Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sock Puppets

Sock Puppet
Do you know what sock puppets are? I thought I did because we made some with my Brownies while working on the Puppets, Dolls & Plays Try-It. Apparently it means something else that authors need to be aware of when seeking book reviews. Urban Dictionary defines sock puppet as "an account made on an Internet message board, by a person who already has an account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously." As it applies to books, these would be people who post reviews writing under false names and/or false pretenses. There are services that pay people to write favorable book reviews with or without the benefit of having read the book. And authors are the ones who are paying for these services.

As someone who has published several books, I know how hard it is to get someone to write a review on your book. I can see that it might be tempting to pay a service to solicit reviews. It is hard to garner attention for a new book, and certainly having positive reviews can help especially if you are selling on Amazon. But paying for reviews certainly seems disingenuous to your readers. There are many legitimate people online who will review books, including a multitude of book bloggers. As with all other things in the self-publishing world, there are no shortcuts.

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Next Book?

1868 Map of St. Louis County
Over on my personal blog I have been writing about the fact that I am researching a house in Shrewsbury, Missouri. The land that the house is located on, and in fact all of Shrewsbury itself, was once Murdock (or Murdoch) Farm. What little has been written about John J. Murdock always states that he was a general in the Civil War. This, of course, makes for a good story. But being a genealogist first and a house researcher second, I have been trying to find records that prove Murdock was indeed a general. So far, after thorough research, I can't even find him fighting in the Civil War at all much less as an officer. I am now on a mission to debunk the "general" theory.

So why I am talking about this over on this blog? Well, John Murdock has kind of grabbed me by the throat. He is mine now, and his family tree sits beside my own on my site. I have found that he was quite an influential man in early St. Louis history. He has a fascinating story, even without the "general" status. Is there enough for a book, or will there be when I am done with my research? And more importantly as a publisher, will anyone care enough to buy the book? Can I sell enough copies to recoup my costs? All good questions that require answers.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blogging and Copyright

As authors, publishers or anyone trying to establish a platform on the Internet it is recommended that you periodically Google yourself to see what results you get. After all, this is how most other people will be trying to find you. I did this search on myself this morning and was pleased to see that nearly all the listings for the first 7 pages I looked at referred to me - blog posts, my presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Pinterest, Youtube videos, Slideshare, etc. But as I looked closer at a couple of entries I became somewhat perplexed. The websites listed did not sound familiar to me even though my name and a blog post I had written on my personal blog appeared in the title of these two websites.

When I clicked through on the links, I saw that my whole blog post had been placed on these two websites with no credit or link provided back to me. I did a search about what to do when someone steals your work on the Internet and found this wonderful article How to Complain and Report Spam Blogger Blogs. The post has a lot of great tips, and after I read it I could readily see that the two blogs who stole my posts were indeed spam blogs (aka splogs).

Neither one of the blogs has any advertising on it, or I could report the abuse to Google Adsense. For now I have filed complaints about both of the blogs with Blogger since they are in violation of the Terms of Service. I am not sure how effective that will be, but it is a first step. In the meantime I will continue to look for other things that I can do to these two thieves. My advice to you is Google yourself - you might be very surprised at what you find!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Speaking of House History...

Century Home, Webster Groves, MO
Thursday night I gave a presentation on how to research the history of your home to the Kirkwood/Webster Groves branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). I was unfamiliar with the organization, but apparently one of their members knew of my book on researching house history and they asked me to come to their monthly meeting. In case you also have not heard of the AAUW, it is an organization dedicated to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

Because my topic is obviously so focused on house research, I was a little concerned that some members of the audience would not be interested. I should have know better with a group of women (and one man) who live in or near Webster Groves and Kirkwood. Once we finally got the provided projector to recognize my laptop, things went smoothly. They had a lot of great questions, which always makes for a more interesting event for everyone.

It was helpful for me to do the presentation at this point because I am giving a talk in Richmond Heights after the first of the year as part of their centennial celebration. From the questions raised at the AAUW meeting I can see that there are a few more slides that would be helpful if included in my slideshow. Though I did not sell any books Thursday night, I did have the opportunity to talk about all of them. I was also able to give a little insight into why people should be writing stories down - their own, an ancestors, or those of their house.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

National Lifewriting Month

Authors Liz Moloney, Kim Wolterman & Linda Austin
November is National Lifewriting Month, which is designed to encourage people to document their personal and family stories. 6 North Cafe in St. Louis wanted to kick the month off by having Liz Moloney, Linda Austin and me at the cafe this morning to talk about our books and inspire others to write down their life stories. Liz has authored a book about her own life, Linda co-authored her mother's story of growing up in Japan during WWII, and has just released a book of poetry entitled Poems that come to Mind for those who love someone with dementia. (What a perfect illustration of why it is so important to write the stories down while they can still be remembered and told.) And I have told the story of my father's WWII history through the photos and documents he left behind. Houses also have stories to tell, so my other books tie into this topic as well.

We did have several people stop by the table and talk to us about their desire to document some of the stories in their lives, so it was fun to be able to offer words of support to them. We were also able to let them know about the St. Louis Publishers Association and what it has to offer authors in the area.

For more information about National Lifewriting Month just click on this link.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nora Roberts and Book Marketing

Nora Roberts books in Turn the Page Bookstore
As a long-time fan of Nora Roberts, I have read every book she has ever written, including the In Death series she writes under the pen name of J.D. Robb. Did you know that she began writing back in 1979 while stuck in the house with two small children during a blizzard? Because I write non-fiction I am exceedingly amazed by writers who spin stories out of their own imaginations, and Nora's books are always filled with interesting people that I would like to meet in real life. Her women are strong and independent, the men sexy and intriguing, and the romance scenes...well, let's just say they are hot!

The latest trilogy from Nora is set in Boonsboro, Maryland, which is near where she lives. They involve the remodeling of a 1790s era inn and the people and places in the town. What is interesting about the series is that many of the places in the book actually exist. Nora bought the decrepit inn several years ago and had it remodeled into an eight room bed and breakfast. Each of the rooms, with the exception of the Penthouse, are named after famous literary couples. The inn really was mostly furnished with pieces from Basts of Boonsboro. Vesta Pizzeria is real, and is owned by her son Dan and his wife. Turn the Page Bookstore, also in the trilogy, is alive and well on Main Street. The bookstore is owned by Nora and her husband. The fitness center (owned by Nora) and new restaurant (also owned by son Dan) discussed in the second book are now open to the public.

Inn Boonsboro
At first glance you might think that the Inn Boonsboro trilogy was just a way for Nora to market her inn, bookstore, and the restaurants owned by her son. That thought did briefly cross my mind. But last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Boonsboro and stay at the inn. What I realized is that Nora has taken her time and resources to breathe new life into a town of 2,800 people that, without her help, might dry up and blow away like so many other small communities. The inn and restaurants provide food and lodging to the hundreds of women and men who flock to the town every year for one of Nora's book signings.

Turn the Page Bookstore
In speaking with the woman at Turn the Page Bookstore, it became clear that Nora Roberts and her book signings are the reason that this store has been able to survive when so many other independent bookstores have closed their doors. It also offers a venue for local artists to display and sell their crafts.

At the end of my visit I came away with a whole new respect for the woman who has enabled me for so many years to slip away into the lives and worlds of her fascinating creations. Beyond the characters in her books, Nora has helped many others in Boonsboro to live their happily ever afters.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Show Me the Blog 3.0

Show Me the Blog
For the third straight year Danyelle Little aka The Cubicle Chick put together a fantastic two day social media and blogging conference in St. Louis. This year's event was held October 19th and 20th at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC) on Delmar in the Loop. It was an interesting venue, and one that I had not been to before. On Thursday night, the folks from Time to Play hosted a social event at the RAC for us to get to know each other as well as their company. I had some fun with the Fibber game before Kitty of and I got our butts kicked by Kristi of and Rai of while playing Scrabble Catch Phrase.
This is what happens when you are a Fibber!
Time to Play

So I took myself over to learn some anger management skills. And then I had a piece of cake :)

Friday was all about social media. My big takeaways from the day were as follows:
- I need to be making Youtube videos!
- bloggers need to see themselves as media companies
- there are tools withing Google+ that I have not been taking advantage of
- I need to research how my blogs appear on mobile devices
- photographs add to your blog both from a visual and a searchable perspective
- guest blogging can add to your credibility and your following

Saturday was chock full of blogging topics. Since I forgot my iPad and my phone, I was tweetless in St. Louis for part of the day until Danyelle generously lent me her Macbook. I also had to take notes with a pen and paper. Can you imagine? Ha. Here is a summary of what I learned on Saturday:
- follow up on any queries you have sent out as story ideas
- engage with brands through social media and stay on top of what they are doing
- affiliate marketing can be a good way to supplement your income
- learn to create compelling headlines for your blog posts
- make use of group Pinterest boards and webmaster tools
- become collaborators with similar bloggers, not competitors

Kim Wolterman
Also on Saturday I presented Beyond the Blog: Tips for Turning Your Blog into a Book. I was a little nervous that no one would attend my breakout session as powerhouse Nick Gilham was talking about Personal Branding in the main conference room. But I had 16 attendees, which was great as people could then interact. I had a lot of fun coming up with the slides for the presentation, and I think it went well.

The day wrapped up with Stef Pollack, a smart choice of speaker for the end of a long, two day conference. Stef is an effective and entertaining presenter with a lot of helpful information to share. Danyelle once again outdid herself with Show Me the Blog 2012. I can't wait to see what she comes up with for next year!

Cupcake Project

Stef Pollack

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pinterest for Authors

Pinterest page of Kim Wolterman
Recent statistics show that Pinterest is the third-largest social media site, with 104 million visits per month. Facebook clearly leads the way with 7 billion monthly visits, while Twitter comes in second with 182 million visits. Pinterest visitors stay on the site longer than any other social media sites, and users are predominantly females between the ages of 25-44. It is easy to open a Pinterest account, and then you can begin creating your boards and start pinning.

One of the biggest benefits of Pinterest for users is that the system automatically links back to the source of the pinned photo or article. So if you have a board of photos from your blog, for example, when someone clicks on the photo they will be taken to your blog. And if they pin the photo to their Pinterest board, then all of their followers are now potentially exposed to your blog. There are some copyright issues floating around right now, so I mostly pin my own photos or those where I feel proper credit has been attributed to the photos.

Here are some examples of how authors can use Pinterest boards to either assist in the writing process or promote (subtly) their books:

- Show some visual elements from your books, either actual photos from the books or images that inspired you when writing them. For example, since I write about house research, I might want to create a board of photos of historic homes. If you write historical fiction you might have boards of photos from the time period in which you are setting your book.

- Pin the covers of books in your same genre, including your own.

- Pin photos from your book signings or speaking engagements, as well as those you have attended from other authors.

- Get creative. Where do you want to travel? In what location would you rather be writing? How about one for cool libraries?

Pinterest is one more bullet in the social media arsenal for authors. As with other forms of social media, the emphasis should be on "social". Interact with your followers, and find others to follow as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Life in Parts Book Launch

Publisher Nancy Baumann
Last night my husband and I attended the book launch of A Life in Parts at the Hyatt in downtown St. Louis. You know you are having a successful launch when it is so big that it needs to be held in a hotel ballroom! Over 400 people pre-registered for the event and judging by the books on the table when we arrived, many took advantage of the opportunity to purchase the book ahead of time and pick it up at the event. I wanted to attend the launch to show support of fellow St. Louis Publishers Association member Nancy Baumann, owner of Stonebrook Publishing and publisher of this book. But I was also eager to hear the story behind how this book came into fruition. With a Foreword by Heather Mills and back cover endorsements from Cindy Crawford and Sir Paul McCartney, I was very intrigued.

A Life in Parts details the actual life events of Loretta Goebel - an ordinary day when a chance blow to her hand ended up costing her both legs, one hand and most of the fingers of the other hand, and very nearly her life. Given only a 10% chance of survival, Loretta fought back and now shares her extraordinary story of faith, hope and encouragement to others. Her grace and poise along with her exceptional sense of humor make her a wonderful speaker.

I began to read the book last night, and while I am not too far into it yet I can see that it is a well-written and compelling story. I think that everyone who reads it will certainly come to better appreciate their own lives and hopefully learn to embrace each day and take nothing for granted.

