Modern technology has now made it possible for anyone to publish books that may be offered for sale, both as e-books and in traditional paperback format. These books can be published with absolutely no cost to the author. In most cases, the digital books can be easily formatted and uploaded, then be made available for download by anyone within hours of its publication. Traditional printed books take a day or so to be ready for distribution, and require just a bit more preparation.
Obviously, these vendors are designed for authors who want to publish their novels or non-fiction works and sell them to potential readers. However, they also give collectors of important eye-witness history a place to publish that material, make it available for inexpensive download or order, and serve as a wonderful archival mechanism for living history that might otherwise be lost forever.
We recommend three different companies that can take your gathered and prepared oral histories and eye-witness accounts and make them available for download or order. Each of them has excellent web sites that walk you through the publishing process. You should keep in mind:
As previously mentioned, your eyewitness history does not necessarily have to look as polished as a typical book you might download for your Kindle or Nook or that you would expect in a printed book. However, you should try to make it look as good as you can. You will be required to put a minimum price on your "book." Depending on the number of pages, that can be as low as dollar or so for an e-book. Those who buy it will have the option of canceling the purchase if they are dissatisfied with it or if it does not display properly in their e-book reader.
We recommend placing this disclaimer on the first page after the title page so potential purchasers can see it when they preview the book before buying it:
"This is a compilation of oral or non-professionally-drafted history, based on material gathered from the subject(s). It is not a professionally edited or drafted book. The purpose of this book is to archive eye-witness history and make it easily and inexpensively available for researchers, historians, writers, family members, and the general public. While every effort has been made to be accurate and to format the material properly, please be aware that this is not necessarily a typical published book that you might purchase. For more information, visit www.untoldmillions.net for information about the UNTOLD MILLIONS Oral History Project."
The vendors we recommend for this effort are:
Kindle Direct Publishing – publishes an e-book for the owners of the Kindle e-book reader and other selected e-book readers that can be downloaded from the Amazon.com web site
CreateSpace – publishes books in traditional paperback format and makes them available in an on-demand basis to those who order them through Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble PubIt – publishes an e-book for the owners of the Nook e-book reader that can be downloaded from the company's web site or at kiosks in their retail stores
Click on the company name to visit the web site. Each offers detailed instructions and suggestions for publishing there as well as links to a users' community and more. We suggest you visit the appropriate site before attempting to publish your material.
For more details beyond what is available on this web site, download Don Keith's book for Kindle and other e-readers titled "UNTOLD MILLIONS: HOW YOU CAN CAPTURE AND SAVE EYEWITNESS HISTORY.