The Way It Was

on March 16, 2008 in Film & Books

My assistant scoutmaster is eighty years old. His name is Eymard, which is a unique name in central Minnesota. He has been my assistant for nearly twenty years. Eymard is very active in the church and community. He is active in several organizations and wears many hats. He has held many titles over the years.

This week he adds one more title to the list. Eymard is now an author. He has finished writing a book about his life experiences and thoughts. It is a project he has been working on for over two years.

The first draft was written by hand in a spiral notebook. After many revisions and corrections, Eymard had a family member type the book into a computer. Once again, corrections were made after the first copy was printed on a home printer.

I entered the process when Eymard asked me to help him get it published as a softcover book. He was not looking to get it placed in any bookstores, but he wanted to have two hundred copies of the book made for family, relatives, and friends. He had checked with a few local printing companies and discovered the cost would be higher then he would like to spend. Someone suggested to him to have it printed through an online publisher. He knew I spent a lot of time on the internet so he asked for my assistance.

The first online publisher we checked out was not what I would call “user friendly”. Then I remembered hearing about a site called Lulu.com. We found it much easier to use, and it had very reasonable prices.

I quickly discovered that I needed to have the book formated as a Word document. I am not fan of Word, being the Mac guy that I am, but I did have it on my computer so I used it. We had to set up the novel exactly the way we wanted it to appear in the book. All chapter headings, margins, and the overall design of the book had to be done before I uploaded it to the website. I also needed to design a front and back cover. It took a few evenings to get things the way Eymard wanted it, but we finally got it ready for its first printing, which would be one book, just to see what it would look like.

When the book arrived, Eymard reread it and discovered that a few more corrections would be needed. He also wanted to add several more photographs. I made the corrections, scanned and added the photographs, and ordered a revised version of the book.

I received another phone call from Eymard last week after he received the revised version. He had found one more correction that needed to be made. One of the chapter titles needed to be renamed. After making the change, we placed the order for two hundred copies of the 183 page publication.

Eymard, his wife Lucille, and their family are very excited about this project. And I have to admit, so am I. Though it was a bit of a challenge, I am honored to have had the chance to assist my assistant scoutmaster in becoming a published author. I know there is one chapter about his Scouting experiences, and I look forward to reading it and the rest of the book when it arrives.

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