“Don’t be your own worst enemy”
Kids are an endless source of inspiration.
This author published her first two books after having kids, and realizing how life changes when you are a mom.
Sometimes you LOOVEEEE them SOOOO much!
Sometimes you think they are monsters.
Jaclyn wrote first a book about kids, from a parent’s perspective, and then about how HORRIBLE moms are, from a kid’s perspective!
Tune in to hear all about her process, her motivation and what she has learned along the way.
Find Jaclyn on Her website! On Instagram!
Introduction: 00:00 Welcome to the Wrighter’s Way Podcast where we celebrate writers who have completed their books and inspire writers who haven’t. Join Laurie and her guests as they talk about writing, books, and life in between chapters.
Laurie: 00:17 Hello everybody it’s Laurie Wright with the Wrighter’s Way Podcast here again, and welcoming lovely and talented author Jaclyn Coy. So thank you Jaclyn.
Jaclyn: 00:30 Hi!
Laurie: 00:30 I appreciate you bearing with me because of course there’s always tech issues on my end. So thank you for your patience. I am so happy and excited to talk to you today because your story resonates so strongly with me. And so I’m guessing it will also resonate with so many other people, moms in particular, because of what your book is about. And so let’s just jump into it. Can you start just tell me in general, like your condensed bio. So who are you? What do you do? What are your books?
Jaclyn: 01:03 Yeah, sure. Well, I’ll just start with today. I’ve got along his screen like all of us, but today I’m a mom of two. I have two and half year old and an almost nine month old. She’ll be nine months next week. And I work for marketing data company during the day and right now I write children’s books and I’ve got a third book coming out next month and that is a nonfiction book. About the furthest thing from a children’s book. It’s all about birth and that’s coming out. And so yeah, I’m the busy mom of two with a full time job and a part time hobby that I hope to one day be my full time job.
Laurie: 01:43 Yes. So tell me, you wrote to me about why you wanted to write the first book or maybe both the books. So share that with everybody else. Sort of the why behind these books in particular.
Jaclyn: 01:56 Yeah the first book…I’m sorry, I get choked up sometimes. The first book I wrote, just to get it out of me, my baby was like three and a half months old at the time and I ended up writing it in my car. She fell asleep in the car in her car seat. So I had like a free moment. I had both hands and this felt like amazing because if you’re in that new stage you never have two hands free. And so I just happened to have a notebook in my car and so I took those quiet moments and a gas station parking lot and just wrote out everything that was in my head. And so, then I made a little sketch of the monster because the book is called Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster, and then shared it with my husband and he encouraged me to go about publishing it and I’d always written on the side just as something that I enjoyed doing and so it was something that excited me and I wanted something for me at that point in my life. And so I ended up taking a publishing course a self publishing course at a local college and that gave me a path to follow to get the first book published. And so it was really helpful to have a clear path on how to get that done because you can get going in so many directions and it will just, it will be information overload and then you won’t start.
Laurie: 03:10 Yeah. Overload. Especially on the Internet. I love that you took the course in person because there’s a million courses. Okay, maybe not a million, but that you could take online, but exactly the information overload. Which one is good? Which one is right for which person and all that. So…
Jaclyn: 03:29 Yeah, and there were probably better ones out there, but for me I really do like learning in person. Even in the school, if I didn’t sit toward the front I would just zone out and so you just, you know, how you learn best …
Laurie: 03:42 Awesome. Okay. So then, I asked you how you felt before you wrote it and then how you felt after. So just to share with people that the, you know, the progression of feelings from I have this book in my head, I need to sit and get it out whenever it strikes to know it’s published and people can see it on the screen. I know you can’t, but it’s gorgeous. Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster. So you’re talking about, you know, drawing, sketching out the monster. Is that what it looks like? The blue cover on her head?
Jaclyn: 04:12 It wasn’t, it wasn’t that graceful. Maybe the first time because I don’t do my own illustrations, but yeah, it was a little baby dressed up in monster costumes though. Kind of the progression there. The feelings, you know, initially, like I said, I didn’t plan to share it but I was so happy that I was encouraged to do that and then actually took the steps to move forward and do that because it is a message that all new parents need to hear. We can love our kids but they can also drive us crazy and it still rings true even though she’s two and a half years now. I mean I love her, you know, but they take every ounce of you and I think you’ve worked with children before and I’ve worked with children before in my past. I have a masters in education as well and they just…you’re drained by the end of the day.
