Tuesday, 28 February 2017
'Life is for the Living' - One Year On
It's been a year now since my book 'Life For The Living' was first published. Writing and publishing a book was a dream come true for me and had been something I'd always wanted to do from being a small child. I think it all stemmed from my love of books and reading. As a child I would read and read and spend my pocket money on books. I've always been a bookworm I think.
There was nothing like that feeling when the first manuscript was completed. Then followed the final redraft and editing through to designing the book cover and finally pressing that 'publish' button on Amazon. Then the boxes of newly published books arrived and I held my own book in my hands for the first time - proof that you can make a dream come true. I was actually holding my dream in my hands!
It felt a little strange to physically download a copy of my own book on my Kindle and be able to read something that I'd written myself on there. These were big 'highs' after the hard work of writing. Writing the book through to publishing it had taken me 18 months or so, endless hours of writing and note making at all times of day and night when ideas popped in my head. I'd felt both relief and euphoria to have all those thoughts and feelings that had been swirling around in complete chaos in my head, all organised and packed into a memoir at long last.
Then came the book launch event, again a little surreal, but a fantastic opportunity to celebrate both the book and the wonderful gift of organ donation with friends and family. It was also my first chance to sell hard copies of my book and raise funds for causes very close to my heart. I'd decided beforehand that I would donate any proceeds from the book to Papworth Hospital Charity, the PHAUK, Papworth PH Support Group and Papworth Transplant Social and Support Group.
A group of us were in the middle of setting up the Papworth Transplant Social and Support Group and we managed to hold a raffle and receive a couple of big donations at the event to help us on our way. I hadn't really set out to fundraise, my main aim for the book had been to raise awareness of Organ Donation and Pulmonary Hypertension, but thanks to everyone's kind generosity this was a lovely surprise.
I was thrilled to have written the book, but even more delighted as the book began to sell and I was able to make donations to the various causes I had chosen. To date I've sold over a thousand books and sales are still ongoing. The book and raising awareness of Organ Donation and Pulmonary Hypertension will always be an ongoing project.
I was lucky to be supported by Papworth Hospital and Rob and I attended several events where we were able to talk about the book and help raise awareness. My transplant team and especially my transplant surgeon also helped me to promote it - not only did he save my life but he was now helping me in my new life! Also, I've managed to accumulate over 30 plus reviews on Amazon, mostly 5 star, which has helped immensely, as Amazon promotes books for free depending on the amount of reviews. If you've read the book and are an Amazon customer and fancy writing a review, not only may it help with sales, but it may help with raising more awareness and funds.
Raising awareness of Organ Donation and Transplant to John Henry Newman Sixth Form
Papworth Transplant Annual Patients' Event
John Henry Newman's Christmas Concert, Fundraiser and Book Event for Papworth Hospital Charity
All in all it's been a brilliant year for 'Life Is For The Living' and with profits from book sales and book events we've been able to raise over £7000 plus. The book profits to date have been shared between Papworth Hospital Charity, PHAUK, Papworth PH Matters Support Group and Papworth Transplant Social and Support Group. Book event proceeds have been donated to the Papworth Transplant Social and Support Group and Papworth Hospital Charity for the Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty Project (Pulmonary Hypertension) and the DCD Heart Transplant Project (Transplant).
I would like to say a massive thanks to every single one of you who have purchased and read my book and have helped spread the word about it or supported any of the book events, which has enabled this to happen.
Here's to another successful year of raising more awareness!