The author and historian Carl Borgen writes for PRscribe, the publishing blog by Palamedes PR

Book PR was a Gamble…That Paid Off | By Carl Borgen


Carl Borgen‘s books have appeared in hundreds of media outlets worldwide. He is the world’s leading expert on The Bock Saga and the first person to put Ior Bock’s story into written form. The search for the “world’s largest treasure trove” – said to be worth over $20billion – by the ‘Temple 12’ led to international fame, bestseller status, and interest from TV and film producers around the world.

Writing for the first time about his remarkable publishing journey, Carl discusses the benefits of publishing on Amazon, overcoming literary agent rejection, and the need for solid book marketing to boost book sales.

Carl Borgen

“Even in the unlikely case that the novel you just typed in your spare time is a masterpiece, the chances of it making you a bestselling author are close to zero.

This article is about publishing and will not go into the countless mistakes that a naïve novice will make producing his/her first work. I could, though, because I made them all.

The usual first mistake in the humiliating process of trying to get published is to offer your manuscript to publishers. The fact is that publishers detest contact with authors and hate reading books. What publishers do like is selling books, as many as possible. And yes, they are good at it. Don’t let the rejections get at you. The moment you realise trying to get into contact with them is futile, you are ready for step two.

The gate keepers into the publishing world are called literary agents. Many piranhas will be waiting for you, trying to suck blood out of your insecurity and ambition. Avoid anyone who wants to have money up front.

There are lists with reputable literary agents. In these you are supposed to find agents that fit your genre and style. Follow their submission rules in each detail. Part of your submission is the all-important submission letter. Use all your literary skills to make it as submissive as possible. It is a lot of work, and the result is almost always the same: rejection.

The reality is that even the best and best selling authors were rejected countless times. They can look at that period of their lives with a smile now. All the authors that never got published have nothing to smile about, obviously.

I realised that my chances were slim, especially because I was not at all convinced about my writing skills. I had never written a novel before and there was no indication that I possessed a magical super talent. The reason that I wrote my book was that I had the story in my head and thought it was worth to share. The minimum audience I envisioned, were my kids and grandchildren. My book told the dramatized adventures of the events surrounding the illustrious creation story called the Bock Saga. There was a group of a several thousand aficionados who had followed these events. I hoped they would buy the book.

Temple Excavation

Above: Borgen revealed how a decades-long hunt for the world’s largest undiscovered treasure trove could soon be over – thanks to a team of “stony broke” amateur archaeologists.

The reality is that even the best and best selling authors were rejected countless times. They can look at that period of their lives with a smile now. All the authors that never got published have nothing to smile about, obviously.

Carl Borgen

The only way to publish the book without going through the discouraging process of trying to please a haughty literary agent was the self-publishing service of Amazon. An additional benefit was that they pay five times the profit per book then a publisher does. But the question remained: How can I sell my book worldwide in great number? I decided instead of peddling from door to door to use the tactics of attraction. I wouldn’t offer my book anywhere to anyone. Let them come to me. And the attraction would be publicity.

I searched the internet for a publicity agent. I realised that I needed something out of the ordinary. The ordinary was defeat and failure, remember? I wanted a winning lottery ticket however small the chances were. I somehow stumbled on Palamedes PR. Their website was not slick, but kind of… weird. Contact was easily established, and we talked about the project. In the beginning I was not sure if they were genius or a bunch of scammers that my friends warned me for. I was glad they were not super expensive. I could take the risk.

Their professional approach soon became clear. I decided to give them a free hand, carte blanche, which was psychologically not always easy, being a control freak. They came up with some ideas that I could never have thought of myself. Sometimes they had to talk me into it, when it went against my common sense. But in case of doubt, I let them decide how to handle the publicity campaign. After all, what use would it be to hire them and not follow their advice?

Lemminkäinen Temple

The Temple 12 are now “on the brink” of unearthing the ‘Lemminkäinen Hoard’, a hidden stash of gold, jewels and ancient artefacts thought to be worth up to £15 billion. Their bounty is believed to contain over 50,000 gemstones including rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, and at least 1,000 antiquities dating back thousands of years. It is also thought to include several life-size statues in human form, each made of solid 18-carat gold. The hoard, which is said to be entombed in an underground temple in Sipoo, Finland (entrance pictured above), has proved elusive for more than three decades.

After long preparations came the day the campaign was unleashed upon the world. Would it work? Would anything happen? In the morning Anthony (Harvison, my publicist) called me to say that their story was published full page size in all the large UK newspapers. Great! Then it went global. It was published in exotic places like Vietnam, Indian Times and many more. Hundreds of million hits in Asia followed. Great!

Then the USA woke up. A large article in the New York Post. Great! It was trending for three days with 250.000 clicks per hour. I was catapulted into stardom from one second in the next. An unimaginable success for just a book. How did it end?

Yes, I sold loads of books. No, I still do not have a publisher. Yes, big Hollywood producers (and smaller ones) contacted me. They invested lots of time and money into a trailer and we are now in negotiation with the large streaming networks. Yes, I realised that since I am now a famous and maybe soon a more famous author, I should produce world class literature. That’s why I rewrote my story with the help of a professional. And I wrote some additional books.

This amazing story would obviously not have been written without the publicity of Palamedes. For me it was a gamble. They knew what they were doing all along.”

Temporarily Insane front cover

Carl Borgen is considered the world’s leading authority on the ancient creation myth, The Bock Saga.

His bestselling books The Bock Saga: An Introduction and Temporarily Insane (pictured left) detail the Bock Saga. Carl’s other books, The Squatter’s Gang and The End of Paradise also won widespread critical acclaim.

Further information about The Bock Saga can be found at and

Book Marketing Services UK

Palamedes is one of the UK’s longest-established specialist book marketing agencies. Since 2009, we’ve been engaged by some of the world’s biggest publishers and authors to promote books in the media. If you’re looking for author marketing services UK, give us a call and we can talk you through your options with a free 30-minute consultation with one of our British book publicists.

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