“The Last Cookie Club” is a fictionalized version of my lifelong struggle with food addiction and compulsive overeating. I have gained and lost the same 50-70 pounds seven different times. I have always had multiple sizes and styles of clothes in my closet to fit my entire weight range. Eventually, I started my own support group to help people with similar challenges deal with the emotional aspects of food.
My original thought was to write a nonfiction book detailing my personal journey and the lessons I’ve learned over the years. However, I ultimately came to believe that the story would be more compelling told as a novel, as we follow the triumph and despair of six characters in search of answers and hope. From a marketing perspective, I also thought the book would stand a better chance of gaining traction as entertainment with a serious underlying message.
I very much enjoyed the writing process and found it liberating and cathartic to put all of my thoughts on paper. As an older first-time writer, I didn’t want to wait for years in an attempt to capture the attention of the traditional publishing world. It was more important to me to get my message out to the marketplace in a timely manner without sacrificing quality. I knew my book had to measure up in every way with books coming out of the major publishing houses, so I contracted with a local marketing firm to handle editing, layout, cover design, printing, etc. I am very proud of the finished product. It completely captures the vision I had for the book. The time period from first word to final product took 18 months.
I am now finding that book marketing is a full-time job. “The Last Cookie” club is available via IndieReader, Amazon.com and on my Web site at www.thelastcookieclub.com. I blog practically every day to communicate my message and drive traffic to my site. I am also hosting my own weekly radio show here in Las Vegas on KLAV-AM 1230. In addition, I have been on a whirlwind media schedule involving TV, radio and print interviews, as well as book store signings and other public appearances. Everything seems to help a little.
I would characterize book sales as slow and steady. I have a feeling that I’m building momentum. Realistically, though, I know I’m competing with hundreds of thousands of other books and authors. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and passion to develop awareness in the marketplace. Because this is a subject I strongly believe in, I know I have what it takes to succeed in the long run. As an added benefit, the outreach campaign is helping me overcome my natural shyness and fear of rejection, which in turn contributes to further success in my issues with overeating.
I am happy I embarked on this new adventure in my life and look forward to whatever happens next. If I can help one person, I will have considered this journey a success.