Today’s guest is Dr. Deborah Serani, author of the self-help parenting book, Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers. Dr. Serani is a go-to media expert on a variety of psychological issues. Her interviews can be found in ABC News, Newsday, Womens Health & Fitness, The Chicago Tribune, The Associated Press, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is a ShareCare Expert for Dr. Oz, writes for Psychology Today, helms the “Ask the Therapist” column for Esperanza Magazine and has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. A licensed psychologist in practice over twenty years, Serani is also an adjunct professor at Adelphi University teaching courses in clinical disorders and treatment and is the author of the award-winning book “Living with Depression.”
Thank you for this interview, Dr. Deb. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’m a psychologist in practice over 20 years in New York, where I specialize in treating depression – a condition I’ve personally experienced as a child. I’m also a go-to media expert on psychological issues and a professor at Adelphi University. As for how long have I’ve been writing? Well, I’d have to say ever since I’ve been able to hold a pencil in my hand! I’m a prolific writer, always writing several projects at a time. But I have only been published in academic and literary arenas in the last decade. I’m very proud that my first book “Living with Depression” won two major book awards, and that my new book “Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers” is already receiving positive reviews.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Depression in children is at epidemic proportions. As someone who struggled with depression as a child, and as someone who specializes in its treatment as a clinician, I wanted to write a book that helped parents and caregivers understand what pediatric depression looks like, how to get help for it and how to live with this chronic illness as a family.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I’m a teacher at heart, and spend much of my time as a clinician helping patients learn how to have a meaningful life in spite of living with depression. So, writing self-help books to empower readers was a natural genre to choose.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
I love writing that is easy to read but informative as well. So for me, finding a way to balance research with rich and beautiful prose is always a challenge. I want readers to experience what I write – the textures and nuances of depression as well as the dynamic facets science offers in explaining mental illness.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
My publishing home is Rowman & Littlefield – an independent publisher just outside of Washington, D.C. I shopped my proposal around and was lucky to have several publishers interested in my work. But I chose R & L because they made me feel super confident about supporting me and my interests as an author. This is my second book with them, and I’m already working on a third one.
Was it the right choice for you?
I adore my editor and have had a really joyous experience working along with the production and marketing teams. So, yes, it was a great choice for me.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I’m incorporating a virtual book tour (Pump Up Your Book) and have the ability to publicize and market my book through the various media outlets I work for. I also have a strong social media presence, and will be actively promoting there too. I also like to set up lectures and workshops, finding it a great way sell books.
How is that going for you?
I have to say I am finding the virtual book tour to be a great experience – and highly recommend it to authors. I didn’t do that with my first book and wish I did. Doing the self-promotion is always hard and time consuming, but I feel it pays off exponentially, so it’s totally worth it.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
Hmm. That’s a good question. If I think what was the best publicity that has moved books, I think I’d have to say it’s Facebook. Having a book page enabled me to not only reach new readers, but also converse with them. That community-feel helped introduce more fans and readers than I could have imagined.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Be it a big or small publishing house, don’t rely on the in-house publicity team to do your book promotions. You’ll definitely get a push from them, but they have so many authors in their wheelhouse to stay the long haul for your book selling needs. Just like you worked hard to write and complete your book, you’ll have to work hard to market and promote your book as well.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just completed the prose to a children’s book on depression titled “Sometimes When I’m Sad.” I’ll spend the next two months drawing the illustrations.
Thank you for this interview, Dr. Deb. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
If readers go to my website www.drdeborahserani.com they can learn more about me or link to my many social media outlets. And thank you so much for this great interview!
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