A friend recently reached out to me for my advice. He’s actually a lifelong friend of Bethany’s (and former boyfriend of hers to boot).
His mother is a Holocaust survivor. She’s dying (cancer) and is in hospice.
She wrote a book about her experiences after the Holocaust and paid someone a lot of money ($8000.00) to edit, format, and print it. That work has yet to materialize. She’s received an “edited” version that was hardly even a basic copy edit. My friend was beginning to smell a scam. Maybe they’ll deliver eventually but the work thus far looks, well, not worth eight grand. And, it’ll likely not come to pass before she is alive to see it through.
She’s dying and it was her dream to see this book in print. Something she can hold in her hand and say, “it’s done”. My friend wanted to do this for her. He reached out to me asking if I had any ideas on how to take even the imperfect manuscript and turn it into something that looks like a professionally printed book so he can take it to his mom and tell her (lie to her, basically) that it got done and she can then be at peace.
We discussed what needed to get done and I came up with a plan. I reached out to my friend Shawn Mihalik who’s done book formatting and editing for me before (and who I highly recommend). I explained the situation and asked if he would format it for print as a favor to me. I explained that this book, in this version at least, would be a one-off print. It would not be for sale. That this was simply a way for my friend to see his mother’s wish through before she’s gone. He agreed. Because that’s just the sort of good human and friend Shawn is.
I designed the cover and performed all the mechanics of getting it printed.
So, what you see above is unique. A vanity project if there ever was an example of the term. But a project I am most proud to have played a part in.