At first glance, one might think Eileen Wilder has a fairy tale publishing story. She self published her first book and quickly got picked up by a publisher that immediately got to work securing TV interviews and other publicity before the book’s re-release.
Here’s the back story, the mid-story and the full-story about her book, which is released today on Amazon.
Lisa: When we first met, you had several ideas for books. What factors made you decide on The Brave Body Method—a book about body image and weight loss and relationship with God?
Eileen: I settled on The Brave Body Method after hearing [from you] my initial idea might not be the most marketable. I was passionate about writing about anxiety and fear, and you helped me discover a way to approach that topic from a slightly different angle, by asking “In what ways does fear manifest?” I landed on body image and weight struggles!
Lisa: You mentioned that it took only one coaching call with me to get clarity on your book: what did you get out of that first call?
Eileen: I received just the right amount of honest feedback, along with practical steps for how to get my blog, website, and social media following off the ground.
The unique blend of your coaching strengths gave me clarity about what to do and the confidence to go for it.
Lisa: Wow. I’m excited to hear how much you got out of it. You really hit the ground running after that. There are so many books out there on body image and weight loss. Was it intimidating to write this or did you have a strong sense all along that you had something important to add to the conversation?
Eileen: I went into it slightly intimidated, because one never knows if their contribution is going to be valued. However, as I got into the writing, I started believing my story could add to the conversation about body image. As people read it, the response was amazing! It further bolstered my confidence. There really aren’t a lot of books out there about weight loss from a faith-based perspective. My book offers a strong, unique contribution to the market.
Lisa: The Brave Body Method is written in a very conversational and nurturing voice. Playful, too. Did that come right away or what did you do to discover your voice as a self-help writer?
Eileen: Interestingly, many of your resources on your website, along with some of the meditation practices you offer were encouraging. They helped me perceive how I wanted the reader to “feel” when they were reading my book. That intention helped me write from a place of fun, ease and joy.
Lisa: That’s a strong intention of mine—that my clients experience fun, ease and joy while writing. So I’m glad to know you truly got that. It makes sense that, as a pastor, you would find inspiration for your readers in scripture. Did you find challenges in writing the book and did you turn to scripture to help with that as well?
Eileen: I find my faith infuses every aspect of my life. So when I encounter challenges or resistance, as I did at points in my writing, I draw from my spiritual convictions. I drew much strength from the idea that God was with me, He was helping me, and He was going to help it be a success.
Lisa: In some ways, the four steps seem so simple, but they are also nuanced and empowering. They’re not necessarily the advice one usually hears about losing weight. How did you hit upon these four steps and the fun chapter titles?
Eileen: I wanted the four steps to be punchy and atypical for the religious space. Naming the steps “Know You’re Hot” and “See the God-Painting” were ways I could communicate the truth that changed my life in a fresh new way.
Lisa: I just love the language and the playfulness. I also love your example of three works of art and what they fetched at auction, with the comparison to your reader being created by God and, therefore, worth so much more. How did you come about that reframe?
Eileen: When one looks at the number of scriptures that talk about how we are God’s “masterpiece,” it’s very inspiring. And considering how much preeminence we place upon the great works of our most renowned artists, we need to understand that we are worth even more in God’s eyes.
Lisa: After self-publishing, you got picked up by a publisher. How did that come about?
Eileen: It was my initial dream to get published, but not seeing the direct route, I was encouraged to self-publish by a friend. Later, I attended a conference and introduced myself to a publisher. I invited him to look at my book and see what he thought, and after reviewing my book on Amazon and the over 100+ reviews I had gotten, he decided it would be a good fit for the wider marketplace. Conferences are excellent places to meet people!
Lisa: The Brave Body Method has gotten out-front placement in Barnes & Noble. How did that happen?
Eileen: Finding out that my publisher had a great relationship with many well-known book buyers was so wonderful. I encourage people to ask prospective publishers what their relationship is with book buyers and how often their pitches get picked up.
Lisa: Can you share a bit about the national publicity—the specific coverage and how it happened?
Eileen: Through my publisher, I was connected with a fantastic publicist who has great connections in the Christian broadcasting space. I have four national interviews and three local interviews lined up. I have recently been a contributor to Parents magazine, and other national publications now have me lined up to become a quarterly contributor. When working with a publicist, it’s always great to ask what specific publications and producers they know. Their personal connections are huge, and not to be underestimated.
Lisa: As a pastor, you’re used to public speaking. Any advice you would give an author who is newer to public speaking?
Eileen: The best advice I ever received was just to have fun and then get up and do it! The more you do it, the more you’re able to connect with your message and your audience without the self-consciousness and fear. I ask myself before I get up and speak, “How much fun can I have doing this?” and then I try to push the limits every time.
Lisa: Did your comfort with public speaking apply immediately to TV, or did it take some getting used to the cameras and lights? Any advice for new and aspiring authors on preparing for TV interviews?
Eileen: Even though I had spoken publicly, it did take me a minute to get used to the lights and the cameras in my first TV experience. However, once you realize that you’re just having a conversation with someone, it starts to take on that natural flow of communication. Just keep looking at the interviewer’s eyes, smiling and speaking as you would to a friend.
Lisa: Great advice. After our first call, you rebranded your website. What went into that rebranding? How has it helped you reach readers?
Eileen: Your advice for me to offer a free resource as well as invite people to subscribe via email at the top of my website was fantastic. Along with that, getting some colorful well-shot images went a long way.
Interestingly, every media outlet that my publicist has pitched me to goes to my website, watches videos, and downloads my resources. You never know who is looking at your website! So try to put you best foot forward.
Lisa: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers? How does that feel?
Eileen: I love the feedback that I get. It’s very humbling to hear from people who have been personally touched and implemented the steps, and it leaves me feeling extremely grateful. I am so glad to have pushed through that resistance, called Lisa, and gotten my book out there. I would encourage anyone to remember that there are people out there who need what you alone have, so be brave, push through and tell your story.
Eileen Wilder is a bestselling author, life-coach, and pastor who loves helping women gain confidence and go further, faster. Like many, Eileen suffered the “triple-threat” of eating disorders, depression and severe anxiety attacks for years— until she found the “4 Steps” and found radical, lasting changes in her confidence, mood and weight. Get your copy of Brave Body Method.
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