The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, August 26, 2010

There Are People Behind Those Old Pictures!

With blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., we get used to saying just about whatever we please. The electronic posting sites have been called the "Wild West" where restraint is not the name of the game. It's liberating. It is also dangerous for the author who is getting a book published. If you've done a lot of blogging and/or spent a lot of time on social media, rein in the free flying opinions Hoss. The book world is the citified East Coast compared to the e-media's Wild West. People do care what you put in print when it is going to be around a while. So, keep your opinions to yourself. As one policeman of yore used to say on TV, "Just the facts, ma'am." This cautionary note is especially true with photos ... even historical photos.

When Stetson Hats was published, the cover photo used dated from 1925 and showed workers in the Stetson hat blocking room. No one imagined anyone would recognize a person in that old photo. A couple years later, all involved were startled when a letter arrived from a hospitalized older gentleman. He thanked the author and the publisher for using a photo with his father in it. The letter writer had been given the book as a gift and was over the moon about this photo. Now, had the author decided to say something humorous or disparaging about the folks in that photo, the letter would have been far different and might have mentioned lawyers. So, writers, be careful what you say when you are writing a book, especially when writing captions about historical photos. There really are people behind those photos, living people related to those shown in the pictures, people who care very much about what you say concerning their relatives. Tread carefully, use restraint, be respectful. You never know when you too may receive a letter from a relative. Do your best to make sure that letter is a happy one.

By the way, Stetson Hats is available for $39.95 @

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