Claudine is probably a mother just like you. She grew up in the time of Shaun Cassidy, The Incredible Hulk, The Brady Bunch, and The Bionic Woman. She owned Barbies, Loves Baby Soft, and an Air Supply album. Women like you and Claudine probably started a career, got married, and then, the BABY came. Life was never going to be the same. If you were anything like Claudine you had no clue how to start dealing with the staggering responsibility of new motherhood.
When Claudine couldn’t find the answers or insight she needed to help her cope, she decided to write the book she always wanted - A fun, honest, simple, easy-to-read book geared to making a new mom's life a little easier.
Her search for information to make motherhood easier led to the creation of a blog at www.help4newmoms.blogspot.com, a place where she gets to write whatever she wants--things that might help a new mom, make her laugh, or get her up to date on some of the most important issues of our time, as well as American Idol. The blog has lead to invitations to visit and to speak with mom's groups. Now, she's able to share some direction, humor, and ideas with new moms all over the country in workshops and appearances where she lets participants know that they are NOT alone. You are not alone either and it's OK to take a break and laugh now and then.
Claudine Wolk is a CPA and mother of three. She lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband Joe and her children, Joseph, Casey & Ally. She writes columns as well as magazine and newspaper articles on all subjects regarding motherhood in the 21st Century. She also is available for humorous but informative workshops on the subjects of "new motherhood" and "mothers returning to the workforce." You can contact Claudine for a speaking engagement here.
Find out more about Claudine by visiting her website: www.Help4NewMoms.com. And be sure to check out her video clips, including her interview on ABC News!
It Gets Easier! ...And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers
A fun, practical guide to becoming a mom
By Claudine Wolk
After becoming a mother, I was a confused mess. Everything from labor and delivery to taking my baby home was a surprise. I felt like I had landed on another planet without a map.
I learned quickly that this new planet was NOT the vacation spot I thought it would be.
I needed a new map!
Does this sound familiar?
I looked for a book that would answer all my questions and introduce me to the more personal and humorous side of motherhood. I wanted to read the words that had been popping into my head since the moment my baby was born, "Motherhood Is Really, Really Hard!" and "What are some ways I can deal with it?" and "Do They Take Babies Back At The Hospital?"
I couldn't find the book, so I wrote it.
Here are some of the Solutions You will find in It Gets Easier!:
- The importance of a baby schedule (no matter what anyone else says)
- "The Talk" you need to have with your husband before you give birth
- What you really need to know about labor and delivery
- The Six Baby Commandments that can foster good eating and sleeping habits
- The Five New Mom Mantras that will help keep you sane
- Body image after giving birth
- Breastfeeding Truths and Breastfeeding Myths
- How to keep housework to a minimum
There is no question that being a mother is challenging, but this fun, frank, and prescriptive guide tries to do the impossible and make new motherhood easier. Featuring interviews with hundreds of moms and candid stories from author Claudine Wolk's own experiences as a mother, It Gets Easier!...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers mixes humor, honesty, and insider strategies that will give new moms a 'leg-up'. This upbeat and entertaining book drives home the point that new moms are not alone and that there are things they can do to make motherhood a little more controllable and lot more enjoyable. Complete with resources for further exploration and a helpful glossary, this funny, irreverent book will help ease every new mother's frustration.
Published by AMACOM (June 2009)
Paperback: 192 pages
Book Giveaway Comments Contest!
If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Claudine's book, It Gets Easier!, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end.
We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!
Interview by Jodi Webb
WOW: First, we'd all like to know how It Gets Easier!...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers came into being. You started out gathering information for your own personal use--and with three children you had lots of opportunities for personal use! When did it turn the corner and become research for a book? Why did you decide your book needed to be written?
Claudine: As soon as I found tips from other moms that actually worked and weren't in any other books, I decided that I had to put it all down in a book for the moms who came after me. It was almost a mandate. So, the book really started after the birth of my first son. My other two children were practically guinea pigs used to apply the information I had learned with my first son to make sure the success of the tips was not a fluke, and oh, yeah, we wanted more kids!
WOW: How long did it take you to gather the information and then write your book?
Claudine: I would say 12 years worth of interviewing, researching, practical application and continued research up to the publishing of the book. I know what you're thinking, "That's a long time." But hey, I was having and raising babies and working full-time and part-time during that process. From actual completion of book to production to final book took about a year and a half.
WOW: Can you give us a quick rundown of how your book was published--agent, submissions, publishing house, etc?
Claudine: Sure, the first version of the book was self-published. I created my own publishing company, New Buck Press, hired a terrific book production company, Pneuma Books, and with their help created the layout, cover, and graphics to my specifications resulting in a slick-looking trade book. In the meantime, I hired a book marketer, Sharon Castlen, who hooked me up with a distributor, Mid Point Trade Books, and I was off and running and, thankfully, selling. I worked with Sharon Castlen and learned as much as a could about book marketing and promotion. Several of my marketing attempts succeeded, most notably, Dr. Laura's radio program picked up the book and I sold 600 copies in one day! Thrilling. I kept in touch with Verna Dreisbach that I had hooked up with when trying to find a publisher. I sent her an email every time something great would happen with book. She asked if I wanted representation, and by August of the same year that my book pubbed, I was selling the rights to a major publishing house, AMACOM. AMACOM released an updated and expanded version of the book this August! Nothing to it!
WOW: As writers we hear again and again that non-fiction writers need a "marketing platform" for their book to be considered by publishers. Did you have a marketing platform--a blog, speaking engagements, etc.--before your book was published that you could wave before agents and editors?
