After the death of my spouse, I decided to write a book, and tell the story of my grief journey.
When I wrote SURVIVING: Finding Your Way from Grief to Healing, someone told me that the majority of self-published books don’t even sell 100 copies in their lifetime. I refused to accept that.
I did some research, and found that the only way a book would successfully sell was to market it. I couldn’t afford to hire someone to do that for me, so I decided to do it myself. I got a free copy of 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan from my publisher, BookLocker.com.
At first, I thought it might be too much work and I wasn’t sure if I was willing, or able, to take it all on. But, it was important to me for my book to get into the hands of grieving people that needed it. So, I started to follow what the book suggested I do.
I set up a Facebook business page called, SURVIVING GRIEF, and started a monthly blog. In the first few months, I had over 500 followers. I started to create marketing posts about my book and people started to buy it. Since they liked the monthly blogs, I started to do them weekly. I suddenly had over 1,000 followers and book sales increased. I then started doing a daily blog, and currently have over 210,000 followers. And, I’ve sold thousands of copies of my book!
I started facilitating grief support groups and that gave me the idea to document my experiences in a second book, GRIEF: Hope in the Aftermath. I created a Twitter and Instagram account, and started marketing both books. Again, book sales increased.
My daily blogs were generating so much interest I wrote a third book, SURVIVING GRIEF: 365 Days A Year which is a daily companion where the reader reads a page about grief and loss for each day of the calendar year. I released the book at the end of the year, and marketed it as “the perfect book to start off the new year.” It sold hundreds of copies in the first two months.
I speak publicly at health and wellness centers, libraries, churches, funeral homes, senior centers, and assisted living facilities. At the events, I bring my books, and sell autographed copies to the audience at the end of the events.
I bring my books to local bookstores where they sell them on the “Local Author” shelf, and send me a check each month for any books sold. They also invite me to do book signings in the stores. At those signings, I pass out my business cards to let people know about my online pages and events.
I contacted the local television station in my area, and asked them if they would be interested in doing a program on grief and loss. They agreed, and allowed me to discuss my books. They even invited me back to do three more segments, one of which won the station an award for “Best Informational Program,” which greatly increased my book sales.
I’m not saying any of this was easy. It took a lot of work. But, it was worth it! I’ve sold thousands of copies of my books and that allowed me to quit my full-time job. I see my books now as my calling cards for all the other things I do, like online grief coaching, speaking at conventions on grief and loss, and creating my own business to help those that are grieving the loss of a loved one.
I took the advice I was given when I published my first book and I put the work in to market it, which paid off more than I ever imagined. Best of all, I proved that person wrong who said I wouldn’t sell 100 copies!
- BookLocker Was My Gateway For Landing A Traditional Contract WITH an Advance! – By Michael Brian Murphy
- The Cold, Hard, Ugly Facts about Traditional Publishing…and Why You Might Want to Avoid It Altogether
- 7 BENEFITS of Self-Publishing! (And, reasons you may want to avoid the traditional route)
- “Should I Self-Publish or Hold Out for a Traditional Contract?”
- Can Self-Published Authors Land Traditional Contracts? Heck, Yeah!
Gary Sturgis survived the greatest loss of his life and now works as a Grief Specialist, Bereavement Facilitator and Speaker, guiding and supporting others in their struggle with grief. He finds it an honor to help those that are grieving a loss navigate their way through the maze of grief in a very personal and meaningful way. He lives by the ocean in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Contact Gary directly RIGHT HERE.
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