Updated: Apr 19, 2022
I want to shine a bit of a spotlight on one of my clients. Her name is Tahiya Cooper.
Tahiya is a third grade teacher in North East, Maryland and has been an educator for 9 years. In 2019, she was nominated “teacher of the year” at North East Elementary School. After starting a kindness club at her school in 2018, she was inspired to write her first children’s book, “Kindness Week.” She self-published, and her book recently hit its 1,000th sale on Amazon.
I have had the honor to be a small part of Tahiya’s journey as her book coach and am so excited to currently be partnering with her as she self-publishes her second children’s book.
Since “Kindness Week” published on January 4th, 2022, Tahiya has been honored as a Bookfest Spring Award Winner and featured in Kidliomag, local 6ABC Action News “Be Kind” Series and Cecil Whig newspaper. She has also established brand partnerships with Kind Cotton, Bearapy and Lit for Black Kids. Additionally, she was the Featured Author for Children’s Book Festival in June with the Cecil County North East Branch Library.
Did you catch the part where she was a full-time educator AND published this book just three months ago?
In the brief time that I’ve met and worked with Tahiya, she has accomplished things it takes many authors years to accomplish.
And, I feel completely comfortable saying this because none of it has anything to do with my support. I’ve simply had the privilege of bearing witness to this powerhouse of a teacher and author.
Keys to Tahiya’s Impact
What are the keys (from my vantage point) that have led to Tahiya’s impact?
One of the areas that’s important for authors to remember is that the book itself is only one piece of the puzzle. Can you simply write a book, self-publish on Amazon and keep moving?
Yes, of course.
But, this depends on your goals. I am a complete broken record when it comes to setting a purpose or intention with your book or writing project… but, I believe I have good reason so I thank you for bearing with me.
If you have goals related to book sales or audience reach or impact, those are important factors to think about. While we don’t have control over anything external to our own actions, there are things we can do to lay the groundwork.
Tahiya has done just that.
From the very beginning, before her book was even completed, Tahiya was keeping the end in mind.
Three components that I have observed:
1. Her prioritization of organization. Tahiya set a plan from the very beginning. She looked at her book publication as the business that it is. She keeps spreadsheets of media outreach, bookstore contacts and library author readings. She now has brand partnerships to manage and Q&As to prep for. She uses an organization system that works for her to keep track of sales, marketing, and all of her connections.
2. Her understanding that Kindness Week could be more than a book. She could create an entire ecosystem around it. Tahiya didn’t “just” write a book (not that “just” writing a book is any small undertaking, by the way). She has a bigger goal in mind. She wants to spread kindness and create cultures of kindness for students around the globe. With this bigger vision for impact, she could look at the book as one tool to help her achieve her bigger intention. She created an author website. She created Kindness Kits. She created lesson plans and resources. She believes Kindness Week is bigger than one book and, thus, her actions are bigger than the book itself.
3. Her understanding that her visibility means the book’s visibility. And her willingness to put herself out there even if it is a bit outside of her comfort zone. Since the book’s launch, Tahiya has done interviews, been featured in articles, done Instagram live Q&As, hosted Author Meet + Greets and more. She is building bridges, making connections and leveraging the book as a tool for even greater impact.
I am honored to be Tahiya’s book coach and have learned so much from her throughout our partnership together.
Of course, I hope Tahiya’s journey has inspired you, as it has inspired me.
As always, though, remember: Your journey is your journey. Your goals are your goals. Your success is measured by comparing your yesterday to your today.
And, along the way, it never hurts to simply be kind.
Links to Check Out Tahiya Cooper's Work
All images on this page courtesy of Tahiya's Instagram: @hangingwithms.cooper
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