My 30th Amazon UK review for “How I Conquered High Cholesterol”

How I conquered high cholesterolI will be the first to admit that any medical issue, and particularly cholesterol, can turn into a thorny subject and have rabid recommenders for and against various approaches. I’ve always taken the view that I’ve written a book based on my direct experience of how I reduced my cholesterol and kept it down (see my cholesterol update from this year’s blood tests). I’ve had some varying reviews recently – I don’t mind if people subscribe to a different way, but it’s hard to read someone’s opinion that your book, priced as low as you can while still making a small profit to make up for the time spent putting it together, is a waste of money, for example.

So I was really pleased to see that my 30th review for this book was a short but lovely five-star review:

Excellent. Very easy to read, straight talking … [read the whole review here]

My aim with all of my books is to help people. It looks like I’ve helped this person, and that makes me happy!

Read the rest of my reviews for this book here and you can visit my Amazon page to find out more, too.

Read more about How I Conquered High Cholesterol, including where to buy, here.

Why did I write my books? Why did you write yours?

Liz Broomfield booksThe other day, I was chatting with someone who didn’t know I’d written several books. I found myself explaining why I wrote them … and now I’m wondering why people write their books. So I’m going to share first, then I hope other people will do, too, in the comments.

I wrote my first book, “How I Conquered High Cholesterol” for two reasons. The first was that I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, given a really quite unhelpful single A4 sheet by my doctor (which tried to cover the diets of all of the ethnic groups in the UK in one page) and threatened with medication. Once I’d worked everything out and got my cholesterol lower and staying lower, I wrote it all down and added some recipes. The second reason was that as an editor and proofreader, I was working with quite a few people who wanted to self-publish ebooks, and I wanted to see what that process was like from the inside (I used that same reasoning when I later put together print versions of my books).

When I went full-time self-employed, I blogged about the process for a year, and then I put those blog posts together into a book, “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment“. I did that one for two reasons, too. The first was, to be honest, that lots of people were turning blogs into books and I thought it would be easy (it’s not that easy to make it not seem like it’s just a load of blog posts shoved together into a book, by the way). I thought I could produce a side-stream of passive income which would generate itself as I worked on my full-time job, and the books have done that to a certain extent. I did also write it, again, because I couldn’t find many resources covering my specific situation, as a 40-something wanting to dip gently into self-employment rather than risking everything. I also wanted to make it approachable – a book I would want to read, and my readers have appreciated that (even the one who said there were too many cardigans in it …). The subtitle, “Going it Alone at 40” was the original title, another error!

I kept on blogging, and I realised I had more to say about running more of a mature business, once you’ve done all the start-up stuff. So I put together the ultimately not hugely successful “Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase: Who are you Calling Mature?” I added loads of stuff about social media, websites and how you know when your business is stable and levelling out, then how to build income, etc., and people who read it like it, but I’ve never really been able to explain it very well, I fear, and it lags in the sales department.

Then I put these two business books together into “Your Guide to Starting and Running your Business” which I offer at a discounted price compared to the two individual volumes, because I honestly feel that I want to provide this information in the most cost-effective way possible for the reader. I feel very strongly about books that promise much then try to sell you a course with the author: by putting together the omnibus, I tried to provide as much as I could for as little as possible.

My next-best selling title after the Cholesterol book, “Quick Guide to  your Career in Transcription” came about because I kept seeing lots and lots of searches coming through to my business blog around transcription. I’d blogged a bit on the topic and I wrote more for this guide – including adding a section on ergonomics when an early reader complained that topic wasn’t included! The books I found on the topic were quite pushy and get-rich-quick, so I thought there was room for a no-nonsense and friendly guide along the lines of my other business books. I included some basic information on setting up a business from those book, but tailored everything else towards transcription itself.

Showing that you can be too clever, I sprung at the idea of stuffing your title with keywords and put together “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital“. Oh, they will all search for these terms and come to the book, thought I. Well, again, people who read it find the brief, no-nonsense guide to networking in person and through social media useful, but it’s not picked up the sales I hoped for.

Looking to the future, I really want to write a main and quick guide to your career in proofreading and editing. I’m including a self-mentoring guide in that – the reason for that being that a lot of people ask me for formal mentoring and that’s not something I have the resources to do. The self-mentoring guide will then be published separately in a more general version to help people with their businesses.

If I cast my mind back over all of these books, the main impetus has been to help people, and to write the book I wish I’d had when I was in that situation. What about you? Why did you write your book? I’d love to know (feel free to include a link to your book in your comment, but I’ll monitor the responses for spamminess so please share your story as well as your link).

Over to you …

Cholesterol update

How I conquered high cholesterolI had my cholesterol checked just before the Christmas holidays – I have a full set of blood work done every year because of some other medication I’m on, and I ask them to take my cholesterol at the same time, and (very importantly, as we’ll see) break it down into total, HDL and LDL cholesterol.

Especially because there have been a few critical reviews of my book on Amazon recently, including those saying that the theory of cutting down on saturated fat which I follow has been disproved (it hasn’t, there are just some new theories), I wanted to share my results with this blog.

