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Douglas Wyatt of Vibrant Life Initiative: How To Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book

Be Not Afraid: Be not afraid to ask for assistance when promoting your book. For me — having hearing loss from flying helicopters in the Marine Corps — I dreaded a noisy, book signing. But once I explained my hesitation, the event organizer was able to make accommodations to ensure the best possible acoustics.

As a part of our series about “How You Can Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Douglas Wyatt.

Douglas Alan Wyatt is one of the United States’ pioneering authorities on the use of bovine colostrum for human and animal health, having been unofficially named “The Modern Father of Colostrum.” He is well known for his work promoting the use of bovine colostrum as a gastrointestinal and immune health supplement for the prevention and management of inflammatory-related and autoimmune conditions. He is also responsible for setting the gold standard in colostrum supplement manufacturing and credited with re-introducing bovine colostrum for human consumption. Mr. Wyatt believes that colostrum’s unique and powerful healing bio-actives show incredible promise for turning the tide on the prevention and treatment of the world’s increasing chronic disease epidemic and may now have a role to play in deadly emerging pathogens. My. Wyatt is also a veteran, having served as a Marine Helicopter Pilot during the Vietnam War.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about?

My wife’s lifelong health challenges with constant infections that caused her immense suffering, motivated me to become an expert in bovine colostrum. Other than spending time on a ranch and knowing that newborn calves and foals need their mother’s colostrum to survive, I had no idea how important it was in human health beyond infancy. For the last three decades, I’ve been studying and promoting bovine colostrum for human consumption, and my early motivation still guides me in this endeavor.

Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?

The most pivotal story in my life centers around the day my wife asked me to help her die. Her immense suffering from being immunocompromised — being sick all the time and taking course after course of antibiotics — finally took its toll. I was shocked and devastated, but ironically (and quite timely), a colleague reminded me of colostrum (“life’s first food”). He gave me some bovine colostrum that he’d dried in his kitchen to give my wife; to our amazement, her symptoms changed almost overnight. So, in a short amount of time, I went from working in the financial sector to combing the medical libraries for any evidence of bovine colostrum’s efficacy and how to secure an adequate supply for my wife.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Are you working on any new writing projects?

Aside from spreading the word about bovine colostrum and advocating that everyone consider taking it, I am contemplating another book. My next book would focus on a healthy weight loss guide which incorporates bovine colostrum into popular eating styles, whether it be Paleo, Keto, Mediterranean, or intermittent fasting.

Thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you please tell us a bit about your book? Can you please share a specific passage or story that illustrates the main theme of your book?

Holy Cow — The Miracle of Life’s First Food is the story of how I ‘rediscovered’ bovine colostrum to help my ailing wife. I detail my rather unexpected and unlikely journey to transform this historically revered food into a commercially-available nutritional supplement. As I came to realize the healing power of the “first food of life,” not only did I help my wife reclaim her health, but I also was able to put the science of bovine colostrum behind the product so others could take advantage of its nutritional capabilities. So, the book is an intermingling of the storytelling of my personal experiences, the science of bovine colostrum as it applies to gastrointestinal health and immune resiliency, and the inspiration to take control over one’s own health. The 30-year timeline coincides with the increasing popularity of bovine colostrum supplementation for better health and the newly realized importance of the gut microbiome and the consequences of “leaky gut.”

Chapter 1, page 21.
Immune resiliency is the most significant determinant of human survival. I believe it’s the key health lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic and every pandemic past, present, and future. A robust and balanced immune system allows individuals to respond to pathogenic threats with an appropriate immune/inflammatory response without becoming so overwhelmed as to succumb to the cytokine storm. Pathogens have been a part of our environment since the dawn of time, and DNA from viruses is present in our own DNA. Viruses adapt, or die. We adapt, or die. And for the bacterial pathogens that we are able to eliminate, we should use the most precise technology available. There’s no need for a machine gun when a rifle will do. It’s really quite simple.

A million years of evolution has taught us the importance of passive immunity — immunity to pathogens created through the transfer of antibodies from another person or animal via the birth mother’s colostrum and milk. Passive immunity is the reason all mammals, with the exception of humans, can exist at all.

You are a successful author and thought leader. Which three character traits do you feel were most instrumental to your success when launching your book? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Be Prepared: Be prepared to transition any conversation into a pitch about your book and always have at least a dozen copies of your book in your car. I was recently at a bar and struck up a conversation with a vacationing couple from out of town. When they asked what attracted me to Sedona, I told them that it was my deep interest in healthy living and then went on to explain how I’d written a book about bovine colostrum to help other people with their journeys to health. Upon seeing their interest, I offered them a copy of my book.

Be Open-minded: Be open-minded to new (or new-to-you) ideas about book promotion, even if you have to go beyond your own comfort zone. Being a guest on a live podcast, with the thought of hundreds of people listening, can be daunting for some. I realized that once you get a podcast or two under your belt, and you don’t have to take yourself too seriously, it’s a breeze from there on.

Be Not Afraid: Be not afraid to ask for assistance when promoting your book. For me — having hearing loss from flying helicopters in the Marine Corps — I dreaded a noisy, book signing. But once I explained my hesitation, the event organizer was able to make accommodations to ensure the best possible acoustics.

In my work, I have found that writing a book can be a great way to grow a brand. Can you share some stories or examples from your own experience about how you helped your own business or brand grow by writing a book? What was the “before and after picture?” What were things like before, and how did things change after the book?

