From unemployed mom to bestselling author: Güldane Altekrüger
Güldane (Dana) was born as a child of guest workers in Hamburg-St. Pauli. She spent her childhood with her four siblings between the Koran school and the Salvation Army, and prostitution, drugs and violence were part of everyday life on her doorstep. Her parents had then sent her to school in Turkey from 3rd-6th grade, where she lived with her grandparents and shared a bedroom with nine other family members.
On Nov. 12, 2018, her first book went online at Amazon and was marked as a bestseller the very next day. After the BILD newspaper reported on her story two weeks later, publishers lined up to buy the rights from her and applied pressure: "You'll never make it on your own!"
But Dana turned down all the offers from the big publishers. Instead, she rounded up family to package books, friends with whom she made YouTube films and who built her website, and acquaintances who handled book shipping. By January 2019, she had built a logistics network and arranged contracts with all the major bookstore chains.
Readers also snatched her second book from her hands, and in October 2019, she ranked #1 and #2 on the Amazon bestseller list with both of her books! Book 1 was among the top 3 best-selling books in Germany in 2019 (Amazon bestseller list)
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