Chris Sumlin isn’t waiting for an invitation to step into greatness.
Dealing with This Thing Called College was released in February of this year, and has already garnered Sumlin a slew of earned media opportunities, in print and on television.
“As much as I felt excitement when I held my book for the first time, I also felt responsibility,” Sumlin explained. “I knew that this book was a charge for me to become more confident, believe in myself and try to sell my book to anyone who would listen.”
And people are listening. The book, still in the early stages of its marketing lifetime, is collecting 5-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. The reviews are littered with comments like “Excellent insights,” “I couldn’t put it down,” and “This book is phenomenal.”
Coming from a low-income background in Columbus, Ohio, Sumlin was told not to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. It was too expensive and he wouldn’t make it. But he did attend, and he not only earned his degree, but has gone on to graduate studies at Boston University. It’s important to him to share what he’s learned with other first-generation college students who might be intimidated.
“We don’t prepare students for college like we think we do. There is a lot to learn about college,” he told me. “I hope my readers will understand that I’m no different than them and that they can truly do anything they put their minds to.”
When it comes to publishing his books, Sumlin explained that he loved the opportunity to work with professional editors and production staff to improve his craft. His storytelling technique has evolved considerably from his first book to his second. “I enjoyed getting criticisms from my publisher about character development,” he said. “The critiques help me grow so much as a writer. “
Chris Sumlin’s dream is to step into a prominent role in the television industry, and he’s on the right track to make that happen. He’s already interned for both FOX and BET, and his recent TV appearances prove that he has what it takes to engage an audience. Like one of his role models, Dr. Brene Brown, he’s not afraid to be vulnerable and speak the truth.
So what happens next? According to Chris, “I hope to just keep growing, keep perfecting and getting better as a storyteller.”
In the meantime, Chris’s wisdom is on the shelf, waiting for young readers. Dealing with This Thing Called Life and Dealing with This Thing Called College are both available from major bookstores worldwide, in print and digital editions.
As we submerge ourselves in high school graduation season, Dealing with this Thing Called College is the perfect graduation gift. Your graduate will enjoy reading it, and hopefully they’ll avoid some of the (often humorous) antics Chris Sumlin wasn’t prepared for. Find it on Amazon here.