Don’t lose your story: whether it’s your memoirs or the history of your family, make sure your past won’t be lost

Don’t lose your past – here’s how to pass it on…

Here’s a question for you: what’s the most valuable thing you can pass onto the next generation of your family?

Now if you happen to live in a stately home, the answer might be obvious.  But for most people, I’d suggest it’s not the house or any savings.  Not even an old engagement ring that’s going to the next generation, dear to the heart as that might be.

No, I think it’s the stories – the knowledge of where you come from and what that means.

Whether that’s your family history or your own personal memoirs, I think passing on who you are and where you come from really matters.  After all, even in the case of the engagement ring or the stately home, it’s what it stands for that makes it so important: it’s about who had it before… its history.

Now, you could simply tell people – “this ring was Grandma’s and Grandad bought it for her by selling his motorbike…” and so on.  Nothing wrong with that.  But people won’t always remember it… and even if they do, they’ll forget details… details that would have kept the story alive.

That’s why so many people want to write down their story – whether it’s their own personal memoirs or the history of the family (from their own memories or after careful research).

Or email [email protected] or call 01229 777606

Things that can trip you up…

The thing is, it’s not easy.  I mean, it doesn’t have to be really hard: it’s not like trying to write “War and Peace”.  But there are plenty of things that can trip you up if you have a go:

  • Not knowing where to start – it can be harder than you’d think (and “start at the beginning” isn’t always a good idea).
  • How to actually write it down.  It sounds daft (after all, you learnt how to write a long time ago!) but “writer’s block” can be a real problem.
  • And of course there’s the technology.  It makes it so much easier than it used to be to write this sort of thing… and to share it with other people.  But we all know technology can sometimes seem like it’s out to cause you as much trouble as possible… unless you know what you’re doing.

That’s why if you don’t want your past to be lost, you might find this book helpful.  It’s called “Don’t lose your story: The complete guide to writing your memoirs or family history” and it “does exactly what it says on the tin”.  If you want to write your memoirs or family history, it’ll make it easier, simpler and less painful!

For example, you’ll discover:

  • Before you start, here’s what you should ask yourself.  Takes a few moments, but makes it all work better. (Page 2)
  • Apparently there’s an old army saying called the 7 Ps: Proper planning and preparation prevent __ poor performance.  Here’s how to properly plan and prepare for your memoirs or history.  (I can only assume the missing p is “particularly”.) (Page 30)

  • “Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” Well, I wouldn’t argue with Lewis Carroll, but there are umpteen other ways you can organise what you write, from “My life in 20 objects” to organising it around places… plenty more examples, along with advice about how to use whichever you choose.  (Page 16)
  • Choosing what software to use: it doesn’t have to be expensive (I’m typing this on a program that cost me the grand sum of £0.00). (Page 28)
  • Whether you want to keep track of everything on paper or electronically, being organised makes it work better.  Easier said than done, though, if you don’t know how.  Here’s how to keep it all on track. (Page 34)
  • Have you ever had that feeling where you know you know something… but can’t quite remember it?  Here are tips on digging out memories you’d forgotten you had – my favourite is listening to music you listened to back then – works a treat for me.  Others might be better for you, though. (Page 47)

Or email [email protected] or call 01229 777606

That’s not all, there’s also:

  • It’s a funny old thing, writing.  You can have a great idea, you sit down at a blank page and boof – your mind empties. I’ve been there!  Here’s what I’ve found works for all of us here… one of these tips is sure to help you too (my favourite is the one that “side-steps” the issue)… (Page 138)
  • Technical issues to do with pictures from “how to scan a photo so you can include it in your book” to “where can I find free photos or ‘clipart’ I can use”… and how to do basic editing (got a photo that’s too dark, or wonky or whatever?  The solution is here). (Page 86)
  • The book isn’t mainly a “how to research your family history” book, but it does cover things like birth, death and marriage records, how to get certificates, using the census records, various websites you can use for family history (including free ones) and how to access old newspapers – online. Quite a few other bits and pieces, too, so you might find it quite helpful if you want to find out more about your family history. (Page 60)

