Contact Us

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Silver Spring, MD
United States


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.



Frequently Asked QUESTIONS

We have been blogging steadily about writing and publishing since 2009, and at some point we have likely explored the answer to your question, whatever it might be. Below, you'll see links to the top blogs, and you can also search the entire archive from here. For general reading and learning, read our most recent blogs.



How long has Stories To Tell been in business?

Nancy Barnes founded Stories To Tell in 2004. Since then we have helped hundreds of authors to independently self-publish their books.

Where is Stories To Tell located?

Stories To Tell is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside Washington D.C. and our team is scattered all over the USA. We serve authors nationwide and even internationally. Although we frequently meet with clients who live locally and make new friends at book events, most of our communication is done by phone and email.

Can I see the Stories To Tell contract?

Here it is.

Do you have a privacy guarantee?

Absolutely! Our commitment to protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of the intellectual property you send us is described in the Stories To Tell contract.

How do I send Stories To Tell my book files?

It is best to send us two separate files, one for your book’s text and a separate folder  for any images (photos, illustrations or graphics) you want to include. The text can be sent as a MS Word or Pages file. Images should be scanned and sent as .tiff, .psd, or .jpeg. Make sure you scan images at a high resolution. A minimum of 300 ppi is required for book printing.

Your files can be sent as email attachments, or if you have particularly large files, we will be happy to send you an invitation to share a Dropbox file with us. When the folder is set up you will be able to simply drag and drop you text and images into Dropbox. Also, if your draft is already designed with images it is likely to be too large for email, so it is best to ask us for a shared Dropbox folder.

When should I send my book files to Stories To Tell?

That depends on what you need. Some authors send us a pretty rough draft for a manuscript evaluation to help them make revisions before moving ahead to content or copy editing. Others prefer to have their draft read by beta readers and make revisions before sending it to us. If you need our design services only, you should have the text of your book edited and fully locked down before sending it. If you are not sure whether you are ready to send your files, drop us an email or call us. We will help you decide.

What if I already have an editor or designer?

That’s fine! We work with many authors who have had some aspect of their project completed before they contact us. We are happy to help you at whatever phase of the process of in publishing a book you may be in. Just let us know what you need and we will be happy to provide that service.

What if my book is not really for profit?

We work with many authors, especially family historians and memoirists, who have written books for a limited audience of family and friends. We often refer to this as a private printing. If you need a private printing, we’ll help you to choose a printer that will help you print a high quality book at the best possible price.

Can you help me sell my books even if I published with someone else?

Absolutely! We offer marketing services for all kinds of authors who have published in many different places.

What are Stories To Tell’s payment terms?

We offer a variety of payment terms. For services involving a relatively quick turnaround time and modest price like our manuscript evaluation we require a single payment when we begin work. For more complex projects of longer duration we usually divide the cost into three payments, one before we begin, one approximately midway through the project, and the final payment when you authorize us to print your book.

We understand that authors have budgets and will work with you to fit yours. If you have more questions about our payment terms, or would prefer smaller payments, let us know.

Editing FAQs

What can I expect when I work with an editor?

What types of editing services do you offer?

Do I need an editor if I am self-publishing?

Why is a manuscript evaluation or developmental edit good a good idea?

What does a content editor do?

Does my book need copy editing if I have had a manuscript evaluation or content edit?

Does quality editing really make a difference in a book’s success?

Design Questions


Why do I need a book designer?

What questions do I need to think about when working with a book designer?

Why shouldn’t I just design my book in Microsoft Word?

Should I use a template-based online site to design my book?

How important is good cover design to my book’s success?

If I plan to sell my book online, does that affect the design of my cover?

How do I find an illustrator for my children’s book?

How can I find images to illustrate my book?

Does quality book design really make a difference in a book’s success?

Publishing Questions

Isn’t traditional publishing always better than self-publishing?

Is an offer from a N.Y. publisher a good deal?

What are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

Are there different kinds of self-publishing?

What questions should I consider when deciding on how to publish my book?

What are some of the questions I need to think about as a self-publishing author?

How long does it take to publish a book?

If my book is for a limited audience like many family histories and memoirs, do I really need a publisher?

If I only need a few copies of my book, wouldn’t it be cheaper just to run them off at the local copy shop?

Should I publish in ebook format, print format, or both?

Can you get my book into libraies and bookstores?

Marketing FAQs

How do I develop a marketing plan for my self-published book?

What can I do to publicize my book before it hits the market?

How will readers discover my self-published book?

What’s the best way to use my personal network to promote my book?

How can I create word-of-mouth to promote my book?

How can I use Advanced Review Copies (ARC) to build a buzz about my book?

What’s the best way to get reviews for my indie book?

How can I use event marketing to sell my book?

How should I set my book’s retail price?