Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guest Post! Kirsten Miller: One Month Later

Today the FNC is lucky to be debuting a new feature, which has been very un-creatively titled "One Month Later."  So far, we've been all about letting you know about the books that are coming out with author interviews, guest posts, and co-reviews.

But that left us wondering...what does life look like AFTER your book goes out into the world?  And so, "One Month Later" was born.  We'll be bringing you guest posts and interviews from some of the hottest YA authors out there, talking all about what it's like to have your book out in the world!

Joining us today is Kirsten Miller, author of the Kiki Strike series and the much-talked-about recent release, The Eternal Ones.  Check out her books on her Goodreads page.

Keep reading to find out just what life can look like in the month after your book comes out, how the release of a book can feel different each time, and what it feels like when your book grows up and goes out into the world!

Thanks to Kirsten for taking the time to join us!

1) What's been happening in the month (ish) since The Eternal Ones has come out?

Oh let’s see . . .

I celebrated the launch with hot dogs and champagne. (Mmmm.)
I participated in dozens and dozens of interviews. (I am currently bored to death of myself.)
I tried to keep my Eternal Ones blog up to date. (Much, much harder than it sounds.)
I tried to keep my Kiki Strike blog up to date. (Next to impossible.)
I hit the New York Times bestsellers list. (Yay!)
I fell off the New York Times bestsellers list. (Oh well. It was an honor just to be nominated. Ha.)
I took part in a bunch of festivals and conferences. Decatur, Chicago, Brooklyn, Texas, etc.
I wrote a super creepy short story set in the hotel I stayed in while I was visiting Chicago.
I tried to keep chugging away on the sequel to The Eternal Ones. (Hahahahaha.)
I had jury duty. (Wasn’t picked.)
I avoided most reviews of my book. (Except the really good ones, of course.)
I avoided most bookstores.
I visited my parents and was interviewed by my hometown paper.
I contemplated having a nervous breakdown. I decided against it.

2) Has the release of The Eternal Ones felt different at all to the release of your Kiki Strike books?

Very interesting question. Kiki Strike was my first novel, and I had no idea what to expect after its release. Plus, I’d just moved to Paris, so I wasn’t really in touch with my publisher back here in New York. It was a strange time in my life. I didn’t have any sense of how the book was doing. I was miserable in France. The weather was terrible. And I was trying to write Kiki #2.

But then, about four months after the book hit stores, my Kiki Strike blog started getting traffic. That’s when I began to feel like I’d actually made some sort of impression. The kids who visited the blog really kept me going. I doubt I would have written any more books if it hadn’t been for them. I’m glad I persevered. Kiki Strike never made the Times list, but it’s still selling well four years after its release. I guess you could call it a sleeper hit of sorts.

I don’t know what to say about the release of The Eternal Ones. It’s still so fresh. The people at Razorbill/Penguin have done a phenomenal job with the marketing and publicity. Which is great. But it also makes me a quite anxious, because I want the book to do well. For their sake as much as my own.

I will say that that the online YA world has changed quite a bit since the second Kiki book came out in 2007. There are more bloggers. More book sites like goodreads. I couldn’t be more pleased by these developments. But there are also more people who seem to be out for blood. (Not just mine. Check out Jonathan Franzen’s bizarre Amazon reviews.) That’s fine, too. It just makes the Internet feel like a bit of a minefield at times.

There’s also a lot more work that’s expected of authors these days. Website content. Blog tours. Blog posts. Facebook. Twitter. It can be quite overwhelming at times.

3) What should we know about the experience of having your book in the world?

Here are my suggestions.

1. Have a long, candid talk with your editor about what may or may not happen after the release of your book. Managing your own expectations is critical.

2. Figure out what the best use of your Internet time will be. (Blog, Facebook, Twitter, book website, etc.) Or maybe you can do it all. I certainly can’t.

3. Grow a really tough skin or avoid your online reviews. (Except the good ones, of course. Haha.)

4. Have a new project in the works. If nothing else, it will keep you from obsessing about aspects of the launch that you cannot control.

5. Remember: No one knows what the Amazon ranking really means.

6. Also remember: In the YA world, books don’t necessarily need to make a bestsellers list to be a hit in the long run.

Thank you again to Kirsten for a glimpse into just what life can look like in first month of publication!


  1. This was a great idea. Fascinating to see what's going on with an author with a book one month out of the gate. My first novel comes out next year and I'm definitely going to remember Kirsten's good advice. Thanks! - Stasia

  2. Thanks for the advice Kirsten. Especially the points at the end about being realistic and having thick skin.

    Good luck with your book.


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