“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.”—Marcus Garvey
William Bradford kept detailed journals of Plymouth Colony’s first 30 years, recording the new colony’s trials and successes, its stories and its business. Though he shared some of his writing with George Morton for Mourt’s Relation (1622), Bradford never sought to publish his manuscript. His intent was simply to preserve the events for future generations.
Humans like to record things. We like to preserve moments big and small of our fleeting lives.
Why do we publish local history?
In 1856, one of those future generations decided those events were so important that they needed a wider audience and published the manuscript as Of Plimoth Plantation. It continues to be a major resource for historians and history buffs 400 years later.
What makes our records and our thoughts about our past important enough to take on the work of self-publishing it? The independent writer doesn’t just write; they become the publisher and arrange or take on the editing and designing and proofreading and producing and marketing and selling—all the work publishing houses traditional do for a manuscript.
The “why” of publishing is as unique as the story itself:
- An amateur historian wants to share the results of their research.
- A local historical association wants to celebrate a major event from its past.
- A school wants to educate its students on its city’s past and its place in history.
- A community wants to preserve its heritage for others to appreciate.
- A town wants to more history lovers to visit and share their passion.
- A community seeks to understand a major local event and its effects.
The one goal all writing projects have, be they local history or a textbook or a news article, is to share information and insight you, the author, have gathered. To engage the reader with an interesting story and have it change them.
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How editing helps
You’ve written your tale of local history. Naturally, you want others to read it. And maybe you want to make something happen—understanding, preservation, appreciation, radical change. Whatever it is, your writing has a goal.
How does professional editing help you reach your goal?
Certainly it smooths out the rough spots, ensuring all your subjects agree with your verbs[link to blog post], for example. And it removes typos that distract peolpe (<–like this).
But editing can do so much more.
A professional editor can raise the quality of your book, encouraging people to pick up and read it. A professional editor can help ensure:
- Your facts are correct.
- Your theory is well formed.
- Your content is well organized.
- Your story flows.
Professional editing can help ensure your story remains interesting, keeping the reader moving to the very last word.
What kind of editing do I need?
Right Touch Editing can review your book and advise you on what your manuscript needs. If all you need is proofreading, we’ll recommend that. If your manuscript needs more help, such as content or developmental editing, we’ll recommend that instead.
You’ll know what we recommend is needed because we’ll show you. We’ll do a free sample edit so you can see the difference professional editing makes.
And if you decide you want a difference service than we recommend? This is your book; you are the boss. You can hire us to do the level of editing you want.
Beyond editing, we can help self-publishing authors with:
- Writer coaching. We all get stuck sometimes or need to strengthen our skills to write the story we want to tell. We can coach you through the sticky parts and guide you to improving your skills.
- Self-publisher consultation. Writing your book is just the first step of publishing and selling your book. There are many more decisions and processes to go through before someone actually buys your book. Should you do print or electronic? What kind of cover would attract readers? Is typography really important? (Hint: yes!) We can consult with you to draw up your plan for publishing your book, helping you leap over obstacles in your path.
- Project management. Keep your project on track and publish on time! We can manage the different stages and players in your publishing project.
- Self-marketer consultation. Ideally your marketing should start while you’re still writing your book. If you haven’t started, though, don’t worry. We can help you develop a marketing plan and start executing that plan right away.
Not sure what you need?
Contact us, and we’ll help you decide what your manuscript needs and give you a price and time quote for getting it done.