Okay, so the books have been out since June 2012!
Both are in German (for now). One is a 448-page travelogue called “The Longest Way” by Piper/Malik:
The other one is a 240-page coffeetable book called “China zu FuĂ” by National Geographic:
It was a long, winding road, and here’s how it happened:
- I had my initial contacts with different publishing houses in 2009, after the weird beard video blew up on YouTube.
- After long talks I finally signed my first book deal on September 16th 2010, and the other one on May 6th 2011.
- I announced that I was going to “write, write, write, write, write and write” while I was still in China in the summer of 2010, revisiting The Longest Way.
- Writing didn’t always go “as smooth as it should” – in which case I would usually resort to blogging about vodka.
- It took a long time until I finally figured out that – for me – writing with a pen was the best way to do it. I took a picture of it when I had only “a few more months to go” – and I called it work for the first time.
- There was a book featuring an excerpt from my manuscript. It came out in September 2011 and I was delighted: “Yay!”
- I tried to go to the release party of said book. But when I tried to cool down my stage fright by drinking, I messed up and only made it there when the show as already over. It was a “fun night” anyway. ;)
- Writing turned out a very hard thing to do. All deadlines had to be suspended in November 2011. I was “struggling”.
- I got my first picture proofs in the mail in February 2012. That’s when I figured that “things might be getting better”.
- Amazon.de had both my books for pre-order in March 2012. It was exciting, but there was so much work left to do. It was “making my head spin”.
- I had written more than 120.000 words by March 15th. It wasn’t over left. I was “sweating”.
- When I turned in the manuscript on March 30th, it had 140.000 words, and I couldn’t believe that I was “really done”.
- I took my first day off on March 31st. I “walked around and watched some TV”. :)
- My first look at the complete manuscript when it was printed out: “scary shit”.
- While the editors and me were exchanging ideas about corrections to the text, I made a video about the writing process – and it was then that I realized that writing these two books had taken me “two years to complete”.
- The publishers kindly invited me to check out the prepress proofing and the typesetting workflow in May 2012. It was all very interesting and “utterly mysterious” to me.
- A few days later, we had a look at the printing process. I was very impressed by the size and awesomeness of the machines, and it was cool to find out that for everyone of my books “somewhere out there, it has a twin”.
- I finally received the books in the mail in June 2012, three years after the idea had been born to write books about The Longest Way. It was “just awesome”. :)
Here’s how the books were made:
Oh, and I made a video in which I tried to say a few things about the books in as many ways as possible: