Unofficial Poll

“FAT: A Life Unfiltered” has been available for just over two weeks now. Sales have been going well, especially considering that I’m a first-time author. But I must admit that I’m surprised there haven’t been more sales considering the level of “buzz” I heard prior to the book becoming available.

I’m also aware that talking about “weight” and especially being “overweight” is a delicate subject. Most of us have become culturally acclimated to discussions of weight being a taboo subject. And of course, sensitivity is needed because if you’ve read the book, you may recall that those of us who have battled weight most of our lives already battle low self-esteem.

I’ve heard from more than one person that the title of the book or perhaps even the book itself could be offensive. Someone asked my advice on how to give the book to someone they love who struggles with weight, and I must admit, I didn’t have an easy answer. Why?

Like most difficult subjects, how we approach a person is largely based on the level of safety and comfortableness in our relationship with them. If it’s someone we love and know very well, we likely have a sense of how they would respond to a book with the word “FAT” in the title. I can’t tell someone “say this, but don’t say that,” because every relationship is unique.

That being said, I also need to earn a living, and so I’ve been considering whether I should re-title and re-brand the book. This would not be an easy thing to do, for many reasons, but if the title is turning off buyers or causing fear of offense, it’s something I would seriously consider. While I continue to believe that reading the back cover should put to rest any feelings of offense for most people (there will always be some people who simply cannot be approached about the subject of weight), I’m worried about the book not making it into the hands of those who may need it the most.

So, this is my unofficial poll. What say you? Does the title turn you off? Are you afraid to give the book to someone you love because of the title? Do you have suggestions for a better title?

I’d love to hear your opinion. Please leave your comments below, or, if you’d rather communicate privately, send me an email at info@hopefortheheavy.com.

Thanks for responding.

13 thoughts on “Unofficial Poll

  1. I like the title but I am someone who uses the word Fat to describe my weight in the past and find liberation in that honesty. I think it is provocative and truthful at the same time. Sadly, selling books is hard. I am through chapter 5 and enjoying the book, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debra! I really appreciate your feedback since you are also a writer and communications/marketing person. I’m trying to liberate the word “fat” myself, too, but it’s definitely a tough word for some…likely because it’s been hurled at them negatively by mean people. I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. I’d love to hear your honest assessment once you’ve finished. I’m always interested in improving my writing and value your expertise.

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  2. I wonder if a little mystery might help, like changing the title to something like “The Other F-word.” I also have heard folks in the past refer to heavier folks as husky. “Living the Husky Life” or something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gail! I like “The Other F-Word.” That’s a great possibility if I carry forward with the change (and will earn you a spot on the acknowledgments page if it happens!! LOL.) I’d love to hear your thoughts about the book after you finish it. I’m always interested in improving my writing, and hearing feedback from English experts such as yourself would be much appreciated!

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  3. I think the title is perfect. It gets your attention. If you read the title and are interested you will read the cover, front and back, and you will see the title is not meant to humiliate anyone. I think gifting anything is hard, you have to know someone extremely well to give them a personal gift. I think if you are questioning yourself about giving it to someone as a gift then you shouldn’t, you obviously don’t know them well enough, or you know they may feel threatened or unsupported by you/your gift, or perhaps you have an ulterior motive you aren’t truly admitting. Jon, share your book with Oprah and with others who can relate to it. It will sell itself once it finds the target audience. I can’t wait to get my signed copy of your book when you come to Michigan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Frances! I appreciate your words very much, and they definitely ring true. Oprah is on my list! LOL. I’m going to start with some of my contacts at the Today Show, though, and see if I can get any traction there. I look forward to seeing you in person when I make it to Michigan. I’m trying to arrange some events there in mid-January, so I’ll let you know if it all comes together! Happy Holidays!

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  4. I like the response that said The other F word. I personally don’t mind the title and yes myself and my spouse are both Fat, or overweight or whatever you want to call it. If you believe you will get more sales by changing the title then go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Nora! Blessings to both you and Andy!

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  5. I think the way you have it now is fine, at least with me. “The Other F Word” is a good title too. At the same time it seems like the current title goes along with the content and intent of the book. I am reading through it. I think I am in chapter three. Some may not care to deal with the subject, but I think that feeling would go deeper than just the title.

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    1. Thanks, Paul. It’s very helpful to hear your perspective. I’m especially glad to hear that you feel the title goes along with what you have read so far. I hope the rest of the book is an enjoyable/thought-provoking read for you, too. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  6. I am enjoying the book. I am no longer fat and I can empathize with some of the stories .I am not sure I would have been attracted to it while I was still struggling to accept that I was fat and needed to change my lifestyle. I think The Other F word is a great title. I think it could be tricky buying the book for someone else if they haven’t already confronted their own eating issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Carol. I’m realizing that perhaps this is a book that likely wouldn’t work well as a gift in many relationships. It’s difficult to convey what a book is about and what it’s like from a few words on the front, but that’s why the title is so important. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. Changing the title is far from easy and would require a lot of time and work, so maybe I’ll just continue to think about how to improve my branding and marketing and work toward finding the most receptive audience. Thanks again for offering your perceptions; very helpful as I think about what to do next. Happy holidays!

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  7. Hi Jon! Just read comments! I usually describe the book as not being the typical food and exercise or pills book when sharing or Selling and describe its emphasis plus some personal testimony. I think title featured more abundantly “HOPE FOR THE HEAVY ”
    Would be good as it presses the word”Hope”! I am not comfortable with the other “F” word title though think it might be sellable on a retail book rack but suggests backthought of the sexual word even though I understand it’s use is less offensive and common among today’s generation than it was mine! 👀👏

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