About The Author


Posted for Lisa Barker Plank, director, Richfield Historical Society; bark...@msn.com

The Richfield Historical Society is seeking a local author to write a history of our community. Richfield is located in Minnesota in the twin cities metropolitan area. The community will be celebrating the centennial of its becoming a village in 2008. (The community has been around for longer in the form of a township.)

The book committee would like an author who has experience in researching, writing and managing a project of this scope. We are working toward having the book ready for sale in October of 2007 leading up to the holidays before 2008. We are looking for recommendations of people who have worked with an author in this region on this type of a project. We would also be interested in any recommendations of local history books or projects that you have enjoyed.

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One Response to Researcher/Writer For Community History Publication

  1. Mary Warner, Morrison County Historical Society says:

    Having just finished a book, I’d like to pass on some advice that I learned in the process. It has taken approximately three pretty solid years of work to create "A Big Hearted Paleface Man: Nathan Richardson and the History of Morrison County, MN." Our book is 378 pages long and encompasses 10 distinct sections: the front matter, a historical context chapter, a biography of Richardson, Nate’s inaugural addresses, 8 pages of color plates, Nate’s 1876 history, his 1880 history, footnotes, bibliography, and an index. The inaugurals and Nate’s histories simply had to be retyped, so no original research and writing was involved. The time-consuming writing task was Richardson’s 109-page biography. Just when I thought I was close to being finished, some other bit of critical research would turn up and I’d have to keep writing. The footnotes and index also took considerably more time than I anticipated, each taking at least two full weeks of work. Being a highly self-reliant historical society (or maybe just stubborn), we chose to do the layout of the book in-house, instead of hiring someone. We purchased Adobe InDesign, a professional layout program, for this and I had a bit of a learning curve. Even after learning the program, it took me several months to complete the layout, which continued until the very day I took the digital document to the printer’s. If a professional is hired for the layout, there will still be some time involved with looking over proofs and editing and the like. If you decide to do your own layout, talk to the printer (not the salesperson, the actual printer) about the specifications he or she needs for the book. They are very exacting and you can save a lot of time by doing this before starting layout. Another thing to know about printing is that color printing is very costly, so costly, in fact, that most major publishers send their color projects to China for printing. You’ll want to consider this carefully if you’re working with a limited budget. The industry standard for printing a book is 6-8 weeks, so this has to be figured into the projected publication date. These are just a few of the many things I discovered about what it takes to produce a book. Just like house remodeling, you can figure that creating a book will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think it will at the outset. For the Richfield Historical Society, which has allotted a-year-and-a-half for one hundred years of history, I’d suggest that the book planning committee get very focused and limit the scope of their history before handing the project off to a writer. If they have any questions, they can email me at m...@littlefalls.net.


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