As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market a self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.
Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Anthony Akinlolu, who is taking his latest book, In the Desert of Illness, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. He will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about him and his book.
Luckily for us, Anthony was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of In the Desert of Illness.
OP: Tell us a little bit about In the Desert of Illness. What is it about?
AA: The interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit is what makes us uniquely human. When people are facing the complex crisis of illness, it is imperative to care for the whole person, with respect and sensitivity. In the Desert of Illness provides guidelines for how to listen for cues that a patient may be reaching out for spiritual support, how to separate spirituality from religious dogma, and how to appreciate the ways in which spiritual support enhances medical care. The second part of the book focuses on the spiritual well-being of caregivers (care providers), whose humanity and emotional pain are often overlooked. The role of healthcare chaplains is examined, and their journey with patients, families, and clinicians is explored with valuable insights that can enhance holistic healing for those who are ill, and integral wellness for care providers. In the Desert of Illness is an oasis of information and wisdom from an author with unparalleled experience in this field.
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
AA: Two main focuses underlie this book: the patients and the clinical team. Healing within the hospital community (care-receivers & care providers) are the central issues engaged in the book. The Book is a product of many years of experience in healthcare community. Seeing how healthcare practitioners, often, attempt to separate the inseparable human dimensions – body, mind, and spirit – focusing on the “power” of the 21st century technology to restore patients to physical health, either to the utter neglect or unfortunate trivialization of the impacts of psycho-social elements of the human person. Resultantly, medical procedures have been delayed, canceled, while hospitalization stay prolonged because psycho-social issues are not addressed, or timely addressed if at all, with patients. The book, then, is a resource to draw clinicians’ attention to these fundamental issues in order to enhance integral and holistic goal of care.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
AA: The book is designed with multiple readerships (audience) in mind. These include:
- Patients: the primary reason for establishing hospitals and care-giving facilities is the patients. Hence, it is ‘patient-first.’
- Clinicians (Physicians, bedside-nurses, case-managers, social-workers, etc): Great resource for enhanced care for the patients; but importantly, for themselves as care-providers. The Book provides, for instance, “The Triggers for a spiritual care consult”(Chapter 5) focused on helping clinicians know when to promptly request chaplain’s consult. And Chapter 6, “Holistic Healing: Care for the Care-Providers,” considers tools and tips for clinicians to care for themselves, in order to avoid or prevent caregiver fatigue or burnouts.
- Chaplains (or spiritual care providers): It expanded on CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) knowledge to provide essential and practical scenarios for an in-depth knowledge for trained chaplains, as well as volunteers. Hence, chapters 1 -2 & 8 focused on an indepth understanding of ‘Spiritual Care’ differentiated from ‘Pastoral Care,’ offered practical tips and case scenarios for identifying spiritual needs of patients.
- Caregivers: All caregivers can resonate with the book. For instance, chapter 7 turned its focus on oncology patients – offering detailed spiritual issues and various tendencies notable with cancer patients. These can help caregivers, as well as cancer patients, to manage the care-giving with greater understanding and less of emotional stresses.
OP: What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
AA: This book is differentiated in a number of ways:
- It discusses holistic care from two-dimensional standpoints: patients’ (care-seekers) and clinicians’ (care-providers). Both, from divergent perspectives are in need of integral wholeness, leading up to convergent goal. Most books discuss holistic care from patients’ needs only. This book offer balanced approach to holism.
- This book is an invaluable blend of theory & praxis. It discusses practical day-to-day happenings in a typical hospital or hospitalization experience with an underlying theoretical framework.
- This book also expands “Spiritual Care Consults” beyond the “conventional” skills learnt in Clinical Pastoral Education (the most known FICA or SPIRIT spiritual Assessment tools) but to include profound realities that surround patients, crying for advocacy – voice to the voiceless, immediate action where a patient seems powerless and vulnerable, and broader understanding of spiritual care beyond the “walled” conceptual knowledge of pastoral care.
OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
AA: This is my first published book. However, I have published over 25 religious and spiritual articles in the past. I’m presently working on my second book, which is a compilation of my articles – published and revised. The book will provide reflections on the 4 cardinal seasons: Advent & Christmas; Lent & Easter. It is highly possible that I will still work with the Outskirts Press for the second book publication.
OP: Thanks for your time, Anthony! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
Reverend Anthony Ade Akinlolu has engaged in care for the sick for over fifteen
years. During his mission in the United States, he has provided pastoral and
spiritual care for patients, families, and staff at five different hospitals in
metropolitan Washington, DC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and
religious studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; a master’s degree in theology from
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh; and a master’s degree in business administration from
Trinity Washington University, DC. He is a Board Certified Chaplain with the
National Association of Catholic Chaplains. His passion to provide holistic care
for the sick, for caregivers, and for medical providers has inspired him to
provide a wide range of in-house services and lectures to the hospital community
at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, DC, where he currently works.
For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/inthedesertofillness
This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”. Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.
Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?