May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Zev Shares Steps for Creating a Book Like ‘Sam & Rita Newman: Survivor Stories’:

1. Get the interviews transcribed. We used a transcription company in Israel, both because of the price and their ability to understand basic Yiddish and Hebrew. The one we used was called Transcription for Everyone.

2. Do a basic edit of the transcription, mainly looking for errors.

3. Add transcription text to “Overleaf” (collaborative cloud-based LaTeX editor) and format/edit the text using LaTeX (a coding language).

4. Edit more extensively and add footnotes (to explain terms and add other relevant notes).

5. Write intro and epilogue (which required reading the entire interview) and add to the manuscript on “Overleaf.”

6. Add genealogy. (Our goal here was to help each extended family member feel connected to the book.) Collect names on a shared Google spreadsheet by reaching out to extended family (hundreds of names to include). Format the family tree using “Family Tree Maker.” Review and fix errors.

7. Add images.

8. Collect images from the extended family. (Again, our goal here was to help each extended family member feel connected to the book.) Create captions below the images. Add to “Overleaf” and format.

9. Create a table of contents, credits page and dedication page.

10. Create the book cover. Choose a title. Download a template for the book cover from Amazon KDP. This shows the three parts of your cover (front, back, and spine) and what size they need to be. The reason you need a template is because the spine size will vary depending on the number of pages in the book and the thickness of the paper. Design the cover. There are two ways to do this:

Hire someone to do it for you.

Design the cover and back cover yourself and then hire a freelancer to place your images into a PDF that matches the template provided by Amazon KDP. I hired someone on Fiverr. It took ~24 hours and cost $12.

11. Publish on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Upload a PDF of the inside pages of the book. Upload a PDF of the book cover. Choose thickness, page color, black & white vs. color, size, category, book description, title, price and royalties, etc. Note on pricing: We charged $8.04, which is the minimum price, and therefore we received no royalties. For anything above the minimum, Amazon takes 40% of the profits and the author will receive the other 60% as royalties. As an author, you can also purchase author copies for $3.60 per copy + shipping fees.

12. Submit your book and wait for it to be reviewed/approved by Amazon. Readers can then buy the book on Amazon. It will ship with Prime. (Typically it will arrive within two days.) It’s printed on-demand in a location near you.

13. Create a digital archive where we store the book’s PDF, the original interviews, images, the family tree. (This gives readers access to these resources if they’re interested and we can update the family tree regularly.)

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