I fully appreciate that there are different theories about cutting cholesterol, including eating fewer carbs or less sugar, and I have never claimed that “my” way is the only way. Maybe there’s something behind the eating plan that I use that has some kind of effect that’s not to do with fat. All I can go by is the results that I’ve achieved with the plan that I wrote down in the book with the aim of helping other people who hadn’t been given very thorough advice.

I was diagnosed with high cholesterol in early 2010 and took steps to lower it naturally which had taken effect by the time I was re-tested 6 months later.

As of December 2015, I had total cholesterol of 5.4, made up of LDL (bad cholesterol) 3.36 and HDL (good cholesterol) 2.04.

According to the HeartUK website, your total cholesterol level should be 5.00 or less (don’t panic: see below). Your LDL level should be lower than 4.00 and your HDL higher than 1.00 (for men) or 1.20 (for women).

So, and this is why it’s important to get the breakdown, although my total is slightly higher than the recommendation, this is because my “good” cholesterol rate is just under twice the recommended minimum, which pushes the total up (you can find all the info in the book, but basically some fats and also exercise work to promote the HDL levels in your blood).

What this proves is that over five years on, that’s five years of following the rules I set down in the book, my own cholesterol level came down at the beginning and has remained down. If that hadn’t happened, believe me, I’d be on the statins and withdrawing the book from sale.

You can find out more about my book and where to buy it here. The most popular buying links are and for paper or e-book versions, or Smashwords for all formats including epub, pdf, plain text, Sony reader and Kobo.

Better news in “How I Conquered High Cholesterol” reviews

How I conquered high cholesterolI was a bit down after finding the extremely negative and misguided review on Amazon for this book, but felt better after I’d written it all down. I then had a lovely comment on that post, lots of views of the post and likes on social media, and made a couple of print and e-book sales, which cheered me up. Best of all, a five-star review (and not from someone I know just being kind, which I thought might happen) appeared on the book, pushing the mean one off the Most Recent spot and keeping my average score up. Hooray!

Great, informative read! nurse has been pushing me to take statins, reluctant to do so, now I know I made the right decision after reading this book!!! (read the full review here)

Oh, and I did get a reply to my comment on That Other Review which started to talk about the regime not being suitable for diabetics or people with an intolerance to oil – I never claimed it was, and that made me think the review was more about finding something to be negative about than true disappointment and concern, so that’s good, too.

So, all good, and thank you to the people who took the time to read my last post, comment and bolster my spirits!

And this autumn I AM going to finish writing my version of my business books for editors / proofreaders and publish my self-mentoring guide as an offshoot of that, so watch this space (might even do a newsletter again soon).

Cholesterol book details are here.

Why I called my cholesterol book “How I Conquered High Cholesterol …”

How I conquered high cholesterolI’ve recently had a very negative review on this book on Amazon UK that says this book goes against current medical advice and thus is worthless.

I did call the book “How I Conquered High Cholesterol”, and the reason for that is that I was aware even at the time of writing that there were different opinions on what brought down cholesterol. I know that what I did helped me, bringing my own cholesterol level down and keeping it down since 2010 (last tested Christmas 2014).

I did that naughty thing you’re not supposed to do and replied to the review on my book, because I was concerned that prospective readers were going to think what I have written about is dangerous or horribly outdated. I’m not sure what that will do. I would love it if more people who have bought this book and found it useful wrote reviews saying so, but that’s up to them.

I’ve also added this text to my page for the book on this website and my Amazon description:

Please note: there are many different opinions on what dietary efforts can lower cholesterol. The reason why I wrote this book was that the regime I followed worked for me, in bringing my cholesterol levels down in 2010 and maintaining them at that level from then until now (currently five years). This won’t suit everyone, and medical advice does change – this outlines just one option, I recommend here and in the book that you seek medical advice, and I appreciate that this is not the only option presented in the media and in medical advice. This is simply what worked for me.

I hope this will reassure people. And I’d love to know what other writers have done when the entire underpinning of their (non-fiction) book has been criticised as I’m sure I’ve got a lot to learn (like not replying to reviews: I need to learn that one).

Pushing down the bad review for “How I Conquered High Cholesterol”

How I conquered high cholesterolWhen I got a bit of a bad review on my single health-related book,* “How I Conquered High Cholesterol“, (well, everyone has to have at least one one-star review, right?) I was chuffed when two readers leapt to my defence, meaning I didn’t have to do that ill-advised thing of replying to a review (the only review I’ve ever responded to publicly is one on this book that complained the images aren’t visible. As this book has no images, it seemed pertinent to mention that as an addition to the review).

Anyway, I moved on from that, but as reviews for all but the most wildly successful (or terrible?) books are not that quick to come, I’m always extra glad when a nice new one appears and pushes the mean one down the list of most recent reviews. So I was very pleased to see this short but sweet one …

Packed with useful tips. … covers all aspects of the necessary changes to diet and exercise very clearly and concisely. (read the full review here)

And with 22 reviews now, this, my book with the highest sales (although not this month so far, as “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” has surged past it), is now catching up with “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment“, which has 25. I assume all writers are obsessed with this stuff? I hope so, anyway.

