Inspirational Tale of Friendship Is a Story of Personal Success
Through triumph and tears, Melinda Josiah Geaumont has transformed her life story into a heartwarming tale of friendship and courage. Although the characters of Becoming Auma had been shaped in her mind for years, it wasn’t until Melinda was diagnosed with Thymoma, a rare form of cancer, that she really took up the pen to pursue her dream of completing her novel. Today, Becoming Auma is catching on with audiences across the country, as Geaumont shares her story of the power of true friendship inspired by true events.
As with many self-published authors, Melinda initially explored traditional publishing for Auma, but a conversation with a literary agent introduced the idea of an alternative method of publishing. Of her decision to pursue non-traditional publishing she says, “self-publishing opened a door of opportunity that might not have existed otherwise- or if it existed, I would have had to wait much longer for that door to open. I think it’s very important to be realistic, but it seems more important to know who your audience is and whether or not you have something specific to offer them.”
When her children were young, she belonged to a mother’s club that met weekly to find support in each other. “It was at the mother’s club that I originally met my group of friends, the premise behind Auma’s friends.” It was with their help that Geaumont herself overcame the obstacles that crossed her path, and it is for them that Auma is written.
Because her book appeals to a niche audience, she has targeted specific groups of women in her marketing efforts, such as mother’s clubs, women’s organizations, Bunko groups, and book clubs. Using the Internet, she reaches out to women, just like her friends and the characters in her novel, across the nation with an unassuming letter of introduction intended to spark interest in her work. From there, positive word of mouth, aided by positive reviews, has spread like wildfire. “While sales are certainly a nice perk, I wrote this story with the hope of inspiring or touching people along the way,” she says.
This spring, Geaumont will be traveling to Georgia and Tennessee to meet and read to fans who have already been touched by her message. For now, her marketing strategy centers around capturing the attention of local print and radio outlets, and as a result, her sales and reviews are impressive. “My greatest ambition is to hear from people that the book has meant something to them… then, maybe Oprah or a movie. Isn’t that what every author wants?” She may be joking for now, but the chain reaction of Becoming Auma is one that is touching hearts across the country.
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