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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2020 Book Marketing Predictions, Trends, & Hopes

Image result for trends images

Usually in December or January we see lots of prognostications for the new year or predictions for a five-year period or something on book publishing trends.  Why wait until then to gain insight on what is or could be happening in the future when it comes to book marketing?

Here are my 2020 book marketing guesses, uh, trends:

1.      Little changes – That’s a safe bet with book marketing, though anything could happen to change the book ecosystem, especially with technology.  Right now, things seem to be stable and growing overall, so the book publishing industry doesn’t need to reshape things to solve a non-existing crisis.

2.      More books get published – The trend has been for more new books, primarily self-published, to grow year-to-year.  So how does this impact you?  There's no more competition for shelf space or consumer attention.  The imperative to promote your book has never been greater.

3.      Authors promote books when sales are not a priority – You may think that authors who don’t care about sales are nuts, but authors are becoming more realistic.  They understand that many best-sellers only sell a few thousand copies and they know that one has to invest time and money to establish his or her brand, via media, even if it means they won’t recoup all of it directly in sales of that book.  A good branding campaign helps authors lay the ground work to launch future books, sell backlist, and position them  to be seen as an authority that can be commoditized with speaking engagements, online courses, and other programs.

4.      Old methods become new again – For those frustrated by social media or feeling isolated, they will take up with a vengeance, an approach that is old school: e-mailing books out to people, e-mail blasts, telemarketing, and attending networking events.  Sure there are plenty of connections to be found via social media platforms, but sometimes we need to get out of our digital sandboxes and interact on other levels.

5.      At least one new platform will step forward – For the past few years everyone has been on Goodreads, submitted review copies to Publishers Weekly, and posts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.  We’re ready for a new media outlet, website, or service to present itself.  Too many authors are fighting over limited resources to have their voices heard.

6.      The number of book readers will decline – Studies show the number of Americans who consumed a book last year, in any form, is down.  This is horrible news.  For the industry to grow -- and society to thrive – we must create programs that encourage, nurture, and promote book reading at all ages.  Part of the problem is that many schools devalue the book as an authoritative source by not providing textbooks (physical or even digital).  How does the new generation see a book as important when blogs, articles, and videos form their tutorials?

7.      More political and social issues books flood the market – We are a little more than a year away from a huge election in a year that will debate guns, immigration, climate, healthcare, Iran, N. Korea, and the fate of our nation.  Expect to see a zillion books on topics of concern to the public.

8.      Look for anniversary books galore – What happened 10, 25, 50, 100 years ago?  Look it up and that will tell you what books will be coming out in the next 12-15 months.  I’ll give you a head start:  1920 -- women vote for the first time; 1970 – Earth Day was launched; 1995 – Oklahoma City Bombing; 2010 – Obamacare legislation enacted; 1980 – Reagan elected; 1945 – WWII ends; 1820 – the Land Act passes and moves the U.S. westward; 1620 – Pilgrims dock in America from England.

9.      Indies will continue to thrive until a recession – Indie bookstores will hit a 10-year growth spurt in 2020 in terms of more stores existing and more sales from such stores.  However, books though one of the least expensive forms of entertainment, could suffer if a sustained recession hits.

10.  Classic books will be honored and discussed – Agatha Christie’s first mystery was published a century ago (1920).  Fifty years ago brought us Are You There, God?  It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume.  A hundred and fifty years ago, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne was published.  Four centuries ago, the second part of Don Quixote was published in English.

Aside from what might happen, here’s what I hope will happen:

1.      The book world will expand and grow.  We will instill the treasure of reading books in more people and those who already read books, will read more often.  The battle of literacy can’t be won by the Internet, where free, inaccurate, biased, untrustworthy information circulates.  Books, researched, edited, and vetted, written by qualified writers, are valuable tools for society.

2.      The local, state, and federal governments will expand their funding of programs that support libraries, education and literacy.  Books benefit from government investments – and citizens are the ultimate winners.

3.      Books will continue to inform, enlighten, entertain and inspire the masses, leading us to a better world.

Let’s hope -- and expect – 2020 to be a great year for book publishing and authors marketing books.

“Death is not evil, for it frees man from all ills and takes away his desires along with desire’s rewards.  Old age is the supreme evil, for it deprives man of all pleasures while allowing his appetites to remain, and it brings with it every possible sorrow.  Yet men fear death and desire old age.”
--Giacomo Leopardi

“We protest against unjust criticism, but we accept unearned applause.”
--Jose Narosky

“Live your life.  Don’t be lived by it.”
--Fernando Pessoa

“The man who sticks to his plan will become what he used to want to be.”

