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wet255

WRITE A BOOK

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wet255

As some members know I am a writer by profession. As well as the crime fiction I normally write I have been engaged to write three memorial books on WW1. International Rugby Players KIA in WW1. The Rock and Fell Climbers KIA WW1 Members of the House of Commons/Lords and their son's KIA WW1 (after this their might well be more). WHat I am asking members to consider is this. Going out to their local war memorial and writing their own memorial book about the people on their local war memorial. Sit down do the research find the Bios and pics put the book together. Quite often a local publisher will take a project like this on or if this fails 'Vanity Press' isn't too expensive.

With the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 only three years away this is a great time to get started. As members might know I am very keen on WW1 and am keener still to make sure that these people are not forgotten.If we all get together we can at least commemorate many of these people and ensure that they are not forgotten.

Anyway have a think about it. They really are a labour of love and like me I am sure you will enjoy doing it. Besides its a great feeling to see your name on the front of a book. Hope some of you take up the idea. Nigel

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ralphjd

Nigel. Started mine over six years ago and just coming to the end of it, finishing touches and all that. It contains pen pictures of the men, numbers and regiments served, birthdates, wives, parents names, addresses, children, where and when married and photographs from the local paper of the man including any write-ups on him, also a picture of every local memorial they are commemorated on (28 so far plus Tyne Cot, Menin Gate etc) and best of all every CWGC headstone where applicable from Belgium, France, UK and Kenya, only two missing out of 216 and they are in Basra. From various articles on my search published in the local paper over the years I have met many relatives of these men and been given access to photograph the medals and death plaques in their possession. Much help from pals on this forum too, especially the locations the men were in when they perished, for which I am eternally grateful as I do not like the term F and F, too impersonal. It has been very much a long labour of love I must admit. Regards. Ralph.

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wet255

Outstanding well done. Lets hope a few more members take up their pens. Lets b=not let these people be forgotten. Nigel

Nigel. Started mine over six years ago and just coming to the end of it, finishing touches and all that. It contains pen pictures of the men, numbers and regiments served, birthdates, wives, parents names, addresses, children, where and when married and photographs from the local paper of the man including any write-ups on him, also a picture of every local memorial they are commemorated on (28 so far plus Tyne Cot, Menin Gate etc) and best of all every CWGC headstone where applicable from Belgium, France, UK and Kenya, only two missing out of 216 and they are in Basra. From various articles on my search published in the local paper over the years I have met many relatives of these men and been given access to photograph the medals and death plaques in their possession. Much help from pals on this forum too, especially the locations the men were in when they perished, for which I am eternally grateful as I do not like the term F and F, too impersonal. It has been very much a long labour of love I must admit. Regards. Ralph.

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seaJane

Nigel

just a friendly note (trust me, I'm an author! :thumbsup: ) not to confuse vanity press with self-publishing. True vanity press publishing is horrendously expensive, a one-off, and leaves you with a pile of unsaleable paper because you have to do all the publicity and marketing yourself.

Modern self-publishing is print-on-demand, which means you can start with a smaller print run and go back for a few copies more whenever you need them. There will usually be some kind of a link to a website which means that your book has an online presence. A good firm will link to Amazon, thus ensuring even better exposure to book-buyers.

sJ

PS If anyone is looking, I can recommend these people http://writersservices.com/wps/index.htm from experience (no, I don't work for them!).

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Moonraker

See the comparable thread that I started last year:

See here

If you're thinking of finding a conventional publisher, you need to get started on a book pretty quickly, especially if your time is limited. I guess that most publishers would want a new book to be out by Spring 2014.

Just an update my own efforts that I mention in the other thread. I'm printing off pages for the second edition of my Wiltshire book after, hopefully, a final look at the text on screen and will be reading it over later this year so I can deliver everything to the publisher well before the agreed date of December 31. One snag is that the copyright holder of certain contemporary postcards I want to reproduce, including the proposed cover illustration, didn't reply to my letter asking consent and ringing him only results in a BT message that suggests his house is empty. I'll be visiting his town very soon so will check out his address.

Talks between the Canadian and British companies over co-publishing my text on the Canadian army on Salisbury Plain are dragging on - I think. I put the two in touch with each other at least six months ago and the last I heard from the British firm was that it was having an editorial board meeting before Easter. Since then nothing. If ever I do get acceptance, I need to allow three months to obtain copyright consents, quite apart from applying the publisher's house style to my text.

