Lisa: Publishers are so focused on book marketing and author platform, but you got an agent and a book deal with a minimal platform. How did you do that?
Trish: After several years of trying to build my platform, advised by people in the business that I shouldn’t even try to get an agent until my platform was big (like 10’s – 100s thousand big!), I said, “To hell with it.” One morning I woke up and decided to send out a query letter to my wish list of agents. And less than 24 hours after my query letter, my dream agent, Steve Harris of CSG Literary Partners — number one on my list — replied, saying he’d love to represent me.
Follow Your Heart
Lisa: That’s inspiring and unusual! You succeeded by following your own heart and not conventional wisdom, which really is a message in your book, Beyond Medicine. So what is your advice for aspiring authors?
Trish: Follow your heart. And be gentle with yourself. Make self-care your priority. Not the work. All else will follow. And it may arise in ways even better than you had imagined.
Lisa: I think too, your book is just so strong. The stories of your own healing transformation and those of your patients are both profoundly inspiring and immediately motivating.
Low-Stress Book Marketing
Lisa: And how about your book marketing experience? It sounds low-stress.
Trish: People tell people who tell more people. Clients tell people. Students tell people.
Also, the word [about the book] has gotten out in less organized, more organic ways. Simply through word of mouth—walking my dog in the neighborhood and merely meeting and chatting. My dog is great at PR!
And I have a unique book-seller: My book is being sold outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City by a remarkable woman named Grace. She is homeless, lives outside the museum, and supports herself by selling books there. So Beyond Medicine gets quite a lot of visibility outside the Metropolitan Museum!
Book Marketing Strategies
Lisa: What a resourceful woman! Can you share some specific book marketing strategies that work well for book sales?
Trish: Essentially, everything has worked! Getting the word out about Beyond Medicine has happened in multiple ways.
First, the conventional way, via the PR that my publisher has facilitated, such as media interviews (print, audio and video.) Many of the organized PR events that my publisher set up for me have led to others—an interviewer spreading the word, leading to more media attention.
Steve Harris, my amazing and wonderful literary agent, has introduced all his clients to one another so we can network and support each other’s work. So I’ve gotten lots of shout-outs, social media attention, and radio and podcast interviews due to this lovely community of authors.
Lisa: A big ingredient in your success is the extraordinary material in the book. And how inspiring you are! Tell us about your course.
Creating a Course Based on Your Book
Trish: I’ve been offering online classes around my book’s key themes, which has drawn more readers. [March 28], I’m offering an 8-week, live online class that will dive more deeply into the teachings of Beyond Medicine. The buzz around the course is helping to spread the word, too.
Lisa: Creating a course out of your book material can help readers go deeper and expand your services. Please tell us about the process for creating your course, any challenges, and any synchronicities or advice for using your book as a course foundation?
Trish: The upcoming course Beyond Medicine: A Physician’s Revolutionary Prescription for Healing Yourself and Transforming Your Life, which begins 3/28. is a deep dive into the book’s teachings. In my previous online classes I did this solely on my own. But to develop this more comprehensive course, I took a course to teach me how to do just that. And I must shout out to Chris Kyle and his Launch Academy program. His method teaches one how to create, develop, market, promote, and launch an online course. It’s been a fantastic experience.
I can’t recommend it more highly to anyone who wants to grow their reach via online teachings. And I’ve developed some excellent relationships with other students from all over the world. We have become marketing partners, course launch support buddies, and collaborators.
What Your Book Can Do For Your Readers
Lisa: I was profoundly moved by the book and your own personal story of healing. I imagine many people are. So what are some things you’ve heard from readers about what Beyond Medicine has done for them?
Trish: Awww, gee, Lisa, I’m truly honored by this feedback. People say that about my personal story—that they were moved by it—and how brave I was to share it. (It’s a story that’s sometimes hard to tell—writing about it is easier than talking about it!)
And I also hear from readers that they appreciate the gentle approach I offer. That I don’t dictate; there are no “shoulds” when following the teachings. But this is, in fact, an essential principle of the teachings. All that we need, health-wise and otherwise, can arise from a place of ease. Simply, effortlessly. Cultivating ease, this effortlessness is the essence of healing and transforming lives.
The Link Between Creativity and Health
Lisa: Can you discuss the link between creativity and health?
Trish: On creativity: It’s what moves us. What makes our hearts sing? What keeps us up past our bedtimes and gets us up in the morning? And what drives us to make whatever we make?
Whether it’s writing a book, painting a landscape, simply being creative in how we go through our days, being a mom, a handyman, or a garbage collector, every one of us can access our creative self.
Accessing our creative self allows us to access our life force—our vital energy. And that life force is a powerful source of healing, returning to feeling well in the body and mind and continuing to feel well in the body and mind.
In a nutshell, creativity is wonderful medicine.
Taking Care of Yourself While Writing, Publishing and Marketing a Book
Lisa: Writing, publishing and marketing a book can take time and create stress. Any advice as a holistic MD on how to care for yourself and not make yourself sick during the process (which happened to me, by the way)?
Trish: Writing my book was a journey of remembering to practice what I preach, to walk my talk. Sometimes I did that well, and sometimes I could have done better. Deadlines felt stressful. Sometimes I would push through to get something done. But ultimately, this never worked. And in fact, pushing through will always create a product; whatever we’re pushing through reflects the “pushing through” energy.
All came with ease when I could truly live the teachings of my book—one of which is to stop, pause, and be present in the moment. And that meant being present with whatever was coming up for me — complicated feelings or anxiety about deadlines, for example. So rather than pushing through, driven by that anxiety, the feelings shifted when I stopped to pause and be present with the emotions. I entered that place I have termed in the book “Absolute Heath,” or inner peace. So it’s where clarity and solutions reside, and inspired action arises.
And when I returned to writing or whatever task I was previously trying to push through, it came with ease.
But I’m a work in progress. Am I always able to do that? No!
When I can, it’s always a better place from which to create. A better “feel good” place. And if I can’t, if I’m pushing through, I’m gentle with myself. No shoulds, no judgments.
Just kindness and compassion.
Discover a path to health and well-being that is extraordinary in its ease and profound in its results. Check out Dr. Muehsam’s course, Beyond Medicine: A Physician’s Revolutionary Prescription for Healing Yourself and Transforming Your Life, which begins 3/28.
About Patricia A. Muehsam, MD
Patricia A. Muehsam, MD, a pioneer in synthesizing science, holistic health, and contemporary spirituality, has distinguished herself as a practitioner, educator, research scientist, and author. She has been an influential force in shaping the landscape of healthcare options available today. Muehsam’s groundbreaking book, Beyond Medicine: A Physician’s Revolutionary Prescription for Achieving Absolute Health and Finding Inner Peace, has been hailed by Larry Dossey, MD, as the “only health and healing book you will ever need.” Founder of Transformational MedicineTM, Dr. Muehsam’s services include health consultations, mind-body healing sessions, classes, and retreats. She lives in New York city with Benjamin, her adopted Golden Retriever and sage spiritual advisor.
Sign up for—or find out more about—Dr. Muehsam’s course: Beyond Medicine: A Physician’s Revolutionary Prescription for Healing Yourself and Transforming Your Life. Course begins March 28, 2023.