ALL PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY...

It seems crazy that another year is almost over.

I’ve now been a published author for three and a half years. With four books under my belt, and another two almost ready for publication in the new year, it feels a whole lot longer!

This year I was asked to join the organising committee for the NZ Book Festival, which came with its own challenges and excitement. The Festival turned out to be my best one yet, sales wise. Due to another exhibitor pulling out at the last minute, I had to lengthen my stand to fill their space in addition to mine. I’m pretty sure that worked in my favour. I’m also a firm believer in engaging with the public when they walk through the door. That might have helped too.

The week before the NZ Book Festival, the NZ Herald ran a great article about the Festival and the independent author scene in New Zealand.

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And I didn’t just appear in the NZ Herald this year. The New Zealand Society of Authors interviewed me about being more nimble, as an independent author, for this magazine. The article was a wonderful piece detailing the ability of independent authors to take control of their careers, and finances.

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After the Christmas break, and before school goes back in February, I’m also attending New Zealand’s first crime writing festival - Rotorua Noir. And I was honoured to be asked to sit on a panel at the festival - Genre Blenders. So I’ll be spending some of my beach time thinking about that panel and the extraordinary authors I’m appearing with. What an honour!

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Best Seller

So although 2018 has been hectic, with the release of Doctor Perry, which hit #1 in the Horror Charts overseas; and appearing as a panellist at Murder In The Library; and helping with the arrangements for the NZ Book Festival; and still being a mother and a wife, and a volunteer at school, it doesn’t look like things are going to slow down in the new year!

All The Lessons

Adding to my plate this year, was the excitement of helping my husband launch his first non fiction book - 81 Lessons From The Sky. We quickly followed that with 101 Lessons From The Sky, and just last week, we launched 51 Lessons From The Sky. So he now has three books out, helping to ensure pilots make it home to their loved ones. I’m so proud to be able to help him launch these incredibly valuable resources.

So now I really just want to say, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all.

Take care. Drive safely. Exercise. Eat well. Read lots.

Love Kirsten xxx

LESSONS FROM THE LAUNCH OF PAINTED: A THRILLING NEW HORROR NOVEL

Yes, I can now shout it from the rooftops!

PAINTED has been published! 

Available at all online retailers.

It is entirely true when I say that PAINTED wouldn't be the book it is without a barrow full of help from some amazing friends and family, and from strangers. From people who chose to join the Launch Team over on Facebook, and acted as Beta readers and ARC readers. They really are amazing people. Thank you.

I tried following all the launch plans littering the internet. Launch plans written by authors and experts with a lot more experience than I have. And here are my key learning points:

  1. You need a plan. You cannot wing a proper launch.
  2. You need to write that plan down. Do not rely on remembering everything. You will forget something. Trust me.
  3. You may have only just started your Man Booker Prize winning novel, but start prepping  your launch now. Don't laugh, this bit is true. Start nurturing the bloggers, the media contacts, your launch team, now. Massage them, wine and dine them, tempt them with tantalising snippets from your work. You can't turn up begging on their doorstep three days before the launch and hope for some media. That's not the way it works.
  4. Pay for help. "Oh but I've got no money." Yes well, that may be true. But put some aside for all the things you're going to need - a great cover, an editor, formatting software, Amazon advertising, inclusion in catalogues, membership to various society groups - Alliance of Independent Authors, Society of Authors, Society of Horror Authors etc etc.
  5. Are you still following that plan? Step-by-step?
  6. Newsletter swaps - these need to be organised weeks in advance. Start working on those now. Yes, even if you don't have a firm date for your launch. Make contact. Write those contacts down in a master list somewhere. Same goes for blog sites, review sites. You cannot wing this part. Be like the Avon Lady, and know the best doors to knock on.
  7. If you are doing paperbacks, get them into your hands before the launch. It makes marketing so much easier if you can take photos of those bound beauties. It also makes it easier to tempt people to review your book by offering them copies. Media sites like to give away copies if they're going to put in the effort to interview you. This is a marketing cost. Be prepared to shoulder this cost.
  8. Don't try to do everything, all at once. You need to space out your energies, or you will burn yourself out. Trust me.
  9. Your launch team is your best asset. Don't ask them to do too much. Reward them. And be grateful for the effort they put in on your behalf. They didn't have to do it. Don't underestimate how important they are to your success.
  10. And as Rachel Hunter said, "it won't happen overnight, but it will happen".
Rachel Hunter

You can buy PAINTED from all online retailers now

CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER BELOW