Loretta Goebel

Loretta Goebel removes her arm

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why Authors Should be on Pinterest

While at a blogging conference a year ago one of the attendees introduced me to Pinterest and sent me an invitation to join. I signed up without really understanding what the site was all about because this blogger told me how much fun she was having with it. While I have created numerous boards and enjoy looking at the pins of others, I have not focused on using Pinterest to make me more successful as an author. The October issue of the Independent, a monthly publication of the Independent Book Publishers Association, arrived in the mail today. An article entitled "Promoting with Pinterest How to Get the Most from This Hot Social Media Network" caught my eye, stating that Pinterest is now the third-largest social media site behind Facebook and Twitter.

I decided to look into the statistics a little bit and found an article about Ben Silbermann, one of the co-founders of Pinterest. The article stated that Pinterest grew from 5,000 users in August 2010 to 17 million in April of this year. That's a lot of eyeballs! I will be researching how authors can use Pinterest to connect with their readers, and will follow-up with some tips in an upcoming post.

Monday, September 24, 2012

St. Louis WordCamp

WordCamp St. Louis
Saturday was spent at the second annual WordCamp St. Louis, which was held on the really pretty campus of Maryville University. Designed for anyone who runs a blog/website on the WordPress platform, the day was broken down into four categories: Content, Design, Development and Campfire. (The theme of this WordCamp was "Get S'More Skills", thus the reference to campfires.) So essentially each hour there was a choice of four topics, which was hard because there were always two that I wanted to attend. I stayed in the Content section all day since I felt like it was geared more towards beginners.

Even though has been around since April of 2008, I really don't have a good grasp on what makes WordPress tick. Certainly I can do all the basic stuff like post, add photos and work with plugins, but whenever it comes to anything more complicated than that, I have to ask someone else for help. While it is true that I certainly am not interested in learning how to change the HTML coding, I would like to be a little more in control of my website.

The opening session by Ed Morrissey covered the evolution of WordPress. What struck home with me is that there are currently 56 million WordPress sites! That is amazing! Certainly there must be a whole lot of folks who can help me when I get stuck, right? There is even a St. Louis user group that meets monthly, so this is definitely something I need to look into.

At each of the sessions throughout the day I learned something new. It was fun to see a handful of St. Louis Publishers Association members at the meeting, and I saw some old faces from Show Me the Blog St. Louis and met some new bloggers as well. But the best part of the day was my stop at the Happiness Desk, where one of the friendly volunteers (Jonathan Goldford of assured me that the way was constructed was indeed favorable for the search engines to find new content. He also recommended a SEO plugin to help the spiders crawl over to my site. That information alone was well worth the price of admission. I will keep my eyes open for WordCamp 2013, and highly recommend the event to anyone using WordPress for their blogs/websites.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Backing Up Your Blogger Site

Having gone through (actually still going through!) this fiasco with Google and Blogger, I was thinking about how disastrous it would be if any of my blogs totally disappeared. It was my understanding that because Blogger is hosted on the website it was not possible to back it up. I did a little research and in fact, that is not true.  Here are the steps I followed to back up my blog to my computer:

1. Log in to your blogger account and go to your blog's dashboard.
2. On the left side of the screen you will see a list of options. Click on Settings.
3. Under Settings, click on Other.
4. Up at the top of the page you will see Blog tools with the option to Import blog, Export blog and Delete blog.
5. Click on Export blog. A dialog box will open; select Download blog.
6. A new dialog box will open; select Save File.
7. A Downloads box will open; right click the download and select Open Containing Folder.
8. You can then rename the downloaded file and save it to a location on your computer that you will remember.

This will back up all of your blog posts, but not the design of the blog. If you or someone else created a special theme for your blog, that will need to be backed up separately. I just used themes available from Blogger and customized with my own photos, so recreating them would not be a big deal. Having to recreate all the posts would be impossible. I feel a lot better knowing that they are all safely backed up on my computer. Don't let your blog be an accident waiting to happen.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Frustrating Experience with Google & Blogger

If you have been trying to access this site and gotten the dreaded 404 error code, you were not alone and I apologize for that. Apparently Google/Blogger knew that they had a problem with bloggers trying to switch to custom domain names as early as September 7th, but they continued to let people purchase domain names through them for more than a week. By the time that they finally posted in their "Known Issues" forum that there was something terribly wrong, those of us who had bought the new names essentially had our blogs shut down.

This has been a long, extremely frustrating experience with little communication from Blogger, which is owned by Google. There was not much buzz about it on the Internet either, which kind of surprised me. But then I realized that the professional bloggers (those who earn a significant income from their blogs) are not on the Blogger platform. I am positive that had the professional bloggers been shut down, the issue would have been resolved in a day or two.

Two days ago Blogger stated the the problem was resolved, so I waited in vain for my blog to come back up. Back in the forum, which was the only place I could find any information at all, I could see that others were not back online either. The forum moderator kept telling us that we need to add two CNAMES. I don't even know what that means, let alone where I was supposed to add them. The reason I chose my domain name through Google, who then turfs the sale off to either Go Daddy or eNom, is because Google said they would do all the redirecting of the blog. I would not have to do anything. Ha, ha.

So you would think that the least Blogger would have done is issue a set of step by step instructions. Most of us are not techies - if we were, we would be over on WordPress and not on Blogger. Instead, we are all asking the same questions over and over in the forum trying to figure out what we are supposed to do. One gal finally posted what she had done to get the CNAMES and place them where they are supposed to go. God bless her! But when I tried to follow her steps, I could not find the CNAMES where she said she had found hers. I suspect that she was sent to Go Daddy for her domain name and not eNom where I was sent.

At that point I copied all the notes I had and sent them off to my daughter to see if she could see what I was missing. As you can tell by the fact that I am able to post, she got the blog live again. It works for the old domain of, but if you try you still get the 404 error. Half the issue is solved for now. The site will probably be down again at some point while she tries something new. Patience...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blogging for Authors

Blogging for Authors
Saturday Linda Austin, who blogs at, and I conducted a two hour workshop for St. Louis Publishers Association members who were interested in learning why it is important for authors to blog. Originally we intended to limit the group to fifteen, but we had eighteen people eagerly sign up and we even had to turn someone away. It is obvious that our members have an interest in social media but due to variations in the level of knowledge it is hard to talk about these subjects at our monthly meetings where the attendance is much larger. Having a smaller session geared towards beginning bloggers definitely helped us to define what should be covered.

