Our author of the month Karen Cumming on which book marketing efforts led to the best results of her guide on navigating Ontario’s long-term care system
Karen Cumming and Patricia Milne are sisters who guided their 98-year-old mother, Verna, through Ontario’s long-term care system. They found themselves lost in a confusing maze of paperwork, equipment rentals, health care workers and medication. It was scary and unfamiliar territory where they felt alone. After navigating Ontario’s long-term care system, they wrote and published The Indispensable Survival Guide to Ontario’s Long-Term Care System.
Cumming and Milne have been featured on the CBC, Global News Radio and in the Hamilton Spectator. They have been interviewed on multiple podcasts as well as by influencers and bloggers on various social media platforms. In addition to online retailers, their book is available to purchase at various brick and mortar bookstores and over 100 copies of the book are available in libraries across Ontario. The sisters’ marketing efforts are paying off. Their book has sold thousands of copies this year alone and they are just getting started. Read the rest of the article to hear which marketing efforts yielded the best results as well as their advice to authors.
1. Tell us about yourselves.
Karen: I’m a freelance journalist, health promoter and teacher with a long career in radio and TV news.
Pat: I am a retired teacher living in southern Ontario with my husband.
2. What inspired you to write your book?
Karen: The lack of guidance available to families whose elderly loved ones are heading into long-term care. It’s crazy! Someone had to do something.
Pat: The frustration of navigating the long-term care (LTC) system with inadequate help.
3. Describe your book in a sentence.
Karen: It’s the survival guide we never had, providing practical tips to help you and your family be proactive and prepared for the decisions that may lie ahead.
Pat: Our book is a tool to simplify the process of investigating long-term care in Ontario.
4. What are you most proud of about your book?
Karen: The lessons we’ve been able to pass on to other families so that they might never feel the stress and frustration that we did.
Pat: Our intent was to help people. The testimonials we continue to receive are proof of our success.
5. Your book has been selling really well. You’ve been featured in major media outlets across Canada and have your book stocked in numerous bookstores and libraries. Tell us about how well your book has been doing.
Karen: When we first started putting the book together, a friend of mine who is an editor told us that it had to be “Wow!” and that everyone who read it had to tell their friends about it. I think it’s fair to say we’ve hit both of those nails on the head.
In addition to being available online, our book is now on shelves in twelve Indigo and Chapters locations in southern Ontario. At last count, it was available in the library systems of more than 25 cities in the province and three colleges. It has now inspired a weekly newsletter called “The Long-Term Care Report”.
Pat: The success and number of these placements is the direct result of the neverending efforts of my sister, Karen, toward that end.
6. Which marketing activities have proven most effective in selling your book?