IN HER WORDS:
I founded Hekla Publishing in 2016 as a way to promote Icelandic culture and heritage in America through literature. My mother inspired me by example when she completed her first book, a childhood memoir, at the age of eighty-eight. My first book was a children’s story based on an Icelandic myth. We each wrote additional books after that, then collaborated on an English Icelandic cookbook. Every year, our offering of titles grew. Today, Hekla Publishing represents fourteen Icelandic-inspired titles in fiction and non-fiction in four genres.
Each genre has a unique online presence and sales strategy. The children’s books center around the trolls of Christmas, the Icelandic Yule Lads, and online marketing utilizes the name Yule Lads Legend across twenty-five social media platforms and a custom website. I wrote a story especially for social media, posting one short chapter a day, from December 1st through December 25th, on Facebook to promote reading and increase awareness of the characters. The promotion was so well-received, I’ve continued the tradition for five years.
The focused approach to promotion and marketing has been successful for other books as well. The cookbook “Homestyle Icelandic Cooking for American Kitchens” won The Gourmand World Cookbook Award the US Scandinavian category in 2017. My debut novel, “Her Viking Heart”, was named the 2018 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Winner – Romance Category.
Two books released simultaneously in August 2020 represent works from both my mother and myself. Her final work, completed posthumously, is a motivational photo journal following a year-long effort she undertook for ninety-three new experiences when she was ninety-three years old. My newest release, On With the Butter, encourages activity and vitality in life, and comes from the Icelandic expression áfram með smjörið, which means to “keep moving” or “forge ahead.” The inspiration comes from my mom’s year-long activity effort. I’ve started to build an online support community around that theme to inspire more people to live life with gusto and enthusiasm.
It is important to me that I approach the business of bookselling from the perspective of an author as well as a publisher. I think the connection with readers is most important through personal contact as an author. To that end, I engage in social media as an author and not a publisher and feel it keeps a more personal connection. I am dedicated to promoting Icelandic heritage and culture and incorporate the philosophies into motivational speaking, educational sessions, and presentations. I believe in giving back to the community, both locally and globally. I participate in author mentorship and am currently spearheading a new effort to bring virtual author programs to local bookstores to promote sales and connect with readers. I am a member of the Women Fiction Writers Association, the Non-fiction Authors Association, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.