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THE PRESERVATION FOUNDATION, INC.


In A Nutshell


Our purpose is to share your stories with the world, preferably personal stories of you or someone you love.
 

So, send one in.  And, if you aren't ready please encourage Aunt Sue or Cousin Jesse to send that family biography, sketch--whatever.  We aren't about prizes--we are about keeping those stories alive long after we are both gone.  They will be a treasured bit of history for our great-great grandchildren to cherish.

I'd love to share your stories or those of someone you know.  Don't let those manuscripts turn brown and disintegrate in some forgotten closet. 

Drawing of a pyramid with a treasure inside.  (c) 1997 by the Preservation Foundation, Inc.


Our History

The Preservation Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1976. The idea came to me when I was a book editor at Abingdon Press, the book publishing arm of the Methodist Publishing House. As all editors do, I had too many manuscripts to read and too little time in which to read them. Most I could decline after reading the covering letter. Why? Because they weren't aimed at our market. Despite all we could do to discourage submission of projects that were out of our area of specialty, we got autobiographies, poetry, novels, and all manner of interesting, but inappropriate, projects. Once we even got a book of bawdy jokes and toasts. I read it all the way through, I must admit, but it went back all the same.

In fact, it was often true that many of the most interesting projects were the ones that had to be declined. And it wasn't just because we were a religious book publisher. Many interesting and worthy projects were simply too limited in market or too specialized to interest ANY publisher who had to justify acceptance on the bottom line. A vast majority of such books were biographical or autobiographical in nature. They were usually by writers who wanted to tell their story or the story of someone they admired. Yet, unless the writer was a storytelling genius, the sales side of the table at publication committee meetings would have an unanswerable objection, "Who's gonna buy it?" In fact, even if a writer is Shakespeare reborn, it seldom happens that she hooks up with just the right editor. Sadly, the typical project makes its slow rounds, the rejection slips pile up, and the author grows more and more discouraged.

The Preservation Foundation's purpose is to help our members get their projects into circulation by:

(One) putting them up on the World Wide Web so they can be shared with appreciative readers immediately, and

(Two) offering advice on how to get your project to the right publisher, if we think it has commercial sales potential, or

(Three) helping you publish it yourself, if we feel the sales potential is limited, or

(Four) publishing it for you.

Since 1976 a lot has happened in my life. I became a stock broker in 1979 and was too tied up in all that the profession involves to give much time to publishing. Since my retirement in 2010, however, I've reached a point where I can afford to give more time to the Foundation. 

In the old days, when words were set in lead type, it was a mysterious process to get a manuscript through all the steps required for it to become a book. Today it is so simple that most books could be produced on this computer I'm using.

And we now have electronic publishing. That's what you are reading. In 1998, in our first year on the Internet, we put over one hundred projects up on this site. Since then we have posted over 1000 more. Stories by writers from scores of countries - Greece, Nigeria, Botswana, China, Nigeria, Australia, Mexico, Peru, Iran, Great Britian, India, France, Hungary, Turkey and many others.  Of course we get most from the U.S. and Canada.  

All these are available for the enjoyment of readers worldwide. This web site will continue to grow as new members add their works. Chapters or even an entire book published one chapter at a time will give members exposure to readers few best selling authors in the past could hope to reach. There is an entire WORLD of readers out there to see and appreciate your work. And best of all, it can be in front of them next week--not a year from now or never.

Can you make money on your project?  Maybe, if your E-Book or self-published traditional book takes off. Some of them do, but usually that is because the author knows how to promote herself on the web, in print, electronic media, and in person.  

But most self-published books will not make much money. If you want to make money, then keep on banging on commercial publisher's doors.  But if you do self-publish we'll be glad to help with advice or even to do the technical job of putting the project together for you.  Click here to see our information about publishing E-Books and paperbacks with us.

The kind of thing we mean to publish is the project that is produced with love and a desire to share something important with those who will appreciate it. What we want to preserve is the work you have labored to create that describes the life experiences you want to pass along. We believe that will be deeply rewarding, but we don't expect to make much money in the process and neither should you.

The preservation of these works for future generations is the central aspect of our work. The logo of the foundation is a pyramid, and someday the national headquarters may be built in that shape--a shape that can stand the battering of time and circumstance. We plan to index and archive members' works; so that scholars, your decendents, and ordinary people everywhere will still be able to appreciate them long after all of us are dust. Storage on compact disk, thumb drive, DVD, or some future medium even more durable, is our goal.

The Preservation Foundation is in the business of helping members share what they have to say with those who would enjoy it. We aren't in the business of making money by flattering writers and making them pay to publish. That would put us in the "Vanity Press" category. That won't happen. What we hope will happen is that gifts from members and other foundations will provide what we need to do our work. We are, and have been since 1976, a 501(c)(3) corporation, so gifts to us are deductible from U. S. taxes.

Will it work? As more and more of you join us to share your works, I believe smart editors will start to check out our web page with the idea of finding diamonds in the rough. They will also begin to refer good writers with commercially marginal projects to us, just as we will refer commercially viable projects to them.

Creative people are capable of turning ideas into reality. The Preservation Foundation is a good idea. Thanks to you it will someday become a reality more grand than any of us can now imagine. It is beginning now. It is growing. 

Make yourself a part of this grand idea.  Join us. 


Richard Loller
Nashville, TN
December 24, 1997 (updated October 1, 2015)

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