Tipping Point.

This title is loaded. And I’m not completely sure where it’s going. But perhaps that’s the point. Or part of it anyway. (Or any weigh, if the point alludes to Weight Watchers. But I digress. (Or digest.)) But first, speaking of weighing, I reached a tipping point on the scale one day–I thought I would just be obese for the rest of my life. I tipped into the idea of just feeling better. And that made a huge difference. So huge, that my clothing size went from XXL to small.

But what I’m really thinking about is me writing a book and using marketing to promote it. I wrote a book while I was learning to live with sugar addiction. My purpose was not to write a book. My purpose was to feel better. But the tools I used to help me feel better involved writing about how I was feeling. I chose to write blog posts on the Weight Watchers community site. And at some point, I chose to let some people know that I was writing.

Something tipped me from anonymity to identity. Perhaps it was because I was making a dent in myself by losing over seventy-five pounds and people were interested in knowing how I’d done it. Whatever the reason, I did reveal myself and some people were interested in reading what I’d written.

With some encouragement from friends and family, I turned my blog posts into a book and published that book in 2016. I really wanted a paperback reference book for myself as a help in my continued journey with sugar addiction management. I also thought there was a chance I could offer motivation and hope to others who struggled with similar sensitivities to sugar. I wanted people to know that there was an alternative to yo-yo dieting, lack of impulse controls, and the misery all of that includes. Someone also suggested that my experience would be a huge help to people living with sugar addicts. It would offer insight into the workings of an addict’s thought process (or lack thereof).

I used a self publishing company (iUniverse) and quickly found that the money maker in being a self published author was the publishing house. Everything had a price tag and most of the time it was big. I worked with the company for a couple of years and finally had my book published in 2016. My friends and family were very supportive and bought my book. Some friends and family even posted glowing reviews. I started this WordPress blog and also worked on marketing my book through social media.

I made a few connections and made some new friends in the book world. And I appreciate the support I’ve had from other authors. Jena Henry (The Golden Age of Charli series) was a huge help to me before and after my book was published. She provided a blurb for the back cover of my book, a guest spot on her blog, and friendship that included a meeting at her house, hot pepper jam and biscotti. (Although I do not eat hot pepper jam and biscotti, I do enjoy making them.)

The sale price on Amazon was less than I could buy with my author discount until my book buy back program (for wholesale buyers) ran out and then they upped the cost to the cover price ($22.99). I had book re-publishers call me with lots of praise for my book and offers to re-format it with a different cover and lower price–they said my book was too expensive. They would do all the revisions for free if I bought a marketing package payable in three installments of lots of money. But I didn’t bite.

Early this year, my original publishing company called again with a marketing proposal. They said I should give my book a fair chance by giving it exposure to a larger audience. (This author-operated blog has reached readers all around the globe, but it hasn’t generated book sales.) I had given a low cost marketing company a try last year, but all it had done was assured me that the ad was eye-catching enough to generate a lot of clicks, but there were absolutely no book sales generated (conversions).

I told the iUniverse marketing rep that other companies had been calling me and had offered to republish my paperback book at a lower cost if I would purchase their expensive marketing. For some reason, iUniverse was able to offer me the same type of deal with a month long, lower cost marketing book blast email promotion that would offer my ebook for ninety-nine cents. And for some reason, I decided to do it.

I wanted the lower cost paperback to be available during the ebook sale. I worked with the publisher to lower the page count. I changed the font size and I changed some spacing. I removed the glyphs between the blog entries and took out some excess words. I also changed the cover design to better reflect me and my journey. And when all that was done, I had a paperback book that told my story and only would cost $13.99.

Once that was in place, the month long marketing program started. There were no guarantees of book sales. The only guarantee was a report of the analytics generated by the campaign–how many clicks.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do my own marketing while the ebook was on sale. I mentioned it on the WW Connect app, in this blog, and on Facebook. There were a few people who bought the ebook. I could tell by the sales ranking that Amazon provides in the product details that there was activity.  I went from over one millionth on the best sellers list to under 200,000. (If you’re curious, make a purchase and go back to see how much of a difference you’ve made. It’s inexpensive fun!)

Early on in my publishing journey, I heard that most effective marketing tool is word of mouth advertising. If all of my friends who bought the book told their friends about it and just one of each of my friends’ friends bought the book and told their friends about it with the same following effect, the market reach would be phenomenal. And there’s that thing called a tipping point that a Google search defined as “the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.” That hasn’t happened. Yet.

Tipping point evokes a few different images in my mind. One is at the end of a restaurant meal. Another would be that off balance rain barrel that topples over when just one more drop of water was too much for it to stay upright. And then there’s that balance beam scale that used to be at the doctor’s office until they went digital.

