Would you still publish?

United States
January 27, 2018 6:09pm CST
I have a great aunt (as in the literal relation, not that she is great. Not that she isn't either, but you know) who published a book recently. I don't think she has done anything in the way of advertising it, other than posting about it on facebook. She is offering pretty much everyone a free copy. While it's none of my concern, if she intends to make money off of it perhaps she should stop offering so many copies for free. That's neither here nor there, and I haven't ever published a book so I wouldn't know whether she would be able to obtain copies of her own book free of charge. Again that is neither here nor there, not the reason for my discussion and I shall stop blathering on. Discussion Proper : Read below this line if you want to skip the blathering up above I have not read her book but I do know that it is in relation to our relations (mainly her brothers, sisters and parents) and also about faith. Her brother has read part of an old manuscript that she had drawn up and he expressed that the whole family was insulted by what she had to say within the pages. He explained that most of it was a sort of criticism of the family, and I gather perhaps a bit of a holier than thou attitude as well. I'm not going to say whehter that is or isn't the case as I don't truly know. I am operating under the assumption that she has done some heavy editing as it has been many years since her first draft, and perhaps she has toned down her criticisms. My question is this : Would you openly publish a book that is full of criticisms of your family, especially if they weren't too happy with said criticisms? The book is essentially part memoir, part biography and part journal. While some outside of the family may be interested, my great aunt is not famous and so I can't see that a lot of outsiders would be interested in purchasing said book. There I go babbling again... Would you go the trouble of paying money to publish a book about your family with the high probability that no one but your family would read it? Would it be worth the cost to get it published in a public capacity?
7 people like this
8 responses
• Summerville, Georgia
29 Jan
I could see a family history or similar book to be published but something that sounds like it amounts to something she wrote mainly for herself would be better suited for one of the places that would publish her a single personal copy. I write fiction but have found parts of my stories have included parts molded around family members (traits and quirks mostly), and some have guessed who I based characters on, but I don't think this is the same as an all out telling of the family. I think a book on a person's life is best told after they are gone so that it doesn't give rise to more issues and the need of a part 2.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118286)
• Boise, Idaho
29 Jan
No, I would not. Paying money to purchase something that is critical of relations is bad news.
• United States
29 Jan
I am not sure how critical the book is now since it's been years since she started writing it. She may have done some heavy editing. We will receive a copy for this household free of charge, and I imagine I will read snippets of it. It does pertain to relatives, and while I won't enjoy reading anything negative, I would enjoy snippets of family history that I might learn.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118286)
• Boise, Idaho
29 Jan
@ScribbledAdNauseum ......Not all families have completely positive past histories.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan
@celticeagle Ah, and if we did then the world would be perfect and we wouldn't have anything to worry over.
1 person likes this
@HazySue (21401)
• United States
28 Jan
No I would not. First off I wouldn't insult my family. I believe that you have to pay for each book, I am not sure how much, but it sounds like a losing proposition for her. I have a hard time believing she is getting copies free.
• United States
29 Jan
I am not sure that she is getting the copies free, but she is giving them away for free to a lot of different people. It's her right to do as she wishes obviously, but i've also heard she's hurting for money so I am not sure why she would be giving so many away for free.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8563)
• United States
29 Jan
She's most likely paying for them at a reduced price. I'm curious who she went through to publish them.
1 person likes this
@HazySue (21401)
• United States
29 Jan
@irishidid there are a lot of different self-publishers online. If you Goggle it you will find many.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (12183)
• Paso Robles, California
28 Jan
I was once tempted to write a book that might reveal secrets about others I knew, but I decided if to tell my own story I also have to tell another person's, it's just not right. It would unnecessarily hurt innocent people. The only way I would ever tell that story would be fiction, and I don't write good fiction. The closest I've ever gotten to telling parts of the story is in poetry. The only people that would be able to piece it together are the people who played some part in the story themselves. Those people also know how the story ended. I've also been tempted to write the family history that members of my family have no other way to access. I'm the only one left who can tell it. I may write it and self-publish it in some form for my nephews to pass on if it interests them. I have learned by experience that we often don't know which questions to ask until the person who can answer them is gone. It may be the best way to pass this one is through a video, since that's what the younger generation seems to relate best to.
• United States
29 Jan
I agree about finding a medium that future generations would be more apt to access, or would be more easily available at any rate. I have always loved to hear about things that happened in my family's history, especially of times before the conveniences we have today. Having something published about my family would mean a lot to me. I am not sure how I will react to this book that my great aunt wrote, just as I am not so sure how much criticism (Of the family) she has in this book. I guess I will find out if we ever receive a copy. It would be good if you could find a way to share your stories and memories with your family. Perhaps you could look into local printing options if you only want a few copies to give to family, or Kindle Direct Publishing if you don't mind the book being in the public domain. Kindle Direct Publishing is free to use (they earn by taking a percentage of your royalties) and you can publish it as an ebook or as a hard bound book.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (12183)
• Paso Robles, California
29 Jan
@ScribbledAdNauseum I may look into that if the time every comes.
• United States
29 Jan
@bagarad It is always good to write it out regardless, and you can always just print it at home, staple it up and find a folder to put it in.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22198)
• Canada
28 Jan
No. I wouldn't. If I could make it into a fabulous work of fiction that would actually sell. I wouldn't want to "expose" any of my family secrets.
• United States
29 Jan
Even if a work of "fiction" could end up being found out by family members. Of course there's the anonymity of a pen name to hide behind.
@paigea (22198)
• Canada
29 Jan
@ScribbledAdNauseum I am sure pen names can be found out. I don't mean a recognizable work of fiction though. I could never do that to family. I just mean family events and family ideas can spark ideas to develop fiction.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan
@paigea Oh okay, I understand what you mean now. Many of my works are based very loosely off of something that has happened to me or someone else I know.
1 person likes this
29 Jan
Maybe she's intentionally just published it to give to family, not to sell to the wider world in general? I have known of people who do this.
• United States
29 Jan
This might be the case. I haven't talked to this aunt in many many years. She has a facebook account, and that is how I came to find out about the book.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8563)
• United States
29 Jan
You can publish for free these days so that isn't an issue anymore. I don't give my book away because I spent too much time writing them, having them edited and getting cover art for them. Those things do take money.
• United States
29 Jan
I have looked into ADP (amazon direct publishing) for myself recently. I am very glad that there are now ways to publish for free, especially since editors and illustrators do cost money, as you've said.
@peachpurple (12875)
• Malaysia
28 Jan
Now, why publish about own family matters to the public?
• United States
29 Jan
A lot of people publish things like family history. It could also be a matter of many future generations down the line being able to obtain a copy since it's in the public domain. Important documents pertaining to a family's heritage get lost over time.