Celebrating Four Years of Waking Up With Gratitude
Four years ago today, my first book, 30 Days of Gratitude was launched. And since then, many of us have been waking up with gratitude every single day, thanks to the book. Writing and publishing a book is a dream for so many people and I want you to know that you CAN do it too! People are often curious about the story behind the book. As we celebrate four years of waking up with gratitude, I thought you might like to learn about how it all came together in less than 4 months.
Gratitude has always been a part of my business. I was first introduced to the concept back in 2007 when The Secret film was first released. That’s when I first began to write in a gratitude journal. However, the habit didn’t become permanent and a few years later, I had forgotten about the power of gratitude.
When I heard Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, speak live, he shared with us several ways to shift our mood in 21 days. What caught my attention was his suggested gratitude practice. He instructed us to write down three things we were grateful for, every night, but they had to be specific to that day and different from the day before. I immediately adopted this practice and added one twist I had learned from Bob Proctor in The Secret. I added a gratitude intention. Basically it was a goal I was trying to achieve that I was giving thanks for, in the present tense.
All of this worked really well for me and a few months later, I achieved a huge business goal that had been evading me for years before. Not long after that, we were able to purchase our first family home. It was exactly what I had asked for in my gratitude intention. I quickly realized that my gratitude practice was having a massive positive impact on my own life.
Now that I knew that my gratitude practice had worked for me, I started sharing it with others. During goal setting training with my USANA team, there was always a part about gratitude. Furthermore, I started blogging about gratitude on my personal blog. I quickly realized that these strategies could work for others as well as they had worked for me.
Two and half years after I had started my daily gratitude practice again, I had a traumatic miscarriage at home. I was 15 weeks pregnant at the time and had no idea that the cramping I was feeling was actually labour. The paramedics were called and the police broke down the door, as it was the middle of the day and I was home alone. My husband and midwife met me at the hospital, and shortly after, I had to have a D&C. My best friend was there for me in recovery. Only a few hours later we went to pick up our daughter at day care (she was 2 1/2 at the time).
That night, I wrote in my gratitude journal. Somehow I found gratitude on what was then the worst day of my life. One of the things I am most grateful for is that my daughter was not at home with me. She was not in a full-time day care program, so it was pure luck that she wasn’t home. And a few days later, I realized that if I could use my gratitude practice during this tragedy, I need to share my gratitude practice with others.
The Book Proposal and Plan
While attending a Hay House I Can Do It! event, I had been introduced to Balboa Press. Balboa Press is the self-publishing arm of Hay House, and at the time, it was the best fit for me. When I called to pay for my package (I chose the least expensive one), I shared with the agent that I wanted to have my book out by May 2013. At that time, it was early February of 2013. The agent took it all in stride and said that she would make a note of that in my file. She then asked for my manuscript. Clearly, I did not have one ready yet! I had no idea what it would take to publish a book in 4 months, which turned out to be a blessing.
I started writing almost every day for the next month. It was my therapy and my way of dealing with the loss. One book that inspired me was Leanne Jacob’s first book, 30 Days to Wealth. That’s how I finally came up with 30 Days of Gratitude, The Gratitude Program That Will Change Your Life. I worked with the outline first, knowing I wanted to have three sections and a different exercise for each day. What I had noticed is that there was a gap in the marketplace around gratitude. Many authors talked about gratitude, but no one actually showed you how to become more grateful.
The Most Important Part – Editing
In March, I started sending chapters to my sister Sophie. Thankfully, my sister is a high-school English teacher and she offered to be my editor for free. She’s an amazing editor and I’m so grateful for the gift she gave me. We went back and forth, sometimes with many revisions on a particular chapter. She was fantastic to work with and we were able to get through the book fairy quickly.
The following month, I was in Vancouver visiting Sophie and we review the book one last time before submitting it to Balboa Press. What’s really amazing is that because there was a note in my file that the book was launching in May, I had received some extra attention. The marketing department had called to offer me some help, however even they were confused because I still hadn’t submitted a manuscript. My book cover was also created in less than a week, and was almost perfect from the start. When we submitted the book to be formatted, we were told it could take 4-6 weeks.
An Unexpected Surprise!
A few weeks later I was in Chicago for another event and while I was there, I received an amazing surprise! The formatted book! It took 2 weeks instead of a month. Now I knew that I was on track for the book launch. The book still had to be listed on Amazon and other sites around the world, but I felt safe setting the launch event for May 31st, 2013.
To prepare for the book launch event, I created business cards with the date and the link to buy the book from on May 31st. Every event I went to, I would ask people if I could email them on the day of the event to remind them (should have created a list on MailChimp!!). And of course I asked all of my family and friends to purchase their copy on that day too.