When I started this marketing campaign, I was thinking a positive response could be the tipping point for me to seriously work on publishing more books, including an already started cookbook of no sugar added entrees, sides, and desserts. It was also possible that a less than enthusiastic response could be the tipping point for me to withdraw from publishing anything else.

I have been a little concerned that a less than enthusiastic result of marketing could be a tipping point for me to feel that this whole book project was a waste of time. (Insert mental image of an herb dieter with a waist of thyme.) I have to remember that this book has helped me regain control over a serious sugar problem more (e’en) than once. That’s worth a lot on a personal level. No. This book project is not worthless. And neither am I.

By the way, this isn’t a manipulative attempt to get you to buy my book so I won’t slip into deep depression. I’m okay either way. (But not either weigh. I like being healthy.) I have, by writing and paying attention to how I feel, continued my I’m Possible Journey of Living with Sugar Addiction. It’s priceless.

I think the ebook promotion ends tomorrow. Today is your last day to download it for only ninety-nine cents.  The normal price is $3.99. The paperback version, however, will still be a mere $13.99 to purchase. You might find either version priceless if it helps you have hope and inspiration to get control over sugar. Or even if it just makes you smile.

UPDATE ON THE EBOOK PRICE: The price will return to $3.99 in the next week or two. I’m not sure why, but you’ve got more time!

Thank you for reading this. I’ll let you know how things go.

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Can you Afford to Pay Attention?

Can you Afford to Pay Attention?

Perhaps the better question is, “Can you afford to NOT pay attention?” I saw a documentary this past week. It had to do with detrimental effects of food on health.  (And beneficial effects of eating “properly”.) Poor nutrition is not just a problem for mental health. It’s a problem for physical well being.

I was quite interested in the film until it took a definite turn toward vegetarianism. And then the tone turned to the possiblity that climate change is because we eat meat. Sorry. I don’t get involved in blanket statements about the climate or what people eat.

But I do recommend paying attention to what one eats. And how one feels. During the eating and also afterward. Some people can eat anything and feel great. Other people find that eating sugar makes them feel great while they’re eating it, but after the last swallow, they feel fowled up.

I’ve paid attention enough to know that sugar compromises my health. My mental and physical health. I suspected that for years before I actually did anything about it. Well, I thought it was impossible to get control over sugar. But, by paying attention to what my mind and body were trying to tell me, I found out I’m Possible.

In the past month, I’ve gotten a little bogged down by diet mentality. Eat this. Don’t eat that. You should eat in the Keto style. Or the Paleo style. Vegan. Vegetarian. Plant based. Low Carb High Fat. No pork. No tuna. Only eat by the light of the luna. No sugar. No dairy. No gluten. No berry. Fast. Slow. Tick. Talk. Use a wok. Always set up cookie block. Whole 30. Whole hog. Oil. Foil. Artery clog.

It starts to feel like a Dr. Seuss book gone haywire. (Speaking of hay, I actually had a week of grazing. Not on hay, and not on sugar, but on lots of other stuff. When I finally paid attention, I realized I felt lousy and stopped grazing. Eventually.)

What works for me works for me. The other stuff turns into sensory overload and a meltdown (which should not be confused with a melt-away).

So. Sensory overload. Sense Or Why? When I go with the Why? I tend to overload my plate and my senses go numb. What makes sense for me is to pay attention to labels, ask for help with menu selections, keep to three meals a day and, and not forget to take a multivitamin.

I know a few people who are trying to be healthier. Well, they’re trying to lose weight. I hope they become healthier. I can’t know what will work for them, but I can encourage them to pay attention.

And speaking of paying, my ebook is on sale until May 6. Would you pay 99 cents for motivation to pay attention? I won’t tell you what to do. But I can encourage you to look at things from a different angle. The try-angle. I will encourage you to not use tools if you try them and they don’t work for you.

Eating healthy and being healthy don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. But you might want to pay attention.

 

 

Home from the Range! The I’m Possible Journey Continues.

Home from the Range! The I’m Possible Journey Continues.

I’ve been traveling for the past two weeks. Most recently, I spent a week in Wyoming. I didn’t see any buffalo, but I saw antelope playing on the range. Continue reading “Home from the Range! The I’m Possible Journey Continues.”

Of Sugar Addiction and Moo-reen.

Of Sugar Addiction and Moo-reen.

This is not a picture of me. It’s a picture of an expectant cow on a ranch in Wyoming. My daughter took the picture and explained that the cow is running to get “cake”. Cows love cake. And they love to graze. I don’t know if I can say I love cake or that I love to graze, but my addiction loves both. When I find myself out of control and out to graze, I’m not outstanding in my field, I’m just a sugar addict that tripped up. I don’t want to be Moo-reen. I am Maureen.