--James Richardson

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Monday, September 16, 2019

How Will Authors Become Better Book Marketers?

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Authors learn about book marketing by researching, consulting the pros, and doing.  Trial by error is the most common approach.

But if you can take some pro-active steps, I would suggest that you:

·         See what the media is actually covering and find ways to package your message in an appealing fashion.

·         Know your direct competition and see why they may be viewed as better – then work hard to counter such assumptions.

·         Learn a little about a lot – look at media that covers topics, events and people that have nothing to do with books or your area of expertise.  You may get some ideas of how to pitch yourself.

·         Observe other industries and how they market people, products, or events. Can you take some of those principles and apply it to yourself?

Authors who work at promoting themselves will ultimately succeed.  It’s a numbers game.  The more you do, the better chance you have.  However, that’s predicated on your doing the right things and doing them well.  If you pour your time into something that’s not useful – or into something relevant but in an ineffective way – you will not go far.

Another way authors become better book promoters is to hire others to help them.  A professional can consult with you or execute areas of your marketing, social media, publicity, speaking, or advertising so that you can focus on other areas.  Their success can give you a boost – or a head start – and help you get to the next level.

Authors will be better at book marketing once they realize:

·         Each and every day something needs to be done – marketing is not a part-time affair.

·         They need to act big, not just dream big - they must actually do stuff, not just make lists and think about them.

·         When they collaborate with other authors they’ll grow.

·         All media has value and that nothing’s too small for them to do.

·         They have to plan many months in advance when it comes to planning road tours, speaking engagements, contacting major book reviewers, and seeking coverage in leading magazines.

·         They need to localize a message to local media and once they secure local coverage, they can share that with national media.

·         Just because they may not consume certain media, it doesn’t mean the media is not worth doing (i.e. – don’t dismiss radio, blogs, or men’s magazines just because you personally don’t read or listen to them).

·         Great PR comes with grit, luck, creativity, timeliness, and because you actually have something worthwhile to share and because you are qualified or perfectly positioned to share it.

Being good at promoting a book is an art that takes time to be practiced.  The pay-off is worth it.  But for many, writers should write, and book promoters should promote.


DON”T MISS THESE!!!
The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

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No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

How Authors Get Bulk Sales Now


Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

New Book, Trusted Healers, Calls for A Health Care Revolution



                                             

Northern Virginia -- Dan Pelino, the author of the just-released book, Trusted Healers:  Dr. Paul Grundy and the Global Healthcare Crusade (Koehler Books, (www.trusted-healers.com),is leading the way for a transformation of health care in America. His book addresses the push-button areas that need to be addressed: care cost, access to a medical home, and patient responsibility.

As the fate of healthcare is debated in the United States and abroad, discussions over accessibility, and affordability, dominate. But the author of a breakthrough book shows what is really needed is a trusted healer in a medical home for everyone, for life. The results will yield better care at lower costs and become the gold standard for all of us.
Pelino tirelessly followed Dr. Paul Grundy around the globe for a year, observing a revolution in healthcare before his very eyes. 

Dr. Grundy is heavily featured in Pelino’s book, to bring attention to the work of the man known as the Godfather of the Primary Care Medical Home Movement. Dr. Grundy, with 50 years of experience, served four American presidents and was decorated with numerous awards for his work that extends back to the AIDS epidemic. Until last year, he served for nearly two decades as the chief medical officer and global director of IBM’s healthcare transformation. He’s also the founding president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative.

Trusted Healers details the decade-long movement by Dr. Grundy to transform all healthcare on a national and global scale.

Indeed, this is a story that has not yet been told. In addition to learning about Dr. Grundy, now leading global healthcare transformation for Innovaccer, Inc., which provides breakthrough technologies for better healthcare, we also see interviews with an international cadre of innovative leaders and visionaries in healthcare today, including:

Ø  Ex-Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, who wrote the Foreword for Trusted Healers.
Ø  Dr. Michael Roizen, Dr. Oz Show co-creator, best-selling author, and chief wellness officer at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.
Ø  UK Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, former Secretary of Health and Social Care for six years.
Ø  Glenn D. Steele, MD, Ph.D, CEO (Ret.) of Geisinger Health System, named one of the 50 most powerful physician executives in healthcare.
Ø  Professor James Kingsland, OBE, one of the top physician leaders in the United Kingdom, Great Britain’s long standing BBC Radio doctor.
Ø  Nwando Olayiwola, MD, MPH, clinical transformation officer for Rubicon MD, improving access to care for underserved patients.
Ø  Nick Donofrio, executive vice-president (Ret.) of Innovation and Technology at IBM, who led the world in technology innovations for forty years, is one of the world’s top corporate leaders.
Ø  David Folk, CEO and Co-Founder of NEXT Integrative Minds Life Sciences, Inc.

