2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.
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Guest Post: My Author’s Journey (or How I Became an Accidental Publisher) by Zen Grandma, Author of Secrets to Understanding a Toddler for First Time Parents, an Essential Guide

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Zen Grandma and her new how-to for first-time parents, Secrets to Understanding a Toddler for First Time Parents, an Essential Guide. She’s sharing how she developed her book – and got into the world of online publishing along the way! Enjoy…

My Author’s Journey (or How I Became an Accidental Publisher)

Like many people, I’ve always had that nagging feeling that there was a book inside of me somewhere just waiting to be written. But any time I would sit down to try to come up with ideas, I drew a blank. As a child, I was an avid reader. I liked historical fiction geared towards young readers best. I devoured the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as well as Caddie Woodlawn, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Pippi Longstocking. As I grew older I enjoyed Nancy Drew, then as an adult, suspense and adventure type novels. And like all good readers, I went through a Stephen King phase as well (I think The Stand was one of his best!)

Then, came motherhood. Raising four children with an age range of 8 years between the oldest and youngest put a severe damper on any free time I had for reading, much less writing. All of that got set aside as my days were filled with diapers, skinned knees, meals, shopping, school, everything that goes with parenting. My exposure to books became limited to parenting books and children’s literature as I worked to instill that same love of reading in my children.

Fast forward to: Grandchildren! And a lot more time. I had quite forgotten my aspirations to become an author and was enjoying getting to know and spending time with them. It was during this time that I somehow got exposed to a course for building a self publishing business (more about that later.) The model is geared to the non-fiction market which is quite a different animal from fiction. No longer was I looking to write a best selling fiction book, I was looking for a topic I could write on that would help people to solve their problems. But What?? Finance and Self-help were saturated so I began digging.

Then, one day, I was visiting my daughter and observed her with my 3 year old grandson who was having a “moment.” Bingo. The lights went on! I could write about what I know best: parenting! I remembered being a new mom and the day to day challenges of dealing with an opinionated, vocal and mobile toddler. I remembered the sense of frustration at not knowing what his motivations were and the reason behind his moods, reactions and emotions. I knew this was something I could write about.

I followed the process outlined in the course and “Secrets to Understanding a Toddler for First Time Parents, an Essential Guide” by Zen Grandma (my pen name) was born. I learned how to assess the potential of a non-fiction book topic, how to research my target audience, how to develop an outline, get the book written, edited, formatted, promoted and finally launched using Amazon’s KDP platform. At the time of this writing, I have just launched my first book, and am recruiting early reviewers and lining up promotions on the various book promotion sites.

I have written mostly from personal experience. I noticed that a lot of the parenting books out there are written either from an academic perspective or seem to “talk down” to the parent searching for answers. They can come off as preachy or judgmental. I did not want my book to be like that! I wanted to write a book that comes alongside parents who are struggling in a friendly, helpful and non-judgmental way. I wanted to convey solidarity with that mother who suddenly finds herself faced with an out of control toddler who is pulling out all the stops in the middle of the grocery store. THOSE are my peeps! I think I have succeeded in that approach with this book.

I have found that the secret to writing non-fiction books is to care, I mean REALLY care, about your audience and about helping them with whatever challenge your book addresses. I have learned this process through the course I stumbled upon 9 months ago. It is called Audiobook Income Academy 2.0 aka AIA. (Disclaimer: I believe in this course so much I have become an affiliate.) I can’t say enough about the thoroughness and level of support that it offers, and I have no reservations whatsoever about recommending it to anyone who has dreamed about becoming an Author/Publisher.

The course can be completed in much less than the 9 months it’s taken me to get here, I actually procrastinated getting started on it for almost 5 months. There’s WORK involved, but I’m so glad I finally decided to really throw myself into it.

And now, without further ado, here is my first book I’m so excited about. Following the AIA model I intend to build a complete publishing brand around topics of interest to my audience. Some of the topics I am researching for my next book include: homeschooling/unschooling and family homesteading. If I can do it, anyone with a little bit of determination can as well. If you or someone you know is a parent just getting into the toddler years, I sincerely hope it will help you on your journey! (Oh, and if you decide to purchase it, PLEASE leave an honest review!) Secrets to Understanding a Toddler for First Time Parents: an Essential Guide  

About the Author

Zen Grandma is the mother of four, now grown, children and grandmother of 3 with more on the way. She is an advocate of homeschooling and enjoys writing, spending time with her grandchildren and sailing whenever she gets the chance. She also makes a mean Gazpacho.

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