26 July 2012

Book Savvy Spotlight on Nicola Burgher-Kennedy

Bringing you exclusive interviews with authors featured in the Book Savvy Newsletter.
Our Guest is Nicola Burgher-Kennedy*
Enjoy the interview.

Q1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book 'The Creator's Diet'?
I'm a public health nutritionist with approximately 15 years experience. I'm resident nutritionist on Premier Christian Radio Station, a wife, mother and a Christian. The book is a result of much research and provides a summary of the biblical principles on nutrition to help individuals make the best food choices for their health and ultimately their destinies.


Q2. Tell us how you became a nutritionist?
I actually never set out to be a nutritionist but rather was going down the doctor route. But then in a final module of my first degree which was nutrition related, I changed directions to study nutrition.


Q3. What made you write this book?
So many things really, but primarily my father's death from prostate cancer and the incidence of ill health in the church. Also a realisation of the effect good nutrition can have on improving the quality of a person's life.


Q4. What is 'The Creator's Diet'?
It's a healthy eating plan that originated over 4000 years ago, based on biblical principles, and intertwined with current nutrition principles. It's not a fad, or based on shakes or supplements but rather nutrition in practice, which yields results.


Q5. What do you enjoy most about writing? And the most challenging?
I enjoy the research and then seeing it all come together. Funny really, as researching and putting it all together is also the most challenging too.


Q6. How do you find the time to write with all your other responsibilities?
I don't! Being a mother, wife, full time professional, independent nutritionist, church praise/worship leader, doesn't leave much time, however it's something I have to make time for, which generally means very early mornings or very late nights.


Q7. Which authors/books have had the most influence on your writing style?
I like autobiographies and the way they are written mainly because they are relatable and draw readers into the story. Whereas nutrition differs from autobiographies, I have tried to make the book relatable and user-friendly so the reader is taken on a journey they can benefit from.


Q8. What are your interests when you are not writing?
I love the outdoors though I don't get much time to enjoy it as I used to. I love spending time travelling, eating great food especially with my husband and daughter. Family time is so, so important to me.


Q9. What is the first thing you did to promote your book once it was published?
I held a book launch and concert - in which I was the keynote singer. I invited all my friends, family, pastors and leaders, my publishers, various health associations and informed media representatives. It was a great time. I then followed up by writing to the appropriate key opinion formers who were in attendance and also those who could not attend.


Q10. If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you've used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
It would likely be my appearances on Premier Christian Radio Station. The media is a great marketing tool!


Q11. Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?
More recently yes, I use both and have had great success with them as they encourage interaction and networking that I don't get from my stand-alone website. I was sceptical at first but my agent helped me see the need and benefit.


Q12. What are you currently doing to market your book?
I am now resident nutritionist on Premier Christian Station with regular slots so I continue to use this as a marketing tool coupled with social media, competitions and the like. I have also approached my church bookshop to stock my book as well as networking with relevant key opinion formers for presentations and workshops.


Q13. Are you concerned about the effect of e-publishing on traditional books?
Not at all, I believe both have different audiences and thus do not cannibalise each other. In my opinion, there will always be some individuals who prefer the traditional book, albeit a minority in the future.


Q14. Do you target your books at any particular market?
I have been yes, but I am in the process of reviewing my current strategy to see how, and if, the book can be marketed to wider audiences. A clear, robust strategy is so important.


Q15. What kinds of feed-back have you received from your readers, good and bad?
The feedback has been fantastic as it has allowed me to think even broader and provide a canvass for great ideas and innovations. It's such an exciting time with the advent of social media and technology. All feedback can be used constructively and so I have always welcomed it.


Q16. How do you see your writing career progressing? Are there more books in the pipeline?
There are always more books in the pipeline; it's just finding the time. I would like to have The Creator's Diet as a series of books eventually, on a variety of public health nutrition topics but you'll just have to watch this space :)


Q17. Do you have any closing advice marketing/PR tips to offer aspiring writers or even fellow authors?
A clear, focused robust strategy, with measurable goals is imperative. You may have to sow in order to reap and by that I mean employ an agency or individual with that expertise who can help you utilise that which is accessible to you, effectively.


Thank you for your time. We wish you every success in your writing career.

*Nicola is a qualified and experienced Public Health Nutritionist with an Honours degree in Biomedical Science and a Masters degree in Nutrition at King's College London University.
She is a full member of the Nutrition Society and Nutritionists Industry Group. Her passion is to see people educated in the area of nutrition and health so they can make informed decisions to benefit themselves and their families.
Nicola is the author of 'The Creator's Diet'.


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