Alec McPherson – “Hythe’s Hockey History”
I have recently compiled a book of the history of our hockey team – the Hythe Mustangs. I was apprehensive at first of even printing it as I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I obtained the information for contacting Jim Beckel in the History Book Division at Friesens Printing and after talking to him I was more at ease in regards to having a batch printed. Also, talking to Lynda Hiebert at the plant was a boost to my confidence as she sent me samples of the draft and helped to make sure I was satisfied with the end product.
The response from the community has been overwhelming and I have had so many compliments, not only on the content but also the quality of printing. I have sold many more than I expected and I think it helped that I was able to sell them at an affordable price.
I have had a lot of fun gathering the material and people were very generous in loaning me their albums and sharing stories of the past. All in all it has been a great experience that I would encourage others to try, and I highly recommend Friesens for getting your printing done.
Suzanne Jackson – Gleichen and District Historical Society
From the beginning, the two communities that were involved were very supportive of our project, Memories Recalled – The District of Cluny and Gleichen 2014. Many were thankful that a few of us would be willing to tackle this endeavour. I attribute the overwhelming success to four very important factors.
The first factor was that we had a very dedicated group of seven women, who from the outset, were determined to see the project through to the very end. The second factor was the organization and research required to manage a project like this. We had access to a large space with tables and filing cabinets, keeping everything under lock and key. We were able to organize the submissions, the computer copies and photos easily. The third factor was applying for financial help to subsidize the cost of a book. The final factor was our pre-ordering system. People could pre-pay a deposit on the number of books they wished to order. We also mailed out order forms to those that no longer lived in the area. When it was time to go to print, we had a clear idea of the number of books needed.
We organized a book launch with a beautiful supper, music and speeches by local dignitaries. The ceremony and book reveal was very well received by the communities and surrounding area. The folks attending had only to pay the balance owing and pick up their books and envelopes with their submissions and photos. The rest of the orders were mailed out.
After the launch, we received letters, phone calls and many compliments on our history book and just how beautiful it was. We deemed the project a huge success! We are very proud of our history book and the valuable resource it will be for generations to come.
Judith Theroux – Cliff Bungalow
As the project coordinator of our community history book, I was involved in all phases of the book from initial planning to book launch and ongoing sales. Although having worked in project management, I had never been involved in a “book” project, so the entire project was a delightful and rewarding “learning experience.” I worked closely with both the author and designer as well as key members of our community association. In response to publicity on the community web-site, many people contacted me, some to offer their help as volunteers, others to recount their childhood experiences growing up in the community. Imagine my surprise when one gentleman gave me his childhood address which is now my current address, his family home having been replaced many years ago with the condominium building that I now live in. I also consulted and made presentations to members of the francophone, Jewish, and Roman Catholic communities whose forbears played a major role in our community’s beginnings.
Both the writing and the design of the book have been widely praised, with comments from community leaders such as: “your book is beautiful,” “among the best I have ever seen…dealing with community histories,” “a great resource for anyone with an interest in not only the Cliff Bungalow-Mission area, but in Calgary as a whole.” The first printing of the book sold out within 10 weeks and sales of the second printing are in progress.
Beth Elhard – “Beavertales From Castor”
Beavertales from Castor & District was a labour of love. A previous book had been published in the early seventies and it was time for a new one. The committee received many heart-warming stories and more importantly, our history was preserved for future generations. Friesens publishing was excellent to work with – no matter how many times I called or e-mailed Jim Beckel, the representative, he was pleasant, patient and helpful with our questions. We sold out and went to reprint and the books are almost gone. Had a wonderful book launch before Christmas, which was our objective that year, as people purchased for gifts.
Mistakes were made and if I can add anything it would be to double, triple check everything. But it gives one a great sense of accomplishment when I hear someone say “I will look it up in Beavertales!”
Rick Pallister – Lacombe History Book
If any of you folks are thinking about publishing memoirs, history books, anything of that nature, I’d highly recommend one of your first calls be to Friesens. We would have saved an enormous amount of time had we know about Jim [Beckel] and his company sooner.