The workshop began with me covering the reasons why having a blog instead of just a website makes more sense for authors, free versus paid blogging platforms along with the pros and cons of each, why and how to purchase a domain name, and considerations in deciding what to call your blog. Because I have two blogs on a free platform (Blogger) and one on a paid platform (Wordpress), I briefly pulled up my sites to give the attendees an idea of what they look like.

Linda Austin & Kim Wolterman at Blogging for Authors

Linda followed up by using the blog of her publishing company, Moonbridge Books, to illustrate the different segments that authors might want to have on their blogs such as blog posts, an About page, a listing of blog posts, pictures of book covers, and ways for followers to share posts on social media. She also discussed what to blog about, how often to post and the importance of interacting with readers. The audience was very engaged and asked a lot of good questions. We received seventeen completed evaluation forms, which is outstanding, and the feedback was very positive. So I do believe that Linda and I will be conducting future workshops together, with the next most likely being Twitter for Authors.

It was interesting to prepare for the workshop as I learned a few things myself. I will probably be re-working a bit, and I definitely want to purchase domain names for my two Blogger sites. In fact, I bought the domain name for this particular blog Saturday night. As of today, the new name is still getting the dreaded 404 code error - the requested URL was not found on this server. I will talk about this more in my next post.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

To CreateSpace or Not to CreateSpace - That is the Question

Just as a frame of reference, my first book Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed(room)? Researching a St. Louis County, Missouri Home was printed here in St. Louis and is available on my website and in local bookstores and gift shops. From Buckeye to G.I. LeRoy C. Kubler The War Years, 1942-1945 was uploaded to Lightning Source, which then prints the books as they are ordered and also distributes the books through Ingram. My ebook Keys to Unlocking House History was produced through Smashwords, but because Amazon does not play well with others I also uploaded it through Kindle Direct Publishing to make sure that it could be sold on the Amazon website. While Amazon does show all three of my books if you enter my name in their search engine, my house research book is essentially unavailable and my WWII book says that it will ship in one to three weeks. In this age of instant gratification, a delay in shipping equates to a lack of sales.

I have been thinking about how to resolve these issues. In doing research on the Lightning Source versus CreateSpace issue, it appears that I can go ahead and upload the PDF of From Buckeye to G.I. to CreateSpace and have it sell from there in addition to Lightning Source. There are trade offs with both companies, but it seems prudent to have the book in both locations. I guess the biggest issue will be whether the original PDF, which was formatted by the designer for Lightning Source, is also acceptable to CreateSpace. I won't know until I upload it. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one as I do not wish to go back to the designer I used.

I have never been overly concerned that Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed(room)? is not for sale on Amazon. Because my audience is limited to the St. Louis area, it didn't seem to be that big of a deal. But I am rethinking that stance. For now I think I will start with From Buckeye to G.I on CreateSpace and see where that takes me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blogging for Authors

On September 8, 2012 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Linda Austin and I will be doing a workshop at the Brentwood Community Center entitled Blogging for Authors. The purpose of the meeting is to help authors understand the purpose and importance of a blog, discuss different blogging platforms, give examples of blogging topics, and illustrate how to attract an audience. Originally Linda and I were going to offer a workshop on Twitter, as a lot of the attendees at a recent social media event held by the St. Louis Publishers Association seemed to be perplexed by the topic. But then it seemed to make more sense to begin at the beginning. When someone is interested in you on Twitter, they want to be able to check out your blog. If you have no blog, well...they just go away.

So we are starting with blogging and will see how it goes. We are limiting the workshop to 15 attendees, and they must be members of the St. Louis Publishers Association to attend. The cost is $15 to cover the room rental and miscellaneous expenses. I believe we have 7 or so folks signed up already, and the email regarding the event just went out on Monday. The timing on this is pretty good as there is a WordCamp coming to St. Louis later in September. If any of our attendees decide to go with the Wordpress platform for their blog, this would be a great followup meeting for them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Show Me the Blogged Book

A while back I was asked by Danyelle Little, aka The Cubicle Chick, to be a speaker at the Show Me the Blog conference in October. I can't believe I have not blogged about this before now. I think it is because speakers were offered a badge to put on their websites to show that they are speaking at this event, and I have yet to be able to figure out how to get Blogger to accept the badge. Techy, I am not! Obviously I was able to figure out how to copy and paste the image here, but it's not quite the same thing.

At any rate, as someone who has attended the past two Show Me the Blog meetings (you can find my review of last year's sessions here) and been blown away by all the great information imparted, I was thrilled to be asked to present. Danyelle would like for me to talk about how to turn a blog into a book. While I haven't precisely taken what I have blogged about and published it into a book, I did begin to blog about my book's topic (how to research the history of a house) before my first book was written. And I certainly know a lot about book publishing by this point. I think I have a lot to share, and am excited for this wonderful opportunity.

You can find my Featured Speaker interview with Danyelle here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wholesaler or Distributor - Which One Do You Need?

Barnes and Noble wants to purchase copies of a new book written by a friend of mine. Great news, right? The only problem is that they want him to go through a wholesaler or distributor in order to get the books into their stores. They sent him a list of companies that they are working with so that he could select one. This led to a discussion about the differences between a wholesaler and a distributor.

In a nutshell, using a wholesaler enables publishers to get their books into most traditional bookstores, online retailers and libraries. They essentially receive and process orders. The wholesalers keeps supplies of books in their warehouses and mail them to retailers and libraries.

On the other hand, a distributor gets books into the hands of wholesalers in addition to bookstores, online retailers and libraries. Distributors also handle the storage and shipment of books. Additionally the distributor employs a sales staff to assist in the marketing efforts of its publishers. Unlike wholesalers, distributors often require an exclusive arrangement from their publishers.

So how do these two entities make their money? Wholesalers make their income by buying books from publishers at a high discount and selling them to their customers for a slightly lower discount. A wholesaler may require a 50-60% discount off the list price of the book, which means the publisher receives 40-50% of the list price. In turn the wholesaler may allow bookstores 40-45% off the list price. Libraries may be offered 20-33% off list price.

Book distributors derive their income by taking an overall percentage (normally 25-30%) of the retail selling price. That may work out to 67% off the list price, leaving the publisher with 23% of the list price.

