Children’s Author: Nicola J Rowley

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

Hello my name is Nicola Rowley and I live in a lovely leafy village in the Surrey countryside with my husband Matt and our gorgeous two year-old son. James was born in August 2014 and when he arrived, he literally turned my world upside down and inside out. It was definitely all for the best.

What do you do?

My business is my name – Nicola J Rowley, as I’m a children’s author.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I am a happiness author and the best way to describe what I do is to say that I write books for children to help inspire their love of reading and the written word.

When did you become a writer and what inspired you?

I’d been meaning to write a book for as long as I can remember but somehow it was never the right time. Then when I was on maternity leave, instead of writing the book I thought I would for adults, I was inspired by my son to write the story of James and the Amazing Gift. We’d taken him swimming when he was about four months-old and as I was changing him after the lesson, he reached out to a little girl who was upset, stopped her from crying, and made her smile. It was so special and made me think “what if there was a boy who smiled at everyone and everything to help make everyone else happy?” It is thanks to James that I have finally realised my life-long dream to write a book.

How did you fund your start up?

I had some savings, which I used to fund the self-publication process.

How do you manage working around your children?

James is at nursery as I am also working full time as well as juggling a successful photography business. When I do get to spend a whole day with him, then I just maximise nap times. I also get up each day much earlier than I need to, to ensure that I have planned out each day’s activity so that I know what needs to be done. It helps me have a clearer strategy in place.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I get up each morning at 5am and make sure I start the day with some visualisation, journaling and exercise. Then I leave the house by 6:30am to catch the train to work to arrive for 8am. During my journey I ensure I maximise my time by reading (mainly business books) so that I learn as much as I can. I also scan social media channels to ensure I’m as up to speed as I can be. During my lunch hour I spend my time writing or researching pitches or coming up with new ideas for stories and books. Then I leave work at 4pm – and whilst heading home, I read whichever book I have on the go and I collect James from nursery. Then for the next three hours it’s our time together, which is spent playing, reading, and having cuddles, before bedtime. After this, I tend to start work all over again, writing blog posts, responding to emails and actioning anything that needs to be done, before heading to bed at around 11pm.

What challenges have you faced in your writing and how have you overcome them?

I only self-published my debut children’s book at the tail end of October 2016, so it’s still early days for me. I think what has been interesting is the level of support that I’ve received. I’ve heard from people I’d previously lost touch with, who are now out there being my champions and fans. I’m incredibly grateful to each and every one of them. There is still a lot of snobbery around self-publishing, and in the beginning when I was approaching book shops about stocking James and the Amazing Gift, it was interesting to see the reaction I would get. In such a short space of time, having become a blogger on The Huffington Post, been featured in Woman and Home magazine and other high profile outlets, it’s amazing to see how book shops are now asking me if they can stock the book as they realise how popular it is, both with children and parents.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

For me, it’s all about being able to create something tangible that people can treasure and that I can feel proud of. It’s also incredibly special and rewarding when children tell me how much they love the character of James as he makes them smile. Spreading happiness is a real gift, and is incredibly rewarding. I’d also love to be able to spend additional time with my son, and I know that this amazing journey will enable me to do just that.

What are your plans for the future?

I am really excited to announce that I have just finished the second James and the… story. It still needs editing, but it’s a big milestone and I’m really looking forward to publishing the story. Naturally it maintains its positive, happy theme. After all I am a ‘Happiness Author’ so you would expect this to be the case.

What advice would you give for someone just starting?

Have a plan. Know what your goals are and map them out. All goals – big, medium and small are equally important. Know how many fans you want to reach on social media, which publications are going to be key for you to reach, and work out a strategy for how you will get where you need to be. Always make everything time dependant so that you have something to achieve by a certain date. It really helps in terms of focus. For instance, at the very start of this whole process, I said that I would finish work full time by 22nd April 2017. I literally plucked the date out of the blue as it’s my birthday. I made myself accountable by posting the date in a lovely supportive Facebook group. I applied for several jobs, but I ended up working where I do. It made me smile when the contract came through saying it ended on 21st April 2017.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Believe in yourself. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. While the journey might not be quite what you imagined, it will be amazing nonetheless. Oh and smile a lot. It’s amazing the effect that a small act of kindness, such as a smile can have.

James and the Amazing Gift can be purchased at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hNb2dS and all James and the amazing gift covermajor book shops.

For every copy sold, £1 is being donated to the UK charity Contact the Elderly.

