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    Sunday
    Nov162014

    Who Should Publish My Book? (Part 1) Ingram Spark

    Your book is almost ready to publish. You have lots of questions. Print? eBook? Both? How can I make sure that I get the widest possible distribution and easiest order fulfillment services? What publisher is best for my needs? In the next few posts we will look at some of the options you might consider. If your book is intended for a limited distribution to family and friends like many family histories or memoirs you’ll want what is often called private printing. (We’ll explore private printing in an upcoming post.) If you have commercial aspirations for your book you have many more issues to consider. We’ll begin by looking at some of the most popular options you may want to explore. Today we’ll explore Ingram Spark.

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    Tuesday
    Nov112014

    If NaNoWriMo Writers Are the Hare, What About the Tortoise?

    We’re a third of the way through National Novel Writing Month? It’s estimated that approximately a half-a-million people are banging away at their computers to knock out the first draft of a novel. The annual event might be well advised to make Nike’s famous slogan “Just do it!” the month’s theme. Pulp mystery writer Mickey Spillane could be its poster boy. I once saw Spillane on the Tonight Show. Johnny Carson asked him how long it took him to write a book. “Depends on how bad I need the money,” said Spillane. “What's the fastest you ever wrote one,” asked Johnny. “I wrote one over a three-day weekend once,” he replied. So it can be done, if you're skilled and experienced, not to mention highly motivated. But might a less rushed, more planned approach work better for some authors?

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    Sunday
    Nov092014

    A Veterans Day Goal - Preserve Your Veteran's Story

    Veterans Day is the day Americans officially honor the service of our military veterans. What better way is there to honor them than to preserve the stories of their service? That preservation can take a variety of forms. The Library of Congress Veterans History Project at the American Folklife Center is preserving oral history interviews with veterans. The project website provides specifics on how you can participate and offers guides to the interview process. A quick web search of veterans history” will provide listings for many state and local veterans history projects which support the work being done at the Library of Congress. Books make a great preservation tool.

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    Wednesday
    Nov052014

    Want to Be a Writer? Find What You're Good At

    A lot of getting started as a writer is experimenting with different types of writing. Exploring a variety of genres can help you discover what you’re best at and what you enjoy the most. Look at how one young writer chose his path.

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    Monday
    Nov032014

    What Now? 5 Things to Think About When Self-Publishing Your Book

    Your book is almost done. You are completing the final revisions of the manuscript. If you are self-publishing for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions about the next steps in the process. Here are some that you'll want to look at right now.

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    Monday
    Oct272014

    Getting Your Self-Published Book into Stores and Libraries

    Many authors dream of the day they can walk into a bookstore or library and find their book. But how do you do it as a self-published author when you don’t have a large publishing company and distribution channels pushing bookstores to carry it? How do you get your book into bookstores and libraries?

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    Wednesday
    Oct222014

    Historian David McCullough Says Stop Researching and Start Writing

    You plan to write a family history book. You have been diligently researching for some time and amassed a good deal of knowledge about your ancestors, but there’s a lot more you would like to find out. You are not alone. We spoke at the Genealogy Event in New York City last weekend where a number of our conversations with family historians included the words, “I just need to research a few more things, then I’ll begin writing my book.” Before you follow the inclination to put off starting to write while you try to gather a bit more research, you might want to consider an observation by two time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough. In a 2003 Interview with National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bruce Cole, McCullough said, “There’s an awful temptation to just keep on researching. There comes a point where you just have to stop, and start writing. When I began, I thought that the way one should work was to do all the research and then write the book. In time I began to understand that it’s when you start writing that you really find out what you don’t know and need to know.”

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    Wednesday
    Sep242014

    Copyrighting Your Self-Published Book

    Is your book legally protected from copyright infringement? Would you be able to prove your rights to your work in a court of law? Though anything you create in written or viewable form is automatically copyrighted according to United States law, such a claim will not stand up in court. To prove you own the work, you need a certificate from the Copyright office at the Library of Congress. It’s a pretty easy process to obtain a copyright certificate. You fill out an application online, pay the fee (between $35 for online registration and $85 for paper registration), then send two copies of the work to the Copyright office at the Library of Congress. It takes several months to process the application after which they send you a copyright certificate. Keep this certificate on file in case of any future legal issues. Here’s how you do it.

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    Wednesday
    Sep102014

    Are Print Books Going Away? Not If Ikea Can Help It!

    Are print books an endangered species? You can find plenty of people to argue either side of the question. But if you find the whole debate a bit tedious and would be happy to continue reading your print book, you’ll get a chuckle out of Swedish furniture retailer Ikea’s video announcement of its 2015 Catalog.

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    Friday
    Sep052014

    Tips on How to Make Yourself a Better Writer?

    There has been a lot of advice on the web of late suggesting that writers can improve their productivity by paying attention to their environment, routine, work style and craft. Here are five of the best posts on the subject.

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    Monday
    Sep012014

    2nd Thoughts Before Choosing My Canvas To Print Your Family History Book

    Ancestry has found a new home for My Canvas. There has been a good deal of celebrating in the genealogy community. At Stories To Tell we are always happy to see more opportunities for people to share their family history. But this is a good time to ask whether My Canvas, the best known place to publish a family history, is really the best way to create a family history book. There are two reasons My Canvas seems an attractive option to people who want to publish a family history, but don’t know much about how book publishing works: Ancestry's credibility, and My Canvas's Ease of Use. Before choosing My Canvas as your publisher, you might want to ask some additional questions.

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    Friday
    Aug222014

    Six Writing Tips to Add Drama to Your Story

    Every writer is looking for ways to enrich the characters, deepen the conflict and build a more dramatic story. Here are six great tips from around the web to help you do just that.

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    Sunday
    Aug172014

    My Canvas Retirement: The Best Alternative to Preserve Your Family History

    If you are looking for ways to share your ancestor stories and family history, there are a growing number of online sites offering easy ways to do it. They provide templates with which you can upload everything from a single anecdote to a full book. These service providers also promise to store your stories either on-site or with a cloud-based system. We always encourage people to share their stories, but advise caution when embracing a net-based solution. The latest object lesson is Ancestry.com’s decision to shut down its My Canvas publishing program.

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    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    Get a Library of Congress Number for Your Book

    One of the questions we are frequently asked is, “What is a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) and how do I get one?” A LCCN is distributed for free by the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and corresponds to a created record in their system that libraries across the country can look at if they want information on how to catalog your book.

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    Tuesday
    Aug052014

    Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Professional Book Design

    You’re in a bookstore or at an event looking at a book and it’s so poorly designed that it’s distracting to you and you choose not to buy it. I’ve had this happen so many times that I want to write the authors and tell them about our book design services before they print their books again. Whether a book is designed by a mainstream publisher or is self-published, the design needs to look clean and professional.

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