I am a first-generation American. When my family “made it” and moved from an apartment to a house, somewhere along the way we lost a treasure-trove of photographs of my parents as children, grandparents, cousins and important places relating to my family’s history. In my mind’s eye I can still see the photo of my father at the age of five, standing in the snow in St. Petersburg, Russia and wearing a fur coat and hat. My grandchildren will never see that photo, and when I think about it, my parents are not around to answer the many questions I wish I had asked them about their lives. My mission as a personal historian is to help my clients preserve the past and the present for the future.
The services offered by Mixed Media Memoirs include:
- Memoirs in book format—starting from scratch with interviews or based on your existing manuscript
- Video oral history memoirs
- Travel photography books
- Business and organization histories
What authors say about working with Leah
“Whether you are a first-time writer or an experienced author, Leah is poised to help you. Over the years I have watched her work with people of all backgrounds, CEOs, entertainers, homemakers, business owners, artists, etc. Some born in the U.S., others who are not native English-speakers. No matter. She interviews people who have no manuscript and helps them to create one. For those who prefer to speak into a recorder, she then transcribes the material and fashions it into a worthy manuscript. For those who want a video, she brings top quality videographers and editors to the project.
“You may be an experienced writer, as I was, but need editing, guidance on layout, graphic design, and such. No matter what your starting point, Leah can guide you to the finish line with expertise, patience, and enthusiasm, until you are holding your book in your hand—or watching your video, a satisfied smile on your face. I know. I’m one of those with the satisfied smiles.”
—Ruth Broyde Sharone, author of award-winning book,
Minefields and Miracles: Why God and Allah Need to Talk
“Leah Abrahams was essential in putting together all aspects of my book including a beautiful cover for, Ethel Merman Mother Teresa… and Me which became a 2014 International Book Awards finalist. Her encouragement and knowledge is something I will always be grateful for. She was also a joy to work with.”
“Leah is a joy to work with. My early attempts at self-publishing were a struggle, trying to communicate with a company sending cut and dried instructions via computer, while a human being was rarely available. Producing your first book is akin to giving birth and needs a guiding hand—at least mine did. Leah’s professionalism steered me through, her calm and warm voice always there to answer questions, and she had all the answers, including the marketing of my books through Amazon and other venues. All of this was done while Leah lived in Wisconsin and I lived in Long Island. In spite of distance, this was a personal approach to publishing, and Leah has made it a pleasurable one.
Needless to say, I highly recommend Leah.”
How it works — books:
Memoirs and Travel Books
When Mixed Media Memoirs writes your book based on interviews
- The process starts with a contract outlining time frame and deliverables.
- After an initial meeting to become acquainted and to discuss possible interview questions and topics, Leah will spend about 8 hours interviewing and recording. Family members are interviewed as requested. A book can incorporate the memoirs of a couple, or each may choose to have a separate book.
- You and your family might want to make a list of some favorite stories you’d like to record during the interviews. Also, if the family has specific topics, our standard questionnaire will be adapted for additional questions around the unique life experiences of the Narrator, e.g., if the person being interviewed is a veteran or was born in a foreign country or had any unusual life experiences. If the Narrator is resistant to talking about a topic, we’ll go on to another question.
Writing and editing
- Then the interviews are transcribed and an initial manuscript is created.
- The client receives the first draft manuscript and reviews it.
- Changes are made as requested.
- The client receives a second manuscript and once approved, the second phase—creating an elegant keepsake book—begins.
When the client has an initial manuscript and desires editing and packaging
- The client gives a copy of the manuscript to MMM.
- MMM edits and organizes the book.
- The client is presented with a first draft and reviews it.
- Changes are made as requested.
- The client receives a second manuscript and once approved, the second phase—creating an elegant keepsake book—begins. In either case, MMM typically adds the special touch of historical photos or maps to make the book more engaging. Careful proofreading is also provided.
Layout, design and printing
- Graphic design is one of those little-recognized features that distinguishes professional-looking books from amateur efforts. The distance of the text from the spine, the adjustment of text to end on a particular page, the placement of photos, the choice of typeface, all make a clear difference in how the book appears.
- Using the expertise of an experienced graphic designer, we incorporate 20–25 of your favorite family photos into the book and design a cover. After the client’s approval, the book goes to the printer.
- I strongly recommend having a book-signing party when the book is printed!
Business and Organization Histories
- Leah meets with the individual or group commissioning the book. A single point of contact is designated.
- Research and Interviewing
- After the parameters and scope of the book are determined and documented, a phase of research and interviewing of key informants begins.
- Writing the history
- A first draft is presented to the individual representing the company.
- The client reviews the draft and requests changes as necessary.
- The client receives a second manuscript and if approved, packaging begins.
- Professional graphic artists design the interior of the book and the cover. Photos are incorporated into the manuscript.
- The client decides on the content of the cover, the font in the book, the size and binding and the number of books needed.
- The client receives a proof before final printing occurs.