Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview with Stories to Tell: RootsTech Vendors and Speakers

In anticipation of the upcoming RootsTech conference, I reached out to vendors and speakers Biff and Nancy Barnes of Stories To Tell Books. Thankfully, they granted me an interview. They are teaching a session titled, "Self Publish Your MS Word Book Like a Pro." The sessions title and content intrigued me so I asked them about it:

1. Your session's title makes it sound really easy to go from Word document to book. Is it really that easy? Does this session provide the steps?
Writing and self publishing a book is easier than it may seem. Really, all authors follow the same process, and we explain it step by step. Like a recipe, if you prepare the ingredients in advance, it is much easier to put a book together. MS Word is very useful for family history books, because it is designed to include footnotes, endnotes, appendixes, the index, and a table of contents. Photos and other images should be scanned and prepared correctly, and this requires photo editing software. We will discuss the benefits and limits of a Word-only book, and provide alternatives, too.

2. Must one already have a Word document in hand to benefit from this session?
We’ll provide everything for the participants. The class is intended to help authors at any stage, even those who have not yet begun to write. Sample book chapters will be pre-loaded on the lab computers so that you can practice each skill in Word as we demonstrate. We will also present a PowerPoint with additional information about self publishing, and provide useful web links. If class participants would like to review the class later, the slideshow will be available to download from our website.

3. What advice would you give to RootsTech first timers?
These conferences can result in information overload! Our advice is to set a few concrete goals before you come, and to choose the classes that match your goals. You want to learn something you can take home and use.

4. What can attendees expect to see at the Stories To Tell booth?
As editors and designers of family history books, we have a lot of valuable information to share about writing, editing and publishing. Visitors may wish to talk about their book project ideas and ask questions. Authors who have written a draft are invited to bring it along for a free consultation. We display examples of different types of family history books. Attendees may wish to purchase our book, Stories To Tell: An Easy Guide to Self Publishing Family History Books and Memoirs. We also offer a CD, How To Plan And Organize a Family History Book

Special thanks to Biff and Nancy of Stories to Tell for taking some time to share about what they have in store for RootsTech attendees. Nancy will also be teaching a session titled, "Use Adobe Creative Suite to Self-publish Your Family History Book."

See you soon in Salt Lake City!

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