There’s no better way to learn than to listen to a master. Last night Nancy and I had the opportunity to hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough talk about his new book The Wright Brothers. Today we’re in St. Charles, Missouri for the National Genealogical Society Conference which opens tomorrow. We’ll spend four days talking with people who are working on family history books about how to tell their stories. The best advice I might offer is three insights contained in McCullough’s talk last night in Washington D. C..
There are many important choices when choosing a printer for your self-published book. Author Sarah Hoggatt discusses the choices she made in publishing the third book of her trilogy.
As an author, your success all depends on connecting with your audience. You’ll need to let them know you have a book of interest to them, get it into their hands, (whether it’s a purchase or a free gift), and then hope they read and “connect” with your words, in their minds and hearts. Let’s face it – not everyone out there cares to read your book. These “connections” only happen with the right audience. There are three types of audience. The audience you target will affect many of the choices you make as you publish. One the one end of the spectrum, we have large-scale commercial publishing. On the opposite end, some authors write for a very small audience, just family and friends. And then there is an ever-growing segment of the writer’s market, niche publishing. Let’s look at how these audiences place authors on different paths.
Authors who want to self-publish a book, especially those self-publishing for the first time, usually find they need some help in getting their books ready for and into the hands of their audience. Who should they turn to? Let’s look at two very different paths into print: supported self-publishing and author services.
Sarah Hoggatt discusses how research in a genealogy museum in High Point, North Carolina helped her discover a treasure trove of information showing her connections to a “huge” family and in a database of cousins kept by the museum.
Take a moment and ask yourself: are you backing up your writing? Are you saving it somewhere besides your computer? If something happened to your laptop, what else would you lose? Here's some important advice for writers.
A friend recently asked me when I started writing poetry. Two words: junior high. Isn’t that when most people start writing poems? That moment in childhood when emotional angst is at its sharpest? It’s not what I would have chosen as my writing specialty but twenty-three years later, I’ve realized what a gift it is and I’m still at it I understand that poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea but here is the thing. Writing poetry, whether it is your passion or not, can greatly help all of your other writing by making it stronger and more colorful. Though I am sure there are more, here are three ways learning to write good poetry will help you be a better writer.
More and more genealogists are looking to DNA testing to open new avenues of research into their family histories. Stories To Tell's Sarah Hoggatt recently decided to take the plunge. She outlines what she learned about DNA testing providers and how she ultimately chose the provider she would use.
Why would an author who is self-publishing want to write a book proposal? Aren’t book proposals the tools authors use when seeking an agent or an acquisitions editor at a traditional publishing house to guide their book into print? Self-publishing eliminates those gatekeepers. Before we dismiss the need for a self-publishing author to write a book proposal, let’s take a moment to think about what a proposal is and why a self-publishing author might benefit from writing one.
Staying grounded is one of the most important things a successful author can do. Sarah looks at how to do it.
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is only valid if the picture is the right one. This post addresses some of the options an author may consider in choosing and acquiring the right images to illustrate her book. Which one best fits your situation?
Every writer runs into moments when the words stop flowing and the ideas don't fit. They're stuck. When it comes to times when like these, when we don’t know what to do, there are several ways to help ourselves out. These are four of them.
Writing a book is often a process of discovery. When you create a collection of short stories, non-fiction anecdotes, personal essays, reflections or poems, you often face a critical question: How do they fit together? One of the most important tasks in turning them into a book is organizing the collection with a logical progression which gives coherence to the development of your ideas. Stories To Tell editor and book designer Sarah Hoggatt discusses the way grappled with the problem of how to bring effective order to her latest poetry collection.
You have just completed the manuscript for your book. You are ready to publish and , after reviewing your options, you have decided that you will publish in e-book version only. After all e-books are the wave of the future, especially among younger readers who have grown up online. Before you go ahead you should check out the Washington Post’s recent report that “wired millennials still prefer the printed word.”
I searched for my grandfather’s name on a whim. While designing books about other people’s family history, I had started to wonder about my own. Growing up, I was told little to nothing about my family heritage. Only as an adult did I learn about my great-grandparents. My grandma’s dad ran a carnival in a mall for a time and her mom immigrated to the United States from England; she is the one I’m named after. Their pictures now sit a on a bookshelf in my home along with a card she wrote shortly after my birth. My grandpa’s dad was an evangelistic preacher and pastor and his mother was an immigrant from England as well. Knowing I am also in ministry, a cousin mailed me one of my great-grandfather’s ministerial certificates – a gift I treasure. But this is all I knew of my dad’s side of the family and I wanted to know more.