Writing Lesson 3.15 – Just in Time for Christmas…

November is past, and NaNoWriMo with it. Whether or not you took the challenge to write 50K words in a month, here’s one way to see a story by YOU in print by Christmas!

Snapfish is an online photo development company. Around the holidays, they offer special prices on photo scrapbooks–bound books, in a variety of sizes, printed in small quantities with lots of full-color illustrations. Mixbook is another online company that offers similar books at a reasonable price. Most people use scrapbooks like these to preserve family memories, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use photographs or even jpgs of your own artwork to illustrate a short story of your own.

You could present an original story or collection of poems to someone you love for Christmas.


  • Decide on a recipient and a story. Believe it or not, this is a very real part of professional writing. Before writers begin a project, they know who their target readers are since this will affect so many style decisions.
  • Decide on an appropriate format, number of pages, and price. These are also decisions that professional writers and publishers make up front so that a book appeals to readers’ interests and their pocketbooks.
  • Experiment to see how your story will fit into the number of pages you have to work with. Page design is another aspect of professional publishing. While you’re at it…
  • Select a font style and size. This is also a part of page design. It’s important to choose a type face that is readable and fits your story and page size. It’s best to stick with one font style, though you might use a second style for your title.
  • Choose illustrations and decide how they will work with the text on each page. Original photographs and artwork can make the story more personal, and they will also save you money and time for securing the copyright permissions required to use other people’s work.

Even if you decide, in the end, not to place your order, you will still have gained valuable experience by trying your hand at several steps required to produce a finished book. And if you DO decide to “take the leap,” you may be surprised to experience the thrill of producing something all your own.

About Lynn Dean

Lynn Dean dictated her first story before she could write and continued to write stories, illustrate them, and bind them into books throughout childhood. As a homeschooling mom, she enjoyed passing a love for writing to her own children and ten years of co-op students.

Read more about Lynn.

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