Saturday, April 27, 2019

Interview with Author Carol Weisman

Becoming One of the Grateful Dead: Where's there's a will, there's a way

What inspired you to write this book?
I teach people how to fundraise. According to Giving USA, of the approximately $410 billion dollars donated  in 2018, dead people give more than corporations, yet few of my clients were asking to be included in their fervent supporter's  estate plans. I started asking for estate planning gifts years ago and miracle of miracles, many people said "yes." This book is a Chicken Soup for the Soul type collection of stories from real donors; thirteen real people talk about why they gave and how they gave. After each chapter, there is a section for fundraisers and one for donors.

Who should read it — and why?
The first group who should read it are the 65% of Americans who don't have a will, trust or estate plan. If they have a child, and even if the entirety of their estate is composed of student debts they need a will, unless they believe that the state they live in should decide who should raise their child or children. It is also for people who just like a good story. Some of the stories are hysterically funny, some are poignant and some are just fascinating. The premise of the book is that whether you are uber rich or drive for Uber, you can make a difference in this life and the next. The stories include the great grand-daughter of a slave who is a retired cleaning lady, to a Texas Oil baron, to a young couple just married with a little boy.

How is it better or different from others in its genre?
One of the most difficult aspects of the book was to decide on a genre. It is about money management, fundraising, family dynamics, philanthropy,  and estate planning. And yet, it doesn't look, smell or feel like any of those categories.

What challenges did you overcome to write your book?
The biggest challenge was editing. One of the women, Lindsey Matush, was so fascinating that I had written 40 pages about her in the blink of an eye and she is only 34. She sustained terrible losses as a child, bought her own house with money she earned by age twenty, found Jesus as her Lord and Savior, took time off college to work in refugee camps, and has a thriving business at age 34. She earned every dime herself and she will ultimately be an heiress. Many of the people featured could have easily been the subject of their own book. Editing was brutal.

What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming your book?
I want people to know that they can be the answer to changing the world in this life and the next. You can leave a lasting legacy if you begin today.

What advice do you have for struggling writers?
This is my eleventh book. I have terrible ADD. I wrote the first nine using an egg
timer writing 15 minutes a day. I now have an iPhone and ultimately changed the timer to 30 minutes and with this book 45 minutes a day. For me, it was about turning a marathon into a daily jog.

Where do you see the book publishing industry heading?
Remember when grocery stores tried to make us all get plastic bags and eventually they brought back paper and folks could choose? The publishing community is in a paper and plastic mode. Some books are going to be read digitally, some folks like hard backs, some audible and some paper backs. People want to learn, to be entertained, to be inspired, but we all want it in different ways. If you are an author, it is our job to make our message available in multiple formats. I am already working on the audible version of some of my books.

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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 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 and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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