peeps: Kirsten Weiss
After growing up in San Mateo, California, and getting her MBA, Kirsten Weiss joined the Peace Corps. For nearly fourteen years she worked around the fringes of the former USSR and deep in the Afghan war zone, which she says gave her “glimpses into the darker side of human nature,” while also stimulating an interest in and fascination for “the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.”
Now back safely in San Mateo, Kirsten has put her imagination to work, blending it with her experiences to create “vivid worlds of magic and mayhem” as the author of the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery/urban fantasies, recently releasing The Infernal Detective, the fourth book of the series.
How Kirsten Got Started Self-Publishing
Kirsten dreamt that after she’d started self-publishing her books on Amazon, a publisher would take notice of her amazing work, offer her a contract, and take her in as part of the family. “I wasn’t greedy,” she says, “a small publisher would do.”
Guess what happened next.
After publishing her first two books on her own, Kirsten has since signed on with small publisher Misterio Press. “Much of the marketing work is still on my shoulders,” she explains of the arrangement. “But Misterio is a tremendous support, and while I still use my own professional editor, they also provide me with two editorial ‘cuts,’ ratcheting up the quality of my finished product.”
Works great for Kirsten and her readers!
Self-Publishing Observations and Tips
- “Your writing’s not good enough. I can hear the screaming now. If it makes you feel better, mine isn’t good enough either. Because I don’t care what profession you’re in — if you think you know it all, it’s a sure sign you don’t. Professionals are constantly looking for ways to improve, and self-published writers should be no exception. I’m still taking courses and reading books on writing. And the good news is there are lots of resources available to help step up your game — professional associations, and writing blogs, and books on editing, and online classes.”
- “Hire a professional editor. Today, there are three sets of professional editorial eyeballs reviewing my work — the professional editor I hire before submitting to Misterio Press, and two editors at Misterio. And the third editor always catches things the first two missed. Always. Everyone needs an editor, and if you want to produce a quality product, get one.”
- “Get a professional cover designer. Books are judged by their covers and unless you are a professional book cover designer yourself, don’t even think of creating your own. And why should you? There are Web designers like Bookbaby that can get you a kick-butt cover for under $300. It’s worth the investment.”
- “Marketing is part of the job. Yes, yes, yes, your focus should be writing lots of books. But this is a business. And if no one knows about your brilliant creation, then no one’s going to buy it. The vast majority of my time is spent writing, but my daily activity schedule includes social media and requesting reviews from bloggers. Every. Day.”
- “Don’t give up. Self-publishing takes work, and it takes time. Most people publish one book, don’t make any money and quit. But the one-book-wonder is rare. Most successful writers are people who just kept at it. So keep at it!”