Virtual Launch Day
There are many people who helped me with the virtual launch event, and one of the ideas was to have a draw every hour throughout the day to encourage people to send me their receipts. This was before I knew about lead pages or anything like that, so I just had a special email address for the book launch. I would save all of the emails as they were coming in, and I would use a random number generator to pick a winner every hour. We had many people donate products and services for the hourly draws, in exchange for promotion on Facebook. It worked really well.
The other important thing I did was to take screenshots of Amazon.ca and Amazon.com every few hours, to see how the book was climbing the charts. If you’re doing a book launch here’s a tip: choose a sub-category or two. My book is in Self Help. That’s it, no sub-categories. So I was competing in a very competitive field. Incredibly, the book did become an Amazon.ca bestseller in many different categories (this was before the best-seller badge, so I don’t have one). It was an amazing feeling at the end of the day to see how my idea had turned into a book that became a bestseller in 4 months.
Live Book Launch
After the success of the virtual launch, I followed up with a live book event a few months later. This was an event to celebrate the success of the book so far, and also to give thanks for everyone’s support. Since many people had purchased their book online, it also gave me a chance to personally sign the books. What many people don’t realize is that for a book to become a bestseller, it takes a lot of planning and coordination to encourage people to purchase on the same day, from the same site. The live event gave me a chance to connect with people who had contributed to the success of the book and the virtual launch as well. I also came across this wonderful article in the Hamilton Spectator, written by Sherry Mousavi which was published the day before the live event.
Learning From An Early Mistake
One of the mistakes I made was that I didn’t start to build an email list right away. I had sold hundreds of books, but didn’t have a way to stay in contact with the people that had purchased them directly from me. My book agent at Balboa suggested I start having a sign-up list at all of the events where I sold my book or when I was speaking. And in October 2013, I launched the Daily Gratitude emails.
For the next two years, hundreds of people received a short daily gratitude reminder in their inbox every single day (weekends included). It was the next step in my gratitude journey and another way for me encourage waking up with gratitude.
Tragedy Strikes Again
At the end of November 2014, I suffered a second traumatic miscarriage. We had not been planning to grow our family, however I got pregnant by mistake and we figured that it was meant to be. This time, I knew what was happening and went straight to the doctor. That evening, I had a second D&C and was sent home shortly after. Unfortunately, in the next few days I got very, very sick with a life-threatening bacterial infection. You can read about this story here. The biggest gift that came from almost losing my life is that when I woke up after being a in medically-induced coma for 6 days, I truly understood what it feels like to wake up with gratitude.
During the time I was in the hospital, my husband continued to upload my messages of Daily Gratitude to my list. I don’t know how he was able to it, but he knew that he had to continue to share my message for me. The messages continued while I was in the hospital (I had written several ahead of time) and only stopped once I came home. It took me a few days to be able to get back to my laptop to send out a message to my faithful gratitude tribe about what had happened.
Waking Up With Gratitude
After going through a life-threatening experience my perspective changed. I knew that I had to continue to share my message of waking up with gratitude. The Daily Gratitude reminders were great, however I wanted to offer more. So in July 2015, I made the commitment to blog every day for a year. It was a big undertaking and once again, I didn’t really know what I was doing. However that year of blogging taught me a lot about writing and when I look back at posts from the beginning versus the end of the year, there’s a lot of growth. Here’s a tip for those who are aspiring bloggers: make sure you set-up your SEO from the start and use Google Analytics properly. I am now using Yoast SEO for my blog posts (for about the last 3 months) and it’s made a huge difference in traffic.
In March of 2017, I launched my new brand Wake Up With Gratitude™. This is the next step in my gratitude journey. And it feels like it’s the right branding and timing for my message. For those who are struggling with creating a brand, rest assured, it’s not easy and it will take many attempts to get it right. I dream of a world where we all wake up with gratitude, as our world would change overnight. My current gratitude project is my weekly gratitude love letter that many of you are already receiving. The content is different from the blog, and it also gives you a summary of recent blog posts. You can sign up here and I’ll send you a gratitude meditation I recorded as a thank-you gift.
To each and every one of you who has read 30 Days of Gratitude, I thank you. To those who have been a student of the book, I thank you. And to those who have shared the message by gifting the books to others, I am forever grateful.
To purchase a copy of the book, please click on the book cover below which will take you directly to Amazon. Or, if you’d like to purchase a signed copy from me, please email me at info (at) julieboyer.com. Books are $15 CND each, $20 to ship anywhere across Canada. I am currently out of stock and am accepting pre-orders for shipment in mid-June.
Wealthylicious Burlington is BACK!: Want to learn how to create wealth? Please join me for an evening of wealth, wisdom and wellness on Tuesday June 20th at the Burlington Golf & Country Club. This event is full of great speakers who will share their expertise. Key topics include creating wealth and the power of network marketing. We’ll also cover how to diversify your income and invest in your health. http://www.wealthyliciousburlington.eventbrite.ca.
You won’t want to miss our special guest speaker, the creator of Wealthylicious and author of Beautiful Money, Leanne Jacobs.