One year. That is a long time. Often I want to rush through life looking forward to the next best thing, but with Came to Believe, A Journey of Trust, Faith and Perseverance, I took my time. I embraced each moment: Each positive review, each email I received about the book and every share about my memoir on social media. I published my spiritual memoir on September 28th, 2017. It was a three-year journey. Well, honestly it was a 41-year journey. 41 years of my life went into those authentic words written. I always knew I wanted to be a published author. I began writing Came to Believe in January 2015. I didn't hire a writing or book coach. I didn't have the money. All I knew, I learned from The Hay House Writer's Coursethat was gifted to me. I had a tight budget. Everything was planned out in the most methodical and sensitive way. I bought poster board and hung them all over my closet doors to outline my book. I didn't want to miss any beautiful detail of my life. Some days I wrote one page. Some days I wrote a few chapters. At one time I took three months off from writing. I finished writing the book in April of 2017. I went down to my local printing shop and had it all printed out. When I held the pages against my chest for the first time I cried. I did it! My dream came true!
I hired a friend of mine to take the book cover photo at the exact location of my spiritual awakening on 9/2/2014 where I broke my ankle in three spots in Malibu with my Mom. It was symbolic to me. A full circle moment. Another friend designed the book cover at a beyond fair rate. For her, it was more important to support me than make a ton of money. I hired an editor that was a referral from a friend of mine. She was very affordable and only edited for grammar and spelling. I formatted the book myself in Pages for Mac to send off to Create Space, that cost me $0 and only my time and attention to detail. The whole process I spent $950.
When the final printed book came in the mail, I can't even describe how I felt. I think I said something like, "omg, I fucking did it!" I jumped on Create Space and gave the okay to print copies; it was live, ready to purchase on Amazon. My words. My heart. My vulnerability for all eyes to see. There was no going back.
Then I got busy on social media sharing my sweet little book to the masses announcing it to all those who supported me, "It's ready! Go buy it!" I think the first day I sold 60 copies. Not New York Best Seller status, but it was a best seller in my soul. I did hit #7 on the Kindle Top Seller list in the angel's category. So many people posted and shared about Came to Believe. For those who did, a big thank you. This helps independent authors in a considerable way. I even did quite a few radio shows and podcasts. People wrote blogs about Came to Believe! I was moved.
The miracle of it all? When I handed my Mom a printed copy of my book. She was so proud of me. I didn't let her read it before I published it, but she read it as soon as she got it. It opened up an honest dialogue between us about her alcoholism and my being a survivor of incest. She made amends to me for the first time. It was a beautiful miracle.
See that picture below? That's me! I had a book signing line! People actually showed up and asked me to sign their books at my book launch party. Friends drove from Vegas, Palm Springs, and San Diego to my spiritual church, The Awareness Center, a sweet little Kundalini Yoga studio in Pasadena who hosted my big day! Some people came who I never met, but we knew each other from social media. The room was packed! The only one missing was my mom. This was the most disappointing. She had contracted shingles three days before and was unable to come, even though she packed her suitcase anyway. That last sentence made me cry. She wanted to be there for her baby girl so much. We face-timed her during the event so she could see me and everyone who showed up in a big way. She was crying on the call.
Almost a year later, the hype has died down. Sales have dwindled. That's expected. But, that doesn't discredit the masterpiece that is Came to Believe and how many people it has helped How much it has healed me and healed my Mom is priceless. I am grateful. So grateful.
Please see some of the Amazon reviews....
"This was such a great read! Tara’s story truly resonates, and she writes with such ease and grace that it feels like she’s sitting across from you telling you her story. Her tale of healing is an inspiration to all." - P. Pierce
"What a beautifully written book filled with incredible stories of perseverance, faith, love, and courage. Tara shares her process of healing with raw candor and vulnerability, allowing the reader to relate to her and cheer her on. Her enthusiasm leaps off the page when she speaks of the miracles that have occurred for her while reminding us that we can do/have that too. I loved her honestly. I loved her willingness to just be herself and honor where she is in her journey. If you are a survivor of incest, she makes it safe to acknowledge that and gives guidance as to what has helped her. I would definitely give this book to anyone who has experienced that. And this book is about so much more than that, it truly is about her journey of faith and love, and I am incredibly inspired by her!" - TeeGee
For those of you who feel you have a book in you.... do it! Put pen to paper and start writing. Don't let the expense of it all keep you from sharing your story. Don't feel you need a fancy book publisher or a writing coach. You are your biggest coach. Just write.