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.