Monday, June 18, 2012
Guest Post/ Interview: Author Kersten Kelly
What is the book about? The book is a unique compilation of examples of pop culture, history, social media, business, sports, and education all explained through an economic lens. It uses current market trends and examples that can be applicable and enjoyable for anyone. It is written in a narrative non-fiction format so it flows easily and does not read similarly to a textbook. Economics is part of daily life, and this book challenges readers to question how and why people make decisions by adding a simple twist on normalcy.
Why did you decide to write it? I love economics, and I majored in it during my undergraduate work at Indiana University. As a student, many of the examples in my textbooks were irrelevant and made the subject one that many students did not enjoy. I wanted to change the negative connotations associated with the topic. I wanted to make it something that people understood and relished learning about.
When was it published? It was published on March 5, 2012.
What did you like about writing this book, and books in general? I like the ability to argue my opinions, compile them in a written publication, and have readers be able to communicate with me via my website and through reviews. There has been nothing more rewarding than working for a year to create a publication that people can pick up and read. I like the idea that someone else can read what I wrote and discuss it with others.
What is the tone of the book? Satire? Humor? Informative? The tone is informative, but it is more narrative. Although it delivers a lot of useful information, it is dissimilar to a textbook.
What do you wish to teach the average reader? I want to shed light on economics as a topic for the average reader. I want them to realize that economics is not just graphs, charts, and theories. It can be applicable in almost any situation. The theories that I explain in the book are developed with multiple examples that readers can relate to. Purchasing gasoline is one of them, and education is another. It is amazing how economic theory can help to explain both.
How can the book help the reader to make better choices? Making a better choice is the absolute essence of economics. Economists strive to be better off in their choices. One of the best examples of this in the book is when I discuss how earning an education can triple an average person’s lifetime income. By making better economic decisions (such as earning a higher education), a reader can learn how to exponentially increase their purchasing power (or financial earnings to buy the things they need). I also discuss how the housing market can either hurt or help individuals in a neighborhood.
Where can the book be bought? The book can be bought on Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), CreateSpace.com (paperback only), BarnesandNoble.com (eBook only), Smashwords.com (all eBook formats), and through the book’s website theeconomicsbook.com.
What is the name of your publishing company? Talisman Book Publishing LLC
What led you to start your own company? I wanted to make a footprint in the publishing industry, and I believe that the way to do that is to pave my own path. I didn’t want to just accept something “normal”. I read a lot of literature on how some of the rights to a book are forfeited if you use ISBN numbers or other identifiers linking you to other companies. By starting my own, everything is linked back to me.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to spend time with my family and friends, run local races, snow ski, write books, read, try new restaurants downtown, and hike at some of the best trails in Indiana at Turkey Run State Park. I try to travel internationally as much as possible to places such as Ireland, England, Wales, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Iceland, Canada, and most recently India. I love learning about new cultures, trying various foods, and experiencing life in other countries.
What gave you the idea for this particular book? I majored in Economics in my undergraduate work at Indiana University. In all of the textbooks that I read, the examples were so irrelevant that it made it difficult for my peers and me to understand. I wanted to shed some light on the importance and impact of the subject in examples that people would assimilate with.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I am a part-time writer. It is difficult to balance my time between marketing my written work, writing additional books, and my full-time sales job. I try to squeeze in time whenever it is appropriate to write even a few paragraphs. You never know when you're going to write a masterpiece!
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? This is something I discuss towards the end of my book. I started writing stories when I was seven. I remember sitting around on Sunday afternoons and instead of relaxing, I was organizing chapters to my latest creation. I was passionate about writing and sharing my work (and still am) as a kid. Luckily, my family and friends were extremely supportive of me and continued to encourage my work.
What do you hope readers will take from your writing? I hope readers will feel enlightened to "think outside the box" when it comes to their daily routines. Much of what I discuss in the book concerns normal activities that most people don't usually think twice about. I hope that readers can take away that Economics can be a part of their life, and it doesn't have to be all charts and graphs (although, they help explain much of what the subject is).
What types of writing do you prefer, and why? I prefer non-fiction purely because it makes me think the most. After writing and publishing my first book, I can appreciate any type of writing. It is amazing to look at other authors and see the work they are developing. I am always open for a great referral from a friend for a book I "just have to read."
What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it? Like all writers, I get writer's block where I just cannot think of the next words to fit the page. When this happens, I know that it is time for me to take a break and indulge in some of my other favorite hobbies. It helps if I go for a run, hang out with my friends and family, or go to a sporting event. It helps me to come back to my writing and make it better. It's always good to take breaks and brainstorm off the paper.
What draws you to non-fiction writing? Non-fiction allows me to strategically think about the world in a different way. For my book, Economics is a perfect subject to analyze the world. The style of writing helped me to convey a message and provide an explanation for how certain parts of the economy function.
What about your book makes it special? It is written as a narrative non-fiction so it is a very quick read and easy to understand. I included examples that almost anyone can relate to. For example, if you've ever purchased a gallon of gas, there is an explanation of how retailers create the extremely volatile prices for that gallon of gas. I wanted to reach a larger scope than just the typical Economics reader/enthusiast. I think anyone can enjoy the message.
Where can people learn more about you and your work? They can follow me on Twitter @KerstenLKelly, the books website (www.theeconomicsbook.com), or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KerstenLKelly.
What are your views on self-publishing versus traditional publishing? I think everyone should try to self-publish at least once. This has been one of the hardest and one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. I get to be involved in every aspect of the book's progress. It is a lot of work, but it is more than worth the effort and time.
Any tips for new writers hoping to write non-fiction?
1. Never give up.
2. Challenge yourself.
3. Edit, edit, edit, and edit again.
4. Reach out to other non-fiction authors and ask questions. People are willing to help.
5. Write about a subject you enjoy and that you are passionate about.
I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please leave a comment!