Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nuts about Shea Butter by Lisa Maliga

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In NUTS ABOUT SHEA BUTTER the reader will discover shea butter's benefits, its numerous applications, and how to get optimal use from this healthy and natural nut fat. Learn about the differences between East African and West African shea butter. What is the right kind of shea butter for your needs? Various types of shea butter and shea oil are described in this cutting edge e-book.

Used in African countries for centuries, shea butter has been an ingredient in medicines for the preparation of skin ointments, and to treat inflammation, sunburn, chapping, rashes and more. Written for the consumer and the bath & body products crafter, NUTS ABOUT SHEA BUTTER contains fascinating facts and effective explanations. Shea butter is an ancient African beauty secret that is becoming more popular everywhere.
The author has worked with shea butter for more than a decade and named her company after this star ingredient.

This $1.99 E-Book also includes information on reliable sources for buying shea butter.

Lisa Maliga has written two books about bath & body products: MONOI DE TAHITI: SPA IN A BOTTLE and NUTS ABOUT SHEA BUTTER. She has been handcrafting soap since 1997 and has created her own unique line of bath & body products including whipped shea butter and natural lip balms after "discovering" the numerous uses for shea butter. She has also published four novels and a collection of short stories.

What will readers like about your book?
It depends on if they actually want to make their own bath & body products and need more information about shea butter as an ingredient. Or if a person has heard about shea butter and is curious about its origins, applications and how versatile it is for skin and hair care. 

Why did you self publish?
I've dealt with a few e-book publishers over the years for my nonfiction titles and was very disappointed with the results. While there were sales of the e-books, I was getting far too many requests for print copies as this was back in 2001. The owners of a now-defunct e-book site tried to make print copies of my soapmaking and bath & body products books. Unfortunately, they didn't use a POD source and slapped the books together so they resembled pamphlets with a stapled binding. The larger book didn't even close properly because it was too bulky to be stapled.

The owner of another company agreed to format my soapmaking e-book and take the pictures after I sent him hundreds of dollars worth of products. He claimed he had a professional quality digital camera, something I didn't have at the time. The resulting pictures showed odd objects that could have been planets or toys; I wasn’t quite sure. Both companies were run by individuals who had little knowledge of books and publishing in general.
I have a clear vision of what I want to achieve for every book I write, whether it's fiction or nonfiction. Concerning crafting books, I have the experience with making the products, along with my writing, photography and graphics skills to put together books the way I see them.

What is your writing process?
Nonfiction relies on a lot of research, interviews and the writing process naturally flows from all the information I've obtained.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
If it's a short work of nonfiction that will take me about a month. Fiction takes me several months.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
Seeing a sign on a pack of granola bars that read, in part, "…may contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts." I thought of how shea comes from a tree nut and how I should just write a book called Nuts About Shea Butter.


Back in 1999 I first read about shea butter as a soap additive. It sounded like something I wanted to try so I bought a small amount of refined shea butter from a local bath & body products supplier. I wasn't sure of the difference between refined and unrefined shea butter, I just knew that when I added a small amount to my soap the lather felt richer and creamier. It also made my skin feel softer when I used it after washing my hands. Nice stuff, I thought. Now, how about that unrefined shea butter?

Soon I discovered a mother/daughter team on a soap making group who had unrefined shea butter for sale. The mother agreed to send me a sample, even though I offered to drive to her home to pick it up in order to save on postage. She had no website or shopping cart and just sent me a small disc of a brownish colored substance that was on the hard side. If this was unrefined, I thought, I'm sticking with refined. 
As more online soap and bath & body products suppliers came into being, I kept buying small amounts of various types of shea butter. Some were rich and creamy, others resembled cow patties. Shea butter came in different colors from white to cream to beige to tan to greenish brown. Later, I'd learn more about the shea varieties and the regions from which this African nut butter originated. I experimented with making whipped shea butter and lip balms and body balms. I spent two years perfecting my whipped shea butter recipe. Shea butter was added to all my soaps. In the spring of 2003 I named my company after it: Everything Shea. I equally loved soap crafting and merged that with my love of shea butter as an additive or the main ingredient.
The popularity of shea butter has increased greatly since 2003. Back then I wasn't able to walk into a discount store and find it. Now I can. It can be found in drug stores, discount stores, supermarkets, beauty supply shops and department stores. Some of it is genuine, some of it is mixed with a host of other ingredients, and some of it contains shea butter in tiny quantities

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