Category Archives: Books by Bloggers

Book By Bloggers: The Journey Through Assessment and Food and Your Special Needs Child by Antonia Chitty

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I haven’t had a Book by Bloggers for a while and I am so happy to introduce Antonia Chitty to you. Who has a new book out this month. I worked with Antonia for just over two years and she has written some brilliants books.

I’ve been writing books for around five years now. I started by writing some factsheets for PR clients, and a couple of people in quick succession said that I could turn them into a book. I’d always wanted to write a book, and this seemed like a great way to use some of the spare time I had while I was on maternity leave with my second child. I self published A guide to Promoting Your Business which worked brilliantly: I could use my PR skills to promote it, and it generated plenty of speaking and training engagements too.

I mainly worked with mums running businesses, which was the basis of the idea for my next book. The success of  A guide to Promoting Your Business gave me the confidence to pitch to a publisher and I was really excited when I got a book deal to write Family Friendly Working, a book all about helping mums and dads find flexible ways to work or start their own business.  Once the book was completed, though, I continued to gather bits of news and research on the same topics, so it made sense to add a blog to the website I’d created for the book. I added little snippets to the site on a regular basis, often daily, and soon it made sense that the blog should be the first page people would see on the site, rather than just an add-on.

I had a difficult pregnancy with my third child, during which I spent a lot of time just sitting. Blogging was the perfect way to fill the time, and so the blog grew. I had worked on Which? magazine so it was easy to take some of the things I’d learnt about how magazines run and apply them to the blog. I decided to run regular profiles of parents with businesses:  we all like reading about how other people do it. Now the site covers business opportunities, book reviews, profiles of parents with businesses as well as fun, food and family posts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with a mix of fashion, cooking, competitions and news of events. Interspersed between these regular slots we include business advice and are always open for guest posts on topics related to parenting, work and enterprise.

So far, so good … but I had ambitions to keep on writing. When a friend, Victoria Dawson, said that she’d always wanted to write a book about special needs, it seemed like a great idea to collaborate. Vicki is a special needs teacher who has lots of other skills and qualifications too, and we teamed up to write Special Needs The Essential Guide, the first of seven books I’ve written for Need2Know books. Vicki and I have since written books on topics from sight loss (I used to be an optometrist) to insomnia (Vicki is a sleep practitioner)!

The Journey through assessment

A year or more ago another publisher for whom I’d already written two business books approached me with the idea of a new series of books on topics relating to special needs. The publisher was particularly interested in an in-depth book on food and special needs, and Vicki and I put our heads together and also suggested a book on being assessed for special needs and one on sleep. In all these area we knew parents needed more information, and few publishers were prepared to focus on the special needs area.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the first two books in the series came out. The Journey Through Assessment tackles the difficult issues parents face when they suspect something may be wrong with their child, but are unsure where to turn. It also helps parents who are navigating health and social care as they try to get their child assessed. We’ve tried to ensure that the books are full of clear explanations and practical advice and they are compiled after extensive research and interviews with parents.

We want to create a resource to support parents at a difficult time. The assessment process can be confusing for parents. They often meet a range of professionals which may be stressful and confusing. Considering that your child may have an additional need can be extremely distressing. So many parents have said how helpful it would be to read other parents accounts, and this has inspired the book.

The second book in the series, Food and Your Special Needs Child is a practical guide for parents living with the additional issues involving food often found in children with special needs. In typically developing children, eating problems are relatively common, affecting 20-40% of children. In children with special educational needs and disabilities, eating problems can be even more common; often severe and taking many different forms. Aimed at tackling issues in children aged between two and nineteen, use this book to discover the origins of how we eat, get practical tips from experts, and read what has worked for other parents in similar situations.

Foods and your special needs children

A third book, Sleep and Your Special Needs Child, will be published in 2014, and we’re hoping that the series sells well enough that we can write a fourth book about transition to adult services.

The books are available from Amazon and via book shops. To see all Antonia’s books as well as those on special needs, check out her Amazon page. 

 

Books by Bloggers: Red Ted Art, Cute and Easy Crafts by Maggy Woodley

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This weeks Books by Bloggers is Maggy Woodley who writes the craft blog Red Ted Art. 

