Author Interview – Rabbi Ed Weinsberg, Ed.D., D.D.

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Conquer Prostate Cancer: How Medicine, Faith, Love and Sex Can Renew Your Life is my one and only book (published by Health Success media, October 2008). The book empowers boomer and senior men to face a diagnosis of prostate cancer with dignity, explore their options realistically, and tackle recovery with optimism. It is also an insightful resource for their wives or partners, family, friends, doctors and other healthcare providers. The book is the first to emphasize robotic surgery for prostate cancer from the perspective of an informed survivor and healthcare educator. It discusses the latest research and advances in treatment and profiles twenty patients who chose various treatment options. I also describe how to prepare for surgery emotionally and spiritually and how to cope with treatment side effects like E.D. and incontinence as well as stress and pain.

Tell us something about yourself.

I served for thirty years as a congregational rabbi, consultant, and part-time chaplain, primarily in Boston’s North Shore and in upstate New York. Prior to that I was ordained as a Conservative rabbi in New York City in 1972, a few years after growing up in LA and graduating UCLA. I went on to earn my doctorate in gerontology (Ed.D.) two years later at Columbia University Teachers College. I began writing my book nine months after my July, 2006 retirement, following a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Soon after that I began a companion blog: www.ConquerProstateCancer.com

What inspired you to write this book?

I began writing my book exactly a week after my April 12, 2007 operation for two primary reasons: I was extremely impressed by my pain-free surgery and rapid recovery, and I wanted to help others resolve some of the initial confusion many men and their wives/partners have experienced when confronted by prostate cancer and all too many treatment options.

Why did you decide to self-publish your book?

After a few months hesitation I decided to self-publish by establishing a family publishing company called Health Success Media, LLC. The book is officially published and owned by my daughter, who has multi-media training. I did not want to go to traditional book publishers since I wanted to retain complete control over the entire book, such as keeping its title. In addition I didn’t want to spend the extra year it might take to be published traditionally. Last I didn’t want to deplete the potential book income that authors lose when their books are published by others.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

For me the hardest part of writing is refraining from writing too much, that is, limiting my words so I covey my thoughts as succinctly as possible. The other difficulty I’ve experienced is constantly having to find the appropriate keywords to maximize search engine optimization (SEO) in order to get known and grow my list of subscribers.

How do you do research for your books?

I start by writing my experiences. From time to time I check primarily online for resource that will sharpen or corroborate my views. After I finish the book I check comments I’ve written and corroborate them further and end up with many end notes.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I’m now exploring the possibility of collaborating on a book about prostate cancer and tantra sex.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Write before you edit. But edit one segment of a few paragraphs or a chapter subsection at one time for uniformity of style, rather than going back to each sentence one by one. Expect to completely re-edit your book when you feel all your chapters are done – several times. When satisfied, make sure you get the best available editor for the money, and likewise select the book designer who has other samples of book design you admire. Above all see what other writers have done AFTER you’ve written much of your book, to insure that your content and writing style are unique and not derived from others

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I do my best to blog, tweet, facebook (is that a verb?), and appear in the media with an increasing number of print articles or radio and TV interviews. Promoting a book and developing related products is an ongoing effort. Marketing is far more difficult than writing, although it starts with the first words you write.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

You can learn more about the book and me at www.ConquerProstateCancer.com and www.ConquerProstateCancer.com/Media.