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Writing Books/True story of collector's family nightmare


I am wanting to write a book on a true happening to our
family in 1995.  Our father was a collector on Civil War
items that came out of our great grandfather's estate that
dated back to the Civil War.  When my father passed away &
on the day of his burial a local historical museum had the
FBI come into the house order the family out.  Taking the
word of a person who had a history of dishonesty they removed his entire collection putting it into the hands of
the museum and telling us we had to prove items and when &
where our father obtained them.  It was the worst nightmare
any grieving family should have to go through.  We had to
hire federal lawyers and fight for over 1 year costing us over $85,000 dollars to receive our collection back.  I feel as to a warning to other collectors this could happen
to them.  I feel this could be put into a book form and that others could share what could happen in a small Iowa
town.  I'm not sure how to start but feel this information
should get out.  After a year and over $80,000 we did receive the collection with items such as our great grandfathers picture in his Civil War uniform missing and
of course besides that dad would have been the only one that could tell us what else was removed. We have a history
with family belonging to this museum for over 150 years and
their motto was to always be faithful to a member's family
of the organization.  Would a book such as this have any
chance of being published?  This made press over many months but after they realized what was told them was not
true it was returned.  We will never know what did not come
back to the family.  Our great grandparent's saved many
items for the future children that we probably will never
see again.  There is much more but this is the plot of the

Hello Loreita:

I have no way of knowing whether your plot will make a saleable book or not, nor do you, or anyone else. It depends on:

1. Its commercial value - how many people would be inclined to buy such a book? Publishers have data they can use to determine this.

2. Whether or not you are a published author. If you are, what your sales history shows.

3. How it is written. If you can make this story as interesting to other people as it is to you, that will help, but how much, no one knows.

Remember, publishing is a BUSINESS. The bottom line comes first, every time.

You might consider publishing it yourself, either paying for it to be printed yourself, or publish it online and sell a "license" to allow people to download/print it, or print on demand.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 1,000 questions.

Thank you for writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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