Edited to add: I’ve just found out that if you go into Amazon and enter “high cholesterol” into the search box, this book comes up top of the search results! Hooray! If you’re an author, it’s worth checking if this happens for your books, too.

* After having apparently cured the lady who does my cleaning’s IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) with what can only be described as “one simple tip”, I am considering doing a book on IBS. Do you think this would be a useful addition to my stable?

Find more information about “How I Conquered High Cholesterol” here. And if you want to find the mean review, it’s on the Amazon UK page for this book!

A nice review for “How I Conquered High Cholesterol”

How I conquered high cholesterolI haven’t been seeing many new reviews appear recently, so I was pleased to find this one on my book on how I reduced my cholesterol

Useful. Informative and friendly. Plenty of practical guidance although the book is very short. I would recommend it to anyone trying to reduce cholesterol without drugs.

Yes, I will admit that the book is short, but there’s no filler and it’s got all the information that I used to get my cholesterol down and keep it down – and if I’m looking for information, I’d always rather read a short thing than a long one … wouldn’t you?

Read the rest of my reviews for this book here and you can visit my Amazon page to find out more, too.

Read more about How I Conquered High Cholesterol, including where to buy, here.

All of my books for small business (and my book on beating high cholesterol) are now available in print editions

Liz Broomfield books

I’m really excited to announce that all of my books are now available in print editions, as well as the e-books which have always been available. This was in response to some market research that I did, and also people reaching out to me to ask whether and when the books would be available in print.

The new ones – the Quick Guides and How I Conquered High Cholesterol – are in a handy 5″ x 8″ format, so nice and easy to pop into your bag. They are priced as low as I can – I have never believed in charging a huge premium and making a large profit on either my print or e versions, so please be assured that they are priced to take into account the royalty that Amazon takes, the cost of production (in the case of the print books) and a small profit for me. I want to make sure they’re accessible.

The print books were produced through CreateSpace so available on a print-on-demand basis from Amazon. I know some people aren’t keen on Amazon – I’m committed to helping lobby the government on tax avoidance, but unfortunately Amazon is the main market for me. However, if you’re not keen on buying from there, you can buy my e-books from Smashwords and the very independent Selz, so hopefully that gives you enough options.

If you buy one of my print editions, please let me know and tell me what you think about it. If you take a photo of yourself or something representing your business with the book, I will post it on my photos and reviews page on this website, with a link to your business if you’d like.

Phew – it’s been hard work, but hopefully it will be worth it in terms of getting my books into the hands of people who they can help. That’s what it’s all about for me.

If you want to find out more about how any of these books can help you start and build your business, network and work with social media, take up a career in transcription or manage your cholesterol, do take a look at the individual pages for the books …

How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment | Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase | Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital | Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription | How I Conquered High Cholesterol

PS I made screen shots as I created my print versions and I’m planning to post instructions on here detailing exactly how I did that – would you find that useful? I’ve also blogged about whether this venture is proving successful.

A note from a happy reader of “How I Conquered High Cholesterol”

How I conquered high cholesterolI love hearing from my readers – I’m sure all writers do. I didn’t really imagine that anyone would get in touch with me when I published my first one, although I carefully leave contact details in the backs of all of my books. Anyway, I’ve got used to it now, but it never palls, and I was thrilled to hear from Paul Beverley, of Norwich, in the UK, who had read my book on  how I reduced my cholesterol and wanted to ask me some questions about soluble fibre, apples and oats (as you do). We corresponded back and forth a little, and I was pleased to see that he was doing well with his health.

Just a few days ago, I received an email from Paul with very good news. I should add that I quote this with his permission, and that both he and I agree that it’s not all down to me, and my suggestions based on my experience won’t help everyone with high cholesterol. But this is what he said, and it was SO LOVELY to read this:

I’ve just had the results, and I’m pleased to report that the BP is “normal” and the cholesterol is “normal”. The actual level is 4.5!

Yay! Way to go! Once again, thanks for the book. It was an inspiration, knowing that someone else had managed it.

A GP friend at church said, “No-one ever manages to get it down by diet and exercise by more than one point.”

All together now: “Oh yes they do!”

How lovely! Thank you, Paul, for getting in touch, and I’m so glad I could help – that’s what I do it all for!

Read more about How I Conquered High Cholesterol, including where to buy, here.

Exciting news! “How I Conquered High Cholesterol” in the media

Liz Broomfield with article on Cholesterol book
Thanks to Gill Rose for the photograph

I was interviewed by journalist Jo Willacy a few months ago and here’s the result – a lovely feature in “Healthy”, the UK’s top well-being magazine, which is stocked in Holland and Barratt health food shops. I was really chuffed to find myself in the mag, with a lovely write-up and a mention of this website (so, hello to anyone visiting after reading the article!) and the book I wrote after bringing my own cholesterol levels down myself. Excellent publicity, and I hope this will help my book to help more people in the New Year!

Let me know if you’ve spotted the article in your local Holland and Barratt shop (it’s on p. 53), and thanks to the friend who put the journalist in touch with me in the first place.

You can read more about “How I Conquered High Cholesterol Through Diet and Exercise” and find links to buy it here.