“Personalized, precision medicine and care is what’s needed to heal our ineffective system,” says Pelino.
Who should have access to healthcare, what that healthcare should look like, and how you can assure your family has the best healthcare is what Trusted Healers is all about.
Dr. Grundy has been relentlessly leading the movement that now puts the U.S. at the precipice of a tipping point. Over 48% of all U.S. primary care doctors are now practicing in a medical home environment.
“If America fails to create something strong in the long term, we will always see a short-term fix approach to things,” says Pelino.
“We need a transformation – not patchwork attempts to stop the bleeding. The medical home model of care will solve a crisis in cost, quality, and physician morale,” concludes Pelino, “all over the world.”

Here’s an interview with Mr. Pelino, who is a client of the public relations firm that I work for:

1.      Trusted Healers shows what the state of healthcare is in the world today. You believe it can and should be a whole lot better. Why? Throughout the world, in developing nations, societies are making strides in healthcare access and the quality of care for all citizens. We have entered the “Age of Healthcare Intelligence” and the dramatic changes this will create in the coming years should be available for all people. We know in America that our healthcare system is challenged. But it is a cultural decision holding us back. We have all the tools we need to solve the problems that we face and as we look at the process for societal change, we see a path to better care for all. Trusted Healers is a book of hope, aspiration, and encouragement.

2.      Why do you feel that once people read your book they will never look at healthcare the same way? Trusted Healers offers a view of healthcare from the inside. We embark upon a journey with a front row seat to societal change, to new principles of cultural leadership and to a new threshold in healthcare. When you read Trusted Healers, you will go on a journey of discovery to view healthcare from the inside. You will meet trusted healers, healthcare leaders in the US and abroad who are guiding change addressing the difficult questions and providing an aspiration to better care and quality of life.  There are secrets along this journey. Secrets of how cultures make change happen.  You will learn that evidence-based medicine is better healthcare and that it should be offered in your community. You will learn about new findings in access, wellness, and empowerment.  There are secrets of effective inspired leadership. You will learn about the Trusted Healers of the world. And you will realize there is one major decision you need to make right now that will impact your entire life.

3.      How do other nations compare to the US when it comes to delivering quality, accessible healthcare. One of our take-away observations about healthcare in other developed nations is that the most satisfied and content citizens reside in nations that have accepted the belief that Everyone Matters. Every other developed nation in the world has structured healthcare to not leave anyone out. Include everyone. That’s where they begin their planning. Their costs are much less than the cost structure of healthcare systems in the US. And their citizens are happier not only with their healthcare, but happier people. Rightfully so, many contend that the population of these countries are much smaller than the US (330 million).

4.      What are some of the changes you would like to see in the delivery and access to American healthcare? Everyone should have a Trusted Healer and a medical home to guide them through life, accessible any time needed. Let’s ask the question, what happens if we provide robust primary care to everyone? The entire continuum of care we have created in America should be available to everyone. Studies have shown how this will actually cost less than providing the episodic care of over-reliance on hospitals, urgent care centers, and Emergency Departments for routine matters. Focus on the patient team-care models that help us all get in front of disease and emergency visits and address mental and behavioral health for less money seem to be the question worth pursuing.

5.      Why do you believe reducing the age to Medicare to 55 years makes sense – but not have Medicare for all? We believe transformation guided by the creation of robust primary care, available to everyone, is a solid starting point. Dr. Ted Epperly, in a interview in Trusted Healers, makes a great point. He advocates dropping the eligibility for Medicare to age 50 because the 15 years prior to age 65 are when people usually encounter chronic disease and they face grave danger if they try to wait until they are better insured with Medicare. Or worse, they forego being treated.  Our culture needs to make some core decisions about healthcare. “Medicare for All” is one option under scrutiny.

      On July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. (The Social Security Amendments of 1965, Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat. 286, enacted July 30, 1965, was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. Trusted Healers notes that societal change can take decades, 40 years on average, for a cultural breakthrough to reach a point where it becomes “what we do” and we decide to continue to build upon it, sustaining the rhythm of change.  So now, after these decades of making Medicare and Medicaid a part of our societal structure, we are beginning to accept this system as worthy, and we are weighing options for building upon the current system as opposed to rip and replace.

