Today we’d like to introduce you to S. C. Gray.
S. C., we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I started as a book blogger/reviewer for all major publishing companies in the country almost 8 years ago. I utilized Instagram to grow my brand and once I was in that for about a year, I started selling books online. I opened Porter Co. Book Shoppe, my indie bookstore, in 2015 as a retailer. From there, I branched out and started Porter Marketing Co, a tool for authors I worked closely with.
In 2020, I created Book Porter, a designer book sleeve line for book lovers, sold in my bookshop. In 2021, I began writing romantic comedies. Since then, I’ve published two novels, Rules for Dating a Bookshop Owner and In for the Long Haul. I am currently writing my third book titled Simple Happy, a memoir about finding happiness, which also features my first works of poetry.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ha. Smooth?!? What’s smooth look like even? Joking, but of course, it hasn’t been smooth. Any person finding success in publishing or any business retailer during Covid will tell you the hard work put in is always extensive. The hours are long. I think I worked 12-16 hours days every single day for the past two years.
Last year, I tried to focus on carrying as many Indie authors as I could because I knew from experience how hard it was to find someone to even carry my books at first. The success I’ve found in my dedication and perseverance has always paid off. When people ask for advice on finding success, I always say if you don’t look at what everyone else is doing and just find a place where you can focus on what YOU love, the success will come, even if it looks different from what you originally thought it would look like.
I’ve been in this industry for a decade and I wouldn’t change the hard work put in because it brought me to the best place. It’s also very challenging to be a present mother for my kids, all while running several businesses. Thank God for school/daycare!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a mother first and foremost, but I too am a mental health clinic supervisor. I am also an author, a bookshop owner, and the creative designer of a successful book sleeve line. I am most proud of the books I’ve written. Some readers have reached out to me saying how inspired they are by the words I’ve written. Some have said I inspired them to even make their leap and become a writer!
I took real-life experiences from a past relationship and blended them with fiction to create two novels that give insight into life as a military wife, and I’ll forever be grateful that I wrote those books. I wrote them as an outlet for myself, but it became so much more than that once they were published. They showed me a lot about my strength, as a partner and mother.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Consistency. Sticking with it!!! And, also perseverance. I’m a single mom, so owning successful businesses and being able to provide for my sons, allowing them to see that strong women exist, that’s super important to me.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_book_lover_book_club_/ AND https://www.instagram.com/portercobookshoppe/?hl=en
Ann Vestal, Jenna Elliott, and Arete Graphix