Both of these result in less income per book for the publisher. Because distributors are doing some marketing of the books, the publisher realizes less income in that arrangement than a wholesaler agreement. So does it make sense to enter into one of these agreements? If your book is of regional, national or international interest, you may want to consider these options. Many bookstores will not deal with individual authors or publishers, so if you want your book(s) in bookstores and/or libraries you may have no choice. While you are giving up a pretty substantial portion of list price on each book, using a wholesaler or distributor opens up many new marketing opportunities for you. Additionally they deal with getting the books into the markets, billing and collection of any moneys due, and shipment of books. Trying to do all these tasks on your own can be overwhelming.

As with all things in this brave, new world of publishing do your research on the companies before signing any contracts. There are a lot of unscrupulous folks trying to take advantage of authors and publishers right now.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Oh Writing Ideas, Where Art Thou?

For the past couple of months I have been struggling with what to undertake as my next project. Earlier in the year I was certain that I wanted to do a book about my mom's family, the Crushams. After all, they always say that you should write about what you know. Check. And that you should write about something you are passionate about. Since I have been tracing the family history since 1989, I can give that a big check. So what is the problem? I guess the problem is that I know how much work and effort goes into a book. Let alone the time to write the book, you have to consider the cover, layout, distribution, etc. And face it, the market for this book is really small. My first two books were also niche markets, so I know the uphill battle in trying to make enough sales just to cover the expenses. Do I really want to go through all this again for a family history book?

Michael A Crusham
I have considered just publishing it as an e-book. Certainly my expenses would be much less. But then I think about my older relatives who would never get to see it because they don't own computers much less e-readers. And if I had a few print copies done for them, I am back to hiring a designer and all the costs that entails. And so I go round and round with this topic. Then I look at this photo of Michael Crusham, a man who left Ireland on his own at a very young age, and I think about his story. There are a couple of sisters in Cincinnati, much older cousins of mine, who as children lived in the apartment below Michael and his wife Catherine. I think they may have stories to tell as well. I was supposed to interview them on my last trip to Cincinnati but something came up on their end. Perhaps I'll continue to put together the outline of the book and the questions I want to ask them. I have a feeling that after I interview these ladies I may have a better idea of whether to go forward with the book. If nothing else, I'll have some more material to put into the family tree and that is always a good thing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Social Media for Publishers

At this month's St. Louis Publishers Association meeting, local social media expert Erica Smith shared some tips on how authors can make the most of their social media platform. While at first glance it may seem overwhelming with all the social media options available right now, Erica suggests picking the one or two that you enjoy most and maximizing those. Don't try to have an active presence on all the sites or there will be no time left to do anything else. Here are some of the other tips I learned at the meeting:

- you have to engage, be transparent, be relevant, and have a strategy
- the best time to tweet is between 1:00-3:00 p.m. Monday thru Thursday
- the average Twitter user is 33 years old, 59% are women, 35% tweet at least once per day and stay on Twitter an average of 12 minutes
- females make up 56% of Facebook users
- have a good profile picture on Facebook because it will show up so small in the news feed
- the secret to Facebook is images - post them!
- use Events on Facebook to promote book signings or other events
- the best time to post on Facebook is 1-4 p.m. Tuesday thru Thursday
- Pinterest is a photo based social media site that is growing rapidly
- the average age of a Pinterest user is 35, and 82% are females who will spend more time here than on any other social media site
- Tumblr is used by the 18-22 year old crowd, more females than males, and the average time spent here is 2 1/2 hours per week
- Tumblr is most active on Friday nights, with lots of fashion, music and profanity
- men are more likely to be found on Google+ and LinkedIn

So pick your favorite form of social media, be active (during the best times and days of the week) and be relevant for your readers. Happy promoting!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Response from Amazon

Tonight I received the following response from Amazon regarding the legitimacy of my ebook, Keys to Unlocking House History:


Thank you for your cooperation in providing the requested information. The following book(s) will continue to be available in the Kindle Store.

Keys to Unlocking House History (ASIN:B005UD7UWI)

If you have any questions regarding the review process, you can write to us at

To contact us regarding a different issue, please visit:

Best Regards,

Aaron W.

While it was unnerving to have to go through the process of proving that I did, indeed, author this book, I am nevertheless relieved to get this email. The fact that they got back to me in only four days is quite impressive. Now I will be prepared if this ever comes up again in the future.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Chosen Ones Book Launch

The Chosen Ones
Last Sunday was the book launch for The Chosen Ones: The Team That Beat LeBron. The author of this book is my cousin Tony Meale. He decided to hold a book launch for his family and friends as well as some of the players from Roger Bacon High School who were on the state championship team in the 2001-2002 school year. The event was held in the cafeteria of Roger Bacon High School, which was fun because it added to the ambiance of the day. A television played a video of the final game of the state championship, and there were always people gathered around it watching the plays. It was also fun to see the trophy, mounted newspaper article announcing the winning team, and the plaque highlighting the team members.

Tony Meale interviewed by Channel 12
Tony was expecting around 150 people to show up for the launch, and I think he had every bit of that, with people coming and going from 1:00-5:00. I was not surprised by the number of folks that came out for the book signing, because Tony has a lot of friends and family. What did amaze me was that three television stations and at least one newspaper came as well! I have never seen that at a book launch. You might be tempted to say that Tony was lucky because it was a slow news day so the press had nothing major to cover. Or that the press only came because it was a Sunday afternoon and there was free food. But you would be missing an important lesson here. Tony carefully timed his book launch to coincide with the NBA finals. There is a media frenzy going on right now with the finals and specifically LeBron James. The press is hungry for anything and everything LeBron. And The Chosen Ones offers up something new to talk about regarding LeBron.

Of course Tony could not have predicted that LeBron James and the Miami Heat would indeed appear in the finals this year when he decided to write a book highlighting the tenth anniversary of the 2002 state championship game in which Roger Bacon High School became the only Ohio team to beat LeBron James and his teammates from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. But the finals do include the Heat, so Tony is able to capitalize on the media exposure. And what exposure there has been! Tony has appeared on television, the radio and on Internet radio programs discussing his book and the Roger Bacon team. And those are only the things I know about. What I will say about Tony is that he makes it very easy for the press - he interviews well, he is personable and, most importantly, he is passionate about his topic.

