This is my first ever blog – never mind self-publishing! It’s easy to self-publish; all you have to do is go online, pick a program, upload your raw material, and then you’ve got your book! The reality is different; I had CDs that my Father recorded – but wait a minute – they’ve got to be transcribed! Enter transcription company – problem solved! So, what to do with all these A4 sheets now. Simple give then to a self-publishing company like SPP, and soon I’ll have a book. But what about including documents, photographs and even soundbites? A simple small idea was getting out of hand. Gradually these ‘paper’ archives were put together, along with documents from archives, and the book was beginning to take shape. Apart from the never-ending scanning, the most ambitious and technically challenging area was the inclusion of sound-bites taken from the CDs. QR codes were created and scanned in to their places in the manuscript. All this went backwards and forwards to SPP until the daunting ‘point of no return’ came – signing off the manuscript, enabling the book to be published.
My self-publishing journey started as an idea from my wife, Faith: why not transcribe your father’s recordings for the family, she suggested. Truth is, many many years previously, I did attempt to listen to and watch the CDs, but found it too painful, and they remained gathering dust. Thus, began a two-year journey through the world of professional transcription and self-publishing, and even a visit to Bath, to SPP’s offices. The holocaust is well documented, as are individual survivors’ stories – was another very personal account required? I thought long and hard, and decided that, at the very least, I owed it to my Father to publicise his triumphant survival, so that amongst the wider family, and especially his grandchildren, his story would be accessible and never be forgotten.
As the project was drawing to an end, I had to decide where my market was. With such a personal story, I wanted to limit distribution to family, but it soon became clear that there was interest amongst both my community in London, and my mother’s in Manchester. Add work colleagues and friends into the mix, and the decision was made for me. Truth be told, economics also played a part! I’m happy that the book was very well received by everyone, but there won’t be another one! I set out to honour my Father with his incredible story ……..mission accomplished!
By Martin Younger