Laurie: 05:01 Yes. I was on a field trip last week and one of the dads that came with us, it was only like a two hour field trip. We walked there, it’s maybe 15 minutes grade two, you know, up the hill, going back. And they were all dragging and so we were chatting as parents, as where we were leaving. And I said, I need a nap. I can’t do it. No wonder the kids are tired? And he said, you know, Kudos to all teachers. It’s a Herculean effort. And I thought that was so correct. And I haven’t really heard it put that way, but it’s so true. And not just teachers, anybody who works with kids. Sorry to do that. Thoughts going through my head. So carry on.
Jaclyn: 05:39 Right. Totally. You know, after, after I published it, it was just and ever since then it’s been something that I continue to want to share. There’s so many people that want to publish books and so I like talking to them about that and that process. And then also there’s just so many people that have a book inside them that need to get it out. And then there’s the rest of the people that just like the book because it speaks to them, you know, because they’re in that time and they need to know they’re not alone. And my second book, My Mom is the Worst is, you know same line. So the first one is the parent’s perspective, what it’s like to parent young children and the flip side of that in My Mom is the Worst, is what it’s like to be parented all day long, you know, from a toddler’s perspective.
Laurie: 06:26 Both of them (inaudible)
Jaclyn: 06:26 So yes, it’s just like teaching for sure.
Laurie: 06:35 That’s cool. Okay. So something else that I really liked about your story because it resonated with me so much is the time it took you to have the idea, write it, and get it to market. So please share those timelines because I think you’re going to blow people’s mind about the possibility.
Jaclyn: 06:53 Sure. Yeah. I think you and I have both found out a little bit about each other and we’ve learned that we are impatient people for good and for bad we’re impatient. But my timeline with the first one and actually pretty similar with the second book was that I wrote the rough draft and one day, and kind of edited it within that same day and within a couple of days around there. And then the next biggest piece for a children’s book is hiring the illustrators unless you plan to do it yourself. And I hired illustrators for both of my books. So that process, I wanted to really do it diligently. I did use an online freelance service, but I wanted to really vet out these people and so I had them do some sketches where I just paid them a couple bucks to get a sketch done on my creative ideas and when I sent them to make sure that I thought they would be a good fit. And so I had probably six to eight different artists that were providing sketches. And then I did some polls within my Facebook group, at least for the second one when I had more of a presence in my Facebook group. The first one was kind of just among friends, but, got their votes and then from there hired them and it took, once I hired the illustrator, after about a week of that process, it took about 30, 30 days, maybe 35 days to get all those illustrations in the cover back. And it was really cool about that process was that these are people that are in other countries and so they’re working or I’m asleep and I was working full time during both the books and so I would wake up really early in the morning. I’d get up at five or six in the morning and I’d have a sketch there for me to look at and to provide feedback on. Usually I would get two sketches a day and I would give them any feedback adjustments before they went and colored the sketch. So it was really exciting to wake up every morning and get to do my fun job before I’d go to my other job. And so, and then after I got the illustrations back doing the formatting that – not my favorite part, but formatting and just looking it over again and then getting it up online. And then I usually provide a couple of weeks for launch that, that back end stuff takes about four to five weeks for me. Okay.
Laurie: 09:13 And you did this with the children’s books?
Jaclyn: 09:17 Yup. The two children’s books I was able to format myself in Word. This third book that I’m doing is almost 300 pages totally different from a children’s book and so I did hire some formatting help and definitely an editor for that one.
Laurie: 09:32 Okay. So let’s go back to what you’re talking about in case somebody is listening to this and they’re like, okay, I’m doing what that lady did right now. What, what freelance service did you use?
Jaclyn: 09:42 I used Upwork.
Laurie: 09:43 Upwork. Okay.
Jaclyn: 09:45 Yep. And I’ve used them for the majority of my freelance projects and had good success because you know, you, if you write up, if you’re diligent on the front end and really write up what you’re looking for and give them a brief, don’t- Even though they’re creative people don’t expect them to just pick something out of the air or you’re going to be spinning your wheels. It’s going to take a lot longer. You got to give them direction. Usually I have provided them at least one or two sentences for each page of what I was thinking in my head. Now there were definitely times where they came back with something better or a better adjustment to that and that’s what I’m paying them for. But give them a place to start.
