How Charlotte Reed turned ill health into a dream publishing deal!

We love inspiring stories, and few are more inspirational than that of author Charlotte Reed, who turned her battle with ill health into a much-loved book, with celebrity fans and dream publishing deal!

Last year, Debbie Thomas explained why her struggle with arthritis had actually ended up helping her make the decision to change career and become a copywriter.

The article also featured author and illustrator Charlotte Reed as they’d shared similar experiences in some respects. Charlotte’s significant health problems had inspired her to follow her dream and turn her popular ‘Thought of the day’ drawings and messages she’d been creating for her Facebook page into a self-published book May the Thoughts be with You.

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We had a fantastic response to the first article, and Debbie thought you might like to know the next part of the story for Charlotte.

Charlotte got a publishing deal!

I’m not going to call this article a happy ending for Charlotte, because it’s certainly not an ending. In fact it’s probably more of a beginning if anything.

By the time Charlotte’s self-published book had been out for 11 months in January 2014, Charlotte was continuing to run her Portobello Market stall and had sold nearly 2,000 copies. One day she received an email from a lady who’d bought the book. She’d loved it and had shown it to her friend, highly successful entrepreneur and business author Shaa Wasmund. Shaa thought the book was fantastic. She also thought a lot of other people would too.

She got in touch with Charlotte and offered to set up a meeting with global publisher Hay House. And a month later – on Charlotte’s 36th birthday – she was offered a publishing deal.

Charlotte knew what a life-changing opportunity this was. Hay House understood how much running the stall meant to Charlotte and were very supportive of her continuing to do that. Even while they prepared for publication, the sales figures of the self-published version kept on rising. That alone is an incredible achievement.

But it gets even better than that.

Celebrities loved the book too

Australian singer, songwriter and actress Natalie Imbruglia was given a copy of the book as a gift. She visited Charlotte’s stall as she’d decided she wanted to buy some copies for her friends. Those friends included Kylie Minogue and David Walliams.

Natalie was so moved by the book she was happy to agree to write an endorsement for the first page. As was author Rachel Kelly. And Charlotte now has David as a follower on Twitter.

Hay House published their edition of the book last November in the UK, US, Canada and South Korea. Since then, Charlotte’s  appeared on television promoting the book and sales continue to rise – to date, she’s sold 6,000 copies. That doesn’t include the sales through Hay House (she’ll know that figure later in the year).

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So what’s next for Charlotte?

Today Charlotte continues to run her Portobello stall, and is still enjoying creating new thoughts on her Facebook page. She is also frequently commissioned to do original drawings for people and is kept busy with orders on her online shop. And there’s even been talk of an animated TV series with a Hollywood studio. So watch this space!

The book’s success in itself would be enough for lots of people. But for Charlotte the real dream is that the book reaches as many people as it can to inspire them to think more positively about their own lives. As she says:

“The success of the book is amazing and it’s been an incredible 12 months. But the really wonderful thing is seeing how much the book means to people and hearing about how they’ve taken inspiration from it.

I’ve been through difficult dark times and I’ve come out the other side. Knowing my book is playing a part in helping other people when they need some support is a wonderful and humbling feeling.”

Debbie Thomas runs Grangewood Copywriting and is based in Flintshire, north Wales, close to Chester and Wrexham. For more information or to contact Debbie visit her website