“The sales have been incredible. It presented this whole new business. Those are wins that I did not expect at all. I didn’t [initially] see it as a business and it’s become that.”
Karen Campbell Wilkinson graduated from Ohio State University and worked as a respiratory therapist for 15 years at Level One Trauma centers. But she needed a change. So fifteen years ago she gave her husband an ultimatum: medicate her or give her sunshine.
She and her husband, David, chose to move to sunny Naples, Florida, with their two sons and rescue dogs.
Karen retired from healthcare and shifted into real estate. She helped people buy and sell homes – but also used her expertise to help customers set up new medical practices.
She was settling into her move and career change. But she had no idea her story was only just beginning.
The moment that changed her life:
Her husband David was living life as a healthy, 50-year-old surgeon when suddenly, tragedy struck.
Diagnosed with COVID-19, he quickly went from helping patients to being a patient himself. Fighting for his life, he was placed on life support and given an almost zero chance of recovery.
Karen was left to either accept the facts or champion his cause. She knew her husband was unlikely to wake up, but she chose to rely on her faith and the support of praying friends.
Alone in the darkest part of her life, she was forced to make life-and-death decisions. One such decision outranked the rest: should she fight for her husband’s survival with a double lung transplant?
Without David to talk to, she turned to her journal. Pouring her thoughts onto the pages helped her process her feelings and get through the toughest times.
Miraculously, he survived.
Karen felt compelled to share her and her husband’s story. She decided to turn her journal entries from that time into a book. So, over the next year, she slowly moved her journal entries onto a Google doc.
“I didn’t know anything about outlining [a book] or about how this process really should go. I was literally taking it from a journal to Google Docs, not knowing what in the world I was doing.”
Her author journey:
Karen’s friends quickly got wind that she was writing a book. Several of them had previously published their own books with selfpublishing.com and recommended that Karen reach out.
They didn’t just want to help her write her book, they wanted to ensure she successfully published it.
“I decided to work with selfpublishing.com because I really trusted my friends who had such great success. They had already gone through the process not once, but multiple times. I thought that spoke volumes, that [they] would repeat with selfpublishing.com. That was big social proof for me.”
But some fears were holding her back.
Finding her why
“Before I joined selfpublishing.com there [was] a lot of that disbelief of, am I really an author? Am I really going to do this?”
She also worried that people wouldn’t want to hear about COVID-19 anymore, which was a major part of her story.
Despite these doubts, selfpublishing.com became her support system. The team reminded her that her book’s ultimate message wasn’t about the pandemic, but about navigating a health crisis with faith and hope.
“I was kind of concerned. I didn’t do the process the right way. My book was partially written. [I was thinking] ‘What now?’ selfpublishing.com was able to walk me through that.”
Karen asked herself, ‘what’s the cost if I don’t do this?’ And she decided to dive in and commit to publishing her book.
Today, Karen still resides in sunny Naples, Florida, but her life looks very different than when she originally arrived.
Initially, she worried that people wouldn’t want to hear her story. Thankfully, her coach continued to remind her that the story was so much bigger – and more impactful – than even she realized.
“I literally thought it would be, let me put my words out there and if someone wants to buy it, great, and if not, that’s okay too.”
Publishing On Borrowed Breath was the catalyst for so much growth in her personal and professional life.
She made more money from her book than she had imagined. She began coaching. She wrote additional pieces. She now does coaching. She’s regularly invited for podcast interviews and public speaking engagements.
“Publishing with selfpublishing.com gave me that podium to say I’ve been there, I’ve done this, and this message needs to get out… The sales have been incredible. It presented this whole new business. Those are wins that I did not expect at all. I didn’t [initially] see it as a business and it’s become that.”
Through her book, she helps readers walk through something larger than themselves. Her memoir offers strength, love, and hope—no matter what situation her readers are battling.
Karen stands as an example that difficulties can be overcome. Her book is proof of it.
Taking the leap to get publishing support for her book brought results Karen never dreamed of. In fact, she loved her experience so much that she couldn’t identify just one favorite part of the program.
So she chose three:
- The one-on-one coaching
- The workshops
- The community
“More and more speaking engagements are happening now, and podcast requests, and I’m looking forward to my second book.”
Ready to take the next step towards your author goals?
Whether you are looking to join one of our core programs, or you have a finished manuscript and are simply looking for basic publishing services, selfpublishing.com is here to help.