Moonraker

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tharkin56

i have done what you have suggested and written 11 books since 2007 i am on my 12th. See detail at bottom of email. I self publish so therefore am the marketer, publicist, etc all done by myself, accountant, etc. I have met relatives, blitz survivors etc. The book I am completing Thiepval Memorial 331 men Day by Day. Self imposed deadline next month, and no this is not my full time job...Any is needed letme know

I do the covers as well, infact everything. Good job i don't need sleep!!!

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6th Shropshires

Also started on the two close to my heart, a few years back, may not turn them into books but will do booklets for the Churches and Library but then again may just take it into my head and go all the way and produce book.

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Chris_Baker

There are, of course, already many published works on the men listed on particular memorials or belonging to particular groups. A good proportion of them have been written by members of this forum. For anyone who is thinking of going down this road, it might be helpful if those who have done it could tell us ... how many copies do things like this sell once published? And how many do you need to plan as giveaways?

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tharkin56

Some tips I suppose.

I give away copies to the musuem who helped for sale or copies to the local archives.

Send copy to local library as an approval copy

Also acknowledge their assistance and all who have helped.

A discounted copy to relatives who have helped, free postage or round down the price.

Expect to reduce the sell price to 55% to 70% off the cover price.

Payment from warehouse takes approx 60 days, end of the following month books were received.

You have to have an ISBN critical, WHSmith, Waterstones won't touch them otherwise.

Properly perfect bound and good cover.

If you need any more let me know

Trevor

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seaJane

As Trevor said there is the question of the ISBN. Once you have an ISBN the Legal Deposit Act 2003 applies: "publishers are obliged to send one copy of each of their publications to the British Library, free of charge, within one month of the date of publication. The other five libraries have the right to request the deposit of publications, free of charge, within a year of the date of publication. In practice many publishers deposit their publications with all six libraries without waiting for a claim to be made".

Advantages of legal deposit are that "publications deposited with the legal deposit libraries:

Are available to the libraries' registered users

Are preserved for the benefit of future generations

Become part of the national heritage."

Quotations from: http://www.legaldeposit.org.uk/background.html#legal

Ignore anyone who says they will make your book copyright if you pay them - it is copyright the minute you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

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Moonraker

... One snag is that the copyright holder of certain contemporary postcards I want to reproduce, including the proposed cover illustration, didn't reply to my letter asking consent and ringing him only results in a BT message that suggests his house is empty. I'll be visiting his town very soon so will check out his address.

Moonraker

I went around to his house (50 miles from where I live) on Thursday. There was a car in the drive, washing on the line and a radio blaring; the door bell didn't work so I rapped on the door glass; dogs came barking but no humans. (All very Marie Celeste.) The postman confirmed that he was still delivering mail to the person in question.

I returned three hours later and this time an elderly lady came to the door. The person I wanted was out walking the dogs.

It appears that my original letter didn't arrive. Dunno about the BT messages.

The person has been helpful in the past but is particular about his grandfather's photographs (taken between 1909 and 1915) being reproduced without consent. So it's lucky that I was able to check out his address.

Moonraker

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Dawley Jockey

I researched all the men (And women) from my what was then Local District Council area and after 5 years research had my book on 201 casualties printed by a local printers.

Since publication (2 years ago) I have added an extra 30 pages of information and 3 more casualties thanks to people coming forward after seeing the book and passing onto me even more photographs and personnal details of their fallen relatives.

It has been a Honour to be able to research these brave Dawley men & women and even now my search for more information goes on.

They Shall not be Forgotton :poppy:

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Moonraker

Further to my posts above:

I eventually heard from the copyright holder who gladly gave his consent to reproducing copyright photographs.

Having had no news at all about my Canadian text since April I emailed my contact at the British publisher again a month ago and had no reply. I telephoned last week to be told he was out of the country and again today, to hear he had left the company. The guy who had inherited his workload was ploughing through various editorial projects. I emailed the Canadian publisher last week about any progress and have had no reply yet.

Just goes to reinforce again the point that one has to leave plenty of time for one's work top be considered by a publisher!

(At least nowadays one has several back-ups in the event of one's text being lost. Decades ago I chased a potential publisher who initially said they couldn't find my typescript submitted several months before. In those days the only back-up was a smudgy carbon copy.)

