To our 34 very special authors, this book is, because of you and your stories and your willingness and desire to share those stories.Thank you.
In February 2016 an idea was hatched to produce an anthology of stories. We were finishing off a unit part of the University of Tasmania’s Diploma of Family History Studies. The unit was Writing for Family History. One member of the group Judith Holman Crook had a dream to produce a book, a compilation of our stories.
We could have simply photocopied and stapled the book but we wanted a professional book that paid homage to the authors and their work. This is a non-commercial venture and is self-funded. For many of the contributors. this is their first journey into print.
A small committee of two was formed, Judith and Linda. The stories more than 150 were collected from 34 participants. A desktop publisher (a student) Lyn Barnes joined the committee. A professional journalist with experience in editing and proof-reading (another student) Robin Turner, was recruited to the committee.
The stories were proof-read and edited numerous times. (all done by the students). A few errors still crept in. Illustrators were sourced, They, the stories, were handed over to the desktop publisher. Decisions about layout and formatting were made. Photographs of the authors and biographies were sought. The cover design was conceptualised and the title was chosen what a mammoth task that was. Secrets, Twists, Triumphs, and Tragedies was born.
Finally, the book was formatted. A printer was sourced. We ordered 500 copies. When the printer completed his run he complemented Lyn, our desktop publisher, on her preparation of the work and indicated she had saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars in set-up costs.
A treasurer (another student) Lyn Francis, came on board. A bank account was set up. That was no mean feat in itself. Orders were taken and collated. Orders had to be paid for prior to collection from the printer, as $6000.00 is a lot of money for one person to pay up front. Invoices were written up and emailed out for the book payments. Once the money was in we could pay the printer and have our books at last . When the books were collected from the printers we then worked out delivery methods and charges. These needed to be invoiced as well, with the postage as an additional cost.
From idea to print took roughly 10 months. Not a bad effort for a group spread all over Australia. Once the books were printed they had to be distributed, 98% of the packaging and posting has been undertaken by one person – no one else was available to step up and help (one of the problems when people are spread over all states). A couple of people have picked up and delivered copies but primarily this has been one person’s responsibility.
In the meantime life has gone on, business and work commitments were met, partners became ill and were hospitalised, people sold houses and moved house, babies have been born, assignments and exams have come and gone.
There were many 1000s of hours of voluntary work that went into the production of our book. Sometimes we were slow in communicating but we all did the best we could and to date the response has been overwhelmingly supportive. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege working on this project.
Thank you, Judith Holman Crook for your vision and determination, Lyn Barnes desktop publisher extraordinaire, Robin Turner editing and proofreading , Lyn Francis, treasurer. As for me, I enjoyed the legal, project management, communications, writing part of my role and it has been a blast. There were tears, temper tantrums, laughs and lots of resilience demonstrated by the committee members. Thank you to UTAS and Jodi for the inspiration.
Those of you who trusted me with your rewrites, I hope you were happy with the results.