For my part I have posted YouTube videos of the film I shot at the book launch as well as of the photos I took at the event. Since YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, I think the videos will help garner exposure for the book and Tony's website,

The takeaway from all of this is to carefully plan the launch of your book. Most of us won't have LeBron James to hang our hats on, but there may be other media events or calendar events that you can work with. For example, a book on the history of ice cream could be launched on National Ice Cream Day. Here is a website where you can see usual and unusual calendar celebrations. There are other websites out there as well. The media will be looking for stories to cover for these special days. Make their job easier, and they will help you promote your book.

Tony Meale and Kim Wolterman

Friday, June 15, 2012

Amazon Follow-up

Keys to Unlocking House History
Once the red haze cleared from my eyes over Amazon implying that I had either a) stolen another author's work and put my own name on it, or b) gathered up a bunch of free material on the Internet and placed it in a book to call my own, I turned to Google to see who else had been put in a similar situation. As it turns out I had plenty of company. In fact in the Kindle Direct Publishing forum there was quite a lively discussion that had taken place. I had to sort out the responders who were throwing around comments about KDP Select (another program entirely where you do agree to have your book listed ONLY with Amazon for a set period of time) but I finally found a couple of authors who explained what they had successfully done to satisfy Amazon that they were, indeed, the authors of the books in question.

Basically you need to relay to Amazon all places on the Internet where you have the book listed for sale and/or have published excerpts from your book. One author went above and beyond and just gave them the urls to all of her online social media. That seemed like a good plan to me - if they wanted urls, they were going to get urls. So here is my response back to Amazon:


In response to your inquiry regarding Keys to Unlocking House History, I am the author of this ebook, which is an original work. The book is sold and/or mentioned at the following websites:!/compostqueen 400000000000000444927

Please let me know if you have any further concerns about this title.

Kim Wolterman
Owner of Provenance Publishing LLC
Author of Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed(room)?
Researching a St. Louis County, Missouri Home
Keys to Unlocking House History
; and
From Buckeye to G.I. LeRoy C. Kubler The War Years, 1942-1945

From what I have read it can take one to two weeks to receive a reply back from Amazon. In the meantime you just pray that they don't take your book down until they make their decision. Amazon will have you believe that they are doing this to protect the rights of authors, and to make sure that people aren't just scraping up wiki material on the web and turning it into a book for profit. The Amazon conspiracy theorists believe that this is another attempt by Amazon to try to get authors to only lists their books for sale on Amazon. I suspect there is some truth in both opinions. Another lesson learned in this new world of publishing. Stay tuned for how I make out with the Goliath.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Amazon is at it Again!

As I have mentioned in the past, I wrote an ebook entitled Keys to Unlocking House History, and it is available through and on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing subsidiary. The ebook sells much better, relatively speaking, on Amazon. When I got home from the St. Louis Publishers Association meeting tonight, which was a great discussion about social media, I found this waiting to ambush me in my email inbox.


During a review of your catalog, we found that one or more of your titles contain content that is freely available on the web.  Copyright is important to us – we want to make sure that no author or other copyright holder has their work claimed and sold by anyone else.

Keys to Unlocking House History (ASIN:B005UD7UWI)

If, in fact, you are the sole owner of the publishing rights for the books listed above, please provide the URLs for all websites where you have previously published this or any other Kindle content. Please respond within five business days with the requested URLs so we can verify you have the sole publishing rights, or the books will be removed from sale in the Kindle Store. If the content of your book(s) are in the public domain, please confirm this and include the information you used to make this determination.

If you have already unpublished the books listed above, please reply with that information.  We ask that you unpublish any other book that closely matches content that is freely available on the web for which you do not hold the sole publishing rights, or whose content is not in the public domain.  If we discover any other titles you have submitted fail to comply with these conditions or do not meet our Content Guidelines in any other way, your account may be terminated.

Instructions on how to unpublish your books can be found here:

If you have any questions regarding the review process, you can write to us at To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit:

Best Regards,

Amazon KDP

I don't even know how to respond to this. First of all, I must do so within five days, so the pressure is on. Second, I haven't published this information anywhere else on the web. Why would I have written a book if I had already put it all out on the Internet? So how do I prove I wrote this ebook if I cannot provide any urls to them? It reminds me of that old joke "When did you stop beating your wife?" There is no good way to answer the question. Time to Google the problem and see what other authors say. I can't believe I am the first to receive this email. I will report back with the resolution.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Game On

My cousin Tony Meale began writing a non-fiction book last summer. Over the past ten months or so we have talked, emailed and facebooked about the writing process, setting up a publishing company, layout and design, printing and distribution of books. Now all of his work has paid off and his book launch is on Sunday. I feel like a proud momma! I wasn't sure it was going to work out, but the stars have aligned and I will be driving over to Cincinnati early Sunday morning to take part in the festivities.

What is amazing to me is that he has already had two radio interviews, one television interview that will air on the night time news in Cincinnati (one half tonight and one half tomorrow night, no less!) and a news station in Florida has interviewed one of the basketball players who appears on the cover of Tony's book. The video of the interview is online along with a mention of where you can buy the book. Why all the interest in a book written by a 27 year-old first time author? You see, Tony's book is called The Chosen Ones with the subtitle The Team That Beat LeBron. It is about the only Ohio high school team to ever beat LeBron James, and at the state championships no less. It has been ten years since the upset, but people in Ohio still remember the game. The fact that the book releases on Sunday, the day after the last game of the Eastern Conference finals in which LeBron will play a key role, is no coincidence. Tony has planned his marketing campaign well.

The Chosen Ones
From day one I felt that this book had the potential to sell really well, outside of the friends, family and high school alumni folks with a vested interest in the project. I knew that Tony would be thorough in his research, and that it would be well written. Now it appears as though the press is excited about the book, too. I am so thrilled for him! If you would like to learn more about The Chosen Ones, go to

Friday, April 27, 2012

Can You Make Money Self-Publishing?

