May 20, 2008

How the Blood Sugar 101 Book is Doing

Well, it's been about two months since my book came out, and I've been really happy with the reception. I have gotten a lot of email from buyers who found it very helpful, and their words have been really heartening. A few have told me they went on to buy copies for friends and relatives and some bought copies for their local libraries. Thanks so much to all of you!

Just last week I got a letter from my hero, Dr. Richard K. Bernstein. I'd sent him a copy at the suggestion of Steve Freed of Diabetes in Control after he published a very positive review of the book. But I didn't expect to hear back from Dr. Bernstein since I take a very different approach to diet than he does and because I knew he was still enthusiastic about TZD drugs which I write are dangerous for people with diabetes.

So imagine my surprise when I opened his letter and read that the enjoyed Blood Sugar 101 and believed it contained information available nowhere else and that people with diabetes should read it! I've written to ask him if I can quote what he wrote and until I hear from him, I won't cite his exact words, but you better believe I was walking on air for a few days after I got that letter!

The challenge with marketing this kind of book is that because I'm not a doctor and because the book is published by a small press, I can't go on the radio or TV to promote it, and the book chains won't stock it on their shelves. So that means I pretty much have to rely on whatever word of mouth recommendations I can stimulate to get people to buy it from the online bookstores where it is available.

So that leads to this blatant plea for your help. If you have read Blood Sugar 101 and have found it helpful, let people know. Also, ask your local public library to stock it. It is available from Baker & Taylor, the company that sells to libraries, and most libraries will order books that patrons ask for.

If you have any other ideas for how we can get more people reading this book, let me know. Sales have been very good for a small press book, but in absolute numbers that is still not a lot of books. Now that I have gotten the kind of enthusiastic feedback I have, it seems even more important to get the word out about this book. It seems there are still a lot of people who don't read the web sites and blogs and who really benefit from access to the "Dead Tree" version.

Here's a page that links to some of the excellent reviews and blog discussions that have been published online and the sites where you can buy Blood Sugar 101:

Blood Sugar 101, The Book.


The Old Man & His Dog said...

I did a blurb on my blog with a link to purchase it. It's a great book. Thanks a lot Jenny! I recommend it to anyone that I know that has diabetes or even if they just know or live with someone that has diabetes. I'm also going to attempt to get my Endo and CDE to read and recommend it. GREAT JOB!!!

Anna said...

I bought two books, with the intent to have one copy to loan out. But I haven't loaned it to anyone yet. I need to make a follow-up appt with my new endocrinologist. I'm still trying to assess him after just one appt (so far so good), but I think I might just give the second copy to him.

Will keep you posted if I do, and of his reaction.

Anna said...

Oh, forgot, congratulations on the good words from Dr. Bernstein. I'm not surprised that he was favorable though, even if you have some difference of opinions. I've read his book, too, and the two of you are on the same side of working for better care and outcomes for people with diabetes, not massaging egos and guarding "turf". Can't wait to read the quotes.

Big Dave T said...

I asked the missus to order me a copy of your book the next time she does business with (I don't have an account). Hopefully it will give me some inspiration as I'm in the doldrums with my disease, the glut of bad news on the diabetic front, the capitalistic scourge of businesses and people trying to make a buck off the afflicted, etc.

Interesting that you self-published. I recently saw another author-to-be promoting her self-published book who said that the internet levels the playing field for writers. She implied that you can self-publish and write your own ticket to literary success. Not that easy, is it? Marketing and promotion is key and publishing houses are the cornerstone there. Just my opinion though.

But reading through the first few pages of your book, I think you have a winner.

Scott said...

Glad to hear that the reception has been so positive for your book, as I think it shows that your line of thinking has more substance than some might suggest.

I would like to offer a suggestion that could go a long ways towards helping to sell the book: develop a small "widget" -- those little "icons" anyone can post on their sites, which house small applications which provide functionality and content.

The good news is that it's pretty easy to develop them, just have a graphic image you want to use someplace, and some websites will develop the widget code for you at no cost. Let us all know if and when you have one you can share with us!!

Jenny said...

Dave T,

I've been publishing my books through Technion Books since 1995 when I started putting out my own books after having a bestseller published by a big publisher.

Technion has sold a lot of books over the past 15 years including many thousands sold in brick and mortar stores. That has given me some options not open to the usual brand new self-publisher.

I usually do not recommend that people self-publish anything but nonfiction. Even then I urge them to have a very clear marketing strategy that does not rely on everyone loving their book because it is so wonderful.

Most self-publishers do not sell more than 80 books. In fact, 88 books is the average number of books sold by Lightning Source, the POD press which prints books for Lulu, Book Locker, iPublish, etc.

There's a whole industry out there which has gotten a lot of press coverage for some very dubious claims about self-publishing. It earns a lot of money for the middlemen, very little for the authors.

In the case of this book I had very modest expectations for my book, but I wanted to do it my way, since the only publisher who expressed any interest in it wanted it dumbed down. Most publishers aren't interested in health books by authors who aren't M.D.s or official spokespeople of organizations like the ADA.

Jenny said...


I just made a widget that displays the blog postings from this blog. It's HERE.

Cindy Moore said...

That is awesome Jenny!! I bought your book for my sister. I'm going to visit her in a few weeks and will be giving it to her. I sure hope she reads it!

I can imagine how thrilled you are at the note from Dr B! Kudos!!

Anne said...

I bought one book and after reading it, I gave it to my PCP. I hope he reads it and if he does, I will let you know his opinion.

I am buying 3 more books. One for me and the others for friends.

Jenny said...

Thanks everyone for your support. What can I say? You guys are the best!

roaminghermit said...

great book & lots of help. now need to find a meter that is more acurate than aviva...87-102-92-81 with same blood 4 strips...

Jenny said...

My Aviva was terribly inaccurate. I currently use an Ultra (in purse) and Ultra 2 (in office) and they are pretty close to each other and on repeat tests.

Very occasionally I'll see a weird result, but mostly they are consistent.

Anne said...

Your book may be #38,350 on the Amazon ranking of all books, but if you refine your search like this:

Any Category
‹ Books
‹ Health, Mind & Body
‹ Aging
‹ Diabetes
Diabetes Diet
Type 2

Your book is #3!

In the first paragraph of the book you say "No matter how severe your diabetes might be at diagnosis, it is unique among the serious chronic disease in that it is the ONLY condition where you, the patient, with only a small amount of help from your doctor and no heroic medical interventions can achieve normal health" There is one other chronic disease where the patient is in total control of achieving optimal health and that is celiac disease/gluten sensitivity. The only treatment of this disease is to maintain a very strict diet that excludes wheat, barley and rye.

Jenny said...


The Amazon ranking changes every hour, it's been fluctuating from the 3,000s to the 200,000. If two peopel buy a book one a single day it will leap up to the 10,000s. But the important thing is that the book has been selling steadily.