Website: www.nicolajrowley.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorNicolaJRowley

Twitter: www.twitter.com/nicolajrowley

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nicolajrowley

Publishing a Magazine: The TW15 Magazine

Following extensive experience in Network Marketing Carley decided to launch community magazine TW15 and, despite having no experience of publishing a magazine, is making a success of it.

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to
whom?

My name is Carley, I am 37 and Mum to 2 lovely girls, Jessica, 10 and Jasmine
5.

What’s your business called?

I am publishing a magazine – The TW15 Magazine

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Local community magazine

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

Whilst pregnant with Jess I just knew I did not want to go back to work, even
before she was born I knew I had to find something that would allow me to be
at home.

How did you fund your start up to publish a magazine?

From a business perspective, it was relatively low start up, to me though, it was
my only savings!

How do you manage working around your children?

In the gaps! I plan my days around school hours, If I have to – I will pick up
work again once the girls are in bed, although at that time I am usually only
good for a glass of vino and Emmerdale! It doesn’t always work out, I have been known to lock myself in the garden to chat to a client!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you
manage your time?

I start each and every weekday with an hour power walk around my local park, its great to exercise but its also a great way to plan the day. I take my beloved notebook and write out everything that needs to be done that day, it could be chasing artwork, sending files to printers, chatting to new clients, catching up on invoices, proofing, whatever it is, it has to be on
my list or it won’t get done that day!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome
them?

At first, being taken seriously. The TW15 Magazine was only launched in July
of 2015, before that (since being at home with Jess since 2006) I must of
joined at least 10 ‘Work from Home’ opportunities, Network Marketing
companies (HUGE fan of NM) and delivered more Avon books than I care to
remember, so when I announced I had a new business idea, there was a bit of ….what is she doing now? I am tenacious if nothing else, so I went ahead anyway, It was a bit of a tough sell too, getting local businesses (the magazine is advertising funded) to advertise in a magazine that does not yet exist (it did in my mind!) was a hurdle, the tenacity kicked in yet again and I carried on, once the first magazine came back from print, it has been much easier and
now we have a sister magazine too – The TW18 Magazine and both have been
so very well received by the local community.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I call the shots, I plan my day, I decide if and when I exercise, when I have days off. I am there for both my girls, inset days, school holidays, morning assemblies, and when you get that call….the one where the school number flashes up and you just know one of them is coming home early….I am there.

What are your plans for the future?

Huge plans! We expanded areas last year, 2017 will see the launch of our brand new TW Property Magazine, with a monthly print run of 25,000 copies and plan to expand that into 3 areas by December 2017, we are also working on a Property Event for 2017 too.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in business?

Please Please Please, do something you love! I work harder now than I ever
did in my corporate job, but I love what I do, sometimes I cant see the wood for the tree’s, but I love what I do, there are days when I wonder if getting a job is a good idea or not! I Love what I do and that carries me through.

Have you ever a run a business that didn’t work out?

You name it, I have probably had a go!
Kleeneze
Avon
Utility Warehouse
World Ventures
Arbonne
Forever
Talk Fusion
Body by VI
and many affiliate programs too!

How long did you run them for?

I Pretty much spent the 7 years learning what did not work for me

What do you think went wrong?

Now when I look back, I wasn’t ready to step up and do what had to be dome to make a success of those opportunities. I was just looking for something to do whilst Jess was at nursery, when Jasmine came along, I felt like I was back at square one. It took me a few years to figure it out!

What did you learn from it?

I learned so much, from each and everyone. The biggest one – Personal Development, and the value of it, incredibly, not something I learned much of in my corporate days. Today Personal Development is top of my list and something I work on everyday

 

A Mum writers story: Your Teething Baby, from one Parent to Another

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Emma Reed and I currently live in Basingstoke with my husband, Rob who I have been with for ten years, and my son, Jake who is almost three. We bought our house in 2011 and the following year we were married on a beach on the Greek island of Rhodes. I then went on to have Jake on Christmas day 2013 via emergency c-section. We managed to pack quite a bit into those few years!

What’s your book called?

‘Your Teething Baby, from one parent to another’

Can you describe it in one sentence?

It is your essential guide to answering all your teething questions and provides tips, advice and support through, what can be, a very painful development.

When did you decide to write it and what inspired you?

