The publishing industry often focuses on the mechanics of publishing—sales, marketing, branding, etc. But the heart of publishing is not truly about those things, it’s about the stories—not the publisher, not the author. Yes, those things are important. Without the authors, we’d have no stories. And without the publishers (self-pub, traditional, and hybrid), we’d have no readers. But it all comes down to the stories that are told. Stories are what connect everyone in the publishing industry. Stories connect everyone, everywhere.
I always loved sitting at my grandfather’s feet as he regaled my brother and me with stories about him and his prankster brother and all the things they would do to get in trouble. Often, there was a lesson in the stories that I only recognized in hindsight. I became much of who I am because of those stories, because of all the stories I’ve heard or read over the years.
There’s a passage in one of my favorite writing books, Writing as a Sacred Path by Jill Jepson, that says: “Storytellers are the custodians of human history, the recorders of the human experience, the voice of the human soul. They are the ones who keep safe the vast store of information collected by the human race over time.”
Stories, like music and art, express that which is inexpressible—love, sorrow, happiness, wonder. Stories give form to our own existence and sense of divinity within us. As Jepson says, “stories shape how we think about the world [and] provide the framework for understanding our place in the Universe.”
Not everyone is a writer but everyone has a story to tell. And every story is a sacred gift that we’re tasked with sharing—with family, friends, neighbors, strangers, and all those who will live on long after we’re gone.
One of the most beautiful things about the advancement of technology today is that that the ability to share our stories with others has become easier. There are even machines that help those who are unable to talk find a way to share their stories. There are also a plethora of websites, apps, software, and more that help people tell their stories to others in their own way.
stories etc. is doing just that, using Pubsoft’s technology for their eMemoir app. Patrick Talley, founder of stories etc., created the stories etc. app because he wanted to make it easier for families to capture family history for future generations. The app lets users share and store their stories in a “digital time capsule” for family and friends—through text, voice, and video recorded at their own pace. The app even offers prompt questions to help users. There are hundreds of stored questions to inspire users to share their stories and memories and users have the option of skipping questions that don’t apply to them. As the website states, “some stories may work better as videos. Some stories may be better written down or as audio clips.” The option to record through text, voice, and video makes it easier for users to choose the best way to share and present their stories.
As E.B. White wrote in The Ring of Time, “…I have always felt charged with the safekeeping of all unexpected items of worldly or unworldly enchantment, as though I might be held personally responsible if even a small one were to be lost.”
No matter how you tell them, the ability to share and keep safe the stories of your life with such ease through stories etc. will help preserve your memory and legacy to pass onto others in the future.