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Rising Stars: Meet Amanda Karch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Karch.

Hi Amanda, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I have been writing my whole life and it was always my dream to be an author. I thought I was going to write novels, based on my childhood penchant to make up stories and create worlds of fictional characters, but I think the world had a different plan for me.

Poetry became a part of my life around the time I started high school and was a constant presence, despite some ebbs and flows of consistency when life became busy (especially when college came around). When the pandemic hit in 2020, I found myself with more free time than I had ever had, and after coming across an article on self-publishing one day, decided that it was the perfect time to fulfill that childhood dream. Only this time, it was going to be a poetry book.

After building an Instagram to finally put my writing out there for the first time, writing poems before and after days spent with my internship, and learning the ins and outs of interior book formatting and marketing, I self-published “Her Favorite Color Was Sunshine Yellow” in October 2020. Within that first year, I ended up selling over 200 copies, which is a crazy statistic, given that 90% of self-published authors never sell more than 100 copies.

Around the same time, I was self-publishing, I was taking a poetry class and realized how much of an impact poetry had had on my life. My confidence had grown, I wanted to share my writing in front of people, and I became more outspoken about things I believed in.

Digging a little deeper, I realized poetry had helped me find my voice — and I wasn’t alone in my story. Countless other poets were experiencing the same thing, women especially. As a strong feminist and proponent for women, I wanted to help others find this same type of tool — and that’s where my second book idea was born.

I published my debut nonfiction book “Poetic Potential: Sparking Change & Empowerment Through Poetry” through New Degree Press in December 2021 after an intensive yearlong process of writing, editing, and marketing. It is my hope to use this book to help people understand both the power of poetry as a tool for healing, empowerment, and advocacy as well as the power of female voices.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road.

I wrote both of my books while in college, so I was always balancing multiple schedules. For HFCWSY, I was working 40 hours a week and trying to find a place of sanity in a very uncertain world with the COVID pandemic. For “Poetic Potential,” I was balancing four classes, varsity athletics, and social life all at the same time.

Most of my motivation has been intrinsic (wanting to put my work out there for me and to help others), but there is a small part that is motivated by results. Sometimes, I have bad book sale months where I don’t even sell a single copy.

It’s frustrating at times, but it also makes me want to work even harder because these books hold a special place in my heart and I want more people to read them.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I write, both poetry and nonfiction.

My poetry book, “Her Favorite Color Was Sunshine Yellow,” has had the most success, making me fairly well-known on Instagram for my love poems. However, I am most proud of “Poetic Potential” and what it can lead to. My goal is to leverage it to work with nonprofits in both the writing world and the female empowerment world.

What sets me apart from others is my internal drive for success. When I have an idea, I commit myself fully to it. I have a lot of ambition and I want to be successful in all that I do. Maybe it means sacrificing other priorities at the moment, but if I truly care about something, I will always give it the time of day that it deserves.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My biggest piece of advice is to find common ground. If you share an interest, a passion, work history, or alma mater… those are the type of connections that form authentic partnerships.

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