Something is fishy when I’m floundering for control. Continue reading “Of Sugar Addiction and Moo-reen.”

Marching forth instead of leaping.

Marching forth instead of leaping.

Three years ago I leaped and published my book. (It was leap year.) Today, March 4th, I signed off on my resubmission papers with a new cover and lower price.

The new cover is a better reflection of me and my journey.  The reflection of resubmitting my manuscript is that it’s worth it to keep on journeying and journaling.

At the moment (and grandmoment), I am on a roadtrip with my mother to visit my son and his family in Canada. It will be great grand mom-ents for my mother!

I just wanted to document the forward march today. March fourth.

All the best.

I’m Possible and You Are, Too!

I’m Possible and You Are, Too!
Maureen Aliprandi was obese and heading in the wrong direction on the slippery slope of sugar addiction. After many failed attempts to navigate a trail to good health, she turned her journey from impossible to I’m Possible by following some simple guidelines she found in a book about sugar sensitivity.
This inspirational collection of poems and prose highlights how Maureen changed her paradigm to lose (and keep off) over seventy-five pounds. She shares insights from her journey of learning to live with sugar addiction–from being controlled by an “inner sugar monster” to being in control of her foods and her moods.
Maureen’s clear and friendly voice will encourage you in your own journey to good health as you:
• Learn to pay attention to what you eat and how you feel;
• Focus on feeling better instead of dieting;
• Abandon excuses that prevent you from living a healthier lifestyle;
• Accept that sugar addiction is real and learn to live with it if you have it.
Rediscover your life and change your eating habits for good with the practical inspiration and hilarious wordplay in The I’m Possible Journey. Read it from cover to cover or dip in anywhere and read a poem or two as a quick pick me up or as a distraction from impulsive eating. You will find that you are possible, too!
This will be the new wording for the book description on the back cover of my repackaged book. It’s not live yet, but it’s coming soon. cropped-coveridea1.jpg

Re: Packaging

Re: Packaging

My story is the same but I’m going to change the cover to better reflect this story as my personal journey. The back cover is a little different, as well. And I think it’s good.

This picture was taken at Sugarbush Ski Resort in Vermont. I think it’s very descriptive of how it was before I started my journey. I’m headed the wrong way on  the trail. It looks like I’m wading in powdered sugar and not really sure what’s going on. There’s a parallel to skiing in my journey with sugar addiction. And I think this fits.

I first published my book three years ago. I started writing it in 2012 when I started blogging my thoughts on the Weight Watchers blogging community platform. And now, in 2019, I’m looking back. I’m not waiting for 2020 hindsight. I think I can see it clearly from here.

My blog posts here have been sparse since 2017. My husband retired, my mother moved, my uncle passed away, and numerous other events happened in 2018.

I have written and read and commented in a community fashion on the WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) social media site, Connect. I’ve occasionally connected with a private Facebook group with some of the people I blogged with as I learned to live with sugar addiction.

Recently, I’ve wondered why I felt the need to share.

Because I finally decided to give my book another chance, I’m resubmitting my manuscript with some font changes, a cover change and a few minor changes in the text. The cost of the book will go down. I think the readability will go up. There’s a clearer call to action on the back cover.

Once the changes are in place, there will be a sale on the e-book version. And there will be marketing. I’m learning that books don’t sell themselves. No matter how good they are.

The best part of this process, is that I’ve come back to the reason for writing and sharing. Community support is one of my tools in managing my sugar addiction.

When I’ve been under the influence of sugar and controlled by the addiction, I have tended to want to hide. Although I still don’t eat added sugar or outright (wrong) sugar, I think there’s a thing called addiction transfer that sets off closet eating which is not healthy.

In the last month or so, I’ve had doubts about sugar addiction. Doubts about my need to be so careful with what I eat. But I really think those doubts are fueled by the addiction.

I recently posted a little blurb on Connect. I talked about Response Ability. When I don’t eat carefully (with awareness of how I will feel after I eat), I lose my response ability. I lose my ability, or desire, to care. And then I feel lousy. Aches, pains, moodiness, depressed, befuddled.

My original goal in 2011 was to feel better. And I did. I collected some tools to help me manage my sugar addiction. When I used them I felt better. When I didn’t, I felt worse.  And sometimes, when I felt better, I’d write my thoughts in verse!

The point of this blog post is to alert you to the fact that I’m still here. I still have my tools. And I’m sharing them with anyone who would like to read about them.

I’m (still) Possible. And you are, too.

Thanks for reading this. I’d like to know what you think.