The Book Publishing Journey

      I had 90% of 'This is My Story" written before having any idea as to how I was going to publish the book in the timing that God had said. As we approached August 2017 my mom told me we should be praying for God to show us the next steps. I was completely clueless and since my mom hadn't published a book she had no ground on how to help me. 
    I began asking God what to do and prayed that He would open doors for this book.
    One night at the dinner table, my mom said, "Serena, this ad popped up on my facebook something about how to publish your story... I forgot to tag you in it... I thought it was crazy since we had just talked about it the other day..." as she began scrolling search on Facebook she learned it had vanished. "If it's God's plan, He will bring it back!"She added. 
    The very next day it came back on her page and she tagged me in it, sure enough, it was a webinar from a Christian author in Columbus, Ohio, that was titled "How to publish your story!" I thought it was funny because of the title God had given me for my book. I signed up for the webinar and figured I'd give it a listen and see what He had to say. 
    That morning I got my coffee, took care of my dog Tobias, and put myself in my bedroom with a journal by my laptop. 
    Through the Webinar, Kary Oberbrunner explained the difference between going the route of Traditional Publishing Vs. Self-Publishing. He gave us a chart that showed the advantages and disadvantages of each. Of course, I felt the need to do Self- Publishing but the downside was I had absolutely no clue what to do, how to do it, and where in the world to start. 
    Kary then talked about Author Academy Elite which is basically self-publishing with him as your coach. You pay a tuition, and that tuition covers some of your book costs. Through AAE you have access to a coaching call twice a week with Kary where He answers your questions and helps you where you need it, you also gain access to the private Facebook group which has hundreds of other Authors from around the world who support you and can usually help answer questions as well. There's more info about AAE that I am leaving out but you can learn about when you check out the webinar!
    After watching the Webinar Kary mentioned how you could Apply for AAE but that they'd only take 25 people at a time, and there were several people on the webinar. I believed it sounded perfect for what I needed to do so I decided to wing it and apply online. 
    The application said if you didn't hear back by Septmber1st then the spots had been filled and to try again next time. A few weeks went by and it was now September 2nd and I had not been accepted. 

    I am a night owl and because of that I was awake around 2 am, God spoke to me and told me to go back and reapply for AAE. I thought it was absolutely silly because I hadn't been accepted and it was too late. He said it again so obediently I went online and went to reapply when I opened up the browser I noticed my application didn't fully submit, something glitched up and deleted some important things that stopped it from sending. I was so bummed that I had missed it, but God reminded me once again that He told me to RE-apply. I didn't understand why, but I re-filled in the answers and sent it in around 2:30 in the morning, September 2nd.
    THE NEXT MORNING, I got an email that I had been accepted for AAE and they wanted to do a phone interview. On the phone, they shared with me that someone had dropped out last minute and when they opened up the applications that morning my application was right on top!! I laughed, knowing it was totally God's plan for me to do AAE. 
    Considering I was still 17, about to turn 18 on September 24th, they had to have my mom co-sign with me to join. I was absolutely thrilled, Kary believed in my book, in me, and I became the youngest author of AAE! 

    I was so blessed to have Author Academy Elite, Kary Oberbrunner, and the other authors on the Tribe facebook group. They were there when I needed help, which was very often. When I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and afraid I was going to mess something up, all I had to do was reach out and someone would get me the help or answers I needed. 
    The publishing journey took longer than I thought it would because each step forward was a brand new adventure which I had to learn as I went along. Part of what slowed me down was the fear I had of failing, which I actually address in one of my blogs. (Successfully Breaking Fear of Failing)
    There were many times I should have and could have reached out and AAE would have helped, which would have sped the process along, but sometimes I felt like my questions were silly, and other times I was procrastinating. 
    I ended up publishing the soft cover of This is My Story, October 13th, 2017. It was a month after I turned 19, but I did all of the publishing work while I was 18, therefore, the book fulfilled the word and promise God had given me. 

    The publishing process is still not over, my book is on Amazon, Kindle, and my website, but I have not completed the entire process which it will be eventually in Hardcover, and audiobook as well. I also have yet to work towards marketing it and getting it into bookstores, but if you read my first two blogs you'll understand why the process was delayed 6 months. 
    I still have more to do, but I am taking it day by day and step by step. I am not allowing myself to be overwhelmed with the process that is entirely new to me still. I trust God fully to open the doors that need to be opened for "This is My Story" and to help me complete the publishing journey... 
    Well... that is... until the next book comes along! 

  If you'd like to learn more about Author Academy Elite, please check out the webinar using my link below:
    If before or after checking out the webinar you'd like to apply for Author Academy Elite, please use my name as who recommended you! 
    If you have any questions regarding how I published or how much AAE helped me, that I didn't cover, please contact me and ask away! I'd love to help you out!

   If I am being honest, when you use my links rather then using google or another source, you actually help me to partially fund my book journey and my website! I appreciate it!

-Serena Brooke