My Journey – Blog to Book

Maggy Woodley 11

The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions – as my very first book was FINALLY published. Without a shadow of a doubt a super exciting and special time for me – seeing my crafts and my kids (!) in print is really quite something. To a degree it still all feels rather surreal. Especially, as it takes SOOOO long to go from book deal to a book in your hands.

It all started well over a year ago – nearer 18months ago, when I received my first “book deal” offer. I was excited, over the moon and new it was something I always wanted to do. I would have been ready to take ANY offer, so long as I got my crafts in print! Luckily though, I got in touch with an agent, who was able to get me a slightly better offer with Square Peg (part of the Random House group).

It is definitely worth not taking “whatever comes” along, but to talk to the experts and find out what else is out. It isn’t just about the book, but also about the editor – will you get along and the publisher’s location (can you easily make it for meetings and photoshoots etc).

Fastforward 18months (and a lot of craft and hard work later) and I am published! SQUEAL! Yes, published! How did that happen?!

  • Firstly – I found my crafty “voice”. I grew in confidence and create more. I became known for certain things (i.e. loo roll crafts).
  • Secondly – I improved my photography – enabling me to show case what I do better.
  • Thirdly – I spent A LOT of time on social media! I grew the blog and my social media networks.
  • Fourthly – I persevered. And with that – I kept asking publishers and other author’s agents, whether they would be interested in a Craft Book with me. I had my blog to show case and my social media stats to support the interest in my book.Peanut finger puppets Red Ted Art

And then it happened. 16 months ago, we were sitting in the Square Peg offices. I met my editor for the first time and she was taken by our little Dwarf Peanut Puppets (I had brought some along to show) and impressed by my stats.  A contract soon followed and the hard work began.

It has been an incredible journey of “Stay at Home” to Craft Blogger to Writer. I loved every minute of working with Square Peg and learning about the publishing process and now I have my very own book in my hands. Simply wonderful.

If becoming published one day, is a dream of yours, I recommend looking at the four points above – content of course is King, but by having an established “fan base” you are are much more interesting to a publishers. In the old days, publishers would tell their authors “get online, start a blog”… now frequently it is the other way “get a blog, prove yourself… get a book deal”. I see more and more bloggers making the switch from blogger to author. I am sure you can too!

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craft bookRed Ted Art, Cute and Easy Crafts is available from Square Peg publishing via Amazon (currently at £10.23), Waterstones and boutique booksellers across the country. Maggy Woodley is a mum of two (Red Ted (5) and Pip Squeak (3)), writes at Red Ted Art, as well as about life in general at Life At The Zoo andTheatre, Books and Movies.

 

If you would like to be featured on Books by Bloggers then email me at carol@parentpanel.co.uk

 

Books by Bloggers: Nothing Needs to be the Way it’s Always Been by Dawn Walton

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Our latest blogger is Dawn Walton who writes The Moiderer. Her book is called Nothing Needs to be the Way it’s Always Been and It’s all about personal transformation.

Here is her story:

Ok so how did I end up writing a book?

In 2011 I started on a personal journey. It started with weight loss but soon became about so much more when I went for a session with a Cognitive Hypnotherapist called Trevor Silvester. I am a blogger and have always blogged what goes on in my head and my life – so going to see a therapist got blogged about! I had a pretty abusive childhood and had lived my life in a daze of misery. I didn’t believe anything or anyone would change the fact that there wasn’t a day went by where I didn’t wish myself dead.

But it there was. Trevor changed all that. And the change was rapid – from the very first session things were different.

I shared the changes after each session as I learnt that no matter what your past, it is always possible to find happiness.

And as I transformed I wanted to tell everyone what was possible. It’s like this huge secret that no one knows about and that seemed such a shame to me.

So I decided to publish the blog posts on my transformation into a book – to let as many people as possible know that change is possible – that Nothing Needs to be the Way it’s Always Been.

First I published as an ebook – to get it out there as quickly as possible. But then I wanted to get it in magazines and to give it to my clients and you couldn’t do that with an ebook. So I self published a paperback version through Amazon’s self publishing company CreateSpace.

And there you have it, a book and a transformation. I am know writing the second book which is a practical “How to…” with tips and tricks for overcoming your subconscious behaviours

Nothing needs to be the way it's always been

Nothing Needs to be the Way it’s Always Been is available on Amazon in a kindle and paperback version.

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If you would like to be featured on Books by Bloggers then email me at carol@parentpanel.co.uk