For many parents, the mountain of self-help style books on the art and science of child rearing can seem overwhelming. Frustration sets in, and mom and dad typically resign themselves to “winging it.” Unlike most parenting resources, however, The Missing Pages of the Parent Handbook taps into collective wisdom to encourage and educate parents who are feeling overloaded.
Rather than induce anxiety or hyperactive planning, the book humanizes and personalizes the trials and tribulations of parenthood by incorporating wisdom from many different parenting stories. The topics covered in The Missing Pages are variously heavy or light, and range from dealing with teachable moments gone wrong to bullying to postpartum depression. Both expectant parents as well as parents of grown children will find insightful, supportive information inside.
Taking Control of the Content Through Self-Publishing
Once the manuscript was complete, Christina Brockett began to research her options for bringing it to the market. She was faced with spending a lot of time querying agents in the hope it would be chosen, or she could go the self-publishing route. The ability to maintain control over the content, cover, and final outcome appealed to her, so she chose to self-publish.
Professional Help for Professional Results
Christina says, “I could not have created the book I did without help from Ambitious Enterprises. Ally’s developmental editing insight was invaluable and the copyediting services provided were outstanding.” And the results speak for themselves: Since its release in May, The Missing Pages of the Parent Handbook has received many great reviews and was selected by Independent Publisher as a Notable New Release in August. Most recently, it was selected as a Finalist in the Parenting & Family category of the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. Christina has also spoken on numerous radio shows nationally, and appeared on Al Jazeera America TV as well, to discuss parenting and aspects of the book.
But Christina isn’t one to rest on her laurels. “While the success so far is exciting, I’m always thinking about other ways to promote the book and what I could be doing better.”
Prepare for the Unexpected
Before The Missing Pages, Christina wrote mostly for pleasure, usually short works of fiction or personal essays. Researching, writing, and revising a full-length book opened a whole new world to her. She was amazing to watch as her creation morphed. She quickly realized that the actual writing and development of the book was one thing; however, the marketing of the book was another. “Despite what I thought I knew,” she says, “I wasn’t fully prepared for the amount of work that goes into the post-release marketing of a book.”
“There are so many different avenues to pursue when marketing a book, it honestly can be overwhelming,” she continues. “As a novice, I really didn’t know which ones would yield the best results and made some mistakes along the way. For instance, my book is geared towards parents so I tried to capitalize on the Mother’s Day holiday and planned my launch very close to it. Unfortunately some elements of the cover and interior design work were delayed. While the book was ready for the launch, it was not ready in time for me to pursue a lot of avenues for pre-publication marketing opportunities. If I were to do it again, I probably would have delayed the launch. Given that I can’t go back and change the approach I took pre-publication, I closely monitor my previously developed plan and am constantly evaluating what is and is not working and adjust accordingly.
The other thing to take into consideration is the amount of time you need to allocate to marketing efforts. Although I had developed a plan, I had no way of understanding how much time I would spend on each marketing task.”
Invest In Your Success
Christina recommends that anyone looking to publish a book, especially to self-publish a book, makes sure to align themselves with true professionals. “The market is full of books that could be great, but aren’t because the reader is distracted by poor editing or they can’t get past the book cover,” she cautions. “Investing in a good editing team and book designer is critical to the success of any book. These are investments you really can’t skimp on.”
Christina Brockett is a working mother, speaker, writer and mom blogger. Her work has appeared in the Frederick News Post, Frederick Magazine’s City and County Guide, the Torpedo Factory Art Center and Getsparked.org. Christina has appeared on Al Jazeera America and numerous radio shows. She lives outside of Washington, D.C. with her husband, two children and dog. To learn more about Christina Brockett, please visit her website at www.christinabrockett.com or her blog at www.momevolving.com.