Plant the Seeds of a Story March 20

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Gorham Printing encourages the idea of "spring into" writing a book. Start writing now and the book can be available as incredible holiday gifts by the end of the year.

Ask a first-time author what they would have done differently and they’ll tell you they wished they had written their book sooner.

Ah, March 20th the first day of spring, when hearts turn to delightful desires and fancies. Longer days of sunshine bring new energy and motivation. This is a perfect time for starting winter holiday shopping. First day of spring, winter holiday shopping? Most parts of the country haven’t finished shoveling snow or recovered from winter doldrums.

Gorham Printing says 2013 is the year to plan on giving invaluable printed treasures of memoirs, novels, poetry or family genealogy as beautifully published books. Create tomes of family recipes, interspersed with personal stories of where they originated. Is there a box of poems and essays miserly hidden away in a drawer that if published would make a great holiday gift for friends and family? And a Made-in-America gift to boot?

Kurt Gorham, owner of Gorham Printing short-run book printer, has made giving such gifts an affordable reality to the American people. Gorham Printing’s staff produces quality design and production of cookbooks, genealogy, memoirs, war stories, or fiction of any genre. What is a short-run book? At Gorham Printing this means a minimum of twenty-five printed copies up to a maximum of two thousand books. Imagine ordering thirty to fifty copies of the book delivered in plenty of time for autographing and gift-wrapping as the hot item for the 2013 holiday season.

Spring is the perfect time to start writing or compiling tales of childhood or familial lore. Typical arguments from Baby Boomers and the Next Generation against writing memoirs are: "My life is boring"; "I have nothing worth saying"; "I don’t have time." Yet imagine holding a copy of essays or letters from parents or grandparents long past, let alone a published book, of their childhood experiences.

Children today have never lived in a world without fast food, microwaves, cell phones and the Internet. Tales of transistor radios, milk delivery, ice boxes and party lines on a rotary phone are ancient history. Or use the longer days of sunlight to flesh out character descriptions and plot lines of a novel. Sit outside on warm afternoons and listen to various conversations for contemporary dialogue.    

The easiest way to write and complete a memoir or manuscript is doing one page or story at a time. Do a little bit each day small steps. Ask questions such as: A favorite subject in school? A first paying job? Questions are the simplest way to get the creative juices flowing. No one wakes up one morning to run a marathon without working hard before stepping up to the starting line. Same with writing a book, don’t get discouraged. Few things in life will have the lasting, long-term effect as the satisfaction in publishing a book. Ask a first-time author what they would have done differently and they’ll tell you they wished they had written their book sooner.

Once the hard work of completing the manuscript is done with editing, the final draft needs be in a computer file format, such as a Word or WordPerfect document. Gorham Printing has graphic designers on staff that can design a gorgeous cover for the book and format the pages into an enjoyable, professional look. Do-it-yourself-ers would provide a high quality PDF file of the text and/or cover.

Keep in mind production time can be two to three weeks for soft cover editions or up to six to eight weeks for hard cover book. Mark a day on the calendar for shipping off autographed and wrapped copies during the holiday season then work the schedule backwards to when the manuscript would need to be finished.

What is planted in the creative sunshine of spring, will harvest generations of enjoyment between the covers. Trade the shovel and rake for a computer and pen. Plant an idea and grow a book, a gift of joy forever.

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Kathleen Shaputis
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