What does it take to create a life story or family history book?


We talk extensively so that I can get to know you and reflect the way you feel about the details of your life. With your agreement, family members, friends, and members of your community are also involved so I can gain a larger view of your story and gather anecdotes that paint a broader picture. Reading relevant books, newspapers, and other works is key to laying the groundwork for an in-depth sense of your story, as is researching historical societies, libraries, and museums for documents, letters, and photographs. Walking the streets of the cities pertaining to your story and looking into related sites invariably results in similarly valuable findings.


Family members are my starting point for gathering genealogical data. I then use every available resource to fill in the gaps. When appropriate, I make a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah—the world's leading source of genealogical information.


Your life story or family history is written in a way that conveys the essence of your individuality. Some people prefer a fact-driven story, others a narrative approach, and in some cases there is a unique way to go about it. Ultimately, you decide what's right for you.


The number and type of images in your book can vary greatly. These could be photos you supply, those a professional makes, or ones purchased from an archive. Then there are the many wonderful illustrations that can be created just for your book: family trees, timelines, maps, icons, and others. Documents, letters, original family stories, all kinds of memorabilia can be included and often provide another way to set it apart. Old photos are restored as necessary, and innovative effects are used where appropriate to achieve an elegant and cohesive design.


Your life story or family history book has a key unifying graphic that comes from something that typifies you. This graphic, together with the color palette and placement of the text and images, distinguishes my designs. Sometimes there is a place in the book for one or more unusual features such as an envelope to house an oversized family tree or map.


I will make available for your choosing a selection of beautiful papers and bindings. The importance of the right printer cannot be underestimated, and I take great care in selecting the best one for your story.


Books can be produced for private publication or for commercial. Commercial publication has more components and a different timetable. I am happy to discuss both options with you.

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If you'd like to take the main role in producing your life story or family history book, I can offer assistance in any way you choose. Call me to help shape your concept, organize your project, make your research plan, bring more vitality to your writing, tweak a design, do image work, determine marketability, find a suitable printer or publisher, and anything else.