Moonraker

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chrissparrow

Should we have a GWF authors convention? We could show potential authors our work and encourage them. I am sure we all have different stories of our publications. What does anyone think?

Chris

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bmac

If anyone is considering self-publishing I have a short(ish) explanation of the process as I found it, covering:

obtaining an ISBN

setting up costs

printing costs

distribution costs

retailer discounts

printers (I have used)

selling direct

using Amazon

It was originally written in 2008 but, I believe, the basic principles remain the same (though costs, etc., may well have changed). Certainly, the process of printing to order can be highly efficient. I ordered a small number of my two books last Wednesday. They were printed and dispatched on Thursday and arrived Friday. There is no additional charge for small numbers printed (I ordered 5 of one and 3 of another) but you can get significant discounts if you can place orders from 50 or 100 upwards.

The same company sells direct to retailers, sends me monthly statements and pays any monies earned direct into my account every month, 90 days in arrears. I make no great efforts to promote the books nowadays and I sell 2-3 a month direct and, perhaps, 10 a month through retailers. Not large numbers but the initial surge mopped up markets like Forum members, etc. My margin, however, is 60% on every copy sold direct and about 33% on every copy sold through a retailer (inc. Amazon). Cannot complain and it has all helped pay for the research expenses over the many years involved.

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gem22

Nigel (and any other authors out there)

My background of working in hospital laboratories, for virtually all of my working life, ill befits me to become an author. However, my interest in the Great War and my work for the Royal British Legion, and local Family History Society, have led me to gather together all the information I think I need to put together a book about the men of our village who died in that war. But where do I start?

Would any of you who have written similar books be prepared to help me with a few ground rules about layout and content? I'm quite happy to worry about publishing at a later date, it is the simple fact of putting pen to paper (finger to keyboard) that scares the living daylights out of me. Give me a blood sample to analyse or a dead body to cut up and I'm as happy as Larry! But writing is not my forte and never will be. So I wonder if anyone can help? Please!

Garth

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seaJane

Garth,

If you can find a decent printing or self-publishing firm then all you should have to do is type up the material and supply it, with any illustrations, to the firm: they will be the best-informed about layout etc.

A print-on-demand firm that I have used likes, for example, to receive text as a Word document in Times New Roman 12-point, single-spaced, and without even a "tab in" for the beginning of paragraphs (which I find very counter-intuitive). The firm's typesetters (old word - technically they are data-inputters these days) then do the layout stuff.

If it is copy-editing and proof-reading etc that you want advice on, drop me a PM.

seaJane

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ph0ebus

My book stalled a bit due to life getting in the way, but I am back on track and finishing up the chapters I started last fall.

-Daniel

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dfaulder

Nigel (and any other authors out there)

My background of working in hospital laboratories, for virtually all of my working life, ill befits me to become an author. However, my interest in the Great War and my work for the Royal British Legion, and local Family History Society, have led me to gather together all the information I think I need to put together a book about the men of our village who died in that war. But where do I start?

Would any of you who have written similar books be prepared to help me with a few ground rules about layout and content? I'm quite happy to worry about publishing at a later date, it is the simple fact of putting pen to paper (finger to keyboard) that scares the living daylights out of me. Give me a blood sample to analyse or a dead body to cut up and I'm as happy as Larry! But writing is not my forte and never will be. So I wonder if anyone can help? Please!

Garth

Gareth,

I have never written a "book" but have done a lot of documenting my family and have written a Master's dissertation (and now tutor others to do the same).

Point one is whether you want to make money (either for yourself or for charity) or you plan to commit money to your venture (and do not want to make a loss!).

  • If so, you need to produce something that people want to buy - so you need to decide who is your potential audience and how they would find what you know interesting.
  • If not, you could consider starting a blog (possibly on GWF, but if you want a wider audience look at Wordpress.com (or Blogger.com) - it's free and they will host your blog for you, so all you have to do is type it in - you can "inhibit visibility to the world" until you are happy). Of course if you want it to be read it also has to appeal to your potential readers, but because it is nil cost, "reader appeal" is not as critical.

If you want to go down the publishing route, go down to your local library and look in the local history section for "local books"; have a look at their size (dimensions and number of pages/words), their visual presentation, their writing style and (if your library has the old fashioned borrowing slips,) how often they have been borrowed. If you have a good local bookseller, they might be quite happy for you to browse for purposes of market research - and might tell you what sort of thing sells and what they would be willing to stock.

