The Time Has Come

The time has come. I am ready to publish my book and I am both relieved and excited about my decision to do this on my own.

Back in September, after sending out query letters to fifty-two literary agents, I decided to sit back and evaluate my motivation for writing this story. Although every writer wants to see their novel on the best-seller list and has visions of a movie deal (I won’t deny that I would be thrilled and already have the theme song picked out), my driving force behind researching and writing my book was to finally learn my father’s story and tell it to my children and grandchildren.

It is obviously a very personal story, so I did not want an outsider dictating which chapters should or should not be included. Each chapter—the story about my grandparents’ immigration to American, the comparison between my two sets of grandparents, the days spent in London en route to the Soviet Union in 1931, and the circuitous path taken to research this story—had a purpose.

So in January, I turned my research to the self-publishing process. I learned a lot, made many mistakes, but I am finally ready to take the plunge.

There was so much to consider—the size of the book, the margin sizes, the font type, what to put on the front and back covers, digital or print (I chose both), company to use, and price. It was humbling to learn how little money the author makes on each sale.

I investigated hiring a professional editor, but the cost was too much for a book that may sell only enough to pay for a small cup of coffee and perhaps a muffin. So I enlisted the help of some friends and relatives to help find the mistakes I missed on my many, many edits. To anyone who may read it, know that I did my best and apologize for any flaws. (I was trained in the field of mathematics and computer science, not writing.)

Last week I received a proof copy of the book and made a few more tweaks to the cover, changed the size, and reread for errors one more time. I have read it so many times that I am sick of it, but I hope that any readers will enjoy the story and come away with the lesson I learned, which is to sit down and talk to their elder family members about their lives while the memories are still fresh. I believe it’s a unique story and am proud of the result.

Stay tuned for information on its launch.



About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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6 Responses to The Time Has Come

  1. Jeffrey Long says:

    Congratulations Karen !! I can’t wait to get a copy, then read of your family’s incredible journey. Wishing you every success. God bless.

    Jeff Long

    • kjw616 says:

      Thanks Jeff. I have been working on this project for at least six years so I decided it was time to stop. I am happy with the results. Hope you enjoy it.

  2. Jcarmick says:

    So proud of you!!! Can’t wait to buy your book!!!

  3. Rich Bidlack says:

    Congratulations, Karen, on completing the book and bringing the remarkable story of your family’s journey and travails to light. A real labor of love. I look forward to reading it. All best wishes.

    • kjw616 says:

      Thanks Rich. There are some changes since you read it, but the bulk is the same except for the addition of 2 chapters with you included in my letters to Dad.

  4. Bumblebee says:

    Awesome work Karen! So excited for you and I can’t wait to read it!

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