6.      Your book highlights the accomplishments of a number of leaders in healthcare, particularly Dr. Paul Grundy. Can you tell us of his accomplishments and what he is leading the way for? No one physician throughout this century has done more to promote patient-centered healthcare than Dr. Paul Grundy. I had the honor of serving with Dr. Grundy at IBM as we tackled the crisis in healthcare around the world. Paul is a brilliant doctor and he spent his life as a diplomat, a doctor, son of missionaries in Sierra Leone, with Nelson Mandela in South Africa fighting HIV/AIDS, and with IBM as Director of Global Healthcare Transformation.  Trusted Healers is his mantra and he has devoted his life to helping nations reorganize their primary care into the medical home, making possible a Trusted Healer for all citizens. He is perhaps the most decorated physician and certainly one of the most fascinating leaders I have ever met. His story is worth sharing, reading, and admiring.

7.      You value and champion what you call a “trusted healer,” a caregiver who invests time in getting to know you and helps you make good healthcare decisions as you go through life. So what would that look like? When we build our healthcare around this bedrock, we all will be empowered rather than subjugated. The rails for this journey of healthcare liberation are already laid. We have some predictions in Trusted Healers. We will take you on a tour of the continuum of care where the medical system is a tool of the individual; you one day will have the entire continuum of care under your influence and have guidance available at the time of need, all in collaboration with your Trusted Healer.  For me, the concept of personal healthcare seemed so simple on its face, but it is so antithetical to how modern medicine has evolved. Paul Grundy’s inspiration is very much an approach with a modern world application of what we know impacts the quality of life.   Paul’s aspiration, his vision, calls for every citizen to have a medical home, a delivery model that ensures that we receive the necessary care when and where we need it, in a manner we can understand, by a Trusted Healer and care team that invests the time in getting to know us, standing by us over the years—physically, virtually, emotionally, and spiritually.  When we build our healthcare around this bedrock, we all will be empowered rather than subjugated. The rails for this journey of healthcare liberation are already laid.

8.      Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, in the book’s foreword, demands our nation consciously change the way it cares for mental health issues, the opioid crisis, and the stigma we attach to disease of the brain. What do you propose be done in these areas? Well, like every other form of healthcare, we should begin by agreeing to make care available to all citizens. That is not hard to do. Then, within that wonderful inclusive idea, we make sure that mental health care is offered exactly like other aspects of care. Individually, we stop stigmatizing mental health care and diseases of the brain. Just stop it. The brain is an organ like the heart or the lungs and when things go wrong we should not shun talking about it.

9.      You note, in your interviews for the book with Michael Roizen, MD, an award-winning author, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic, and co-creator of the Dr. Oz Show television program, that a key part to healthcare and wellness comes with prevention and patient responsibility. What can be done to help people help themselves? A culture needs powerful leaders to listen and who fall in love with the questions, making complex issues understandable. Dr. Roizen is our champion for that. The brilliance of Dr. Roizen is that he understands that there needs to be an incentive to change behavior that is coupled with a wellness focus. He created a system that offers thousands of dollars in discounts for healthcare plans to the employees of the Cleveland Clinic. The rewards are deeper than just benefiting from exercising, proper diet, and caring for your health. The results of combining incentives and wellness are meaningful. Dr. Roizen has very high participation in wellness programs when the incentives are added to the equation.

       A colleague, David Folk, founder of NEXT Integrative Life Sciences is deeply involved in this very subject and watch for major developments in the field of personal responsibility for your own well-being.  The secret to changing a culture is revealed in Trusted Healers. All change is local. A culture will change at its own pace. A culture needs powerful leaders to listen and who fall in love with the questions, making complex issues understandable. Dr. Roizen is our champion for that.
    
       And Dr. Roizen has revealed another secret. You can help millions of people if you have a platform from which to cheer them on. Thus, The Dr. Oz Show and fifteen books translated into three dozen languages around the world. He is a world leader in wellness. Trusted Healers shows what the state of healthcare is in the world today. We believe it can and should be a whole lot better.