If the men were predominantly in one unit, you could write a potted history of the unit (being careful not to plagiarise anything written by anyone else) and then follow that with brief biographies of the men (almost as a set of appendices which could be very factual - which gets around the problems of not knowing too much about some of the men - you don't need to strain to write a narrative on thin material). However if there was some "theme" connecting many of them (workplace, church, conscription, local newspaper coverage, etc.), you might write something around that theme, weaving in the biographical information. That may make a work that is more appealling.

David

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gem22

Seajane

Thanks. I've added your link to Writers services to my favourites list and work though that later. As for proof reading etc. that's for later. At the moment I'm more concerned about suggestions as to what to put in and what to leave out. I'm writing with a small, local, market in mind, that has little or no understanding of the war but wants to know about its peoples involvement. I hope that makes sense.

David

I like the points you make. To make my position clear I'm not in this for money or recognition. I'm doing this out of interest only. If I can sell 200 copies at £2.50 each I will be ecstatic. I cannot go down the potted history route, unfortunately, because the men from the village served in a wide variety of regiments; including two Austrlian battalions, a Guards regiment, a Light Infantry regiment, various county regiments and a selection of support units. So thanks for your input and I will bear much of it in mind.

Garth

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Auimfo

I was fortunate - a rather well known publisher approached me about writing a book!!

Considering I've never written anything more than a number of articles and papers, I thought that was rather brave of them.

Manuscript should be finished by the end of July. So far they seem to have liked what they've read.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Gareth Davies

I have just stumbled onto this thread and am glad I did. I am researching the 7 people from my village who died in WW1 and have unearthed some fascinating stuff - well, I think it is fascinating. I plan to put it all together in time for Armistice day this year and probably give a talk in the village hall to get things started. I then aim to write it up more formally and possibly publish it. And if this succeeds I plan to do something similar about my old school but I need to get a wiggle on as there were quite of few of them who died.

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Gareth Davies

I also have a family diary and collection of letters covering both Gallipoli and France to transcribe and then publish. I am trying to work out whether to publish as is or whether to add some additional context.

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tharkin56

didn't see anything on covers so here goes.

enter spine claculator in google when you have finished your book , page thickness you want to use and no of pages this will come back with a spine size.

add your page size twice (width) to this and this gives your length of a cover.

Open powerpoint and and set page size to width times height.

Insert text box to spine width times height and place in centre this is the spine of your book.

You can now insert relevant text and images you want to use, title, author name, your logo, isbn, etc

save

print to pdf and set page size as per your powerpoint, Bobs your uncle you now have a cover without expensive design costs......

queries let me know.

Save your powerpoint as a jpeg and you can use for publicity, email, postcards etc

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Moonraker

Further to my posts above about a Canadian press and a British one apparently discussing co-publishing my text on the Canadian army on Salisbury Plain: the new guy at the British publishing company rang me yesterday and didn't seem to know much about my submission, asking if I'd been given a contract yet. When I said no, he said (very courteously)that he didn't think my book was for his company, it being too specialised.

Which is fair enough, though his predecessor had been more enthusiastic. Perhaps I may be forgiven for being a little irked that I first approached the British firm in October last year and it's taken them eight months to make up their mind.

The Canadian company has yet to reply to my email of last week asking what their take on the situation was.Perhaps they gave up when their contact at the British firm disappeared, apparently leaving communications to his email address to go unanswered.

I'm now approaching two small British companies, including one that specialises in Wiltshire history books. Curiously it still talks of providing galley proofs (traditional printed slabs of text that have then to be divided up into pages). I thought that sort of thing went out in the last century and doesn't bode well for cost-effective publishing.

I've just packed up a copy of another book to post to a Forum member in Australia. The airmail postage cost (which the recipient is paying)is more than 50% of the cover price and I'm not the greatest at neat parcelling. Royal Mail (or rather HM Revenue & Customs)is very insistent that any packet going outside Europe has a customs declaration attached to it, and I was quite pleased with myself when I printed a form off from the Royal Mail website, thus saving myself a trip to the Post Office - I thought. But the overall weight hovered on the 400g mark on my kitchen scales, so I'm going to have it checked at the PO counter. And I hadn't realised that PayPal's commission is as much as 5%.

Probably the recipient will read this, and let me stress that you're welcome to the book, but the experience reminded me that when it was first published in 1999 the pleasure of posting copies waned and it became something of a chore,

Moonraker

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