Friday, 13 November 2015

Industry Interview: Kim Nash | Bookouture

Hello folks, today I have another interview but this time it isn't like  m normal interviews where I talk with writers and authors. This one is an industry professional from the world of publishing, and I think it is great to be able to see things from a different perspective. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the lovely Kim Nash.

So tell me a little bit about yourself Kim, where are you from and what do you do?

Oooh it feels like Blind Date! I live in Hednesford in Staffordshire with my son Ollie who is nearly 8.  I’m Bookouture’s publicity and social media manager, I work with a couple of clients on a freelance basis and I have a Swiss premium skincare, make-up and healthcare business (Arbonne).  Oh and in my spare time, not that I get much these days, I’m a book blogger!  My job with Bookouture is to connect our brilliant books and authors to readers, reviewers and supporters. 

What can you tell me about your typical working day, what do you get up to?

I’m an early bird so I’m up around 6am so I can try to get some work done before my son wakes up and it’s that hectic hour before going to school.  I do check Facebook and Twitter but try very hard to limit my time to messages and mentions and respond and share the things that are necessary. It’s so easy to get sucked into social media and hours fly by! Then I check NetGalley to see whether bloggers have requested any of our books, it’s important to us to react quickly to requests as most readers are impatient like me and when they want to read a book they want to start it RIGHT NOW!  

After the morning school run, I grab a coffee and settle at my desk and get stuck into whatever needs doing at that time.  Sometimes, that might be uploading books to NetGalley, preparing for cover reveals, ordering paperback copies for our authors, liaising with bloggers, reviewers and press arranging radio interviews and generally doing anything I can to tell the world about our books.   I aim to get as many online reviews as I possibly can, introducing new readers to our books if they’ve never read one of our authors before, building relationships with new bloggers and keeping our brilliant relationships going with our Twitter and Facebook communities.  I try to encourage reviewers to leave reviews on Amazon which is SO important for authors.  At some point around 2pm my stomach normally grumbles reminding me I haven’t eaten yet today and I try to throw some lunch together. 

I cram as much work in as I can before I go to do the school pick-up again, which always seems like five minutes after I’ve done the drop off.  Then I am normally dragged outside somewhere to play football with my footy mad son! I’m quite a good juggler! I have been known to do cover reveals and launches while cooking tea and playing football! Multi-talented!

I aim to keep my authors happy and content at all times and pander to their every whim.  And you wouldn’t believe some of the riders they have! Such divas! No seriously, MOST of them are no trouble at all!  ;-)
It’s my job to manage social media for Bookouture so I get to talk to the world on Facebook and Twitter at all times of the day and night.  

I’m not a big TV watcher so evenings normally consist of story time for Ollie then I might spend some time booking one-to-one Arbonne consultations, or arranging events to share the products with people who want to learn more about them and the business and talking to my team.  Then it’s settling down with a good book.  I’m not late to bed because I get up early, although when I do get a book I can’t put down I can be found reading late into the night.   

You are the publicity manager for the wonderful publisher Bookouture, what are they like to work with?

I can honestly hand on heart say that I LOVE working with Bookouture. Olly Rhodes is someone that I learn from every day, he’s very wise and he’s very patient with my rubbish technical abilities and daft questions!  Claire Bord and Keshini Naidoo are so fabulous at spotting amazing talent and polishing stories so they are the best they can be for our readers.  And the authors – what can I say! They are all amazing and write such fabulous books.  I feel very blessed and at times am very smug!  

What is the best bit(s) about your job?

I get to do something that I love every day.  What’s not to love about that! My job is extremely cool!

Any particular career highlights / fond memories that you would like to share with us?

A few.  Some of the authors we’ve taken on at Bookouture have been people who I’ve been reading for years.  I was introduced to Bookouture through Sue Watson whose first book I reviewed on my blog.  I’ve always been a massive fan and love her to bits!

Louise Douglas for instance is someone who I’ve admired since I discovered her books.  So you can imagine my delight when I was told that we were going to be taking on some of her US books and we’d be working with her.  Mel Sherratt, I’ve known for a while and when the opportunity arose for us to sign her, I thought I’d burst with excitement!  Especially when I had to keep the whole Marcie Steele secret to myself! That was worse than when I was having a boy and couldn’t tell anyone! And Nigel May is someone I’d worked with as he was self-publishing and when we decided to publish him, I was beside myself! 