Self-Published Books
There is still a lot debate about whether an author should go the traditional route with publishing, or should instead self-publish. One of the arguments against self-publishing is that you incur all the expenses of writing, editing, designing, printing and distributing your book. That is all true. But you also get to keep most if not all of the book sales, depending on your method of distribution. Here is a compelling post by Joe Konrath about how he has done after leaving the traditional publishing world and embarking on the path to self-publishing. Works for me!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bloggy Boot Camp St. Louis

I've been absent from this blog for the past couple of weeks as I helped my daughter move out to Los Angeles. If you are curious about what it is like to move your baby 1,900 miles away, you can check out my personal blog here. Being a true empty nester now should provide me with plenty of time to blog, right?

Bloggy Boot Camp St. Louis
Over the weekend I attended Bloggy Boot Camp St. Louis. Other than the fantastic Show Me the Blog conferences put on by the, we do not usually see blogging conferences in St. Louis. So I was excited when I noticed on Twitter that the SITS Girls were headed our way. Even though I began my first blog on researching house history back in 2008 while I was writing my book, there is still so much that I don't know about search engine optimization, marketing blogs and using all the great plugins available.

The conference began on Friday night with a social mixer, and I have found that attending the pre-events always makes me feel more comfortable going to the conference the next day. Held at the Millennium Hotel downtown, Charmin was the sponsor for the evening. I always think about Mr. Whipple when I hear the word Charmin, and I suppose that shows my age. Patrick Rich of MSL New York was on the go at the event, making sure that all of us were aware of the phone app Sit or Squat. With the app on your phone you can view and review bathrooms that you visit. It pulls up a map of the area where you are located, and identifies bathrooms in the vicinity. A green roll of toilet paper tells you that the bathroom is safe to sit in, a red one lets you know that you might want to find a new stop. I wish I would have had the app on my phone for the 1,900 mile drive to LA. At certain points even a red roll of toilet paper would have been welcomed!

On Saturday morning the meeting room was packed with approximately 140 bloggers. I appreciated the fact the conference organizers assigned us to tables in the morning and for lunch. It really forced everyone to mix it up and meet new people. The opening remarks by Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci were loaded with gems. I particularly liked the comments about embracing other bloggers successes instead of being critical out of jealousy. It follows my life motto about surrounding yourself with positive people. Glass half full folks will only bring you down with them. They will never rise to your level.

Laurie Turk was up first. She suggested that we have one main purpose for our blogs. While hers is a craft blog, her purpose is to promote successful crafting women. I love this quote from Laurie, "A blog is just a resume to make your dreams come true." Up next was Cynthia Wheeler who shared some great insight on how to make your blog inviting enough that readers not only come to your site but also stay to look around. She was followed by Dali Burgado who spoke about SEO and ways to help readers find your blog. Dali did a great job and for once I did not feel as though I was listening to someone speak in tongues about the topic. I'll be checking out for sure.

After lunch there was a choice of two breakout sessions. I chose the writers workshop, discussing turning your blog into a book. I didn't approach my book this way, instead writing the book first and using my blog as a way to build my platform as an author, but I do know a few authors who have turned the content of their blogs into a book. Meagan Francis shared her experiences of the blog to book road. In this age of e-books I suspect that many bloggers have a real opportunity here.

Annie Schultz then offered up some insights into utilizing StumbleUpon and Pinterest to build up traffic to our blogs. While I have posted a little bit on Pinterest (and love that you can direct the photos back to your blog posts), I have never even looked at StumbleUpon. Okay, that is about to change. The day wrapped up with Danielle Smith advising us on how to use video to tell our stories. I know that I need to create some videos. House history research lends itself easily to how-to videos. I even knew that Youtube is the second largest search engine. I have a tripod and a video camera, so what is the problem? I am going to take Danielle's 7 day challenge, where she suggested that we shoot a 1 1/2 to 2 minute video of ourselves every day for a week. We are not to look at the videos until the end of the challenge. She says we will be surprised at how much we improve by the end of the week. The challenge is on!

And just when I thought the day could not get any better, Mirassou Wineries hosted a wine tasting event for us. I was excited to hear that local grocery stores here carry these great California wines, but ecstatic to find a new favorite wine in their Moscato. Often referred to as a wussie wine drinker by my friends and family, I think I have finally located a wine that will satisfy my tastes and not be deemed "too sweet" by others. Thanks Mirassou!

Mirassou Moscato Wine
To say that the day was a great learning experience is an understatement. It is hard not to be energized when you are surrounded by so many bright, enthusiastic and diverse women (and a couple of men) with so much to share. I encourage any blogger to try to attend blogging conferences. The information you walk away with is worth the price of admission. But the new friends you will meet there? Priceless!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The 1940 Census

If you are a genealogist, you know all about the release of the 1940 federal census. Genealogydom has been buzzing for months about it. Census records are not released until 72 years after the census was taken - sort of a nod to privacy. Because I am working on my Crusham line in an effort to write a family history book about that branch of my family tree, I looked up my grandparents last night to see if I could find them. The census records are not indexed yet, and probably won't be for months as there is an army of volunteers taking on this immense project. But if you know the enumeration district for your ancestor, you can slowly make your way through the records. The National Archives website walks you (easily, in fact) through the process of finding the enumeration district as long as you know the address.

So I found my grandparents and their 8 children in their house on Rosemont Ave. in Cincinnati. What is interesting about this census is that they not only asked what the person did for a living, but also how much they made! While it is interesting 72 years later to see the figures, I'm sure grandpa wasn't too excited about revealing the number. My then 19 year old mother worked as a sewer for a sporting goods manufacturer for 26 weeks in the previous 12 months of the date of the census and made $520. Her father worked for 50 weeks as a printer for a label company and made $900. So you can really see how much working children were able to help their families financially in the time period coming off the depression.

Another interesting thing in the 1940 census is the fact that they asked the person where they lived in 1935. For those of us conducting house history research, we can now see if the current homeowner (assuming they owned the house and were not renting-and this is asked on the form) also lived in the house in 1935. This takes the house research back another 5 years. Pretty cool!

When time allows, it will be fun to go and look at my other family members who will be making guest appearances in my book. Maybe after the indexing is done!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Digging the Roots

Bolling Hall, Yorkshire, England
Genealogy is something I have been working on since my mom died in 1989, and I seem to run hot and cold with it. I attend a few workshops each year, and have a subscription to so that I can research from home whenever I want without someone booting me off of a library computer when my time is up. I have notebooks and hanging files filled with photographs, historic documents and notes. One of the reasons I participated in the Family History Writing Challenge last month was so I could try to make some interesting sense of all of the paperwork. I am on my way with my mom's family tree.

