When asked about the motivation behind his decision to self-publish, author Terry Braddock said something that really hit home: “I wanted to ensure my story was told as I remember it.”
Terry’s memoir, The Stump—My Way Out of Chicago’s South Side, tells of his journey out of the ghetto streets of Chicago’s South Side, where he grew up during the turbulent 60s and 70s. During the struggles of the civil rights era, Terry experienced racism as he spent his summers in the Deep South, working on his grandparent’s farm in the cotton fields of Tennessee. His faith and entrance into the military in 1974 set him on a path to joining the US Army, where he served his country for over thirty-seven years.
“I didn’t want to relinquish control to anyone,” said Terry of his reasons for self-publishing. “By self-publishing I was able to keep and record my voice as I remembered it, remaining unchanged in the final product. That was of utmost importance to me.”
Authors may be inspired by Terry’s method of documenting his stories. As a storyteller first and foremost, Terry told his stories one-by-one to his wife Kathleen, who captured them and recorded them in writing. “Kathleen’s biggest challenge was how to record my stories and the conversations in the proper written format. Once she stumbled upon The Chicago Manual of Style, it guided her to create our manuscript in the acceptable format,” comments Terry.
Terry’s inspiration for writing The Stump was to help the public understand the challenges he faced as an African American growing up in the inner city. Part of his process for writing his memoir was to return to his home town of Chicago. “I wanted to see the changes that have occurred in my neighborhood on the South Side since I ‘made my way out,’ says Terry. He felt optimistic about his return and expected things to be better. “However, seeing what I saw led me to a deep and disappointing place in my heart and mind that I never thought I would be at. The changes were not for the better; they were much worse than what I could ever have imagined.” As a result, Terry counts his return to Chicago’s South Side as the most difficult part of writing The Stump.
In sharing his stories, which include stories that depict life in the US Army, Terry also wanted to help readers overcome their fears of following their dreams. “I have published my memoir to let others know, let no one tell you ‘No, you can’t,’ or, ‘That’s not possible!’”
Terry lists two resources that were instrumental in helping him and his wife get to the finish line: the IngramSpark and 1106 Design websites. “We found 1106 Design via the IngramSpark website. Both sites provide a multitude of links and articles on the various steps involved with self-publishing and a wide range of subjects that addressed all of our questions.”
Terry advises authors to spend the time and money to invest in a great product. “Be prepared to take the time to save or secure financing prior to publishing, rather than rush through the process just to get to the end product,” he cautions. “An unedited manuscript, with covers and interiors made with templates screams, ‘self-published author’. Do it right the first time—avoid ‘rookie’ mistakes.”
After receiving the manuscript back from their editor, Terry reports that sending it to 1106 Design for cover design and interior page formatting was a stress-free choice. “We knew we wanted a professional product, and aligning ourselves with 1106 Design was an easy decision.”
Terry is selling his book on Amazon, his author website, and at speaking engagements. As a born storyteller, he finds that talking to and relating to his audience is the best way to market his book. “Speaking engagements allow me to share my story,” he comments. Besides talking about his book during the speaking engagements, Terry’s main themes are his relationship to God, service to country, choice, and perseverance.
Thank you for sharing your story Terry, in this month’s 1106 Design Author Story! We wish you much success with The Stump—My Way Out of Chicago’s South Side.
The Stump – My Way Out of Chicago’s South Side
Author: CSM(R) Terry L. Braddock
Author website: www.thestumpmywayout.com
On Facebook: Terry Braddock
If you are an author seeking more information on how to self-publish your book, contact 1106 Design to find out how you can work with us!