Show notes, episode #2
Annie Presley is co-author with Christy Howard of the Read This series of guided journals, big, beautiful books that encourage people to gather the practical information of their lives and their personal stories, all under one cover. It’s a different take on legacy projects, something the two authors were inspired to write after one lost a parent at an early age and the other nearly lost one too soon.
In this interview, we discuss how the authors are on a mission to change the world, one book at a time. Their first book, Read This When I’m Dead, deals with weighty matters in a fun and irreverent way, adding levity to the difficult end-of-life discussions our culture shies away from.
In this episode, we also talk about:
- their target audience of female baby boomers
- the hunger for stories Annie never knew about her own mother, who died when Annie was just a girl
- the practical value of gathering data in one place and how it helps family members at the time of a parent’s death
- how we shouldn’t fear talking about death, and solving the pain point felt by both the elderly and their adult children in addressing the topic and collecting the information
- obits, the new “selfies”
- how pets and possessions can be used as a way access and frame life stories
the trend for family history and family mission statements
- Annie and Christy’s innovative approach to marketing their book through presentations, and identifying the clients most likely to benefit from the Read This books (hint: they connect with the same people who can help personal historians reach their target clients)
- writing in collaboration with a co-author, and the need to take breaks from each other
- the benefit of having a partner or an outside reader
- Annie’s conversation with John Grisham—yes, the John Grisham!
- the need to knock on doors and make phone calls to get in front of the right people
beta testing a book club
- and much more.
It’s a great conversation full of actionable ideas that we can use to grow our business as personal historians. I hope you enjoy listening to Annie as much as I enjoyed speaking to her!
Links and resources discussed:
Cowork Waldo, I didn’t give it more than a brief mention, but this was the coworking office where I rented desk space for a year and a half when my house was too full of kids for me to be productive. Circumstances and my needs have changed, but I can’t stress enough the importance of finding a workable work environment if you plan to make personal history your career.
readthis.guru, where you can order all of the Read This books and reach out to Annie and Christie
Createspace.com for print-on-demand book publishing
John Grisham’s A Time to Kill