1st World Library

Letter of Reference

Jean Marie McLain

12 Crystal Creek Trail, Austin, TX 78737

February 7, 2003

To Whom It May Concern:

When I first learned about 1st World Library and its wonderful services, I had already completed the writing of my book. I had put it on the shelf, believing I would never find a publisher who was interested in it, or who would even think about publishing it in its present form. I had already spoken to one publisher who had told me, sight unseen, that I would have to cut out one-third of the book in order for it to be publishable! Other publishers had told me flat out they were not interested. I talked to Brad Fregger at 1st World Library, and he explained to me the concept of self-publishing, and how different his company was from the ordinary self-publishing companies; that they were dedicated to helping me make my book the best that it could be. I was convinced of his sincerity. His attitude to me was that my book was important, and that I had a right to publish it in the form I wished. I even had an obligation to publish, since he had heard from friends who had read the manuscript and told him it was very good. It did not take me long to make the decision to publish with 1st World Library. I could see the advantages right away. The cost was more reasonable than I had been anticipating, mostly because I was only familiar with people who had self-published about 8 years ago and had had to print five thousand books at one time!!!

Brad showed me how I could start with 1000 covers and print my book in batches of 250 at a time. I calculated that I could afford to print 250 books, and after that, sales from each batch would generate enough money to print the next batch.

1st World Library took my manuscript on diskette form and reformatted it in the software needed by the printer. We had several meetings to decide the size of the book, size of margins, size of the font, choice of font, how the chapter headings would look, etc. They helped me design the way all the text would look. This was important to me as my story is told in the form of a series of hundreds of letters, and each one had to be formatted so it would fit nicely on the page and not be cut off in an inappropriate place, like at the salutation or the closing. They took great care to get it looking its best - as if it were their own book. They always made excellent suggestions, and best of all, they LISTENED to me when I had opinions and concerns. After all, this is MY book, and I know it better than anyone. They were also able to insert maps, photos, and pre-printed documents, which were important to my story. Then they edited it for consistency and clarity. They made wonderful suggestions, but best of all, they did not recommend any major changes to my story.

I had some ideas for the cover, and after I submitted them they sent me about a dozen different variations of the cover that they considered worthy of my story. I worked with them to come up with the final cover design. During this time, they even contacted some models and an excellent photographer, and we spent an entire evening doing a photo shoot for the cover. It was so much fun! I got to see my characters come to life, and now I have an album of photos of them. And 1st World Library arranged it all. I think my 1st World Library customer rep, the models, and the photographers had as much fun as I did that night. To see so many people interested in my book, and working so hard to make it beautiful was a thrill I will never forget.

Then they walked me through the entire proofing and printing process. All this is stuff I never thought I would have to know, and frankly, it does not interest me. I trusted 1st World Library to do what is necessary and right. I let them take care of all the ISBN and copyright and things like that. I just concentrated on my writing and the look of the finished product.

After several months of work, Brad called me to tell me he had just received shipment of 250 books. I really got excited! It wasn't until then that I really thought of myself as an author!

Since our first printing, 1st World Library has been wonderful about walking me through some ideas for promotion. They know the "insider stories" and the right people to contact about certain things. We are now ordering my second printing. I have money in the bank to pay for it, just as I had planned. We are also contracting to use Print On Demand and other forms of availability. They have been wonderful about keeping me informed of all the details every step of the way.

I would recommend 1st World Library for anyone who thinks their work is worthy of printing. The staff does all the business end of the publication, and lets the authors do what they do best - writing and approving the final product. I know my book would still be on the shelf if it were not for 1st World Library.

Jean Marie McLain
Author of As Best We Could, a Civil War story of the 101st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment and their loved ones at home.

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