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Family and Personal History Packages

Why "packages"?

If you can have a leisurely chat with a Populore writer, you can author your family or personal history. Because publishing should be fun, easy, and accessible (not a hassle!), Populore provides packages that cover the whole process from telling your story to reading it in a book. You don't have to know anything special about writing or books or the publishing industry. You already have what you need—the good stuff, your memories. We'll take it from there.

The name "Populore" celebrates family and personal history, and "stories of the people." We coined the term and have registered it. We built Populore on the belief that the struggles, triumphs, traditions, and memories that are so important in the lives of ordinary people should be preserved in writing to be shared and celebrated forever. And, we believe in the elegant, infinitely creative potential of the book to best do that preserving!


We do not limit our publishing activities to personal or family history, but many of the projects we have done at Populore have been of that nature. Some of those projects have been for a strictly private audience and others have been sold commercially by the client. Additionally, sometimes our clients write about themselves. Other times, they are writing either about family members, friends, or others. For some projects of either type, we do all of the writing.

Based on what's important to you and what you want to do with the finished book, we'll work with you throughout the process, tailoring our services to fit your unique needs. We'll work with you to make sure your story is written the way you'd like it to be told. It can be as simple or as fancy as you like.

If you already have a complete written family or personal history manuscript, you probably won't be interested in a package. The next best step for you would be to consider Populore's Publishing and Book Production services.

(Click here to learn more about these services.)

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I wrote about my life…it started flowing… My daughter said, 'Mother, if you hadn't written it, we wouldn't have received copies in our Christmas stockings!' I'm so glad I preserved this bit of history for my husband, myself, and our children.—E. Sibold

… an opportunity to tell your great-great grandchildren, yet unborn, something about you and your times.—R. Marks



Populore President, Rae Jean Sielen is an active member of the Association of Personal Historians. She has been with APH since its founding in 1995 and is a former board member for the association. APH is a not-for-profit trade association that focuses on providing educational and training opportunities to help professional personal historians in their work to preserve the histories, life stories, and memories of individuals, organizations, and communities.


Why Do This?

Whether you've recognized it or not, you have probably had a number of moments throughout your life when you've felt the importance of personal history. Remember reminiscing with your grandmother in the kitchen while preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the family? Remember taking your son fishing for the first time and how it reminded you of the first fish you caught as a kid? Remember that inside joke that puts the family in stitches anytime someone mentions it? Remember stumbling on a tattered box of your grandparents' love letters while cleaning the attic?

These moments are important. They're real life. Our real lives. They're not stories that appear in the history books, but they're the stories that touch our hearts and shape who we are today. Imagine what a delight it would be to find a memoir written by your great-grandmother. Imagine having your father's story preserved in a book to share with your children, and your children's children. Imagine giving your own story to your family.

Every person's life is interesting. No matter how ordinary you might think your life is, it's extraordinary to your loved ones, descendants, and family history researchers.


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I was so pleased to see my story in print! I haven't been so excited since electricity came to Sugar Grove! What a wonderful job you've done…—E. Kennedy

You have such a marvelous talent in expressing the written word…And now it's all down in history and to be treasured in the years to come. I lift my glass to you and say, "Well done…it was worth it all!" —N. Smith

The personal and family history concept also works for businesses, communities, and other organizations. Just as families share memories, joy, and heartbreak so do other organizations. Imagine the possibilities of preserving your service club's "life story?" Your church's? Your childhood neighborhood's? The possibilities are endless.

Personal and Family History possibilities include…

A memoir may be one story about a single event, a collection of unconnected stories, or your complete life story. Sometimes people use memoirs to tell their own stories, other times they write them in tribute or as a memorial to other individuals.

Ethical Will
Individuals write ethical wills to "officially" pass on their spiritual legacy, values, lessons, forgiveness, and love to their family and loved ones. An ethical will can be short and simple, or it can be expanded into a book, supplemented with personal and family stories and photographs.

Collections: Recipes, Vignettes, and Travel, etc.
Sometimes the idea of writing a personal or family history can seem overwhelming. How do you include everything? How do you organize your recollections into an actual book? It can be fun and helpful to approach the project with a specific theme or framework. Imagine compiling a family recipe book with associated stories to accompany the recipes. Imagine documenting your personal and family vacations. Approaching the project with a theme not only makes it fun and gives it organization, but it also helps stimulate and inspire your memories.

Preserving one or a few stories
Sometimes clients are interested in preserving their stories, but for any number or reasons they are not interested in writing a complete, start-to-finish book. To learn more about options for preserving shorter works or for preserving a collection of your or your family's stories, click here..


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I received the books and they are SPLENDID. I don't believe I've come across this kind of compilation before. A job well done. I got misty-eyed reading it before bed the other evening.—S. Smith


Problem solved!

Some of our Family and Personal History clients have been pleased to learn about our "split-run" option. This would allow you, for example, to have a few extraordinarily beautiful leather-bound copies for your immediate family, while also ordering more simply-bound copies for other relatives. Click here to learn more about "split runs."


A personal or family history project can be any of the following:

  • A book about your life, written in your voice
  • A book as a tribute to your family or loved one, written in your voice
  • A book about your parent's life written in his or her voice
  • A book about your family or organization, with contributions from various different members

Sometimes people use personal and family histories as a special gift. Parents write their life stories for their children and grandchildren. Other times, children work with Populore to have a parent's story preserved, arranging and overseeing the project so all the parent has to be involved with is the interviewing.

In some cases, people embrace the project as simply something that "must" be done. Working on their own or in conjunction with other family members, they recognize that it's their duty—and pleasure—to preserve their stories, traditions, and special memories so they are not lost or forgotten.


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[The tips and suggestions] really made me feel I could get started and do it. I especially liked the idea of starting with small segments and stories—made it seem not so overwhelming.—V. Adams

Getting Your Story in Writing

After one or a few initial consultations in which we talk about what you envision for your project, we'll arrange some meeting times between you and an interviewer/writer. The scope of your project will determine how many interviewing sessions will be necessary.

You are welcome to write all or some of your story yourself, but you don't have to! Talk with a Populore writer in a comfortable, relaxed setting. The amount of interview and writing time will depend on your personal project goals. Based on your conversation, the writer will thoughtfully write your story, working with you to meet your specifications throughout the process and with respect for your own unique personality and vision.

You will review drafts of the manuscript and have the opportunity to correct inaccuracies, add some new ideas, take out parts you don't want to have included, and make other changes until you're satisfied with the result.

You may select some family photos or memorabilia that you'd like to have featured in the book. Once we determine the length of the manuscript, and the number of copies you'd like to receive, we will suggest several different printing and binding options for you to consider and choose from.

You can be as involved as you'd like throughout the process. Some clients just want to tell us their story and then be handed a book in as few steps as possible. Others want to be more involved throughout the project's development. Our goal is to create positive publishing experiences for our clients, depending on their individual desires.


Up to Introduction