To all of you who have purchased a book, or passed along my blog to someone who has, I say a very heartfelt thank you, thank you, thank you!
As I soar past the benchmark of a 1000 books sold, I am sincerely grateful to all who have purchased a copy of Despite Lupus. I can't believe that more than a thousand copies of the book are floating around out there, hopefully being read, highlighted, and bookmarked...what a thrill for a first-time, no-name author like me!
Back when I wrote Despite Lupus, I had two goals - one short-term and one long-term:
The short-term goal was to sell my book to at least one person I didn't know. I knew my friends and family would come through for me and purchase a copy just to make my sales look good - but I figured that if at least one perfect stranger made a purchase, I would have succeeded in sharing my message. A thousand books later, I think it's fair to say that my short-term goal has been met! (Note that the day after my book came out last year, I spoke at a Lupus conference in D.C., where I sold 30 books to, you guessed it, perfect strangers. Was I on cloud nine or what?!)
My long-term goal, after that first week when I realized I was actually going to sell this thing, was to reach 1000 books sold. And I'm proud to say that earlier this month, I surpassed that goal and am now well on my way to Johnny's lofty prediction that in the years to come, I will sell ten times that amount. For that, we shall have to wait and see!
I have to admit that I never lost hope that I'd reach my goal of a thousand books. I felt the momentum building as I worked hard to market the book in the beginning, and knew that all of the preparation and effort that went into the book signings, speaking engagements, and lupus walks I participated in around the country would pay off, if I just kept at it. Not, of course, in a way that would jeopardize my health, but in way that enabled me to demonstrate to others just how mobile, healthy and fulfilled you can be, despite a life with lupus.
Most of all, I continued to believe that the message I had was worth sharing. It was and is a message of hope and courage, a message that is an integral part of a real, lupus success story: never stop believing that you can and will get better. You have to believe, heart and soul, that you have the ability to live well, despite your illness, and that you have the strength and courage to make the decisions required to do so. The steps involved may be a bit challenging, but they are not insurmountable. (Want details on how to tackle those steps? Feel free to check out chapters 1-8 of Despite Lupus, where the author tells all!)
So when a friend of mine shared the following story with me, I not only thought about how much it applied to my most recent goal of a thousand books, but more importantly, how it represents my motto for living well, despite lupus. Here's what she told me:
Her daughter (of whom we're a big fan) has been struggling for the last year with a chronic illness. While she's had very brief periods of reprieve, the disease is wreaking havoc on her body, leaving no body part (or bodily system) untouched. When my friend went into the neighborhood post office recently, the postal worker was kind enough to ask after her daughter, wanting to know if there had been any progress. My friend replied that, of course, the family continues to hope and pray. But the postal worker looked her straight in the eye, and said sternly, with a smile, "That isn't enough. You have to believe."
My hope is that she never stops believing, and that she finds her way to living well soon!!