Got a great story idea but need a writer?
After I received a Ph.D. in southern history from Florida State University in 1989, I taught college for a time before leaving academia in 1996 to write full-time. I have published histories of the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola rivers, the South Carolina city of Rock Hill, several churches in Georgia and Alabama, as well a number of biographies, family and business histories, spiritual essays, and even a regional tennis history. Two of these won book awards.
The 3 Phases of Creating a History, Biography, or Memoir
I. Research Phase. I will conduct oral interviews and read other relevant sources to learn the details necessary to tell the story. This phase usually takes about three months to complete.
II. Writing Phase. The writing of your book is accomplished in a series of drafts. You will provide feedback after each one so that the finished product not only accurately tells your story but also reflects your point of view. A first draft gets the facts down in narrative form and makes it clear what other research needs to be done. A second draft fills in the holes and corrects factual and grammatical errors. A third draft polishes the whole into a highly readable form. Finally, after you have approved the manuscript, it is copy-edited once more to dot every i. The writing phase takes anywhere from six months to several years, depending on how quickly the client approves each draft.
III. Publishing Phase. The final phase involves transforming your story into physical form. This is the most labor-intensive portion of the whole process. Photographs are scanned and prepped, and we make preliminary decisions about where in the text to put the illustrations. Then, we are ready to move to press.
If I serve as your lay out artist, cover designer, and publisher, we will use a print-on-demand company from which you and anyone else will be able to order as few or as many copies as you wish at a time online through Amazon.com. (Costs for these publishing services are listed below the writing quotes.)
Your second option is to work with a traditional publishing house of your choice. They would design your cover and lay out the book while I work closely with them. You would pay them separately to make a one-time order a specific number of books. This phase usually takes two to three months.
Cost Projections for Writing your Book
Every book is different. Some are more collections of photos with short narratives while others are mostly text. Some involve charts and other extras. Sometimes travel expenses are involved. Some clients are willing to pay a premium for rushing the completion of the project. An estimate of the total cost of your project will take such things into account. However, the following is good rule of thumb for producing your book (excluding printing costs—see last line below).
These totals include all research and interviews necessary to bring your story to life, three drafts plus a copy editing of the manuscript, scanning of all photos and illustrations.
Cost Projections For Editing, Layout & Publication of the manuscript you furnish
The following editing charges include 4 rounds of editing: 2 thorough edits of prose for story enhancement and grammatical corrections, plus 1 final copy-edit, plus a careful read of the book proof before it is printed. (If I have written your manuscript, these charges do not apply to you.)
Fees for Other Publishing Services
Whether you write your book or I write it for you, these additional publishing services will get your book ready for publication.
An average sized, black & white interior book printed by a print-on-demand company will cost less than $5 per book.