  • Helpful tips on making a book cover – people charge quite a bit of money for this but here’s how to do a pretty good job yourself.  (Page 199)
  • Once you’re finished, you’ll want to share what you’ve done.  There are lots of ways, from printing it as a proper book to printing it at home to simply sharing an electronic file.  Here’s what you need to know about how to do each option. (Page 213)

That’s still not every last thing covered in this 240 page book, of course, but I can’t list everything here!  It covers what you need to know in order to make writing your family history or memoirs easy.  In fact, some of it is giving away our secrets: how we make writing quicker, easier and (don’t tell anyone but I think this is true) more fun.

Everything’s explained nice and simply, in plain simple language (both for the “techie” bits and the bits to do with writing).  There are lots of examples, too.  Examples with pictures of the screen where it’s showing you how to do something on the computer (like how to add photos or set up a table of contents)… or examples showing you how to check some detail of family history or giving you tips about planning what you’re going to write.

So, who is it for?

  • Anyone who wants to write their memoirs or a family history, whether it’s to pass it on to family or friends, or simply to have done it (whether you’re already part way through or only just starting).
  • Anyone who wants help with planning, writing or researching it – or putting it together to share it (whether in a paper, printed format or just electronically, as a sort of “ebook”).
  • …whether you want help with the more creative parts like “how do I write this?”, “what should I include?” or “how do I organise this?”… or the technical bits like “how do I get it to make a table of contents?” or “how do I include pictures?”

Or email [email protected] or call 01229 777606

How much does it cost?

I’ve worked with a few professionals who help people publish a book.  Good value for what they do, but you’re looking in the hundreds of pounds.  Don’t worry, this book won’t cost that much!  In fact it’s just £24.99 (plus £2.99 p&p, no matter how many you buy).  A small price for the help you need to finally have your memoirs of family history done – finished, ready for your family, friends or whoever you want to have it, ready to last forever.

But: don’t pay now… (Unless you really, really want to)

You don’t need to pay a penny now.  Simply let us know you’d like a copy and don’t pay until you’ve got it.  If you’re not happy with it, send it back and pay us nothing.

I’m pretty confident you’ll want to keep it – if you want to write your memoirs or family history I think you’ll find this really helpful.  But this way you can feel confident in ordering – if the book isn’t up to scratch, it’s our problem, not yours.  And that’s the way it should be.

One more thing I should say…

The book isn’t in stock yet – it went to print last week.  But if you order your copy now we’ll send it to you the moment it arrives in stock, hot off the press – probably around the 24th of June.  That way you don’t run the risk of it slipping your mind.

And it means there’s no chance of us running out of stock before we even get your order – obviously we don’t plan to run out, but it’s happened before!

Or email [email protected] or call 01229 777606

Best act now – today

Best put your free-trial order in now, while you think of it. Just do it online here (no need to put credit card info in as you don’t have to pay until you’ve decided you’re happy with the book).

Or call 01229 777606 and ask Jade, Alicia, Karen, Steph or Millie (or one of the rest of us if the phones are especially busy) for a copy of Don’t Lose Your Story (or just ask for the new book if you can’t remember the name!). Or if you like, email [email protected] with your name and address saying you’d like a copy of it.

We’ll get your copy in the post to you as soon as it arrives in stock from the printing company, and before long you’ll be able to finally have your memoirs or family history written up.  There’s nothing like the feeling of having a book with your name on the cover… especially when it’s about you (or your family).

Yours

The Helpful Book Company

PS

In a nutshell: If you want to write up your family history or memoirs so your story isn’t lost, this book will show you how.  Make it quicker, easier and less frustrating, and get a better final result.  It might even be the difference between finishing or leaving it hanging, never getting to the end.  Why not order your copy (on free trial) now?