30 Weeks to Awesome: The story of writing my first book. Part 2.

In this recent post, I wrote about how 30 Weeks to Awesome came to be. The motivation and nudge to get it done (a course with a contest that would reimburse tuition for said course) and the re-purposing of a course I created previously. In this post I will share why I believe in 30 Weeks to Awesome, as well as some lessons learned attempting to share the book with others.

Why 30 Weeks to Awesome?

I think life is a journey and that we should always be continually trying to improve our lives, search for happiness, and to be better people. Some people think that trying to be better means they have to be unhappy with who they are now. I disagree. I think we can have love and compassion for our current selves, while simultaneously striving to be a better version of ourselves. It is an evolution that I hope will take a lifetime, because otherwise I would feel stalled. We are not perfect and we never will be. To think that we are somehow who we are meant to be sounds to me like a horrible way to live one’s life.

From this standpoint, I believe that healthy habits are the building blocks to living our best lives. We have limited decision-making capacity each day. By removing the necessity to make a decision to do something, we take care of our base (the building blocks) without having to work at it and use some of our daily decision-making capacity. From there we can do what’s next in our day.

These healthy habit building blocks are going to change overtime. You can look at any number of amazingly successful people who root their day with healthy habits, and realize that those blocks change overtime. One month you may focus on meditation. That could become an integral practice for the rest of your life, or it might drift away for a few months before you bring it back, possibly in the same form, possibly in a different form. When you are trying to start the habit, it takes conscious effort before it becomes part of who you are. This could be in terms of routine (I meditate every morning for 15-20 minutes). Or it could be simply how you make decisions (I home cook most of my meals, which means I had leftovers to bring to work to lunch today and therefore I do not need to go out to buy lunch like I used to).

I believe that for many people, building healthy habits slowly over time is the best way to achieve lasting change.

Surely, there are times where someone will get so fed up with their way of life that they will take massive action and actually have it stick for the long term. What do I mean by this? A program such as Whole 30 is right for some people at some times. Depending on your previous way of eating, this can be a massive undertaking. You remove a whole lot of foods, then slowly add in, but ultimately completely overhaul your way of eating. Some people will do this, feel great, and stick with it. Others will do it, feel great, but then slowly return to their previous way of eating. This person could go even further and adopt worse ways of eating than before the massive changes because they rebel against the restrictions that they were only able to maintain for a few months. More people than not are going to rebel against really massive, strict changes. This can be referred to as yo-yo dieting, and we know that considerably more than 50% of people who lose weight on a diet gain all or even more back within 2-5 years.

Thus, with 30 Weeks to Awesome, my hope is that readers will be able to manage a small task each week that builds over time. If you slowly add more vegetables, other foods will subside at a sustainable pace. The book also focuses on a variety of healthy habits from choosing healthy fats to eating out to getting outside.

Another of my core beliefs that influences me as a coach and attorney, is that each of us is unique. I do not believe that there are enough resources in our environment that encourage us to discover and listen to what we need in any given moment. Thus, in 30 Weeks to Awesome, most weeks I encourage the reader to pick a goal that is right for them. This is in the same way that I might work with a client in a coaching session and ask them what their next step is. Usually we know better than anyone else what the next right step is, but sometimes we need a nudge to realize it and to listen to our own intuition.

While the book is simple and short, I believe that this is one of its values. There is no lack of health information in the world, but there is a lack of action and follow-through.

What I have learned from marketing?

Self-publishing is easy. Educating people that the book exists and why they might want to read it, that is a whole different process. Interestingly, should you be worried about this part, know that even authors who have publishers have to do most of their own marketing. The publisher will work on getting it into stores (which I have had to do on my own) but the author must get the readers. This is why publishers focus heavily on an author’s “following” or ability to let people know about the book when deciding what books to publish.

We have an amazing opportunity right now in which we do not have to wait to be picked by others to publish a book to share our ideas with others (Seth Godin’s words). I believe this has intrinsic value, and is an opportunity we should all consider taking advantage of. However, just because you put something out in the world does not mean that the work will magically get noticed by those who want what you have on offer. 

I learned that most bookstores work with distributors to get books and they do not want to work with self-published authors.

I discovered one distributor that I could work with. However, while the prospect of getting my book out to more people was exciting, if I signed with them I would not be able to sell it anywhere else. I didn’t want to lose control to take my book to local stores and others.

Selling has pushed me outside my comfort zone in many great ways. I think it is really important to do things that are not comfortable, and marketing my book has been a clear way to make me do this. I have gone into a number of stores cold and asked if they would carry 30 Weeks to Awesome. Most of the time I was rejected, but sometimes I succeeded. Four locations in my hometown carry it, one in a town in California that I visit often, and my biggest win – the Fireworks Galleries in Seattle now carry it!! This is (probably) the most popular store in the Seattle airport.

With that said, I could and should continue to research and try for different places to carry it. Fortunately, the clock has not ended, I still have an opportunity to learn and move my book into different areas.

 Is it resonating?

I have received some excellent feedback from some readers. I hear that the book is helping them to focus on healthy habits (as intended). However, I am leading a group of readers through the book and many have dropped off. They get busy and want to pick up where they left off instead of moving on. They tell me they will return. Thus, it is possible that 30 weeks is too long, but I am not sure of the solution. I could encourage readers to go through more quickly to gather momentum. Or, it may be the type of resource that someone returns to for weeks at a time over years. Because of its length I believe that I need to wait more time to gauge its true resonance, but I am encouraged by the positive comments received so far.

What happened with the contest as part of the course I was in through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition? 30 Weeks to Awesome was selected as one of the Top 10 books coming out of the course! I am very grateful for their support and recognition of this project!

You can purchase the book directly from me here, AND I will donate all proceeds to the 2020 Community Assistance Fund – COVID-19 for Southeast Alaska, or you can purchase it (Ebook or paperback) here

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