Laurie: 10:23 Okay. And I’ll repeat it that you said you asked for sketches from a few people from five or six people. That’s what I did as well. And I think that’s really smart. I know money’s tight for a lot of authors in the beginning, but it’s worth your time if they’re asking five, 10, 20, whatever it is to pay that five times over and really pick the one that resonates with you the most. So…
Jaclyn: 10:47 Yes, and I would have loved, here’s kind of a behind the scenes thing. I would have loved to use the same illustrator for both books from one book to the next, the first illustrator that I used went up in price considerably because she’s done really great things because she’s awesome. And so I had to use somebody else the second time and so took a little bit more time the second time because I had to find someone that could recreate that style. Because I wanted it to be similar look and feel. Yeah. But I was able to do that it just a little more time the second time.
Laurie: 11:17 Yeah. Okay. Cool that’s great. Sort of behind the scenes knowledge, and so for your kids’ books do, you did not use an editor?
Jaclyn: 11:26 I did not. I used family and friends.
Laurie: 11:30 Yeah, and that’s what I did as well. Sort of a peer group. So just calling attention to that because a lot of people will get stuck in the process, you know, if they’re learning a course or if they’re in a group with writers or whatnot. And some people will say there’s only one right way to do things and what are the sticking points for a lot of people is you have to have it edited. So, I think you and I are probably similar minded about this and that’s that there’s lots of different ways you can achieve the outcome that you want. And so, you know, the cost of an editor makes it prohibitive. So, is it always maybe a good thing if you can afford it? Maybe. But if you have great family and friends or feedback group, it’s doable. Right?
Jaclyn: 12:14 Right, right. And then you know what? Another behind the scenes thing is if you find an error six months from now, you own the files, the Kindle files and the print files and you can go in and make a change.
Laurie: 12:28 Absolutely. Yes. And then another behind the scenes is something that we know is that a lot of traditionally published books have errors as well. So I have read lots of books and it’s just something small. It doesn’t pull me out of the reading necessarily, but I’m like, oh that’s not great. And it’s not just a self published thing, it’s not just an indie thing. And the beauty of it is if you’re print on demand, you can change it and the next day the change is live and you haven’t printed 5,000 copies with an error in it. So yes.
Jaclyn: 12:59 Don’t. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Don’t hold yourself back. So
Laurie: 13:02 Right for that. I love that. Okay, I’m writing that down. Okay. Sorry.
Jaclyn: 13:09 No problem. Let me drink from my ridiculously large water bottles.
Laurie: 13:13 Writing down your knowledge bombs here.
Jaclyn: 13:16 This is the water bottle that they give you at the hospital and I’m still drinking out of it 9 months later. Because it’s the only way I drink a lot of water. If I have a straw. I’m like a baby.
Laurie: 13:26 I didn’t get one of those. Let’s see how big it is. Oh wow! That’s a fancy hospital. I got the… not much
Jaclyn: 13:44 I laugh. They send out a postcard for the hospital that I gave birth that which is just the normal hospital, a couple of miles down the street, but they refer to their birth unit as a pampering experience. And I was like, I had a good positive experience there. You know, it’s still birth. You’re not going to the spa. Marketing cracks me up.
Laurie: 14:02 You got a fancy water bottle.
Jaclyn: 14:04 So I did, I did. And I think they gave me a robe.
Laurie: 14:07 You did get a robe?
Jaclyn: 14:08 Yeah. It’s pretty deluxe. I didn’t, I never used it.
Laurie: 14:11 Oh yeah. That is deluxe. I think. I got the sheet that’s made out of paper. I don’t rem…I blocked it. I don’t even know. So you’ve already sort of talked about your advice that I had asked you about earlier, but that’s really make it clear and spell it out. What advice do you have for somebody just like you may be a new mom or. Maybe even, not a mom, but just somebody sitting in home letting these little things tripped them up and stop them. So what is your advice to people just like you?
