The author will set up two 2-hour sessions to visit with the family and collect research for the book. This can be done in person or by video chat. Please select one family member to be the point person during the process. This person will be the primary contact for the author.
Some of the things requested from the family by the author will include the following:
- Favorite memories or stories of your loved one
- Things they said that were unique to their personality
- Idiosyncrasies or unique characteristics of your loved one
- Representative photos
The story can include up to two additional characters and up to two animals/pets selected by the family. Descriptions of the loved one, and other characters (humans and animals) must be carefully translated for the author.
The author reserves the right to put a fun twist on the story while maintaining resemblance to the book’s characters.
Writing the book can take up to two months. Once the first draft is complete, the author will share the story with the family’s point person for feedback to ensure all important details are fully captured.
Once the final draft is complete, the draft will be submitted to the publisher. There is no guarantee that the publisher will accept the book; however, if done correctly, there should be no problem with the publisher agreeing to publish.
If the publisher denies publication, the author will keep the book and provide the family with a copy of the final draft. The book will never be published by either the family or the author without written consent from both parties.
The book draft will be submitted to the publisher for final editing. This is to ensure spelling and grammar are correct. Once the publisher does the editing, the family will receive a copy of the written draft for final approval.
Once the written draft is approved, the illustration process will begin if the family has selected to use the in-house illustrator. Initial illustration sketches will be returned to the author, who will share them with the family for approval.
After the initial sketches are approved, the publisher will color the illustrations. Once color is applied to the illustrations, the author will again send it to the family for final approval.
After the illustrations are finalized, the publisher will combine the written text with the illustrations. After this step is complete, the family will be allowed to view, read, and approve again.
After the family approves the story and illustrations, the publisher will put together the entire book for approval, giving the family one last chance at any edits prior to printing.
Once the book has gone to print, it typically takes eight weeks to receive printed books. If the family selects to make edits after the book is already in print, there will be a substantial fee that the family must pay.
The entire process of having the book written, illustrated, and printed can take anywhere from 8 to 14 months. It is not a fast process because every detail is meticulous, ensuring the final book is everything you want.
The family will need to make choices regarding the book’s illustrations. Using the publisher’s in-house illustrators is less expensive, and the book will likely be published at a faster pace. The cost for an 8×10 book illustrated by the publisher can run anywhere from $500 to $1000.
Using a third-party illustrator is another option. There are a lot of great illustrators. Hiring a skilled illustrator can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,500. Using a publisher outside the publishing house typically adds six months to one year to complete the illustrations, thus extending the publication date.
Cost of Publishing:
The cost of publishing the book is split between the family, the author, and The Storyteller’s Foundation. The amount invested directly correlates to the split in book proceeds. The minimum a family must invest is 50% of publishing costs. The maximum investment is 65%. If third-party illustrations are used, the family is solely responsible for this cost.
The Storyteller’s Foundation will receive 10% of the book proceeds.
The author will receive a minimum of 25% of the book proceeds.
The family will receive the % of proceeds that directly correlate with the investment made in the publication process. (This is taxable income.) This is the process of having the book printed by the publisher only and does not extend to the illustrations from third-party illustrators.
The publisher does not take a cut of the proceeds until all investments from the foundation, the author, and the family have been paid back from book sales. (This does not include third-party illustration costs.)
Once investments are paid back through book sales, the publisher receives a minimum of $.20 per sold copy of the book through perpetuity. All proceeds remaining (minus the publisher’s fee) will be split accordingly among the foundation, the author, and the family.
Here is an example of the total costs of publishing when using an in-house illustrator. (These numbers are close but could change due to rate increases through the publisher.)
|Total Publishing Cost||$4,584.00|
|Less 25% (paid by author)||($1,146.00)|
|Paid by Foundation (10%)||($458.40)|
|Paid by Customer (65%)||($2,979.60)|
The current publisher used is Fulton Books. https://fultonbooks.com/
When books are published, they will enter the market through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Google Play. There are options to invest in podcasts and other marketing media for an additional fee.
The Storyteller’s Foundation website will also help market each book, giving the family a page where they can share more information about their loved one.
The process is long and tedious but so worth it in the end. It’s such a great tribute and something that can carry on the name of your loved one forever.