In a career that has spanned more than 18 years, nothing has taught me the value of building a community more than publishing Business & Baby on Board has.
The book I am referring to is one that had been in my head for several years before I wrote it. And then once it was written, it still took a long time to publish it.
Business & Baby on Board is a business book with a difference because it is filled with real stories and advice showing how you can be an entrepreneur and a mother – and do both successfully.
There are inspiring stories, heartbreaking stories and lots in between to provide the roadmap I was looking for when I started in business more than seven years ago with a newborn on my lap.
But I’ll go back a bit and tell you the story behind the book. I interviewed 20 women who had inspired me. They shared their own stories in business, as well as tips in their area of expertise. I felt privileged to be able to speak with each of these women and was so grateful for their honesty and the candid nature of their advice.
Traditional Publishing vs. Crowdfunding
Once I was nearly finished writing the first draft of Business & Baby on Board, I pitched it to two traditional publishers. Both liked the content but weren’t sure where the book would fit in the market, and so turned it down. I was determined to share this book with the audience that had asked for it in the first place and so ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money I needed to self publish.
The first crowdfunding campaign fell short of my target by $320 so I ran another one (which was over-funded!). One of the biggest reasons the second campaign succeeded was the community that had formed around my project. People believed in it and wanted my campaign to succeed so they pledged more the second time around – and asked their friends to pitch in too. It was during the second crowdfunding campaign that electronic publisher Editia discovered my book and offered me a publishing contract for the ebook.
This same community was on hand to help me decide which cover to use, and they were definitely there to help me celebrate when the proof copy arrived from the printer. It wasn’t just me who had invested financially and emotionally in making this book happen.
The first shipment of 500 printed books arrived just over two weeks ago and my family and I joyously spent the next three days signing and wrapping 140 books to send all over Australia.
And the community support continues still.
As people have received their books, they have taken photos and shared them on social media with their networks. I may have written the content and managed the publishing process, but Business & Baby on Board has been a community effort right from the beginning.