Loren M. Gelberg-Goff & Dr. Carmel-Ann Mania – Book Journeys Authors Interview
For the first time in Book Journeys, Dr. Angela has interviewed two authors about their joint book – Loren M. Gelberg-Goff and Dr. Carmel-Ann Mania, who talked about their book, Being Well Within: From Distressed to De-Stressed, which focuses on stress management. Loren and Carmel-Ann are long-time friends and colleagues who have worked together in seminars and workshops for patients, friends, and colleagues, and the book was a product of this partnership. While they come from different fields – Loren is a psychotherapist and Carmel-Ann is a chiropractor – they are both in agreement that the body and mind are connected, and therefore need to be linked and balanced. So the book combines the expertise of the two authors, with Loren approaching it from the mental, emotional, and psychological aspect, and Carmel-Ann tackling the physical and metaphysical side. They wrote the book as a resource for managing and dealing with the effects of stress using different strategies so that it actually empowers and motivates people.
Focus and open, healthy communication were important for the authors as they went through the writing process. For them, it’s important to know who you’re writing with and they operated on the tenet that whatever happens, they take nothing personally. Stress, anxiety, tension and different working styles are part of the challenge of co-authoring, but they emphasized the importance of not imposing one’s working style on the other. Carmel-Ann was a spurt writer while Loren was the more time-conscious type, but because they were good friends and could easily talk things out with each other, they were able to keep to an agreed timetable. They used Google Docs to collaborate and compare notes, balancing various aspects of the topic so that their voices would be blended. Every chapter had something from each of them and something from both of them, yet they made it appear seamless and with a unified voice.
One of the positive outcomes of having a book was the validation and recognition that they got out of it. Even if what’s in the book is actually what they have already been talking about in their sessions or workshops, they find that the people they’ve worked with appreciate the information on a different level when they see it on print. Having a book also became a prop to go into a meeting with because people would see them differently as published authors.
Their book is semi-self-published, being attached to a publishing house which thus allows it to be listed in their catalogue, but they basically did everything in terms of marketing. They have learned to put the book in unexpected places like boutiques or health spas, and offered it in their workshops, offices, or meetings, which became opportunities to market the book. Social networking was another way to get the word out, connecting with people in charge of author events in bookstores or doing library events, but one of the best suggestions that they got for promoting the book was to go to different venues like clubs, churches, and other organizations that give opportunities to speak even without a fee. The organization would then buy their books to give away to their patrons, members, or congregants. They have found these marketing strategies very useful and suggest the same for authors who operate on a limited budget.