10.  You advocate for the creation of a medical home. What exactly is that and why is it vital to healthcare? The relationship with your healer is intimate. Your healer serves your interests – not an insurance company or hospital. Your doctor’s team success is yours as well. It can be easily proven that better medical decisions result from such a powerful relationship. Under Paul’s vision, Your Trusted Healer is part of a team in a 21st century model of primary care called the medical home. The medical home is formed as a clinical team and they know all about you. Your medical home is available when you need it. Your medical home team helps you make good medical decisions and creates a medical partnership based on your needs and how you want to lead your life. Your medical home addresses the full spectrum of healthcare with you – primary care, mental health, and prevention.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Touching Interview with The Author Of A Book About an Olympian's Opioid-Addicted Father


Olympian’s Poignant Book, King Here, Shows the Inspiring Power of Faith Despite Suffering the Tragic Loss of Her Dad To Opioid Addiction

                                                King Here: Never Too Old, Too Rich or Too Anything to Meet Jesus by [Topmiller, Trish Porter]
                                          
Trish Porter Topmiller knows of the discipline, sacrifice, and hard work it takes to succeed in life.  She is a world record-holding athlete who participated in the Olympics.  She also knows it takes faith to move forward in the face of obstacles and adverse conditions.  Trish desperately called upon her faith to help her father, once a successful businessman and adventurist, who fell under the spell of depression and opioid addiction.  He took his life at age 82.

In a new book penned by Trish, King Here: Never Too Old, Too Rich, or Too Anything to Meet Jesus, the story of her dad, Chuck King is told, providing insights on how anyone could fall on hard times and how difficult it is to make a comeback.  Trish helped him turn to God, something he’d shunned his whole life.  But in the last year of his life he began to come out of his dark hole with the help of faith and family, but his death ultimately proved just how difficult that road back really was.

King Here, is not only about finding faith and hope, but about the strength and courage it takes to handle what comes our way.  From 2012-2017, Trish was confronted with the loss of her husband, Pat, of 20 years, and her son, Connor, 15.  They perished in an airplane accident.  A few years later her stepmother died at age 60 after a battle with addiction.  A year after, her father overdosed after a long bout with depression and addiction.

Trish shows us:
·         How even the wealthiest, most successful, and happiest people can fall into depression or addiction.
·         In honor of National Recovery Month this September, she shares why we need to do more to fight addiction in seniors.
·         How one can find faith, the power of prayer, and a relationship with God even later in their life, no matter their circumstances.
·         What we should do when seeking to help an opioid-addicted family member or friend.

“He was a man who’d achieved so much, yet now he felt he had no purpose.  He had no hope,” said Trish, just before he turned to God. “We too often think, and act, like people are too old, rich, or addicted to meet Jesus, but we forget that we serve a loving and powerful God.  We can’t lose hope that others can find a way back.”

For more information, go to: www.TrishPorterTopmiller.com.

Here is an insightful interview with Trish, who is a client of the public relations firm that I work for:

1.      What inspired you to write King Here? I did not set out to write a book. I was preparing to talk at my Dad’s funeral and I looked at his life; the outrageous adventures, his business success, all the tragedies, and then the miracles. I realized his life was like an amazing puzzle and only God knew the puzzle box top. That’s when the outline came to me. He affected so many people and generations and once home, I was compelled to continue writing and it began to take shape and grow. I wanted information about publishing, so I contacted Terry Whalin who wrote Billy Graham’s biography. He said it was a story that I needed to share with people beyond my family.

2.      Your dad was very wealthy, perhaps worth hundreds of millions before the Great Recession. Then he lost 97% of his wealth in the stock market crash.  How did that put him into a tailspin?  Dad thought his financial fortress was invincible. His worth and value was in money and making it. He lost it so quickly and there was nothing he could do to stop it from happening. He was powerless and couldn’t control it. Then he said his back started hurting. When he went to the doctors they gave him pain pills; oxycontin and oxycodone. (Narcotics, opioids, which are highly addictive). He got prescriptions from several doctors, large quantities with lots of refills. He slept twenty-one hours a day often not getting out of bed until 2pm. He laughed as he called his bedroom “The Bat Cave” because it was so dark with blackout window shades, which he never opened.

3.      So your dad was depressed for years and was addicted to opioids. How challenging was that for you and your family to see, knowing what a vibrant, full-of-life guy he had always been? It was incredibly difficult. We had a father who loved taking us on adventures and now he didn’t get out of bed, for years. It affected all of us and we hated the grandchildren seeing him this way. I had very few arguments with my dad, except in the early years over boyfriends. Now we fought often. He said things that were pretty harsh to my brothers and me. It was hard seeing him not functioning or living life. He had this beautiful home and family and it was all going to waste. He stopped everything; traveling, family vacations, working out, seeing people. This was a totally different person, not the father I knew.

