Self Publish Your Memoir Guide
You understand all the great reasons to write your memoir or life story. So now you’ve completed the writing and have a compilation of stories. Now what? Your journey to Self publishing your memoir is a very personal one and it’s all about you and your goals. If you’ve written your memoir for your family and loved ones, or even a wider audience self-publishing your memoir may be the best option. If you choose to self-publish your memoir you have two options: take a do it yourself approach and do everything yourself (via service providers) or use a self-publishing company to do it for you. Using a service to do it for you will typically charge an up-front fee and/or a fee per book sold or print as you go. Whatever way you choose, Your guide to self-publishing your memoir, life story or legacy book covers 11 popular ways to self publish your life story or memoir.
The advantages are:
- You can make all your own creative and marketing decisions for your project.
- Design something that matches your vision, choose the best printing options for you, and share it with your friends, fans, and followers.
- Choose the best format to strike a balance between your creative vision and a price that works for your audience.
- From glossy coffee-table books to device-ready ebooks, now you can design once and deliver often.
- Create a book you can sell at scale through the site’s bookstore, on Amazon, and in stores with partner distribution.
Do it Yourself Options
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few examples of self-publishing services. You may have different priorities to consider, so be prepared to do some Internet searching, reading and quote requesting. There are simpler ways of compiling your stories – e.g. spiral binding your stories and photos. Or you may wish to work with a graphic artist who could create a custom binding for you – or a personal historian who can help you write, videotape or record your stories and put them into a format to share with family and friends.
We’ve used Lulu for our self-published books and the process was very good so check them out. Your Story Guide published her mother-in-law’s book of letters, “Letters From Edna” through Lulu.com and was very happy with its services.
Blurb produces good quality hardcover books and more. Prices are high, but Blurb’s ordering process is ideal for those who want to order their own copies or to provide a link for others to order as well. Text and photo layouts, Adobe InDesign templates. Costs vary according to types of cover (soft, hard/dust jacket and hard/Imagewrap) and whether premium or standard paper is used). Take a look at the following examples: “Middie’s Memoirs” by Arthur and Anne Middleton, (87 pages) “Happy ‘85’ Birthday, Ed!” by Anne Middleton, (27 pages).
Mycanvas has text and photo layouts, yet the text layouts are not as sophisticated as some other self-publishing programs. However, if you have lots of photos and ancestry information on Ancestry.com, this site makes it easy to create directly from there and creates beautiful photo books. Take a look at the following example: -“Sage Magazine’s Journey of Sisterhood”.
The gold standard of craft bookbinding. Photo Book Press produces strong and beautiful photo books that will always open flat and will never come apart. Expensive, but these are reportedly the only photo books available with this high quality sewn signature binding.
Book1One specializes in all types of books. They do not provide editing services, just reasonably priced printing and binding. But they will help set up covers for a fee. There is no minimum order requirements, no set up fees and quick production turn around times.
A Guided Autobiography member had a book printed by Angel Printing. “The proof was the best quality I have ever seen,” she said. “For my paperback books, they were a little higher but were willing to match Book1One’s price. So you may want to check them out.
iUniverse has packages to give you everything you need to reach your publishing goals, including book and cover design, one-on-one author support, global distribution, on-demand book printing and editorial services.
Dorrance Publishing has been around for decades. The company was featured on an “I Love Lucy” show in the early 1950s. They have a good book about publishing that one can download for free and lots of writing prompts.
Impressive website, full service company. Lots of comparisons and information although I have never used them.
Part of Amazon.com, the largest book distributor in the world.
UbuildaBook is another online book print and bind company. A little expensive for lower quantities, but
worth looking into as a basis of comparison to others.