Personal Memoirs & Family Histories

First, what a privately published memoir is—and isn’t. It isn’t The Great American Novel, and you don’t have to be a “Writer” to write it (we’ve got the writing skills, you’ve got the stories). You don’t create this kind of book for fame or fortune. You do it out of love. You do it to preserve family history. You do it to understand who you were, who you are, where you come from. You do it for yourself and those you love, but also for those who will come after you—people you don’t even know because they haven’t been born, but who will know you because of the gift you’ve left behind. Better than money, longer lasting at least. Okay, so maybe you do it for a little bit of fame and the right kind of fortune.

At SMALL BATCH BOOKS we play as large or small a role as you need to help you create your personal memoir or family history. If you already have a written manuscript, we are your copyeditors, proofreaders, and book designers, taking you from rough draft to polished proof and into printed and bound book form. If you prefer to collaborate throughout the writing process, we interview you and your loved ones, transcribe and edit the conversations into smooth narrative prose, and then publish your memoir by taking it through the final stages of design and production. If fragile old photos and documents are part of your story, we carefully restore these priceless heirlooms with state-of-the-art digital methods, making the images a seamless piece of your memoir (and a permanent part of your family archives). We can also help you research historically relevant maps, photographs, and genealogical charts to illustrate your personal memoir or family history.

Creating and privately publishing a personal memoir or family history can take many forms and encompass many of life’s most transformative experiences.

There’s the story of:

  • your life, in a first-person narrative, a Q & A format, or a “letter” to loved ones, present and future
  • a parent or elder’s life, in a first-person narrative or told by the children and contemporaries
  • a marriage, and the family raised from that marriage, from one or both partners’ perspectives
  • a child’s birth or adoption, and the life-altering experience of becoming a parent
  • three generations of fathers or mothers—the inherited strengths and weaknesses, the differences and similarities, the events and times that shaped them
  • your family’s heirloom recipes, gathered into one volume, in the form of a family recipe book, annotated with anecdotes from the cooks (and their appreciative eaters)
  • a journey, the physical and the metaphysical kind
  • a personal collection—antiques, paintings, or other prized possessions—catalogued and showcased with photographs and accompanying text
  • family letters (and emails) spanning the generations

The form your memoir or family history takes will determine the size and shape of the project, the type of services you’ll need, and therefore the cost.  We encourage you to contact us to discuss the details of your personal memoir or family history book, so you can capture your family legacy before it slips away.