Search

Follow STTBooks on Twitter

Our Author's Guide

view on Amazon.com

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Thursday
    May012014

    Three Questions to Guide Family Historians

    Telling a good story often depends on asking the right questions while you discover the facts of the tale you want to tell. Keeping three questions in mind as you research your genealogy will help you to create an interesting family history which will engage your readers.

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Apr262014

    It’s Preservation Week: Preserving Your Family’s Heritage

    What are you doing for Preservation Week? It’s an important question for genealogists and family historians, whose mission is to preserve their family’s heritage. Here’s a chance to take action! The American Library Association launched Preservation Week in 2010 out of a concern that “our cultural and information heritage…continues to be at risk.” The goal of this week, April 27-May 3, is “preserving and collecting personal, family, or community heritage.” You can see it on the ALA website Preservation Week: Pass It On! The ALA’s efforts focus on our tangible heritage – documents, photos, artifacts, and digital collections of records. That’s good! But what about your family’s intangibles, the family stories and lore? Here are some things you should be doing right now.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr212014

    10 Tips from Great Writers to Inspire or Instruct

    10 quotations about the craft of writing from great literary figures. These ideas will both inspire and instruct any writer.

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Apr192014

    An Easy Way for Authors to Sell Books Online

    Any self-publishing author who wants to get his book out there might ask: Is there a no-hassle way to sell my book on my website, Word Press blog, Facebook, or Pinterest page while keeping a larger share of the profits than I’d get on a third party site? The 2013 Australian start-up Selz provides just that. Its website promises, “Effortless ecommerce for selling online from any website.” Let's check it out.

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Apr122014

    Important Choices for Self-Publishing Authors, Part 4

    If you’re a self-publishing author, you have some important choices to make. In this blog series, we are discussing the pros and cons to help you with the most important decisions you’ll need to know about: How authors can market their books online without technical skills? In any group of self-publishing authors, this is always the big question. Here are five great ideas we have talked about in the past and links to our posts that explored the marketing tools in detail.

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Apr112014

    Important Choices for Self-Publishing Authors, Part 3

    How to hire self-publishing experts without the costs and problems of using a subsidy publisher. When you hire freelancers they are responsible to you. You maintain control of your book’s production. You decide what kinds of help you need and keep costs down, paying only for what you need, rather than paying for a package of services that you don’t need. Here are some things to keep in mind while hiring.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Apr082014

    Important Choices for Self-Publishing Authors, Part 2

    If you’re a self-publishing author, you have some important choices to make. In this blog series, we are discussing the pros and cons to help you with the most important decisions you’ll need to know about: Is self-publishing as a DIY project? Or should you hire others to help with editing, book design, publishing, distribution, publicity and marketing? Beginning authors see the “self” in self-publishing and think it must be a DIY project; that they have a long learning curve ahead to master every step of the process. That’s not always the case; in fact, almost all experienced self-publishing writers take a team approach.

    Click to read more ...

    Sunday
    Apr062014

    Important Choices for Self-Publishing Authors, Part 1

    “The indie author insurrection has become a revolution that will strip publishers of power they once took for granted.” - Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords If you’re a self-publishing author, you have some important choices to make. Here is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to know about: Do you really want to “self-publish,” or should you use a “self-publishing company”?

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr032014

    Planning to Get Good Feedback on the Draft of Your Book

    “It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly,” advises Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer C. J. Cherryh. One of the keys to transforming a rough edged draft manuscript into a well-edited, polished book is getting quality feedback about what you’ve written. Many writers spend hours planning their draft – creating outlines, plot summaries, and character sketches. Yet those same authors ask for a critique of their draft without any real plan of how to make sure the feedback will be useful. They are disappointed when one reader’s sole comment is, “It was good. I really liked it,” and another does a hatchet job on the text (and its author). Two questions will help you avoid such less than useful results: 1. Who should I ask to read my draft? 2. What specific instructions should I give them on the type of feedback I want?

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Mar312014

    6 Tips on Productivity Tools for Writers

    Writing well is difficult at best. Here are some tools gathered from around the net to help make it easier. Sometimes there’s nothing like having the right tool for the job. I hope you find these useful.

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Mar292014

    How Did Historical Turning Points Shape Your Ancestors’ Lives?

    Your family has lived through a variety of historical turning points. But if you’re like many genealogists who want to turn their research into a family history, you don’t think about your ancestors in relation to those pivotal moments in history. Here's why you might want to.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Mar262014

    Writing a Great Memoir: Advice from the Masters

    Thousands of people write memoirs every year. How do you make your memoir standout from the crowd? Here’s so advice from masters of the genre on how to make sure yours is a good one.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Mar242014

    Finding the Story Beyond the Facts in Your Family History

    Novelist Suzanne Berne’s book Missing Lucile: Memories of the Grandmother I Never Knew chronicles her search for meaning in her family’s history. The experience is one that is familiar genealogists and family historians. It might also be a cautionary tale they would be well to examine. At the heart is her grandmother, Lucile, who died of cancer in her early forties. However, her father, a very young boy at the time, always believed that his mother had abandoned him. He said, “We were told she was gone. No one ever said where.” Berne decided that her missing grandmother was "the Rosetta stone by which all subsequent family guilt and unhappiness could be decoded.” She set out to unlock the family secrets by discovering what she could about Lucile’s story.

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Mar202014

    Older books, rescued by OCR

    Two of my new clients need me to perform OCR on their books. OCR, you say - is that like CPR? Sort of. OCR, or optical character recognition, can save the life of a book that would otherwise die in this digital age. It allows us to scan hard copies of books, one that are not already on a computer, and to transcribe the text into a word processing program like Microsoft Word. Then the text can be edited and designed just like a modern book.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Mar172014

    Print is Dead, and Ebooks Rule - Right?

    “Why are you still publishing print books?” a woman at the Tucson Festival of Books asked. “My friends tell me that everything is going to be digital.” That’s a legitimate question; so we had a friendly debate about the relative merits of digital and print books. As you know, at Stories To Tell we design both print and ebooks, but I don’t expect that print is dead or it will ever go out of style. Here are some reasons for a printed book.

    Click to read more ...