Memoirs and Autobiographies

Every life story is interesting. More and more people are writing theirs, including me, Robert Jacobson, a design partner at Longfeather Book Design. And it’s all made possible and affordable through self-publishing.

Actually I have finished my book now. It was a lot of work, but so what? It was a sweet labor of love. I wrote it for my family and friends, and hope the book will be of use when my grandchildren become interested in family history. Life stories take many forms, of course—memoirs, autobiographies, collected thoughts, etc.

My book turned out to be a collection of Christmas letters written over a period of fifty-plus years. Some writers tell their stories as straightforward chronologies of personal events. Stories with important historical implications may lay claim to a broader readership. But most of the ones I have seen are self-published and intended for a smaller audience.

Collected Christmas Letters: 19952-2013 • Front cover and interior-page spread
Memoirs-Autoboigraphy: Christmas Letters: 1952-2013, front cover and interior page spread

An big part of the charm of family histories is how they look. So the design of the book is important. The best writing in the world is just a pile of paper or a computer disk until someone puts it together in its final form. I had an advantage in working on my book because I am a book designer by profession. So designing it was extra fun for me. I got to make all the visual decisions—typography, page layouts, photo selection and cover design. I made sure the type font was appropriate and easy to read, the headings interesting, the margins adequate and the photographs enhanced for clarity and overall quality.

You will want the same care taken with your book. At Longfeather we apply the solid design principles and attention to detail to all the books we design. And we have designed a lot of them over the last forty years.

I should point out that there is quite a bit more to designing a book than determining its visual aspects. It’s a computerized operation requiring a variety of special skills. Neverless good design can be quite affordable, especially if the manuscript is properly prepared by the writer. That’s not hard, and we can tell you how to do it.

A note about old photographs: Family photographs will be of great interest to your readers, of course, so they should be shown to best advantage. You may be surprised at what can be done to bring those old shots back to life. My partner Erik is especially good at it, and really enjoys the challenge.

Your published memories are an important part of your legacy, something to be cherished by your family and passed on to future generations. You will want them made into a book you’ll be proud of. Erik and I at Longfeather can help you make it so.

Below are some examples of our work. You are invited to contact us for an estimate.

Robert Jacobson

Lessons Remembered: Memoirs of an Audacious Country Doctor • Front-and-back cover spread and interior page
Lessons Remembered: Memoirs of an Audacious Country Doctor front and back cover spread and interior page.

My library contains a number of books designed by Robert Jacobson so I knew who he was and what he could do. When I finished writing my first book of memoirs, I was sure he was the designer I wanted to work with. With his son Erik, he designed and produced the book for my publisher, Goose River Publishing. The book's success was due in no small part by a cover that featured an illustration of me by Mr. Jacobson. My second book of memoirs is nearly complete. I know who my design team will be.
— Henry Wayne Poore, M.D.

Traveling Down the Highway with an Educated Goat • Front cover and interior-page spread
Memoirs-Autobiography: Traveling Down the Highway with an Educated Goat front cover and interior-page spread

Lost in the Boondocks: A Memoir of Wold War II • Front cover and interior-page spread
Memiors: Lost in the Boondocks front cover and interior spread

All Our Love, All Your Life • Front cover and interior-page spread
Memoirs-Autobiography: All Our Love, All Your Life front cover and interior-page spread

Longfeather Book Design was an absolute pleasure to work with. We came to them with a unique project—create a book of memories with illustrations and photographs for my mother's 60th birthday. Erik jumped right into the project and guided us through the process. He had many ideas exhibiting great creativity. During the process we also had the pleasure of working with Robert. He is an extremely talented artist and captured each memory perfectly in his illustrations. We were on a tight deadline and I have to say that few people would have been able to meet it. We received the book just in time for the celebration. We have given my mother countless gifts over the years—this by far was the best she has ever received. And, Erik and Robert made it all possible. Without a doubt, they are the best around and I highly recommend them.
—Allison Charney