Publishing your memoir

Most of us want to be remembered by our loved ones, and we have interesting experiences and lessons to impart to the next generation. Many people publish their memoirs in retirement, but some of the best stories that were not recorded as they happened are lost to time.

How best to pass along your experiences and wisdom? This newsletter features some powerful, easy and surprisingly inexpensive tools for publishing your memoir. These text tools are not dotphoto services, but dotphoto is a great place to preserve, edit and print your best pictures.

Printing your memoir
Countless friends have spent $5000 to $20,000 to publish their memoirs, which is a shame because you can do it for free – and many of the memoir “publishers” use the same free service.

Publish free on KDP

In 2005, Amazon bought CreateSpace, a self-publishing service that enables you to upload, distribute and print your own books. The service has been re-branded Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and the software is greatly improved: format your word-processed document to the size of your book, save it as a PDF, and upload the PDF to KDP. 

KDP will sell your book on Amazon, make it available on the Kindle eBook, and even enable distributors and bookstores to buy your book. Stores are unlikely to stock your book, but your friends can buy your book online or special-order through stores, and you can buy single copies from KDP for dollars each – rather than paying for 1000 books upfront from the typical memoir publisher.

The most important element of a good story is drama: that is, the reader wonders how the story will turn out. Because most amateur memoirs have little drama, they often go unread. The typical memoir theme is: I overcame every difficulty to become the successful person I am today. The truth about most of our lives is that we are buffeted by winds we cannot control, we nearly drown, we struggle, we are rescued, and we are happy we survived – and sometimes thrived. Our actual drama is more satisfying than the myth we tell ourselves. If you want your family to read your memoir, capture the drama. Be self-effacing, funny, and surprising.

Kindle Direct Publishing

Fiverr Top Ghost Writers

Finding a Ghost Writer
A ghost writer can help craft a dramatic story. A site called Fiverr, so named because its original premise was to accomplish small tasks for $5, lists their top ghostwriters here:

Fiverr Top Ghost Writers

The Proper Use of Facebook
It’s been a tough week for Facebook, which had a six-hour outage last Monday and a whistleblower testifying in Congress this week. Almost no one has ever made a friend on Facebook, but the service is a good blogging site. I use Facebook to record interesting experiences that I would probably forget in the long run. Sometimes, my friends give me feedback; sometimes, they pay little attention, but these experiences are not lost to time.

MySocialBook

Every two years, I ask MySocialBook (not a Facebook or dotphoto service) to print a 380-page, color book of my Facebook posts and many of the comments. With a coupon code, the price of the book is about $85. 

How dotphoto helps preserve your memories
Photos are essentially memory keys. We see a picture, and our minds flood with associated thoughts and feelings. It’s why they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Dotphoto Club, Family and Pro members can store images up to 6000 pixels on a single side – or up to 36 megapixels (6000 x 6000). By comparison, Facebook downsizes images to 2048 pixels or up to 4.2 megapixels (2048 x 2048) — only 11.7% the resolution of dotphoto. dotphoto’s added resolution is particularly helpful for group photos, panoramas, or any photo that might be cropped to highlight some person or event – for instance, a close-up of a person in a sporting event or crossing a graduation stage.

When I post on Facebook, I first upload my photos to dotphoto where they can be preserved in high resolution. Then I edit and crop the photo, and copy and paste the photo from dotphoto to Facebook. Because Facebook is not saving a high-resolution image, I’m not concerned about pasting in a screen image for my blog.

If you edit the titles of your dotphoto pictures, you can print them on the back of your 4x6s, and those prints will act as excellent memory keys when you are ready to write your memoir.

4x6 Prints Only 8 Cents each with Free Shipping on orders of $10+
https://www.dotphoto.com/shop.asp?PID=2

Other websites we like
MasterClass: Learn how to write your memoir

MasterClass: 6 tips for writing a memoir

One of the best ways to learn anything is to study the most successful people in the field. MasterClass is a streaming service that you can run on Roku, your phone, or any smart TV. Steve Martin teaches humor, great coaches teach team building, and you can learn how to write practically any form from Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin, Dan Brown, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stine, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, and many others.

MasterClass: 6 Tips for Writing a Memoir

Is photography art?

Braxton Wilhelmsen has some interesting observations at Fstoppers such as “If you’d like your work to really come across as art, the concept should predate the shutter actuation.” If you imagine your goal, then every decision supports that goal.

Wilhelmsen also cites a mastery of these photography fundamentals: “Shape, line, texture, perspective, value, color, negative space, focus.” Now that digital photographs can be further monetized with NFTs, it is interesting to consider the question, “What turns a photograph into art?

How to Make a Photo Book

dotphoto photobooks make thoughtful gifts that will be cherished forever. Add multiple photos per page, wrap a single photo around the front and back cover, and add a title to the spine. Customize every aspect of your book.

Economy shipping is free, and 20-page 8×10 photo books are only $29.99  Up to 60 pages per book.

