Laurie Wing is a real renaissance woman. From penning her super successful pregnancy journal, Butterflies and Hiccups: A Guided Pregnancy Journal (Sterling Publishing, $14.99), to creating her own public relations company, Laurie has created a great life for herself and her two children, Jamie, 13, and Christopher, 8. Read on to see how she did it.
How did you come up with the idea for Butterflies and Hiccups?
During my first pregnancy, I really wanted to document all of the changes I was experiencing since it was so new to me. However, I was never a good blank journal keeper. I wished there was a comprehensive guided pregnancy journal that would ask you virtually everything during your pregnancy and early motherhood. I started writing the journal and recruited the help of other women who had experienced pregnancy as well as experts in the field. I self published the first, second and third editions of Butterflies & Hiccups and sold over 10,000 copies on my own. Barnes & Noble’s publisher, Sterling Publishing, bought the rights and are now distributing it worldwide.
Tell me about the process of writing and publishing your book.
Since I was not familiar with writing or publishing, I took it one step at a time. Once I had the content and title, I moved to the next step – getting an ISBN #, reviews, publicity, contacting bookstores and maternity/baby stores to carry the book, posting it on Amazon. I didn’t always do things in the correct order. I made many mistakes along the way but it was a great learning experience writing, publishing and promoting a product for moms-to-be!
What was the response to the book?
Butterflies & Hiccups took on a life of its own. It was and still is in the top 5 on Amazon for pregnancy journals. I can actually Google the book and it shows up on hundreds of websites.
Tell me a bit about your PR company, and some of the clients you’ve had.
I started doing PR while I was doing the publicity for Butterflies & Hiccups. I absolutely loved reaching out to the media and then seeing the results in print and on TV. I developed such wonderful working relationships that turned into friendships. I knew this was something I should be doing. I started out working with clients who had pregnancy/baby type businesses/products but have now expanded and have recently worked with a celebrity fashion stylist and did the publicity for my first movie.
How did you come up with the idea for ParentBlast?
ParentBlast is a brand new site for small business owners who work in the pregnancy/parenting/baby industry. With all of the media contacts I have made and the networking I have done with like businesses, I thought ParentBlast would be a great resource to bring together the media with small businesses to get them publicity for their biz/products.
It is such a new site but the response has been overwhelming! It may turn into something different than what I had imagined…not sure what but it has attracted a lot of PR type companies as well as small businesses. We have some great media contacts as well.
As a single mom, how do you balance work with motherhood?
It’s a challenge but I have been so blessed with my business. It allows me (as a single mom) to work from home and be with my kids. Typically when they are in school, we have a great routine. Summertime is a bit different. I tend to feel guilty when I am working all day (some nights) and the kids are looking to me to entertain. They do understand how lucky they are that I am not going off to work every morning until late at night. They don’t have to go to daycare and never have. That was my incentive. I did not want to miss out on their childhood years. You never get this time back.
Let’s talk about Jamie and Christopher.
Jamie is 13 years old – going into 8th grade. She is also an author. She wrote her book, A Doll’s Wish, when she was seven years old. She is on the school newspaper, Rampage. She has interviewed Emma Roberts (Julia Roberts’ niece and Eric Roberts’ daughter) for the school paper. She loves to volunteer and has done so for some great causes. Hurricane Katrina – she took it upon herself to order bracelets at $1 each and sold them for $3 each. Proceeds went to the American Red Cross. She has a strong faith, very social, honor roll student and already thinking about college. She is 5’9″ and loves basketball and acting.
Christopher is 8 years old – going into 3rd grade. He loves baseball, baseball and baseball! He says he will be a Yankee baseball player when he gets older and I believe him! He was a superstar this year in Coach/Pitch. He brings out the best side in people. He has a big heart and also likes to help others. He is deciding whether he wants to write a book like his sister did or invent a product. He has some great ideas and I strongly encourage both children to “just do it”! Christopher loves school. His strong subject is Math. He has been counting money since he was three : ) He is 4’9″ – also tall for his age and loves baseball.
When you are doing what you love, everything just seems to fall into place. I started out with a baby product, then an idea for a pregnancy journal during my pregnancy. Once the book was published, life took me down so many different paths. I never would have thought I would be doing PR/Publicity. I absolutely love it and can make a great living doing it plus be there for my children, attend all of their activities/events, dinners and after school. It doesn’t feel like work — except when I take on too much and feel overwhelmed but I love meeting new people, especially those small businesses just starting out. I have been there and love sharing my experience and expertise to help others succeed!