4.      What did you try to do to help your dad? We all tried to help Dad. Even my kids talked to him about going to rehab. My brothers met with an addiction specialist. I wrote him cards, told him how much we needed him and wanted him to get better. I tried to find out what was wrong with his back and encourage him to do physical therapy and exercise. We tried to get him to decrease the pain pills and to get out of bed. We told him he had so much to live for and we all loved him. I made him a photo album that included everything he did for my kids, his sayings “Chuckisms”, and what he taught us. It expressed how important he was to us.

5.      As a successful Olympic high jumper, you know the courage and self-discipline needed to commit to achieving a goal. Your kids have been competitive athletes as well.  How did you call upon that intense training and inner strength to handle your father? I think part of being an Olympic athlete, able to defy the odds, means I am relentless. I’m persistent and don’t give up easily. This was not a quick solution. I think my dad saw that with my pursuit of him and his health. Unfortunately, he probably didn’t always like that aspect of me and wished I would just leave him alone and let him do what he wanted. I asked lots of questions, I’d research different areas of health but often I didn’t get great answers. As in my training, I tried not to give up. I was often pretty upset by things and it was difficult for me, but I wasn’t there day in and day out because I lived further away.

6.      Tragically, while your dad was suffering from addiction and depression, you lost your husband, also a two-time Olympian and son to a plane crash.  Did you feel deeply alone at that time?  How did you find a way to handle this, immense pain?  Losing half my family, my guys, in an instant was absolutely devastating, incredibly painful beyond words. The Lord, family, friends and my eleven year old daughter, Shannon, got me through this difficult time. I lived by clinging to “I trust you Lord”. I knew I wasn’t alone but the pain was so incredibly deep and I would often keel over and I could barely breathe from the hurt. I’d cry out to God. Reading my Bible and all the verses showed me he heard my cries. My dad was not there to help me in any way emotionally, as he couldn’t handle their loss himself. He’d call me crying when I felt like I barely had the strength for each day.

7.      You say you are proud that your dad found faith in God towards the very end of his life, but he committed suicide.  Did he truly find peace through faith?  In some ways yes, but not maybe the peace you are thinking of. Did he find peace enough that he knew where he would go when his life was over? Yes, I believe so. I think he finally found comfort in knowing he would be in heaven with Jesus because of his belief. Maybe that’s why he waited so long to commit suicide and didn’t do it earlier. Now he was sure of where he was going. Only God knows if he had the peace that saves, but I believe he did. He wasn’t able to find purpose in continuing to live and that is one of the many sad parts that I wish could have been different.

8.      What advice do you have for others who have a child, parent, or spouse under the addictive influence of a substance like opioids? You are not alone. It’s serious. Don’t ignore it because it won’t just go away. Addiction affects families from all walks of life. Get help. Go to the addictioncenter.com or call 855-327-7980 to get information and help. By choosing transparency over secrecy, you can have an impact on the course of your loved one’s addiction. Go to an Nar-Anon meeting for family members affected by someone else’s addiction. Stop negative enabling them, making excuses, paying for them to live. Do an intervention. If their doctor is over prescribing medications let the doctor know you are aware and will turn them in. HIPAA laws won’t let you talk privately to the doctor but you can give them the information. You may need to do tough love.

9.      Your dad had loss after loss and then you saw how God stepped in.  How did tragedy turn into triumph? Dad had lost his money, health, my husband and son, his wife and purpose. Life did not turn out how he planned. Finally, he was willing to go to church. Then God used several people in his life; my brother, his care taker, an angel Michael and my new husband James. James was a businessman who lost his wife too. He understood and knew Dad’s pain. I thought James should talk to Dad about Jesus. We prayed for our next visit that God would open the door and James would walk through it. One morning James intentionally studied his Bible in Dad’s kitchen. Dad entered and James began to ask questions and listen. Then Dad prayed with James to receive Jesus as His savior.

10.  What warning signs are there that one may take their life? There are verbal and nonverbal signs. Some verbal examples are if they talk about having no purpose, meaning in life or no reason to live. You’d be better off without me. Don’t worry I won’t be around long. Nobody understands me or feels the way I do. I’d be better off dead. I feel like there is no way out. If they act out of character and tell people how much they love them. When they start asking to take control of their medications. Some nonverbal signs are if they start giving away their processions. Getting their affairs in order. Signs of planning a suicide. They can be extra happy once they’ve made the decision. Remember depression is a treatable mental disorder.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.