketing!


Galaxii bannerI’m not a braggart. I don’t like to go round shouting my achievements from the rooftops, or crowing about how good I am at various things in life. Over all I try to be polite and friendly and helpful and humble. After all, nobody like a smart-ass. I think I succeed in this generally – although sometimes, I think – too well. Take my writing for instance. No please, take it.

When it comes to marketing myself I’ve always struggled, because it means sounding like I enjoy talking about myself and my talents or abilities and achievements. Ordinarily I don’t – I share my news with friends and on Facebook like everybody else does these days, I suppose – but when it comes to marketing my writing, I struggle. How do I do it without coming across like an arrogant full-of-herself know-it-all? That’s a tough one. Just posting links to my stuff doesn’t seem to do it. The way I think of marketing is someone saying “This is good shit. Buy it”.

Seriously though – I’m a writer. I write for the love of it, but what would be the point of writing awesome stories if nobody else gets the chance to read them? I publish for YOU folks to read my stuff, and in all honesty, to make some money out of it – which is where marketing comes in, again. What is the point of spending most of my free time writing stories that are frankly excellent, but people won’t read them because they don’t know they exist or where to find them?

I have a great publisher ( I think), but being small and fairly new, they don’t do marketing – and I really, really suck at marketing! I’m not wealthy, and can’t pay a company for publicity. Without marketing, people won’t even know my stuff exists, where to find it, or even realize that they really, really want to read it!

So here it is – I’ve been a writer since I could first hold a wax crayon (and get my parents into embarrassing situations for ‘news’ I made up at school). I grew up with my mom and dad who were both talented writers and who were humble people from humble backgrounds. Mom wrote poetry in English and Afrikaans, and Dad wrote English fiction – mostly bushveld stories that appeared on Springbok Radio in the 1960’s – so I grew up in a creative environment, writing and creating and telling stories. It’s in my blood.

My stories are entertaining, well constructed, easy to understand, multi-layered, filled with comedy, action, romance, moral appeal and professionally edited. People I have never met have said they had fun reading them. Many have literally begged me to write sequels. The covers are beautifully designed to suit each story, and the quality is great too. You can find them on Amazon.com and it only takes a short while for paperback copies to be delivered to your door! For your convenience, e-book files are also available for immediate download – how much easier could it be?

Compared to a lot of the guff out there these days, my stuff is really, really good. Give it a try, you’ll see!

My Amazon Author Page

This is good shit. Buy it.

“Blachart”: New Release From JEA Now Available!


Blachart JEA“Blachart” by Christina Engela – the first installment in the Galaxii Series, released by JEA, is here!

Here is the link to the Kindle version of Blachart, and this is the hard copy link.

Get in there and enjoy it! 🙂

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