Just because you’ve written a book, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your work is done. If it’s your first book, it’s going to take some patience, time, and most likely, delayed financial gain, if any, at the outset. So, have a plan to give away copies of your masterpiece — as many as half your initial printing as well as digital copies. If you don’t get your book into the hands and iPads of people who will read it, how can you expect much success? Start with your inner circle (family & friends), your professional contacts, and your social media followers. Ask for feedback or an online review in exchange for a free hard copy of your book. Always send a handwritten, personalized note with any copy of the book you send. And always, always express your gratitude when someone posts a positive review.

I live in a rather small town (Sedona, AZ), so after my book launched, more of the locals recognized me on the street. Because I had been featured in the local newspaper and had a few book signings, people now associated my name, photo, and book, whereas before I was relatively unknown.

If a friend came to you and said “I’m considering writing a book but I’m on the fence if it is worth the effort and expense” what would you answer? Can you explain how writing a book in particular, and thought leadership in general, can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

I would say that writing a book is definitely worth the effort because it gives you an incredible sense of accomplishment when you’re done. If your book can help just one person, or inspire someone to be better, or impart a few pearls of wisdom… that’s the icing on the cake. I believe that every writer or person considering writing a book has something valuable to share. Now, as for expense, that’s a little more complicated depending on the route you take. Self-publishing has certainly brought down the cost, and the self-publishing experience itself is an excellent learning opportunity for the writer.

Having a non-fiction book on a particular subject matter essentially says, ‘you have arrived,’ and whether for good or bad, it labels you as an expert in that particular subject matter. In my case, I have been studying and advocating the use of bovine colostrum for nearly three decades. The story of how colostrum helped my wife Kaye is well known in alternative health circles and even now, continues to encourage colostrum supplement sales across various brands.

What are the things that you wish you knew about promoting a book before you started? What did you learn the hard way? Can you share some stories about that which other aspiring writers can learn from?

First, it takes time and second, you can’t do everything yourself. Fortunately, I had worked with a PR firm on a previous endeavor, and they were able to assist with getting the word out about Holy Cow. Having someone or a group of people who specializes in book promotion is definitely an asset, particularly if you’re able to fit professional PR services into your book budget. In my younger days, I likely would have tried to do everything myself… and wound up with a lot more grey hair.

Procrastination is your worst enemy. I had intended to start writing Holy Cow back in 2014. I had a basic outline and plenty of ideas floating around in my head, but that was about it. There were always minor distractions that took away major time. Six years later, I realized that sometimes you just have to sit down in front of the computer and start writing. The COVID-19 pandemic gave me some extra free time at home, so it may have been a small blessing in disguise. Pandemic or no pandemic, there’s no reason for aspiring writers to put off writing a book when they have something important to say.

Based on your experience, which promotional elements would you recommend to an author to cover on their own and when would you recommend engaging an expert?

Start by doing what you already know works and what you can realistically achieve given your personal time or skill level constraints. Delegate to others, if you have a team in place. Consider engaging an expert if this is your first book, have very limited time to do your own marketing, or are technology-challenged. As an older individual myself, I consulted with a PR firm because I knew they would be able to help me maximize social media, Internet sales, and my online presence.

Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experience and success, what are the “five things an author needs to know to successfully promote and market a book?” If you can, please share a story or example for each.

Include Up-Front Built-In Marketing: When writing your book solicit some expert advice, real-life stories, or simply mention people who’ve had a significant role in your subject matter. Showcase them in a positive light and be sure to list their names in the index; in the case of medical professionals, it’s a little-known secret that when they first get a copy of your book, they’ll go to the index to check for their name. And of course, send these individuals a complimentary copy with a personalized thank you note expressing gratitude for their contribution. I’ve found that if you have a good book, your contributors will inevitably promote it within their circles.

Start with FF&C: Begin by promoting your book to absolutely everyone you know — family, friends, and colleagues. Post your announcement on your social media channels and send a nicely worded email telling them about your book and ask if they’d like to receive a copy. Include your business card with every book that you send out with your contact information on one side and an invitation to write an online review on the other side.

Know Your Audience: Based on your subject matter, know which types of people are likely to read your book and focus your marketing energy there. In my book, I advocate for bovine colostrum supplementation for health and maternal breastfeeding, so my main targets are people who want to improve their own or family’s health.

Help Your Audience Find You: Utilize a platform such as GoodReads.com to attract readers who are searching for your subject material. For a relatively minimal expense, you can expose your book to potentially hundreds of thousands of readers 24/7.

Engage Regularly with Your Audience: Some people will want to engage with you, especially if your book has inspired or helped them in some way. I’ve found this to be true in the case of health books and those that chronical a moving true-life story. The caution is to be aware that some people may want to draw you too deeply into their personal struggles. Find a balance, remain empathetic but also objective, and avoid offering medical advice unless your expertise and qualifications are appropriate.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with Dr. Lee Savio Beers, MD, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The current AAP guidelines do not include any maternal guidance on when a new mom should begin breastfeeding. Since colostrum is ready to be expressed as soon as baby comes into the world, I would like to discuss the possibility for the AAP to add language to their formal guidelines, stating that a woman should begin breastfeeding within an hour of her baby’s birth. This helps ensure that the newborn gets as much colostrum as possible as early as possible — for the best possible start in life. If the AAP makes this recommendation, it will have a huge impact on children’s health.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Visit my website: www.holycowbook.org.

Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success with your book promotion and growing your brand.

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