An Interview with Iris Waichler : Author, Freelance Writer & Licensed Counselor
Sylvia: Hi Iris, it is such a pleasure to interview you. I know how busy you are so thank you for your time. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Iris: Thank you Sylvia. I have been a licensed clinical social worker for over 30 years. I have done workshops, individual, and group counseling with people experiencing infertility. I authored “Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire” which won 4 major book awards including best book of the year from Mom’s Choice and the National Association of Parenting Publications (NAPPA). I also co-authored “A Book is Born” and wrote “Patient Power: How to Have a Say During Your Hospital Stay.” I currently do freelance writing for fertilityauthority.com, The American Fertility Association and Demand Media.
Sylvia: Wow, congratulations on the success of your book! What inspired you to write your first book?
Iris: I got the idea to write my book, “Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire,” while I was at an author event. I was listening to Naomi Wolf talk about her book “Misconceptions.” She was talking about her frustration with her doctors urging her to get a C section. I started thinking about my own experience with infertility and how infertility is such a huge life crisis where you feel total loss of control of your body. I started imagining what I would say in a book about infertility blending my personal experience and professional expertise as a medical social worker.
I wrote my book outline in my head on the ride home. Eighteen months later I was standing where Naomi Wolf had been at my first author event in a room filled with people. It was amazing. Advocacy remains a theme in my writing.
Sylvia: You actually wrote the outline of your book in your head? Now that is interesting as I have a difficult time remembering great ideas in my head if I don’t rush and write them down. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Iris: The message I want my readers to take away with my 3 books is that they are not alone, they are not powerless, and there are things they can do to take control of their situation. They just need some information, support, and resources. This can empower my reader which is my goal.
Iris: My advice for other writers is to write about something you feel patient about. Before you begin writing take research what is already out there in your genre. You need to decide if what you have to say has not been done before. You also have to be prepared to for the fact that your role doesn’t end with writing. That is really just the beginning. The marketing process is very challenging in this competitive publishing world. Do your homework and consider what venues will work best for you and your goals for those you want to reach and how to make that happen. The good news is there are a lot more publishing opportunities now in terms of self publishing and with digital books available. Don’t go into publishing expecting to make a lot of money.
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Iris: There are numerous ways to market your book. Social media is an effective and inexpensive way to market. You need a good website that you keep current. I entered book contests and won awards which automatically got me free national marketing with thousands of press releases. You need to network in places like Twitter and Facebook. I found local bookstores and did author events with other local authors that got publicity.
In addition, comment on Amazon sites and participate in blogs that are of a similar genre. The larger your presence on the internet the better so determine what keywords bring in people for your genre and try to incorporate them in your marketing endeavors. Think carefully about how much money you can afford to spend on your marketing campaign. Learn about how to pitch radio, magazine and newspapers and if you are really lucky getting on T.V.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Iris: My book, “Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire is unique.” It includes the voices of men and women who experienced infertility and shared candid advice and information. It blends my personal and professional experiences. It also has a range of topics not found in other literature on infertility. My book has won 4 major book awards including a best book of the year award from the National Association of Parenting Publications (NAPPA) and the Mom’s Choice Gold Award.
Sylvia: Agian, congratulations! You must be thrilled to get such prestigious awards. It’s a great testament to your work. What projects are you currently working on?
Iris: I currently am doing freelance writing for a number of publications focusing my efforts on infertility and health related articles. I am looking at possibly doing a memoir book about my father who is a very interesting and funny man.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD?
Iris: My power word is EDUCATE. I really believe if people have access to the right information for whatever they are struggling with they can feel empowered. It can help them regain control and begin to move forward. I believe many people feel so isolated and reading that other people have experienced similar challenges and information on how to overcome them can be truly inspirational!
Sylvia: What have you learned from your experience publishing this book?
Iris: I have been amazed at the people worldwide who have contacted me regarding their infertility issues and the connections that resulted. I also continue to learn new things about marketing on a daily basis. This was an area I did not know much about but there are numerous blogs, seminars, and websites that are full of information on resources about marketing your book. My book also inspired me to branch out and begin a freelance writing career which has been interesting and challenging.
Sylvia: Iris, it’s been a pleasure. Congratulations on such a highly regarded book! How can my readers and followers contact you?
Iris: Thank you as well. My contact information is below.