No One Pays Attention to Defeated Author at His Own Book Launch – Little Did He Know a Stranger Was About to Change His Life Overnight
Popular social media platform TikTok isn’t all dances and comedy skits. As we have documented here before, audiences on TikTok are capable of rallying together in impactful and positive ways to change the lives of others.
One such story involves an obscure author, Shawn Warner. When video of Warner at a book launch was shared to TikTok, he had no idea what would follow, and how his life would change.
A random passerby thought that Warner looked defeated at the book signing, where many were walking past the budding author, paying him little attention.
Why an Author Looked “Defeated” at His Book Launch
In a video, shared above, Warner sits behind a small table, with copies of his most recent book spread out in front of him. The TikTok user who engaged with Shawn wrote, “I was just shopping when I noticed this man trying to promote his new book. I honestly don’t even read books nowadays. But something just told me to get a couple.” He also noticed that the author seemed “defeated” and knew he could use a little encouragement.
He told Warner that he makes TikTok videos, and that he would buy the book and share it to his page. “OK, I won’t say no,” Warner laughed, not thinking much of the exchange.
However the video soon blew up. After accumulating more than 5 million views, Warner’s book was catapulted to success, entering the bestseller list on Amazon.
The video marks a long path for the budding author, who has had a love for writing almost his whole life. He wrote his first adventure story when he was just four years old. However, once his two children entered university, he decided to dedicate his attention to writing full-time.
He published his first complete novel, Leigh Howard and the Ghosts of Simmons-Pierce Manor, in November last year. “It’s about a teenage girl who teams up with a ghost with multiple personalities to solve the mystery of her parents murder,” he explained.
Just six months after publishing the book, it became a huge success thanks to the help of users on TikTok, who rallied behind Warner. He was justifiably in shock.
“The love and the kindness on the video is totally unexpected,” he responded in his own TikTok video. “You’d think as a writer I’d have words for it, but I don’t,” he added.
“I’m in shock. I don’t even know what to say about it at the moment. I’m trying to wrap my head around it.”
How One Man Proved the Importance of Perseverance
Embracing the platform, he now posts to an account titled “shawnwwrites” where he promotes his work and engages with his newfound audience. He admits that there was a “lull in sales” before the video, and that the reaction to the initial TikTok changed the entire trajectory of his career.
More important than financial success, however, has been the encouragement and support he feels from strangers all over the globe. Warner admitted that, growing up, people had always told him he could never make money from writing — and he unfortunately believed them. Now, he is proving them all wrong and doing what he loves.
Sadly, this story is all too common — one of children with big dreams being discouraged. For anyone, a little support goes a long way, and at some point we all need to be told to pursue our passions, and that it really is possible to do what we love.
It is remarkable to think about how many people like Shawn are out there pursuing their own dreams, whatever they may be, and how serendipitously success can find us. Platforms like TikTok, and the internet as a whole, enable a newfound scale of discoverability — and showcase stories like this to unfold for all to see.
While not everyone goes viral on the platform and becomes an overnight success, the abundance of stories such as this one can still encourage those watching to persevere.
The outpouring of support has no doubt confirmed to Shawn that he is on the right path, and might encourage another young dreamer somewhere in the world to pursue their own passion. The importance of this type of encouragement cannot be understated, and truly has a ripple effect.
Let Shawn Warner, and his perseverance, be a reminder to us all of how important it is to believe in both ourselves and in others.
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