Tom Smith, Author of “The Unique Grief of Suicide,” featured in Author Solutions’ Real Authors, Real Impact Campaign

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Smith self-published a book with iUniverse after the death of his daughter.

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The grief following her death was unique and intense and raised unanswerable questions that haunt those of us who lose a loved one to suicide.

Author Solutions, LLC, a Penguin Random House company and the world leader in supported self-publishing services, is highlighting iUniverse author Tom Smith in its Real Authors, Real Impact campaign.

Tom Smith’s daughter died by suicide, and he has dedicated his life to helping others by telling his daughter’s story. Karla Smith was diagnosed with depression during her sophomore year of college. Soon after, the manic side of the illness surfaced, and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, an illness that affects nearly six million adults in the United States. After a seven-year battle with depression and bipolar disorder, in January 2003, Smith’s daughter took her own life at the age of twenty-six.

“The grief following her death was unique and intense and raised unanswerable questions that haunt those of us who lose a loved one to suicide,” Smith said. “I came to realize that many other people also experience the grief of suicide. There are many more suicides than I had originally thought.”

The National Institute of Mental Illness reports that as many as one in five bipolar disorder patients die by suicide.

The journey of coping with the loss of his daughter prompted Smith to focus his writing on mental illness and suicide. Smith wanted to write about his experience with his daughter and the tough path he walked from sorrow to a new life.

“My hope is that readers will find encouragement, support and strength as they try to cope with the loss of a loved one to suicide,” said Smith. “By sharing my story, readers will be able to experience their ongoing grief in a way that does not interfere with other events and feelings in life. My hope is that readers come to know that their life is not ruined forever and that joy can return.”

Two years after Karla’s death, the Smith family formed the Karla Smith Foundation in her memory. Their mission is to provide hope and resources for families and friends of anyone with a mental illness and for those who have lost loved ones to suicide. Along with other programs, the Smith family offers support groups and holds speaking engagements to deliver the message of the foundation.

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to self-publish my work with iUniverse,” said Smith. “I was able to have a wonderful finished product to provide to our support group during this time of healing. I have been able to successfully share Karla’s story and help change lives with my self-published book.”

More information about the Karla Smith Foundation can be found at To learn more about Real Authors, Real Impact, please visit Follow @authorsolutions on Twitter, and “Like” us on for the latest self-publishing news; visit for more information on our supported self-publishing services.


About Author Solutions, LLC:
Author Solutions, LLC, is a Penguin Random House company and the world leader in providing supported self-publishing services. Author Solutions’s leading self-publishing imprints—AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Palibrio, Trafford Publishing and Xlibris—have helped nearly 180,000 authors self-publish, promote, and bring to market more than 225,000 new titles. Through strategic alliances with leading trade publishers, Author Solutions is making it possible to develop new literary talent efficiently and to provide authors with a platform for bringing their books to market. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, Author Solutions’s global reach includes imprints developed specifically for authors in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Singapore and India. For more information, please visit Follow @authorsolutions on Twitter and “Like” us on for the latest self-publishing news.

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Kevin A. Gray
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