Q & A with Author Marianne Ryan, PT
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about a physical therapist doing a bang up job with her content marketing. See Anatomy of a Good Medical Blog Post.
Well, word gets around and that therapist, Marianne Ryan, contacted me with a thank-you. This gave me a chance to talk to her a minute about a book she just published, Baby Bod: Turn Flab to Fab in 12 Weeks Flat!(2015).
If you are reading this post, you are probably in the same boat I was when I spoke to Marianne. That is to say–NOT really hip to how book publishing works.
I found her journey insightful and I thought you might as well. Especially if you have a book idea rattling around in your head and a notion to someday publish it.
So, without further ado, here is my Q & A with author Marianne Ryan:
Q: What made you want to write the book?
A: There’s been a deficit in the care model for both pregnant and postpartum women. I had pelvic pain in both my pregnancies. My kids are 27 and going on 30. I wasn’t treated and it was really not comfortable.
Then years later, as I took more manual therapy courses, I learned how to treat it. I developed a specialty of seeing pregnant women coming in with this pain.
Still, these women largely aren’t being sent for physical therapy because the doctors aren’t aware how we can help them. My goal was making people aware that women who are pregnant and postpartum need treatment. And there are treatments that work.
I didn’t know how I could get my voice out there other than a few blog articles so I said, let me write a book on it.
Q: When did you make that final decision to write the book?
A: That was two and a half years ago. The book itself probably took over two years to write. I was treating patients also, but I devoted a good two to three days a week to it–that included the weekends. It was a journey of deciding exactly what I wanted to cover. It was such a huge topic—that’s why the book is so big.
Q: What made you decide to self-publish this book?
A: If you use a publisher, once you’re finished with a book, it could take anywhere from 9 to 18 months for it to be out on the street. That’s one reason I decided to self-publish.
The other reason is publishers (unless you are a very well-known author) do not pay for any of your marketing. So that was going to be my expense anyway.
Q: How did you get started?
A: When you self-publish, you literally have to find every single person who does every single piece of putting a book together.
It’s considered forming a publishing company. And, I did what everybody else did, I used Amazon’s CreateSpace and their print-on-demand service.
Q: How did you find people to help you with artwork, editing, and the design of your book?
A: I found some on Elance. I made a few mistakes and then I found a wonderful woman who was a very high-level editor.
There are reviews on Elance and like with the copy editor, he was terrific. I found graphics people. Most of those drawings [in the book] were originally photographs that I took of one of my co-workers and then he made them into drawings.
I also found people through my patients—word of mouth—and Facebook.
That’s all just for the print copy. Then you have to have somebody make it into an ebook, and I actually found somebody who was recommended by Amazon who was wonderful.
Q: You also made an app to go along with the book. How did you figure that out?
A: I found some people on E-lance in India. You interview these people and it took a lot longer than I thought. But thank God for Skype.
Just to get these two projects done, quite often I’d have Skype conversations starting at 6:00 am in India.
I had people who built up my social media platform, and I would also speak to them, they were in England.
And then my graphic artists, thank God they were early risers, were in California. I also had a book-launcher in Mexico. Sometimes by 9:00 in the morning, I had been around the world.
Q: Would you recommend this process?
A: The first thing I recommend is it should be something that you are passionately interested in. Because, no matter who you are, it’s a long journey to get the book from start to finish.
And getting a good editor is key.
I would highly recommend thinking about writing a book on a much smaller subject [than I did]. Lots of pictures and maybe 80 pages tops of content.
I just couldn’t seem to do it, I needed to do the encyclopedia. That’s my personality. Do you know the book, “What to Expect when you’re Expecting”? Well, this is what to expect after.
Top Photo Credit: © Africa Studio / Dollar Photo Club
Other Photos used by permission of Marianne Ryan.