Jaclyn: 14:42 Yeah, just keep moving forward. And if there’s something that is stopping you, share it with somebody and then sometimes you realize that it’s not as big as you think. The longer leave it. It’s been in your head, it starts to grow. And so sometimes you just need to get it out and realize it’s not, it’s not a deal breaker. I just went through that with the formatting of my third book. I was running into some things and it kept pushing my timelines back and it was frustrating me. And then I started, like you were talking about. I started flipping through some traditionally published books and found that I never noticed when I was reading the book, but there are some things that from a formatting perspective probably are were done for odd reasons, you know, similar things to what I was running into. So I just realized I needed to let it go and move forward and I was not going to hold up my project anymore. It’s a great book and I want to share it with people.
Laurie: 15:38 I’m excited. Is it pretty much ready to go? And you’re just running through…
Jaclyn: 15:42 Yeah. I’m waiting on the paperback copy right now. I should have it next week when I get back from vacation.
Laurie: 15:48 Okay. A perfect. Cool. Okay. And so that book’s about birth. Do you talk about that water jug and the bathrobe and the experience?
Jaclyn: 15:59 I do. I talk about many overly personal details in that book. It’s called because You are Super Woman and it’s all about believing in yourself and birthing with minimal intervention. You know, and that doesn’t mean you have to be some hippie natural birth if you are, that’s fine. But you know, I feel like I’m an educated person that, you know, learned about birth and then decided I wanted to have it in the hospital but also with the midwife and you know, like minimal intervention. So I’m just sharing that with people to give them another perspective and also positive birth stories. I think as women we hear a lot of scary things about birth and I was always scared about it before I had to do it and so I just want to share a different perspective.
Laurie: 16:44 Oh my gosh, that’s so good…
Jaclyn: 16:45 Because it’s a head game, just like writing a book, you know, like it’s your mental space is so important. So…
Laurie: 16:51 Yes, that is so true. Interesting comparison. I haven’t heard birth… but really actually a lot of people do talk about I’ve just birthed my book, right? Like now that I’ve published it I brought it into the world. So now that you say that, I have heard that comparison. Okay. So now is, no, not quite time for the super personal question. First I want to hear the best thing you’ve learned because I love what you wrote, the best thing you’ve learned along the way of the process.
Jaclyn: 17:19 Yeah, I think for me it was really using freelancers because I can’t do it all. You know, I guess you can try to do it all, but it’s going to take a lot longer and you probably, if you are really honest with yourself, you have strong suits and writing the book and being a facilitator, managing the process are probably my stronger suits and so I leave editing and illustrating to other people.
Laurie: 17:47 Oh I love that. The freelancer that you hired to format the nonfiction book, did you find them on Upwork as well?
Jaclyn: 17:57 I did. I found them on Upwork. Yep, and then I used a little bit of Fiverr, which is a little bit of a cheaper service to get someone who had a program that I wanted to use and help with some formatting that way.
Laurie: 18:10 Okay. And what program?
Jaclyn: 18:15 Vellum. I’m probably saying that wrong.
Laurie: 18:16 I’ve heard lots of good things about, about that. I love that you said a little while ago is you formatted your own kids’ books in Word. Another thing, if somebody is researching how do I format? And they come up with Scrivener or Vellum or there’s probably, I think Jutoh is one. I don’t know if I said that right. And then that would be…
Jaclyn: 18:35 But still you have to pay.
Laurie: 18:36 You have to pay for all of those. Exactly. And it might be a stopping point, like can I learn this program, do I have the ability, the capacity, the time, etc? So you’re here to say hello! You can do it in Word. It’s totally doable.
Jaclyn: 18:51 They have great, great. They have a workable format on Createspace and probably other publishers as well. But that you can download. So you’re not starting from scratch.
Laurie: 19:05 Yes.
Jaclyn: 19:05 In terms of formatting.
Laurie: 19:07 Yes. And it may be frustrating, like Word does sometimes.
Jaclyn: 19:12 That’s why I said great. And then I was like okay, maybe not great but workable.
Laurie: 19:16 Workable and free.
Jaclyn: 19:17 It won’t necessarily be easy, but it will help.
Laurie: 19:19 Yes. So when you’re starting, that shouldn’t be an obstacle that the formatting shouldn’t be a reason that you don’t do it. A lot of illustrators will format for people as well though. So if You’re finding a freelancer and you have the money to pay because of course that’s going to be an extra cost, they will do it. So personal question! Yay! You don’t have to tell us an amount, but I always ask people how many dollar signs have you made and what’s the best thing you bought with it? And if it’s 0 dollar signs thus far, what’s what’s your plan?
Jaclyn: 20:00 Okay. Well we’ve, we’ve exceeded the 4 dollar signs, so it’s the low end of the 4 dollar sign. But we hit that but I am two years in now. And so a lot of that has been very recent. I was looking at my sales data the other day and you and I have talked numbers so I think we both enjoyed hearing the nitty gritty but like the last in terms of sales for the last year, like half of my sales for the last year had been in the last three months. So it’s really been working more with you and doing some more things with amazon ads. And so that has really started to build. It’s still small but it’s building and it’s in the right direction. So that’s, I mean, not rich overnight, but like I said, I do plan to keep going and to try to make this a full time job. And then best thing I’ve bought, I bought tickets to the 20 books conference in vegas next month and we get to leave! Whoop Whoop! Virtual high five.
Laurie: 21:09 Every two years! I’m so excited.
Jaclyn: 21:12 Yeah. So I’m really excited about that. You know, I consider that investment back into what I do, but also just to learn. I enjoy learning and I can totally believe that things are going to be really exciting. Next year I’ll have a third book out. It’s a totally different space, but I also have a third children’s book as well that I hope to put out next year. I just, I had to focus. That’s one of the other things I would tell people focus on one thing at a time. You can go in so many directions. So yeah, the 20 books conference and then other things I want to buy diamond earrings only because those are frivolous and have been in my wishlist forever. And I kept asking my husband for them and I just decided I’m going to buy them myself. And then for the family to Hawaii.
Laurie: 22:11 Hawaii oh yay. I can’t wait til you share pictures of you and your family.
Jaclyn: 22:15 I know I was on your Facebook the other day that that was like a place that you absolutely loved and I’ve never heard anyone say something bad about Hawaii so.
Laurie: 22:26 We went there for our honeymoon so we didn’t have children at the time, but it’s the only place that I shared this on my Facebook page … it’s the only place that I’ve ever visited that, you know, lining up in the airport. I stayed outside for as long as I possibly could. And then I had tears. I can’t tear up right now because that’s weird.
Jaclyn: 22:44 No this is rough. It’s rough being on video because people can see us get emotional.
Laurie: 22:49 And I should know better and have kleenexes nearby. But yeah…we’re real people.
Jaclyn: 22:55 That’s awesome. I can’t, I can’t wait to go. I think my probably my closest travel experience to that has been Italy. I’ve gone there a couple times and yeah, if you go to Italy and you don’t like it, we’re probably not going to be friends because you’re just not my person. But I’ll let you know if we make it to Hawaii.
Laurie: 23:17 Yes please do. Maybe I can bring my family and we can hang out on the beach I do think it is…
Jaclyn: 23:20 We’ll never leave though
Laurie: 23:21 Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Well thank you so much. So Jaclyn actually real quick before we go, I will put it in the show notes and everywhere I post this, but can you share with people how they can find you? And I’ve written your author named jkcoy so that people, if they’re searching for you, they’ll use the right name, but if you have a website or Facebook page or anything like that can just real quick share that with us?
Jaclyn: 23:47 Yeah, for sure. On Facebook and Instagram, it’s @storiesbyjkcoy and then online mymomistheworst.com is my website.
Laurie: 24:03 That’s so fun. I think my kids might enjoy that book.
Jaclyn: 24:09 Yeah, right, exactly. Well at the end it all comes back around to the mother’s love. I think you’d both like it.
Laurie: 24:15 The kids just don’t appreciate that as much. My kids are a little bit older than yours. Mhmm. So we won’t go there. Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love your story. I can’t wait to share it. And, we will say goodbye and then I’ll share with you afterwards.
Jaclyn: 24:34 Alright. Sounds good. it’s been great working with you and chatting with your group.
Laurie: 24:36 Thank you.
Jaclyn: 24:36 Bye.
Laurie: 24:36 Bye!
Outro: 24:40 You’ve been listening to the Wrighter’s Way Podcast. For show notes, links to guests information, and to learn more about the Wrighter’s Way, check out lauriewrighter.com. Until next week, enjoy this chapter of your life.