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Private Publishing - a fictionalised account of how David and Rebecca published their family history

David and Rebecca had always been interested in their family history, ever since they were children. Part of a big, close family, they had taken every opportunity to ask their grandparents to tell them all about their family, about coming from the village in Poland, fleeing the pogroms and settling eventually in the East End of London. There were nostalgic stories of village life, but many accounts of hardship too, and terrible stories about the family left behind. Then there were the difficult early years in London, before great-grandfather Nathan’s tailor’s business prospered. That was when he expanded it into smart West End premises, and the family moved to a comfortable house in the suburbs.

The siblings’ shared fascination with the family past had lasted all their lives. They had got in touch with relatives in France and in America, and even travelled to New York to meet a cousin of their father’s who shared their interest in the family’s past. Through the cousin, whose name was Jeff, David and Rebecca had been introduced to the Internet, a wonderful tool for researching family history, and their work had taken a leap forward.

Now in their sixties and both close to retirement, they felt that they had found out all they could and were concentrating on writing it all down. They found the writing hard work, but, working at the weekends since they both still had full-time jobs, they had nearly finished the task. It was an amazing story, but they didn’t think it would interest a publisher, or that it would have an audience outside the family circle.

But Private Publishing might give them just what they wanted. WritersServices’ Private Publishing service would offer David and Rebecca the chance to produce a limited edition of their book to give to family and friends. Given their big family, they would still need quite a few copies, if they wanted to give one to everyone in the family. But it would be up to them to decide exactly how many books they wanted to order. With WritersServices’ help they would get their jacket designed and provide WS with the manuscript on disk, with whatever pictures they wanted to include in the book.

They decided to have their manuscript professionally copy edited, to make sure their book would be perfect. They came up with a wonderful studio photograph, dating from 1917, of grandfather Joseph and grandmother Sarah surrounded by their brood of six children and their families, and decided to use it on the jacket. Because they wanted a handsome-looking book to give to their family and friends, they specified hardback binding.

They fixed the first print order at 100 copies, knowing that Print on Demand technology meant they could go back for more if they needed to. And when the printed copies arrived they were so proud of their beautiful hardback book, the fruit of all their labours and a fascinating account of their remarkable family's history.

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