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Silver Spring, MD
United States

888-577-9342

Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

4 Questions to Help Your Nonfiction Book Succeed

Biff Barnes

Readers devour nonfiction books. Statista put total purchases at over 240 million in 2017. Author Earnings reported that more than a quarter of those sales belonged to independent or self-publishing authors. It’s no wonder that authors want to tap the nonfiction market. If you are an indie author planning to self-publish a book, before you begin banging away at your keyboard here are four things you should consider.

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Take One Step at a Time in Creating Your Family History Book

Biff Barnes

Family history books are complicated. They often contain not only text, but endnotes, appendices, a bibliography of sources, charts, and images. Family historians who want to self-publish often find this complexity overwhelming. We get it.

The problem is that many people try to do too many things at once. Let's look at how to do it one step at a time.

 

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Why Reviews Are So Important and 9 Ways to Get Them

Biff Barnes

If you want to find a good movie to see or a good restaurant, asking a friend gives you tried and true advice you can depend on. The same thing is true with books. A recommendation from a friend makes you confident that a book is one you’ll enjoy reading.

What authors need to understand is that today 3 of 4 potential readers trust online book reviews as much as personal recommendations.

We'll look at how to find quality and reviews. and nine top sources for reviewers.

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4 Ways to Save Money Publishing Your Short-Run Book

Biff Barnes

Not so long ago publishing a book intended for a limited audience of family members and friends was an expensive proposition. Today, technological changes in the world of printing and the evolution of the publishing industry have given authors an opportunity to dramatically reduce the cost of publishing books like family histories and memoirs. Here are four ways to save money when publishing your book.

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Can I Use That Image in My Book?

Biff Barnes

Acquiring just the right images to illustrate your family history book or memoir can be tricky. Completing the detective work to find a photo that’s perfect is just the beginning of the process. There are two hurdles to get over before  you’re ready to use it. The first is to make sure that you have an image of appropriate quality to use in book printing. The second is making sure that you have the right to use the image. Let’s take a look at how to do both.

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Best Locations to Find Resources for Black Genealogy and Family History

Biff Barnes

“African American genealogical research has always been challenging, but not impossible.”

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

As we begin African American History Month we want to offer some assistance to our readers who have taken up that challenge. We have helped a number of African American authors to publish family history books. To a person they have told us how difficult it can be to find the resources to document the lives of their ancestors. To help aspiring genealogists and family historians we have created a list of the best places online to find those resources. Each site has its own list of additional resources. We hope you find them useful.

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Four Tips to Help You Find the Right Illustrator for Your Children’s Book

Biff Barnes

Illustrations can make or break a children’s book, even one that has an excellent story. If you are working with a traditional  they will choose the illustrator. An indie author who wants to self-publish a children’s book, however, has to find and hire the illustrator for her book. Here are four tips to help you find the right person to illustrate your book.

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5 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher

Biff Barnes

If you are an independent author who wants to self-publish a book there are plenty of companies out there to help you. The problem is how to decide which one you should choose. There are two important areas to explore:

Who will own the rights to your book?

Which arrangement will allow you to earn the maximum return on your book?

Here are five questions to guide you in this exploration.

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OCR: A Publishing Tool for Family Historians

Biff Barnes

Old documents often present a problem for family historians. People often come to us with diaries, journals or books written by ancestors that they hope to re-publish in whole or part. The question all of them pose is how to do it without having to retype the whole document.

Optical character recognition (OCR) is one possible answer. OCR is a process for translating text from paper into electronic files that can be manipulated on a computer using a word processing program. 

This post tells you everything you need to know about OCR.

 

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5 Questions to Help You Find the Right Editor for Your Book

Nan Barnes

Maxwell Perkins, the legendary editor at Charles Scribner’s Sons who worked with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway , and Thomas Wolfe, told authors, "Just get it down on paper, and then we will see what to do with it.”

The same advice applies to an indie self-publishing author as it did to the classics Perkins edited. Good editing is what takes a manuscript from draft to market ready. As Miral Sattar CEO of BiblioCrunch observed on MediaShift, “Not having an editor go through your book is like sending an untested drug out to market.”

So, how do you find the right editor to bring out the best in your book? Here are five questions that will help you as you conduct your search.

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You Should Write a Book: Writing for Niche Audiences

Biff Barnes

Have people told you, “You should write a book?” It’s time to start listening to them.

Consultants, public speakers and other professionals have long understood that writing a book both helps establish their credibility as experts and sells well to readers interested in their area of expertise. But you don’t have to be a lawyer, financial advisor, or talking head to write a book targeted to a niche audience.

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IBPA Levels the Playing Field for Independently Published Books

Nancy Barnes

The first step in preparing your independently self-published book to compete with traditionally published books is to make sure that its publication matches their level of professionalism. The Independent Book Publishers Association (of which Stories To Tell is a member) has created a tool, The IBPA Industry Checklist for a Professionally Published Book (DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST), to help you do just that.

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Do You Want to Sell Your Genealogy or Family History Book?

Nancy Barnes

Are you trying to figure out how to sell your genealogy or family history book? It’s not just a matter of putting your book up on Amazon. Books of this sort are not generally of mass market interest. They are classic examples of niche books whose market consists of genealogy libraries, professional genealogists, and family researchers interested in the details your book can provide about your lineage. How can you sell books in such a specific and limited market?

Connecting with specialized booksellers can offer a way to reach potential readers. How do you find these genealogy booksellers? Here are some places to look for booksellers who might be interested in your book.

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