How This Mom Published “B is for Breathe.” A Children’s Book to Help Cope With Frustrating Emotions!

Dr. Melissa Munro Boyd is a wife, mother of 3, Clinical Psychologist, and officer in the United States Army. Dr. Boyd has spent much of her clinical career treating service members with behavioral health disorders, to include PTSD. Prior to the military, Dr. Boyd worked with children in the Philadelphia School District. She is a proud graduate of Hampton University in Virginia where she earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology. Upon graduation, she attended La Salle University where she obtained her Master’s and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Through it all, God and her family have been a constant source of strength and motivation.

Reading is very common in Melissa’s household. They love reading lots of books. While working with parents and children as a psychologist, Melissa will often hear parents say “kids have nothing to be stressed about. They don’t have bills, they should be fine, they just have to go to school and play.” Despite what she heard, Melissa believe children have a lot on their plate, more than some parents are aware of. Since she was very knowledgeable of this, she decided to write a book identifying some skills that could help children cope with stress in a healthy way and begin opening up the conversation of not pathologizing everything. “If we help them now as kids, when they become adults the strategies can help with all of the unexpected things that comes with life,” Melissa says.

She began writing some ideas during the beginning of 2017. Towards the end of that year, she started reading on self publishing and the process of being a self publisher in comparison to hiring one. Melissa decide to self publish because of the flexibility and being able to gain exposure with her idea without having to negotiate.

The writing process took a total of nine months and about three months to find an illustrator. She provided the opportunity to a student so they could have the experience to craft their work. In addition, she wanted to support their ideas of drawing. It took a total of 18 months from start to finish!

On February 29th of 2018, she officially published her book, B is for Breathe. From the letter A to the letter Z, B is for Breathe celebrates the many ways children can express their feelings and develop coping skills at an early age. Fun, cute, and exciting illustrations, this colorful book teaches kids simple ways to cope with fussy and frustrating emotions. This book will inspire kids to discuss their feelings, show positive behaviors, and practice calm down strategies. The target audiences are ages 4-10 years. However, all children can gain practical skills from reading it. Currently, she’s promoting her books at trade shows, and it has become a learning tool in her daughter’s classroom.

She’s Making Moves asked Dr. Melissa Munro Boyd to provide the first 5 steps to writing and publishing a book. Below is her plan:

5 Step Plan

  1. Write, write, and write often! Every day if possible. Schedule a time to write and brainstorm ideas.
  1. Network and learn from others. There are numerous social media groups, blogs, and meet-ups dedicated to connecting with and learning from authors and those aspiring. Take advantage of these free opportunities to gain feedback, critiques and recommendations about your book.
  1. Listen to your Readers. Spend time speaking to your audience. For instance, I wrote a children’s book, so I spend time speaking to my own children, kids of family members and my children’s classmates who provided great feedback on the direction of the book.
  1. Spend time creating a marketing plan as to how you want to promote your book online, through social media, local TV, radio stations, newspapers, etc. Also spend time in bookstores and track trends of books that sell well and are similar to yours.
  1. Be Encouraged. If not connect with a publishers, utilize self-publishing platforms such as Amazon-Kindle Direct Publishing. Also utilize websites such as Fiverr to collaborate with professionals who can illustrator, format, and provide editing services.

Dr. Melissa Boyd is making moves as a wife, mother, Clinical Psychologist, officer in the United States Army, and author of B is for Breathe.

To provide support by purchasing her book, or learning more, please click the link:

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