Step-by-Step Photobook Tutorial

Shop for Photobooks

How to Add Text to Any Photo in dotphoto

  1. Select your photo by tapping the photo.
  2. Tap the pencil edit icon in the upper left.
  3. Tap the T icon in the editing menu.
  4. Choose your fontsizecolor and shape.
  5. Add and position your text.
  6. Tap the check button and choose File Save. You will keep your original, and save another photo with text.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Adding Text to Photos

NFTs Explained

NFTs or “non-fungible tokens” are a popular new way of selling art or photos. NFTs are tracked on the Ethereum blockchain, and enable someone to buy and own the original copy. Oddly, you can buy the original, but the digital copies are the same quality. If you are a photographer, it is good to know that NFTs also enable you to collect a fee each time the item sells. You can also retain the copyright and reproduction rights, just like with physical artwork, but you would need to stipulate that in the sale agreement.

To try your hand at selling NFT images, two of the biggest markets are OpenSea.io and Rarible.com

Businessweek Article on NFTs

How to send a fax with dotphoto

When we started dotphoto in 1999, we didn’t imagine that faxes would be around in 2021, but a surprising number of offices – medical, legal, accounting and others – still require faxes. Fortunately, you don’t need a fax machine: you can use dotphoto’s share link to share an image to a free online faxing service.

How to send a fax from dotphoto

  1. Create a secure dotphoto album by tapping Organize / Create Album, and then add a password to the album.
  2. Take a photo of the document with your camera phone, and upload it to your secure dotphoto album. 
  3. Copy the image link in dotphoto, and paste it into FaxZero.com, an online faxing service. 

Step-by-Step Procedure for Faxing from dotphoto

What is the aspect ratio and why should I care?

The aspect ratio is the longest side of your photo divided by the shortest side. If the aspect ratio of your image matches the aspect ratio of your print, then no cropping is required: you get the entire image on the entire print because the image shape projects directly onto the print shape.

For instance, many cameras capture an aspect ratio of 4:3, which is 4/3 or 1.33. That’s the same ratio as two dotphoto poster sizes: 40×30 and 24×18. dotphoto also offers a 4xD – the “digital print” (4xD) – that is 5.33″x4″, or an aspect ratio of 1.33.

How to find the Aspect Ratio of your Camera or Phone
Upload to dotphoto. In an album, tap on Organize, then Edit Titles. You’ll see the width and height of your photos in pixels. Divide the longest side by the shortest side to find the aspect ratio. In the illustration here, the aspect ratio is 1.33, which perfectly matches the 4″xD print. If the aspect ratio were 1.5, it would match 4″x6″ prints (6/4=1.5).

See the Best Resolution and the Aspect Ratios for all popular dotphoto prints

How do you preserve your digital photos?

How do we preserve our stuff in the digital world? 

Stefan Thomas forgot the password to his $220 million of Bitcoin. James Howells is offering his city $70 million to allow him to find his old Bitcoin hard drive in the dump. Experts estimates that 3.8 million Bitcoins are lost forever – about $122 billion at today’s price.

Even with fortunes at stake, we lose digital assets. One of the open secrets of digital photography is that – despite our commitment to our “precious memories” – most of us have flimsy strategies for protecting them. I own two broken terabyte drives, and I have tapes, discs, diskettes and cartridges that are questionable. Like 35mm films, players are rare even now.

In this new year, it’s worth considering a strategy for preserving a family’s collective memories. At dotphoto, we advocate a three-pronged approach that ensures convenient access and security in even extreme situations: Cloud, Personal Off-Site Storage and Print.

1. Cloud Backup

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup is historically the most reliable storage. dotphoto enables our Club, Family and other paid members to upload file sizes up to 30MB each. Unlike other sites, dotphoto does not downsize photos, so you’re preserving your original files – not 100K downsized versions with little image detail. 

What about a “free” service? Besides the problem of routine downsizing and distracting advertising, formerly free services are changing. Google has announced photo storage plans of $1.99, $2.99 and $9.99 a month. The dotphoto Club Plan is only $1.67 a month for unlimited storage – and dotphoto does not monitor your habits and sell them to advertisers.

2. Personal Off-Site Storage
At dotphoto, you control your photos. Club and paid plan members can download and backup photos at any time. Simply enter an album, click on Organize and choose Download. We encourage you to keep a copy of your favorite photos in a bank deposit box, fire-proof safe or other secure place. You can create backups yourself, or use dotphoto’s SD Card Service to create an account backup. We recommend SD cards because they are used in most phones and cameras.