I decided to write it after a friend joked that I knew so much about teething I could write a book on it! I laughed it off at the time but the idea just seemed to stick. My son started teething from 6 weeks old and I found very little help or advice. I had to learn everything myself, spending a lot of time asking others questions and using the internet to find answers. I knew that if I was doing this, other parents must be doing it too. So, last August I sat and began to write. Once the writing was looking like it was going somewhere I revealed my new venture to family members who were all very supportive.
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 do you manage working around your children?

When I was writing the book my son was still napping in the day. I would take every opportunity I could to add to it and found that hour in the day valuable. Now that he is older the nap has gone so it isn’t quite as easy to find time to market myself and the book plus write blogs. I find myself making notes of ideas when they come to me and plan topics which may help people. I write mostly in the evening or when he is engrossed in a film or the TV in the day.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I am a full-time Mum so I have all the usual, lovely household chores to do on top of looking after a very active toddler. We don’t tend to have a ‘typical’ day because I like to mix things up a bit. We like to get out and about during our week and Jake really enjoys seeing friends and family. I tend to see my sister a lot as she is a Nanny and the children can play together. We also have a dog and love going on long walks with her out in the countryside. We both like to be busy and juggling Mum life with writing life keeps me from becoming bored.

What challenges have you faced in with your book and how have you overcome them?

The main challenge has been the fact I have self-published my book on Amazon. It gives you the freedom to have complete control of your book but it also means that you are solely responsible for advertising, marketing and self-promoting. This is where a lot of my time and effort goes.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

I love being able to reach out to others. My blog consists of a variety of topics which I think is important in helping others realise that they are not going through something alone. I like to write from a personal point of view and from my own experiences. This has also turned out to be a type of therapy for myself too. I also enjoy writing some fun posts and trying to engage the reader. The great thing about writing is that you can use your mood that day to draw inspiration from.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently working on some children’s books which I am hoping to approach publishers with. I think children’s books would sell much better from a shop and I would love to see my work sitting on a shelf in a store such as Waterstones.

What advice would you give for someone who wants to write a book?

If you have the passion and drive to write a book I would say go for it. It is so satisfying to hold the finished product in your hand and so rewarding when you receive a positive review.Your teething baby

 

https://emmareed.net/
https://www.facebook.com/emmareed.net/
https://www.twitter.com/emreed01
Amazon

The Writer’s Assistant

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Michelle Emerson. I became a mum to Isaac when I was 31 and then to Hannah 17 months later.

What’s your business called?
The Writer’s Assistant

Can you describe it in one sentence?
I give writers the impetus to finish writing their books, the confidence to share them with the big wide world and the motivation to keep on writing.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I started working freelance in 2006 as well as being employed part-time as a PA. During this time I was also studying an Open University English Lit degree and when I graduated in 2012, I knew I wanted to take everything I’d learnt from the world of academia and move away from being a PA.I wanted to continue to use my love of literature, books and all-things-wordy and so I created a job for myself. I’d worked in publishing on and off for 20 years by then and so I started out as a VA for writers and took the brave step of relying solely on self-employment in 2013. Very quickly, and after lots of training in Kindle publishing, my business has become a one-stop publishing support service for indie authors. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to earn an income that supports my family and lets me indulge in my passion for publishing.

How did you fund your start up?
I didn’t have much to fund, really. I already had a PC and because I work virtually, I didn’t need any premises or stock, so I was pretty lucky really. Anything I did need to fund (such as stationery and setting up my website) came from my part-time salary.

How do you manage working around your children?
As the children are now aged 11 and 12, life as a mumpreneur has got significantly easier. I try to stop working when they come home from school and spend some time with them while I make dinner. If I’m particularly busy, I’ll do an extra couple of hours from 6-8pm while they’re getting on with bits of school work or bouncing like maniacs on the trampoline (I’m sure they’ll still be bouncing on there when they’ve left school). Sometimes I have to work weekends, only occasionally, and they’re pretty good at just keeping themselves occupied, particularly when they know I’ve got a deadline to meet.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
Typically, I will walk Hannah to school (she’s in year 6 and really doesn’t need me to work her to school anymore but it’s a routine we both like – and it saves me from working in my PJs most of the day). I’ll get back about 9am (depending on how long I’ve chatted with friends), do a quick tidy round in the kitchen, put some washing on and grab a cuppa. Then I’m off upstairs. First I’ll check emails, make a little list of tasks to do for the day, post on my FB business page and have a mooch around on there to see what’s going on. Then I can spend the rest of the day either writing for my business (blogs, articles, new web pages etc) or writing for my clients. If there isn’t any writing work, you can usually find me proofreading and/or editing a manuscript to get it ready for publishing or I’ll be formatting manuscripts for Createspace and Kindle, writing descriptions and uploading books to Kindle and Createspace for my lovely authors. No two days are ever the same – it’s ace!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges I face is the feast / famine cycle. I’m either completely rushed off my feet, working round the clock or I have little tasks that can be finished in an hour or so. Over the years I’ve learned to handle this much better. Once over, a quiet spell used to have me up in arms but now, I just thank the Universe for giving me a break, get on with doing all the things I never have time to do (like go to the gym, go for walks with friends and catch up on my paperwork) and wait for the next crazy cycle.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
Being here for my kids and not having to rely on anyone else to help me. Spending time with them when they come in from school, giving them a kiss and a hug to start their day and knowing that if they need me in an emergency, I’m always here.

