Friday, May 4, 2012

Interview With Health Author Margaret Floyd

1.      Your debut book, Eat Naked, told us to enjoy whole foods that are fresh and organically grown.  How did you come to select the foods that make us feel and look great to the point we’d want to take our clothes off? What I’ve seen both with myself and with my clients is that the closer we get to real, whole foods, the better we feel and the better we look. The foods that really nourish us are those that are unprocessed, closest to their natural form. We’ve been eating these foods for thousands of years and so our bodies know what to do with them, and know how to take the important nutrients from them to heal and thrive. These new-fangled processed foods are a very modern invention and our bodies aren’t equipped to deal with them. This is the root cause of the obesity epidemic and the massive increases in chronic disease.  

2.      How does your new book, The Naked Foods Cookbook, show readers how they can create whole, organic, and fresh “naked” meals that maximize the natural nutriment value of foods? So much of what we do to food diminishes its nutritional value. When we start with real, whole ingredients that are unprocessed, right away we’re at a nutritional advantage because we’re starting with excellent building blocks. When we prepare these ingredients properly – in other words, we don’t cook them to death, and we eat them as whole foods rather than breaking them into their individual ‘nutrients’ - we’re preserving the nutritional value of the foods.  And even better, in some cases we can enhance the nutritional value of a food by the way we prepare it. For example, soaking and sprouting grains enhances their nutritional value by making them more absorbable by our bodies; and naturally fermenting vegetables increases the vitamin content, and adds loads of enzymes and probiotics to the food. These are techniques we explain in the Cookbook and show how simple they are to do.

3.      How did you come to write this book with a co-author who became your husband? James and I met when I was in the middle of writing my first book, Eat Naked. It was very a fortuitous meeting as I was struggling with the “Cook Naked” chapter that included recipes and cooking techniques. At first our relationship was purely professional and platonic. He ended up coauthoring the Cook Naked chapter and we found a really good groove in working together. At the same time, we fell for each other in those long hot hours in the kitchen, experimenting with delicious whole food. I think it was inevitable. The natural followup to Eat Naked was a cookbook, and the natural co-author was James! The rest is history.  

4.      You show how cooking at home is easy, healthy, delicious and affordable.  But millions of Americans are lazy and like to order in food or eat out.  How can we convince people they are eating themselves to death? Yes, most people are looking for the quick fix, but ultimately, the healthiest thing you can do for your body is to prepare your meals yourself. I think the evidence that what we’re doing is not working is everywhere around us: the startling increases in obesity rates; the number of people who are on a whole variety of meds as their bodies slowly fall apart. Something’s not working, and it all starts with what we’re eating.  There is a big misperception that eating healthy (a) takes a lot of time, and (b) is boring and tastes bad. We’re out to disprove both of these things. Once you’ve been eating real whole food for a while, it’s hard to go back to eating the processed junk because it tastes awful.

5.      What do you love about writing books?  What are the challenges?   I love the process of distilling what I’ve learned into something that will be helpful to others. I love to teach, and writing is an excellent way to do that. And seeing all that hard work be manifest in a physical object like a book is very rewarding.  The biggest challenge I’ve found with writing is making the space to do it. It takes a lot of discipline to set the time aside for such a big task. Also, when you’re writing a cookbook, so much of your time is spent in the kitchen testing and tasting recipes. We tested (in many cases, multiple times) every single recipe (there are over 160) in the book over the period of two months. That’s a lot of cooking, cleaning, and eating. By the time we were done, we were ready for take out!   

6.      Where do you see book publishing heading? I’m no expert in this area, but it seems that we’re moving more and more to the online/electronic format. Our book is available in all e-formats and we’re able to have color pictures for those, which is so nice. Personally, I love a book I can hold in my hands and turn the pages physically. I haven’t converted to the e-format yet, and I’m not sure I ever will.

7.      How is “eating naked” not just about food, but a lifestyle? The very word “naked” suggests being exposed, real, and without pretense. It’s all about authenticity. Real food is authentic because it’s not hiding behind lots of processing and other un-necessary extras. I believe we can extend this metaphor to our lives overall. When we take down the pretense and barriers between us and the world around us, we can live such fuller, richer, healthier lives on all levels.  

Note: Margaret’s publisher, New Harbinger, is a client of Media Connect, the company I work for.

Short Interview With Rachelle Andujar, Associate Marketing Manager, Simon & Schuster

What will books and the publishing landscape look like in 2016? A few years ago everyone responded that the future of publishing would be digital books. Well guess what?  We are the future, and we’re in a digital era!  So now, when I think about what the landscape will be like in 2016, I see more creativity in the digital technologies we have available to us.  For example, It’s no longer about using social media, it’s about how we use it.  Some authors have already figured this out.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, recently posted a message to his nearly 1.5 million Facebook fans and 2.4 million Twitter followers for input on his new autobiography coming out this Fall “I have been working on my book, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, for quite a while now, and later today we are having a brainstorming session to talk about themes, stories, and ideas I might have missed. A million minds are better than a few, so I'm asking you to let me know: what do you want to hear about?”  Schwarzenegger reached out to his fans in a personal way, and it’s always our mission to connect readers with authors.  Authors are really starting to plug in.  These are exciting times.  We’re in a second technology start-up boom and by 2016 we’ll have many more ways to bring books to millions of readers. There will be technologies and tools for marketing books that we haven't dreamed of yet!  The key is that we are listening and by 2016, we’ll be executing even more.

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Stat Of The Day

The book industry sold 2.57 billion books in all formats in 2010.  Net revenue from trade books grew 5.8% in 2010 over 2008, to $13.94 billion.  These numbers are based on a report released last August by BookStats, a collaboration of the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group.

During the last few years we had changes in format (shift to e-books), changes in how books are sold (online and via e-reader companies), and the Great Recession.  It’ll be interesting to see how the dust settles in the next few years as the economy likely flourishes and the book industry gains a firm grip on sales distribution.

But one segment that appears hard hit is the mass market paperback.  In 2011, sales fell by 35.9% from 2010.  Mass market books, in 2010 had about 220 million dollars more in sales than e-books.  By the next year e-book sales more than doubled those of mass market paperbacks.   

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.


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