A dear friend was asking questions about writing. He said he’d always had a
little story, a true story, that he’d like to leave behind for his grandchildren. He went on to say it was a simple little story about a wood duck he once rescued. His main concern was he thought it should be illustrated and he didn’t know anyone. I have been a minor artist all my life so I told him I’d read his story and illustrate it for him. He wasn’t interested in a big production, so didn’t want to pursue any avenue besides having it printed himself. Within a couple months, he’d written the book, I’d did a few drawings for him and he’d found a print shop to work with. The result was a charming little story book that appeals to adults as well as children.
He’s happy with his story of “Little Woody.” He has a few copies and he’s sold a few as well as given away a few. Now his grandchildren and friends have a wonderful little memento of this kindhearted man. There are copies available if you’d like to receive one. They come with instructions on how to build a nesting box for wood ducks. Just contact me and I’ll help you make the connection.
Another friend was an elderly gentleman of local history note. Near the end of his days he wanted his family to know his life in a more complete way so he, with the help of his daughter, wrote a memoir. He went to the local newspaper office and print shop. He was able to produce a very nice book that was spiral bound. He had about thirty or so copies made for his family and a few for the museum book store. Several others I know have done the same thing.
One woman had written poetry all her life and just after she turned 85 she had many of her poems printed in a spiral bound book of about 25 to 50 pages. She had a few photos she’d collected over the years to add with the poems. Even that was about $15 a book to produce in color.
The problem is, however, this is probably the most expensive way to see your story imprint per copy. There is no price break. The elder gentleman’s book was almost $22 per copy at a printer. Often today people who want to do these small projects do it with desktop publishing. Doesn’t always look as polished as a print shop can do though.
After writing my first historical novels a couple families came to me wanting me to consider writing the history of their families. I was involved in other projects so wasn’t able to, but it would have cost thirty to fifty dollars to produce the work they had in mind, let alone having to pay me for my services.
Having things just printed is very expensive. It costs about $32 if I go to Fed Ex to have my drafts of my books printed for the editing. (I still like paper copies for editing.) My old printers do the work most of the time but if I’m in a hurry I have to use community resources.
Commercial print shops are an option though, if the story you want to tell is important to you and not something you want to distribute at any great length. It’s always better to tell your stories than to let them be lost.