Milly Johnson is someone whose books I adore!  In fact she is the reason I began blogging! If you want to, you can read about that here! The day I met her was a dream come true for me.  When I first met Carole Matthews I was so in awe of her as she sat at my table at an event and had a coffee with me.  I remember sneakily texting my sister saying “OMG! You’ll never guess who I’m drinking coffee with!”  I’d devoured every single one of her books and have now met her several times, been for various afternoon teas and to different events, and even been to a party at her house! What a lovely lady! And when another favourite all-time author of mine Belinda Jones invited me to her Sunlounger 2 cocktail party, that was pretty damn cool.  And meeting Miranda Dickenson is always pretty cool too as I’m a massive fan and as a fellow Midlander, we have get-togethers too with authors and bloggers that have become really good friends. 
And I have so many fond memories of meeting so many bloggers and reviewers who I’ve talked to on line.  When I met Rea from Rea’s Book Review last year, it was like meeting a celeb.  I bloody love that girl!   I love to talk to people about books so getting us bloggers together is awesome! 

Is there much you can tell us about the acquisition process for Bookouture?

We invite submissions through the website, and are looking for something really special that we know our readers will love. 

We're looking for great writing and great stories that really grip you with characters that you can connect with and don't want to say goodbye to. We're essentially open to most genres with a great story to tell, and an interesting, original voice.

You can find out more on the official Bookouture website HERE

We always hear great things from authors about the relationship they have working with Bookouture. Do you have any thoughts on this from the perspective of a publicity manager?

We have a closed facebook group which is hilarious at times.  Being an author is quite a solitary occupation and it’s great to have a sounding board to ask questions of, say hi and get a virtual hug if you’re feeling a bit lonely, or share something funny that’s happened! I try to look after our authors as best as I can, helping them to achieve their goals and keeping them happy.  I think (hope) we all have a great relationship and truly want to help each other to succeed. There is no competition between the authors or anyone at HQ, and everyone is extremely genuine.  We all want the same things, which is to bring the best books we can to our readers.  

Any advice or hints and tips for aspiring authors?

I’m sure it’s easy to say but don’t be disheartened if your work gets rejected.  If you send it to us and we feel it’s not right for us, don’t give up.  Keep writing!  Sometimes it’s just not right at that particular time.  And you can always resubmit to us.  It might be the right book at the wrong time or the other way round.  I’m a big believer in things being meant to be and they’ll happen at some point with the people that they are meant to happen with.

So what’s next for Kim Nash?

Oooh that’s an interesting question.  Short term - I’m VERY excited that we’re having a Bookouture meet up next weekend.  Quite a few of the authors and the team from HQ are meeting up which will be awesome. And long term, I’ve always wanted to organise some book events in the Midlands as everything that happens, happens in London and I’d like to see more happening in the middle of the country as I feel that we really miss out. 
I’m really looking forward to continuing to share amazing books and fabulous authors with the world and our fabulous team growing even more.  And you never know, I might even write a book of my own one day! 

The Fun Stuff:

What is your favourite TV show right now?

I don’t watch much TV but Right now Devious Maids! Nigel May and I compare notes all the time! I also love Stella but my favourite all time program is Sky 1’s Hawaii Five 0.  Oh and I’m a massive X-Factor fan too! Sorry!  

Who is your ultimate celebrity crush?
Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett from Hawaii Five 0 (aka Alex O’Loughlin).  I LOVE him! I truly do!  One day he will be mine (I may have to write him into a book!)

Who are your favourite authors?

As mentioned above, Carole Matthews, Milly Johnson, Louise Douglas but since I’ve been blogging and involved in books I’ve discovered so many more than I could possibly mention.  Amanda Prowse makes me cry every time, and of course I’m so very proud of every single one of our Bookouture authors and count my blessings every day that I get to read their magnificent work and share their books! 

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading Letting You Know by Anouska Knight.  It’s very powerful.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Kim. As always you are a superstar.