Monetise your skills: from bookworm to marketeer for authors

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Kim Nash talks to Blackheath Dawn about her journey from bookworm to a publishing and social media consultant for authors.

Thanks so much for inviting me to explain how I started working in marketing and publicity for authors and publishers. Here’s how my journey began:

I’ve always been a bookworm. My mom used to tell me off for staying up all hours till I’d finished a book. Then she’d borrow it! She was a bookworm too! When I was young, it was my dream to own a publishers where I sat in a swanky office and read books all day and decide which ones to publish. Unfortunately, publishing is not quite that simple, life got in the way and I drifted off to other things although reading has always been my passion.

Four years ago, I read A Spring Affair by Milly Johnson. I emailed her and told her how fabulous, motivating and inspirational I found it. Milly wrote straight back to me and we kept in touch. I mentioned starting a blog to her and she told me to go for it. She also asked me if I’d like to read advanced review copies of her books! At the time, I didn’t even know such things existed! She also told other authors about me, I started my blog and www.kimthebookworm.co.uk was born!

Not all authors have time or the inclination to do the marketing malarkey that goes with selling books. Today, to sell books, you need a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, a blog, a newsletter, to update your social media profiles regularly, send out press releases and arrange events and signings and build relationships with your readers. As well as having full time jobs, families, homes to run along with other commitments…. not to mention writing the next book!

A couple of authors asked whether I might be able to help them. One was, let’s say, technically challenged, so I helped her set up social media profiles and now manage them for her. Another wanted to contact bloggers and didn’t know where to start. I produced a contact list and a covering letter for her to send out and invite reviews. This was something I was doing in my spare time and I began to crave working in this world! Earlier this year I took a leap of faith and left my full time role in a PR and marketing agency to start my own business.

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