Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of 'Age Re-Defined' Robert F. Henry

We have another wonderful guest today!   As a Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Coach, and Wellness Coach, Robert F. Henry motivates individuals to transform into healthier, fit versions of themselves and to explore the mind-body connection. As a writer, blogger,  speaker, and media commentator he informs and inspires his audience to commit to a healthy lifestyle by reminding them “you can get better instead of getting older”. At 52, after years of enjoying good health, Robert was challenged when a visit to the doctor’s office revealed his health profile had changed and he was no longer the emblem of health he had been. That alarm, that wake-up call, that unprecedented need to lose body fat and the doctor’s statement “You’re not getting any younger” ignited something within him.

Fitness became such a priority and passion that working out was no longer enough. He began studying and learning as much as his could about fitness, nutrition, and wellness. His appetite for learning led him to earn four certifications: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Certified Personal Trainer from the National Council on Strength and Fitness, Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition from the International Sports Sciences Association, and Certified Wellness Coach from Spencer Institute, an affiliate of the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association. He has also recently taken additional course work in Sport and Exercise Psychology at California State University.

Robert's latest book is the health/fitness how to book, Age Re-Defined.

Visit his website at

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you, Robert!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

To impress my friends or those I would like to have as friends? No, seriously, I’ve always enjoyed writing. In 2012, I was around or in contact with no fewer than three published authors – all published by major publishers and I had all three of their books. I had been writing copy for my YouTube videos and I had written a lot of briefs, motions, and such as an attorney. It kind of led to me saying “I’m going to write a book”. Actually, I said “I’m going to write an eBook” after a little further thought and investigation.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

One demand is doing the writing. I found the writing enjoyable, but I was working a full-time attorney job, taking a course in Sport & Exercise Psychology, exercising 4 to 5 days a week or more, and meeting or conferring frequently with my web designer and my media advisor. So, I was quite busy at that time. A good kind of busy. Another demand in my genre is doing the research. And then there’s coordinating with a photographer (great guy), a cover designer (great to work with), an editor, and a publisher. Deciding upon a title was a challenge and took a while. Another demand, if you want to call it a demand, is that you must be willing to devote resources – certainly your time – to promotion/publicity. I’m passionate about my eBook and its subject matter, so writing or talking about the eBook is not really “work” for me.

The perks? You have added a book (or eBook) to your body of work. It’s another accomplishment. You’ve fulfilled your need, your desire to tell your story and to inform and potentially inspire – sort of. The balance of the equation is for people to read it. I happened to have a wonderful contributor to the nutrition content of my book (one of the three published authors I mentioned), and collaborating with her during and now after the writing process has been a perk.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I am self-published. However, I did not upload my files to Amazon. I engaged an eBook publisher and purchased one of their premium packages. I don’t really have any other frame of reference, as this is my first book/eBook. I used a different source for cover design and another source for editing. I’m afraid I don’t have any nitty gritty, except to say that you should do your due diligence every step of the way.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I’m single, no dependents. Not an issue. People who know me know that when I decide to embark upon some mission, it gets done.  

Out of all the people involved in getting your book published, which one would you say did the most for you?

That’s hard to say. I acknowledge four people at the beginning of my eBook. They didn’t “get my book published”, but they are nonetheless important to the book’s genesis and to my commitment to the project. They are Dawn Strozier, Moshe Chaim, Marta Tracy, and Deborah Klein, MS, RD. Deborah did contribute some actual nutrition content to the book, as is noted in the book. As for the actual publishing, I did the research on self-publishing and funded all costs.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Honestly, none of that was a factor. Sorry! I devoted one or two evenings a week, and one or both days on the weekend.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I’m not yet convinced of the viability of social media for promotion. Now, I have made a small number of meaningful contacts through Facebook and Twitter is showing some promise. But more on a collegial level; not so much on a book promotion level, if that’s what you’re asking about.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

As I write this, I have no sales data. So far, the book is mentioned on my website, and the sites of the various eBook retailers. I’ve promoted it through Google Ads, my website/blog, social media, PR Web releases, and this blog tour. Oh, we have at least one video up on you tube, as well, and we have a couple of nice reviews.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

The rooftop here at my apartment building offers a very nice view, but is in a state of disrepair. The last time I was up there, I got a bunch of tar or whatever on my shoes. So, I’ll have to pass on that one. Okay, maybe “Girls! I’m single!” Oh, wait, I already tried that.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

These blog interviews, for one thing! Gotta love ‘em. Actually, writing a book  gives you a kind of platform as a communicator and it gives you a shared experience with those people who have read it. My book has the potential to positively impact people’s lives or, at a minimum, to inform about the subjects presented. It is an affirmation of my own experiences and my own passions, and a rather substantial collection of useful information, as well as a resource for others.

A book is one of the last remaining places where you can go deep into your subject matter. Conventional wisdom regarding videos on social media, for example, is that they should be 2 or 3 minutes long, give or take. The eBook format is cool: there aren’t even any page numbers in the usual sense, digital images are crisp and color is not the cost factor it is in print, it offers formatting options for the reader (font size, line spacing, etc. – in that sense it is quasi-interactive), you can provide hyperlinks to source material, and the product is instantaneously downloadable, so you get this sense of working in the time-honored medium of the book, but at the same time working in a cutting edge medium, as well.  

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