I’m pleased be be able to bring my readers this interview with Emma Reed, author of Your Teething Baby: From One Parent to Another.
It’s so exciting to be cyber friends with a real-life author. Usually the only people who want to be ‘friends’ on the internet are Mongolian princes.
Anyway, I digress.
What inspired you to write a book on teething?
My son started teething from 6 weeks old and I when I was looking for answers and remedies I found very little help or advice. I spoke to health visitors, doctors and a dentist but the usual remedy of infant paracetamol kept coming up. This wasn’t helping Jake very much and he was showing a number of symptoms which couldn’t all be treated with paracetamol. As I began to learn more about the development, friends started to turn to me for their own teething questions and one day one joked that I could write a book.
Why a book rather than a leaflet or booklet?
We are inundated with leaflets when we are pregnant and these are often lost or put away in the drawer. They are also not large enough to go into full detail. I felt that a book about teething was missing from the baby market which seemed crazy as it is a development which can start from birth (or even in the womb) and end by the age of three. We have a huge choice of books on pregnancy, newborns, weaning, toddlers and child psychology but this development seems to have been missed. I hope that my book will help many more parents and prevent babies from being in discomfort for quite so long.
How long did it take to research and write?
I started writing and researching in depth in August 2015. I wanted to include everything that would interest a parent and provide them with tips to help them through what I believe is one of the most difficult stages. I chose to go down the self-publishing route which meant I also had to learn how to use design software for the layout and needed somebody to help with my cover designs. It was published in February 2016.
How did you manage to fit it in around parenting, was much sleep lost?
At the time of writing, Jake was 18 months old and he still had an hours nap in the day. As soon as he went down I would be writing solidly for that hour. I would then return to it as soon as he was asleep in the evening. I didn’t want it to impact on our day’s together but he was very good and knew that at times I would have to get on my ‘tap-tap’, as he called it, and add a couple of touches here and there. Sometimes when an idea comes to you it is easier to go with it right there and then instead of saving it for later and risking the chance of forgetting exactly what you wanted to say.
Would you recommend the self-publishing route to other authors or was it much harder than you though?
Self-publishing is a nice option to have because the publishing world can be a tough one to crack. I knew I could have spent months sending the manuscript out and waiting more months to hear back. Because I knew what I wanted the book to look and feel like I didn’t want to lose any of this through using a publisher. Writing and self-publishing are the easy parts, though, the hard work begins when it comes to marketing yourself. If you don’t have the time to use social media, blog, advertise or reach out to contacts then I would say self-publishing isn’t for you. A publisher will do all of this legwork for you and this is most definitely something I have missed out on having.
What was the nicest feedback you’ve seen written about the book?
I have had so many lovely comments left over on Amazon and on my Facebook page but the review that has stuck out has to be this one because of the last line:
This lovely little book is a great help for first time parents! Most definitely worth reading during pregnancy, when you actually have time to read before the chaos of new baby ensues. A practical guide, based on the author’s own experience and research, and written in a manner that any parent can understand. The author goes into detail about dental anatomy, remedies available and also has included comments from parents who have struggled through the trauma of teething.
Its lovely to read something written from the heart of one mum to many others.
Then there is this one which really overwhelmed me because she is a healthcare professional in pregnancy and baby care:
As an Independent Health Visitor, Antenatal Teacher and Holistic Therapist I have enjoyed what this book has to offer parents on the vast subject of teething. It is very informative, to the point and summarises the key issues and solutions available. In my experience as a health professional and a mother to 4 children the area of teething is a minefield, misunderstood and frequently minimised. I will recommend this book as a good reference for parents to understand teething challenges and solutions.
Will you be publishing any more books in the near future?
I have some children’s books in the pipeline. I want these to be available in the shops so I am in the process of contacting literary agents and publishers to achieve this.
If you could go back and give yourself writing advice based on what you now know, what would it be?
I would have started blogging earlier. I did it all the wrong way around! I didn’t know about the blogging world and how it can open up other possibilities and help with promoting a book. I began in the same month as the book came out and I wish I had started the year before to have been able to promote it before it went on sale. But we live and we learn and now a year on I finally have better knowledge of it all and I can help others who may also be considering taking the self-publishing route and I can hopefully give some hints and tips.
Where can we find you on social media and where are you most active?
Emma’s book ‘Your Teething Baby, from one parent to another’ is out now on Amazon and is available as a paperback or kindle edition. You can also find Emma’s blog over at Emmareed.net.
Emma’s book is a must-have for the owners of all teething tots.