But a few days ago I was on looking at Anna May Hightower, who is my great-great-grandmother on my dad's side. I hit the motherlode, genealogically speaking. There are a number of genealogists who have researched this family way back to the founders of Jamestowne and then across the pond to England where there are Lords and Knights and all kinds of castles in the history books. This is the first line of ancestors that I have come across who actually did not immigrate here during the 1800's. This is a huge discovery for me as it opens doors to revolutionary war organizations as well as the Jamestowne Society.

But here is the thing about - you have to take everything you see with a grain of salt. It reminds me of Wikipedia a bit because anyone can submit anything without substantiating it. You will find people putting up mothers with birth dates that would make them younger than their children, or parents who are shown to be 50 years older than their children. Having said that, though, there are legitimate sources listed on the website as well. So you just have to sort out the wheat from the chaff. And having the information does at least give you a starting point so you know where to go look for records.

As the Hightower family lived in Covington, Kentucky when they first met up with my Hungler family, I'll be able to do a little research on them when I am in Cincinnati at the conference, since Covington is right across the river. Down the road I can see a trip to Virginia to check out all the family names there. And then to England some day? I can definitely dig looking for those roots!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The New iPad

My husband purchased the original iPad as a Christmas gift for me in 2010. Of course, the iPad 2 came out a few short months later, which did not make either of us happy. I was surprised by the gift, as I hadn't really been considering an iPad or even an e-reader for that matter. I fell in love with the iPad in short order. In addition to taking it to meetings for note-taking, I liked being able to Tweet or post on Facebook at the many social media events I attend. But perhaps the biggest surprise was how much I enjoyed reading ebooks on this device. As an author I am intrigued by the whole tsunami of ebooks being released, and have in fact written one of my own entitled Keys to Unlocking House History. But as a large consumer of books, I can't get over how wonderful it is to be able to purchase a book no matter where I am, download it, and immediately begin to read. For travel having numerous books at my disposal instead of schlepping along a few hard or soft bound copies in my suitcase is a godsend.

When the iPad 2 was released I was envious of the smaller size and lighter weight of the device, but even more enticing was the fact that the new iPad had a camera and video recording capabilities. But I could not condone immediately upgrading in 2011. I have been following the rumors and news releases of the 2012 iPad very closely, and knew that there were enough changes to justify purchasing it. It is also helpful that my husband is anxious to get his hands on my old iPad :)

I ordered my iPad the day that it was released, and decided to go with the 32GB version with 4G. My old iPad is 16GB, and while I did not run out of space on it, I have zero videos on it and not too many photos. I know that will not be the case with the new iPad. I have an AT&T plan on the old iPad and intend to keep it on the new. Most of the time I can access wireless Internet, but when you can't it is really convenient to be able to get on the AT&T network.

My iPad arrived Friday, March 16th in the morning as promised. I had it delivered to my husband's office as I knew that someone would have to sign for it.

I was a little concerned about transferring all the information from my iPad to the new iPad, but it was a piece of cake. Following instructions online, I backed up the old iPad into the iTunes on my Macbook Pro, then connected the new iPad to the laptop and clicked "Restore". That was it. The only thing that I didn't see right away was my book library. I just needed to register my new iPad with my Amazon account, and now all the books appear on the new iPad.

So here are my thoughts after using the new iPad for a few days. The new iPad is definitely lighter and thinner than the iPad 1, so that is pretty noticeable. But once you turn the iPads on and compare them side by side - wow! The picture quality is so superior on the new iPad. The Retina display is 2048 x 1536 on the new one, as opposed to 1024 x 768 on the old one. The difference is huge. It is a beautiful display. Supposedly the Retina display is better for reading books and magazines, but I have yet to experience that.
original iPad on the left, new iPad on the right
I am excited to use the camera and camcorder on the iPad. I will review those features once I have an opportunity to try them out. While they will never replace my Nikon DSLR or my Sony camcorder, it is great to know that I can take a quick picture or video during a meeting and upload it to the Internet right away. I know that I can do that from my phone, but how nice to be able to accomplish it with the device I already have in hand.

The new iPad also has voice dictation on it. You simply tap the microphone on the keyboard and start talking. While I have found it to be fairly accurate, it certainly is not fast. I can type faster than it responds to my voice. But if you need to look something up hands-free or you don't like the keyboard on the iPad, it is an alternative. I personally have no problem with typing on the keyboard.

The new iPad is definitely far superior to the original iPad. If I had an iPad 2 would I upgrade? Probably not.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Have No Class

Unfortunately there was insufficient registration for my spring class on Writing, Publishing and Promoting a Non-fiction Book at the community college. The director said that none of the non-fiction classes did well, while the fiction classes were all full. She said it swings like that sometimes. I am disappointed, but on the other hand I wasn't sure I was going to have a book for the class so it may be just as well. I'll have time to look at book options for the fall, or perhaps even write my own workbook for the course.

Because I was on vacation last week I was not able to write anything for the Family History Writing Challenge from February 25th until it ended on February 29th. I am really glad that I participated in the challenge though as I learned a lot from Lynn, who put it all together, as well as the other members who submitted in the forum that was set up for us. Thankfully Lynn is keeping the forum open, so I hope that we can keep in touch. One thing the challenge motivated me to do was really examine what I have in the filing cabinet and three ring binder on my mom's side of the family. Doing the writing helped me to see what questions remain unanswered. I now have a nice list of items I want to cover with my aunts and one of my cousins when I go to Cincinnati this spring for the NGS annual conference. It does seem like such a waste to keep all of my research hidden in the file drawer. I might as well put it all into a book for my relatives to enjoy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Feeling Challenged

We are in the final leg of the family history writing challenge. It officially ends on the 29th, but I hope that the forum will remain open so that we can keep in touch. It has been fun getting to know the other family historians. I am pretty pleased with where I am in the process. My biggest hurdle will be making the information sound interesting. Several people in the forum have suggested books that might help in that regard. There was a list of family histories of all shapes and sizes. I purchased Oh Beautiful by John Paul Godges upon the recommendation of several people in the group. It is a compelling read so far, and hopefully will give me some ideas on the way I want to approach my story.