Claudine: Great question. I mentioned "the agent I kept in touch with" in your last question. Truth be told, I tried for about a year to publish the book by traditional routes with no luck. Verna was nice enough to talk to me because she loved the book, but was afraid that my dreaded "author platform" was not enough to support book sales. I didn't even know what an author platform was, let alone how to create one. She was nice enough to explain to me the things I would need to be able to sell this book. I remember asking her, "If I do these things will you consider representing me?" She said, "You bet."
My marketing platform started by establishing myself as an expert in the field. Getting published in magazines, speaking to moms groups, blogging, creating a newsletter, and joining the social networks where my target market would be sure to find me were sure-fire ways to get me some exposure. I used the all-powerful Amazon to review books related to moms and created lists, always mentioning my book in the process. I reached out to other authors who had a similar message and commented on their blogs and co-marketed. As well, timing was critical because I started to build my platform and self-publish at the same time. The fact that the book became so successful, ironically added to my platform. At the end of the day, a publisher wants to know that you are able to sell books.
WOW: Now you have a marvelous three-pronged marketing platform: you blog, do speaking engagements, and interviews. Of the three, do you have a favorite?
Claudine: I truthfully enjoy them all, but if I had to pick one, it would be the speaking. I love talking to moms and hopefully offering some help or at least some empathy and a laugh or two. Selfishly, it is by far the most rewarding thing I do. The amazing things I learn from these moms is also a very valuable part of what I am trying to accomplish. I want these moms to get the help they need to make their lives a little easier and to be happier. I know that when a mom is happy the rewards to herself and her family will be immeasurable.
I wouldn't say that I make a lot of sales on the days I speak, but the power of referral is yet to be measured. This book sells by word of mouth, I am convinced of it, and in the comfort of their own home, moms are buying online.
WOW: Recently you were on Good Morning America! Tell us your secret--how did you land such an incredible interview?
Claudine: That interview was tremendously fun. All the thanks goes to my publicist at AMACOM, which is why I wanted to sell the book to a big publisher in the first place. Although as an author you still do a lot of promotion and marketing on your own, it's difficult to have the same reach as traditional publisher. It's not impossible, though. Having a targeted pitch with somewhat of an edge or humor helps tremendously!
WOW: I've seen your "master list"--the list of everyone contacted about your book. It's incredible. How did you generate the list and stay organized enough to contact all these people?
Claudine: The dreaded “media contacts” is a tough list to put together. It does take a lot of time. I used the library and the internet and a lot of phone calls to create a list of websites, radio, TV, Newspaper, and Magazines. When AMACOM came on board I was able to tap into their database as well, and now they do the bulk of the pitching. For those doing this on your own, I suggest using a college student to help put the list together in a Microsoft outlook or excel spreadsheet to keep track of the information. It is very time-consuming but very valuable information to have.
WOW: So what's the biggest lie we tell new mothers?
Claudine: The biggest lie is of course that motherhood gets easier! Things about motherhood may get easier but in the end it's always hard. There are things, though, that a mom can do to make her life a little easier like asking for help when she needs it!
WOW: How about the biggest lie we tell new writers?
Claudine: The biggest lie we tell new writers is that writing the book is the hard part. That’s kind of like telling new moms that labor and delivery is the hardest part of being a mom, right? Once you've birthed your book, the work has just begun. It's fun work, though, especially if your message has meaning and of course it does have meaning or you wouldn't have been able to write it, right? Don't give up and keep plugging. Your message is important and just needs to find its audience.
WOW: Thanks for giving us a peek at your extensive marketing campaign. What's next? Oprah? Or a new book? Or are you going back to your life as a mild-mannered CPA?
Claudine: OHHHH, Oprah, yes, I figure she'll find me sooner or later. A mom who is honest about motherhood and does it with a sense of humor. C'mon! We are made for each other.
Until that happens, though, I'm going to keep doing what I love, talking to as many moms who will have me, writing about mom-issues and sharing "mom helps" along the way. With any luck, It Gets Easier! will allow me to write the next book I have in mind to help Moms get back into the workforce after their children are grown. I'm calling it, Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In. What do you think? It's a winner, right?
WOW: Oh definitely, we all feel that panic when we head back into the "real world" of work and need someone like you to ease us into it with a few laughs.
Want to join Claudine on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.
Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!
October 12, 2009 Monday
Claudinewill be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win a copy of It Only Gets Easier!
October 14, 2009 Wednesday
Stop by WordHustler's blog today for a fabulous interview with Claudine Wolk.
October 16, 2009 Friday
Don't miss Claudine Wolk's post about twelve years of gathering parenting secrets--and testing them on her guinea pigs...I mean, children.
October 22, 2009 Thursday
Claudine Wolk, author of It Gets Easier...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, interviewed hundreds of moms for her book. Today she shares all with her post, "Tell Me Your Secrets: Interviewing Tips."
October 28, 2009 Wednesday
Claudine is known for being a new-mom expert but today's she's giving us an insider's view of her writing life.
November 2, 2009 Monday
Claudine Wolk shares her tips for public speaking after leading many parenting workshops.
November 3, 2009 Tuesday
Claudine reveals a few of those lies experienced moms tell newbies--and why they do it.
November 4, 2009 Wednesday
Ever wonder about the secrets to selling your book to a publisher? Claudine Wolk appears on Cathy's What Not to Do feature with a few tips.
November 6, 2009 Friday
Claudine Wolk tells us about the funny, frustrating and sometimes crazy journey from stay at home mom (SAHM) to working mom. And don't miss a chance to win a copy of It Gets Easier! and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers.
November 9, 2009 Monday
Kate interviews Claudine Wolk, author of It Gets Easier and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, to learn all her parenting secrets.
We may have many more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.
We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.
If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in Claudine Wolk's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: email@example.com
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Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Claudine's book, It Gets Easier!...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers.