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Q & A with Jenn Laurent, author of “Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom”

Yesterday, I had the privilege of introducing Jenn Laurent’s new book about conscious parenting, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom. I also mentioned that we would be doing a Q & A on Jenn’s Facebook page about the concepts she discusses in her book, and also the book itself. This was a fun exercise where a few of us pelted Jenn with questions about conscious parenting, and she responded like a pro!

Below is the transcript of the Q & A session:

LAURA ORSINI:  Hi, Jenn. Congrats on your book launch! You must be very excited. You’ll be doing a Q&A now, won’t you?

JENN LAURENT:  Hi. Thank you. Yes, I will 🙂

CASSIDY GARD:  So exciting that Launch Day is here!

LAURA ORSINI:  If anyone has a question for Jenn about her book or conscious parenting, please feel free to jump in!!  My first question is this: What IS conscious parenting?

JENN LAURENT:  Conscious parenting is parenting with awareness. It is about taking the necessary steps in your own life to allow you to be present with your children. It means that we make choices, rather than parenting out of habit.

CASSIDY GARD:  How do you make conscious choices when your patience is being tested and you’re dealing with tantrums in small children?

LAURA ORSINI:  That seems both like common sense, and something that could be useful to have someone guide you toward. How did you arrive at this idea of conscious parenting in your own life, Jenn?

JENN LAURENT:  Great question, Cassidy, and one that I think involves a bit of a detailed answer. But in short, we need to find ways to stay centered and focused, as parents. By taking steps in our own lives and finding ways to care for ourselves, we are better able to deal with stress and anxiety in the moment-to-moment activities involved in parenting.

LAURA ORSINI:  Where does a busy parent begin in their efforts to be more conscious?

JENN LAURENT:  Laura, I am a person who enjoys self-reflection, so I have gathered my own life experiences, the work I have done in the field of social work, and my own self growth. I wanted to parent in a way that felt good in my heart, and I have chosen to share that with others through my book.

CASSIDY GARD:  I’m sure your book goes into greater detail about specific approaches, but what is the number one universal tip or mantra you tell yourself in the moment to stay focused? I’m sure that many obstacles come up, day to day, but do you have one thing you always tell yourself to reinforce #ConsciousParenting?

JENN LAURENT:  I think a good starting point for parents is to form an intention about the type of parent they want to be. By knowing your purpose and what parenting means to you, you are able to build from a strong foundation and more easily navigate through the day-to-day parenting experiences you encounter.

LAURA ORSINI:  Do you think it’s ever too late to begin trying to implement practices like being in the moment and not trying to shape our kids into who we think they should be?

JENN LAURENT:  Cassidy, I think everyone needs to find their own unique way and discover what works for them. The key is to find it. I make a point of acknowledging the intention I have about for the mother I choose to be daily, and I also remember that a huge piece of parenting is the fun it entails.

CASSIDY GARD:  Do you remember when you first discovered you would be a mom and imagined raising a son? How did your expectations differ from the actual experience?

LAURA ORSINI:  I LOVE the reminder that parenting is supposed to be fun, too!

JENN LAURENT:  Laura, it’s never too late. There is a quote that it is never too late to be what you might have been. I love this and believe it applies to all areas of our lives, including parenting. If we are facing struggles as parents, feeling a lack of fulfillment, or simply know in our hearts that there is room for change, we can implement practices to make our parenting experience exactly what we choose for it to be.

DANYELL FIMA:  How does the mother or father of pre-teen and teenagers begin to parent more consciously?

JENN LAURENT:  When I found out I was having my son, I don’t necessarily think I set expectations; rather, I set intentions and focused on images of the way I wanted things to be. I saw clearly the type of experience I was setting out to have. And so, in all honesty, it has not differed much from what I “expected.” Yes, things may look different in my life, but the experience is what I intended it to be.

JENN LAURENT:  Danyell, when our kids are older, parents need to find a way to really see who our children are and accept them for that. Again, it all starts within. As parents, we need to be clear about our intentions so that our children receive that message as well.

LAURA ORSINI:  Want to move to the book a bit. Did you learn anything new about parenting as you were putting these rather profound concepts into words?

CASSIDY GARD:  Do you think that parents and society place a lot of judgment on children when we use phrases like “Terrible Two’s” or automatically assuming a child will be difficult as a toddler, pre-teen, or teenager? How do you use conscious parenting to avoid that and embrace positivity?

JENN LAURENT:  Laura, I learn something new every single day. Just when I think I have something all figured out, I realize that another layer is presented and there is more to learn.

JENN LAURENT:  Cassidy, great question. Yes, I think labels and statements like these set us, our children, and our families up for failure. If we expect something to happen, then most likely that is what we will look for to happen. If we can set up our children for success by expecting positivity and goodness, we are that much ahead of the game.

LAURA ORSINI: How much does Jaden understand about his role in Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom?

JENN LAURENT:  I value my son’s feelings, opinions, and input tremendously and have made him aware of this project from the moment I began. He thinks it is pretty darn cool that there is a book out there that has been inspired by him. 🙂

LAURA ORSINI:  Do you have a favorite chapter or lesson?

CASSIDY GARD:  As the child gets older, is there a good way to include them in the conversation so that they understand these “conscious parenting” techniques and how they can make conscious choices independently so that they are in harmony with their parents?

LAURA ORSINI:  If there were a double-like button, Cassidy, I’d press it for that last question!

JENN LAURENT:  My favorite chapter or concept is “All You Need Is Love,” which is dedicated to parents being committed to loving even though. It is so important for us to show our children that they are loved, no matter what. Even when they make mistakes, drive us crazy, or disappoint us, they need our love. You see, it is easy to love when things are easy, when things are going our way. It is much more difficult to love in the face of conflict or darkness. We have the opportunity to teach our children how to love others when it is difficult by loving them when it is difficult.

JENN LAURENT:  Cassidy, I believe our children are able to understand well before we think they can. I share some of these concepts with my son and we have conversations about them. I have always provided him with the reasons I do things the way I do, so he has learned on a daily basis about mush of this. I think our children benefit greatly from be included in the reasons why, in understanding the way they are being parented … after all, it is their life! 🙂

LAURA ORSINI:  I love that concept, Jenn — it’s true for all of us, even grown-ups. I heard it said a long time ago that it’s when we’re most unlovable that we need most to be loved.

JENN LAURENT:  To continue that answer, Cassidy, children learn by example. If they are parented in a conscious way, they learn to live in a conscious way.

LAURA ORSINI:  Jenn  will you tell people where they can buy the book?

JENN LAURENT:  The book is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or my website http://livethroughtheheart.com/my-book. If readers buy today, they will receive special free bonus offers. And always, a percentage of proceeds will go to Olive Crest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and children.

CASSIDY GARD:  Thanks Laura! Wow, that makes so much sense, Jenn. I think parents will be amazed by these techniques and approaches. It’s unlike a lot of what is already out there. So refreshing to see an approach that is simple yet full of wisdom and meaning behind it.

JENN LAURENT:  Thank you, Cassidy.

LAURA ORSINI:  So we thank you all for coming — and for asking questions, Cassidy and Danyell! Please be sure to visit Jenn’s site (http://livethroughtheheart.com/my-book/) to see the bonuses and buy the book today! Or if you prefer, it’s also on sale at Amazon (http://amzn.to/10PlCPW) and Barnes & Noble (http://bit.ly/115LNkM).

CASSIDY GARD:  Thanks Jenn! I think these will be amazing gifts for all of my friends and family. It’s a beautiful read, but also highly informative. Great timing for the holidays!

JENN LAURENT:  Thank you everyone!! Happy Tuesday and Happy Holidays!

The good news is that we’ve extended the bonuses for another day! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the bonuses or buy the book yet, you can still take advantage of the offer today. This is a tremendous book and would make a wonderful holiday gift for the mom in your life.

Happy parenting —

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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If you’d like to schedule a Facebook Q&A to discuss YOUR book as part of your social media strategy, please complete the form on this page or call us at 602.518.5376. Booking now for 2013!

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Notes on a book launch: “Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom”

I am excited to tell you all about TODAY’s launch of my client’s new book, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom. Jenn Laurent is the thoughtful mother of a lovely 5-year-old boy named Jaden. Her original goal was to create a series of essays she would later present to her son as a gift, but she quickly saw the value the writings might have for parents looking for a new way to connect with their children.

Jenn defines conscious parenting as parenting with awareness. It is about taking the necessary steps in your own life to allow yourself to be present with your children, and opening your heart and mind to truly understand the reasons you parent the way you do. It involves making choices instead of parenting out of habit – or simply not knowing any better. Her 25 conscious parenting concepts are designed to help parents foster their children’s innate and profound wisdom and keep the children connected to their authentic selves. Her goal is to inspire parents to open their minds and hearts and be willing to explore a different way to parent that can bring fulfillment, joy, and peace.

I believe this book about conscious parenting truly has the power to make a difference in many parents’ lives … as well as in the lives of their children.

Jenn came to me just a few short weeks ago, via a referral from my friend Gilat Ben-Dor, a coach who specializes in working with Multi-Passionate Professionals™. Jenn knew she needed help to market her book, and thus a book launch was born. This involved many players and moving pieces:

  • Nikki Pesusich, PR pro from Coterie Media
  • Cassidy Gard, versatile and multi-talented virtual assistant
  • Joe Stevens, webmaster extraordinaire from Ball Media
  • Yours truly, book launch coordinator
  • Jenn, the author and juggler of many balls

None of this would have come together without Jenn’s vision for success and the knowledge that she needed a strong team of professionals to help her through the pieces she couldn’t do herself. She deserves HUGE congratulations for her willingness to jump in and learn as much as she could on a very tight deadline. Nikki is just a superstar with the media aspect, and I’ve never met anyone who interprets my written instructions as well as Joe. While I haven’t had much personal interaction with Cassidy, I know she’s been a social media diva, bumping Jenn’s Facebook friends by nearly 1,000 in no more than a month.

We’ve put together some nice bonuses for people who buy the book today! Please be sure to check out Jenn’s website for more details about the book and to view the bonuses (including a sampler of questions from my own book, 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women). You can buy right there via PayPal or purchase through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Also – join us TODAY at noon PST for a Q&A with Jenn on her Facebook page: Facebook.com/LiveThroughTheHeart.

These are the kinds of success stories that keep me smiling and loving my work. Many congratulations, Jenn. You deserve it!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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Is it time to make a book trailer? Marcie reviews a few of them

We’re very proud to announce that we’ve recently begun working with new author, Jennifer Laurent, to help schedule and implement the Nov. 27 launch of her book on conscious parenting, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom. Jenn’s fortunate, in that she’s been able to put together a stellar team that includes publicist Nikki  Pesusich of Coterie Media, a wonderful VA (virtual assistant) named Cassidy Gard, a professional videographer, in addition to her book designer, web designer, printer, and of course, us here at Write | Market | Design. We’ve talked about the importance of a team in the past. Trying to do it all yourself is a recipe for disaster. Surround yourself with the best team you can – chances are you can come up with creative ways to keep the costs down!

As Jenn and her video guy are jotting down ideas for her book trailer, I’ve been busy pulling together some samples for them to look at. Here are links to 10 trailers that seem to cover a variety of book topics, as well as elements of the trailers themselves.

Now, I’m not a professional book trailer evaluator – but I have included comments about each one, indicating the specific components I believe make it work, as well as the things I would do differently.

http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-best-book-trailer-ive-seen-in-years/

This one comes with testimonial. After viewing all of the rest on this list, I’m not sure this is the best book trailer I’ve seen in years. For one thing, the author speaks WAY too quickly – and the thing runs long. I’d say under a minute is a good goal. And for crying out loud, write a SCRIPT for it. Still, the author’s personal story described by the blogger is definitely an asset in this trailer.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyO2k-jApng&feature=youtu.be

This is radically different from Jenn’s book – but incorporates some clever concepts. I like the opening that borrows from a movie preview. Also like the male narrator and the occasional pop-ups with numbers and stats.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar1QYy1Y8Z8

This is a professional trailer from HarperTeen – but it’s proof that even the pros have room to improve. I like the female voiceover – and the fact that she’s reading the text to reinforce it. Sooooo many book trailers I looked at use text and music only – no voiceover. Those are LOST OPPORTUNITIES, as far as I am concerned, to imprint the message with voice, rather than relying on the viewer to read it quickly and correctly and digest it all at once. However, the male voiceover detracts, as the guy sounds so uninspired and bored, I’m wondering how they released the trailer with this guy in it.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaeNWL8rlBI

Again, this one has a clean, strong female voiceover. It’s a  thriller, so the trailer’s got that mysterious feel to it. Not for every book, but creatively done.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6sTyNlJzK8

This trailer does a really nice job of incorporating the book cover into the video – although just once, and fairly briefly. The author also appears in a very nice sequence against a black backdrop. However, she goes too long and tries to do too much with a single video, describing the second book in the series that she’s currently writing. In my humble opinion, that should be reserved for a separate video.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIpRi-lkQt4

Closest thematically to Jenn’s book, this is a clever trailer for a book by a different Julia Roberts. However, they again lose the opportunity to imprint the message by failing to incorporate a voiceover to accompany the words on the slides.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIZ7SbK9ntg

This one has all of the elements I would look for in a trailer, and yet it’s less than inspiring. It’s got footage of the author giving a presentation, a professional female voiceover artist, and the book cover in several places. Perhaps it’s the “broken brain” concept they stress again and again that I find challenging. Overall, it feels more like an infomercial than a book trailer. One thing to be aware of is distilling a complicated theme or subject to just a few crisp, clear sentences.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBgQCz6dI_8

While this trailer use the author to great effect, also incorporating nice imagery to illustrate the points she’s making, it runs way too long, at just about 3 minutes. It appears unscripted – again, a script would really help keep it short!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzXyVfTpu0Y

This trailer takes a Monty Python approach that is rather clever, but it’s crazyLONG at 4 minutes. It also uses images of the people in the book to really nice effect, and has the author as narrator.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLiv99Xpr2o

By far my favorite of the 50 or 60 trailers I combed through last night, this one doesn’t use a voiceover narration and gets away with it because the music works so well. However, it  wouldn’t have ruined the trailer to have a narrator reading the names of each chapter as they flashed across the screen. It’s a little long, but it’s so well done that you don’t notice the length. Of all the trailers I saw, this left me most inclined to further explore the book.

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A FEW FINAL REMINDERS

Every trailer incorporates the book cover – some to better effect than others. Be sure also to include the date the book will be available, as well as a link to your site. In Jenn’s case, I advised her to make TWO trailers. The first will have her specific launch date and a link to the page on her site that describes the bonuses she’s offering to people who buy her book. The second will be more generic, with the timeless note, Available November 2012, and a link to the home page of her site.

Be sure to leave your link on the screen a while, so people will have time to write it down or type it in. Avoid all caps in most places – particularly if you’re using text slides for thinks like advance praise quotes in your trailer.

More than anything, capture the essence and feel of your book – and share the things about it that would entice someone to visit your site to learn more!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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