Have you ever thought about writing a health guide? Wondered how to write a health guide? Barbara Nitsch, MD shares her book-writing process and insights.
Lisa: What prompted you to write health guides?
Barbara: I felt there was a need for qualified health providers to provide accurate and reliable medical information to the public. There have been multiple occasions where scientific data has been misinterpreted or misrepresented which has resulted in many women making health care decisions which are not necessarily in their best interest. A good example of this is what happened with the Women’s Health Initiative and the role of Hormone Replacement Therapy in postmenopausal women. The results of this study were not appropriately interpreted and incorrectly reported by the press.
Lisa: What are your goals with the health guides?
Barbara: To provide easy to read summaries of pertinent medical information around common health issues amongst women in the 45-65 age group. There is a vast amount of information readily available on the internet. For many women who are busy with their families and careers, trying to do the research on their own is often overwhelming. I have on many occasions been approached by women on various health topics that they have read about on the internet. My concern is that they may not correctly interpret information about their health issues. I realized there was a gap in how the information was being presented and decided to publish the Better Health for Women Health Guide series.
Lisa: How did you decide upon publishing options?
Barbara: As you know, I explored traditional publishing and self publishing. After doing my research I decided that creating e-books was a cost effective way of creating “Health Guides” for women at an affordable price. I have been selling the guides through Amazon which has a tremendous platform. Amazon now offers a lending library service in addition to purchasing the guides. This will facilitate distribution to a larger group of women.
Lisa: How are you marketing the health guides? Why?
Barbara: I have developed a blog called Better Health for Women. The guides are available on Amazon via a link from the website. This is a very cost effective way for me to market the guides and reach a large audience globally.
Lisa: What have been your most effective sales techniques?
Barbara: Word of mouth.
Lisa: Do you attribute a lot of your sales to internet searches on the subjects? If so, what are some tips you can give our readers for optimizing search ability for a website?
Barbara: We use Google analytics on the website. Most of the requests are from internet searches. Using the appropriate keywords is important. A good marketing person or SEO service is helpful in this respect. I also continue to use my blog, Facebook and Twitter to encourage word of mouth and sales.
Lisa: Is there anything new you learned since writing health guides and publishing them?
Barbara: Much of the information available in the health guides is available to readers from other sources. Writing the health guides was a very useful experience for me. I am currently strategizing on creating a new product that is unique and will be of interest to women.
Lisa: We look forward to hearing more about it. A book can often help launch additional services or products that help readers go deeper with the material–and they can help make the book part of a bigger picture viable business.
Barbara Nitsch M.D. is a board certified radiologist, focused on Women’s Imaging and Sports Medicine. With more than 20 years experience in medicine and a passion for providing accurate health-related information to women interested in improving the quality of their lives, she has published several health guides specifically crafted for women and runs her blog Better Health For Women. She attended York University, McMaster University Medical School, and University of Toronto Radiology Residency and currently works as a Consultant Radiologist and Health Educator in both the Untied States and Canada.