3. Print
Print remains one of the easiest ways to backup photos and convey meaning to the next generation. 4×6 prints and photo books are the most popular and inexpensive print backup tools. In addition to the pictures themselves, you may want to annotate the photo titles so that family members can understand the photos in the future. To edit photo titles in dotphoto, enter an album, choose Organize, choose Edit Titles, and tap Save Changes. You can also print titles directly on the back of 4×6 photos by choosing Print Options in MyAccount

You can design dotphoto books in any configuration, but a 12″x12″ book with 60 pages and six 4″x6″ landscape photos per page holds 360 photos. 4″x3″ photos in the same book expands the number to 720 photos per book.  How to make a dotphoto book

Sharing (and Printing) Full-Size Pictures on Facebook Made Easy

Social networks connect us with friends and family in ways that weren’t imaginable in years past. We maintain that sense of community in our online world by sharing personal updates, events with our friends, and photos from our daily lives. Facebook acts as one of the central hubs where we share our pictures. However, there is a downside to photo quality when we upload photos directly to Facebook. 

Continue reading “Sharing (and Printing) Full-Size Pictures on Facebook Made Easy”

How to Make Your Home Dazzle in Quarantine

Life is different now than it was a few short months ago. We live in a time of great upheaval where we want a semblance of control and normalcy to return to our lives. While the outside world swirls in uncertainty that we cannot control, having the ability to alter the way our homes look and feel is something that we can embrace. With dotphoto’s printing features as part of your subscription, we can take your most treasured memories and transform them into conversation pieces for the home.  Continue reading “How to Make Your Home Dazzle in Quarantine”

Preserving Memories During COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has us separated from family members for extended periods, and shelter-in-place orders have made life hard on families that do not see each other as often. The Internet gave us the ability to share pictures with the people we love with a few simple mouse clicks. However, there is something about the tactile feel of having a physical copy in your hands that elicits a different feeling. With dotphoto’s subscription service, you can have custom picture framing of your cherished memories delivered to your door.  Continue reading “Preserving Memories During COVID-19”

Why Should I Have My Photos Printed? Part 2

In our previous blog, we discussed some benefits of taking advantage of our professional photo printing services. These included preserving your original vision and having a tangible keepsake that will stand the test of time, various platform differentials, unforeseen file conversions, and other circumstances that may compromise the quality of your captured memory. Now, we’ll explore a few more:

Improve Your Skill Set

We love working with those looking to preserve their fond memories in ways that can be physically held and dispersed among friends and family. However, our customer base also includes photographers looking to hone their craft, refine their business, and, ultimately, make the most out of their time spent doing what they love. If these apply to you, you can consider photo printing as another way to do all of that!

Printed photos show details you might have missed on your screen – especially small screens. The larger you print, the easier it is to pick up on technical issues and nuances that might otherwise have flown under the radar. Getting proof prints are an economical way to review your shoot! Since our printing services never compromise your image quality, we can provide you with the tools you need to sharpen your skills. 

Personal Fulfillment

Take it from our satisfied customers – there’s something deeply fulfilling about seeing your meticulously crafted image on a beautiful print. After all, it’s the physical manifestation of your effort and creativity! When your prints transform pixels on your screen to tangible pieces of art, you can display them in your home, give them to friends and family, or offer them to clients. It’s satisfying to create and present beautiful prints.

While other photo services may be happy to take your money for standard printing not tailored to your needs, our team keeps your goals in mind. And unlike those subpar resources that may see you as a one-off customer, dotphoto believes in cultivating relationships. 

With a subscription service, you’ll set up an account, create a personalized gallery of your existing photos that is easily accessible, and even make money off your photos! Yes, you can sell your photos online with a dotphoto subscription as well! Simply upload your pictures with a watermark, and dotphoto will handle your transactions, shipping, customer service, and even the setup of your online store.

We encourage you to pull out your camera and capture something amazing – all while keeping in mind the benefits of printing your photos in any size and application you may desire. For more information about photo and greeting card printing services through our subscription service, contact dotphoto today!

Why Should I Have My Photos Printed? Part 1

In today’s Internet-driven, virtual world, we see photos shared everywhere on our ubiquitous digital devices. Viewing or sharing an image can be done with a click of a button. While these resources are an excellent way to store your photos and even back them up, there is practicality and a dose of charm present when printing them. Here are a few reasons why you should consider printing your favorite moments with your dotphoto subscription: Continue reading “Why Should I Have My Photos Printed? Part 1”

3 Online Safety Tips To Keep Your Data Secure

With a new major hack occurring seemingly every day, it’s now more critical than ever before to stay vigilant online. Use these simple tips to keep your data more secure as you browse the internet, shop online, and choose the right online photo storage subscription. Continue reading “3 Online Safety Tips To Keep Your Data Secure”

Picture Perfect Prom & Graduation Photos

When thinking of capturing family memories on film, most people focus on the winter holidays filled with joy and time off from school and work. But families with babies, children, and teens often know that there are many other milestones and happenings that occur outside of the traditional holiday season. From first steps to first days of school to birthdays and graduations, there are a plethora of other celebrations and beloved memories that families want to capture on film. A subscription with dotphoto can help you preserve your fondest of times. Continue reading “Picture Perfect Prom & Graduation Photos”