What are your plans for the future?
My youngest is off to comp in September and so I’m going to have extra hours in the day. I’m therefore planning on taking my business to the next level with Kindle publishing support, more indie authors, and stepping out as a writing coach. I’ve waited a long time to reach this position and so it’s really exciting for me.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try and go with the flow of your work cycle. If your client work dries up, keep on marketing, get your name seen everywhere you can online. Get active in social media groups, keep chipping away and your time will come.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Being a mumpreneur is the best. It’s not easy by any stretch but having the flexibility to be here for my children while doing a job I love is pretty awesome 🙂

Michelle Emersonwww.thewritersassistant.co.uk
www.twitter.com/thewritersasst

 

 

 

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The Writing Genie

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Amanda Harvey and I live in a small village in Suffolk with my husband Dean, my daughter Iris, who has just turned 5, and my little boy Dexter, who will soon be 2. I was working full time as a marketing manager when I became pregnant with Iris.

What’s your business called?

The Writing Genie!

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Comprehensive copywriting services including SEO content for websites and social media, PR articles, press releases and copy for marketing materials.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I became a mumpreneur when my employer refused my request for flexible working at the end of my maternity leave. I was told that I could only return to my job in the same full-time hours, which would mean putting Iris in nursery for 11 hours a day! I had been a latch-key kid and felt I needed to find work that would let me be at home after school for my children. After searching the job adverts I realised that the only way I could do the work I was trained to do and enjoyed, in hours that suited me, was to become self-employed.

I was inspired by a friend who set up her own successful photography business after being made redundant.

How did you fund your start up?

I am lucky that the type of work I do doesn’t involve much outlay. I used the last of my maternity pay to buy a better laptop and my domain name, writinggenie.co.uk

How do you manage working around your children?

When Iris was a baby, her grandparents looked after her for a few hours a couple of days a week and I worked during naps and in the evenings. She started preschool when she was 2, which gave me more time.

I took 9 months’ maternity leave again when I had Dexter, which meant I wasn’t allowed to do any paid work or I could lose my maternity allowance. Now, Dexter has a few hours with his grandparents during the week while Iris is at school, and he will also be starting preschool soon.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

On a Monday or Thursday, I get the kids ready and take Iris to school before dropping off Dexter at his grandparents’. When I get home, I quickly clear away the breakfast debris to create a clear workspace while my laptop starts up. Then I usually get my head down to try to get as much done as I can before it’s time for the school run and to pick up Dexter.

I have agreed a year-long contract with a tutoring business, which involves updating their website content and managing their Facebook page and any other tasks they have for me.

I also have a number of other local clients and I may have to meet them or speak to them on the phone to discuss their requirements or get specific information about their business before I can write their copy.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is managing my workload alongside running a house and looking after children. There is no simple answer: I just get on with it as best I can and am honest with clients if something is going to take longer than expected because the children are ill or something has come up.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Being able to be the mum I wanted to be while also keeping my brain happy!

What are your plans for the future?

When Dexter is 3, I will increase my hours so that I can take on more work.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Don’t spend too much time on hypothetical planning! I think it’s best to get going and learn along the way. You may have an idea about what your business will be like but once you start out your business will evolve and improve if you pay attention to the market and the opportunities that come your way.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Mumpreneurs are my favourite type of clients so if you need any help with website content, search engine optimisation, blogs, social media or marketing materials please get in touch! You can email me at amanda@writinggenie.co.uk
www.writinggenie.co.uk
www.facebook.com/writinggenie

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