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I’ve been self-employed through most of my adult career, and my career focus has always related to words. In 2004, I established All My Best as a copyediting service for people’s MS Word final drafts. Seven years later, I added on-screen (digital) proofreading of PDF book layouts, where I use Adobe Acrobat to flag corrections for the book designer to make. In 2016, I began marketing exclusively to authors, publishers, and publishing consultants, scrubbing and copyediting their book manuscripts and proofreading their book layouts. Within the next few months I completely revised my website, AllMyBest.com, to reflect that focus and to offer helpful tips to visitors.
Back in late 2008, something amazing happened: When our son, Byron, married Rachael on November 22, 2008, instead of buying gifts for their parents to commemorate the occasion, they created lasting memories that touched our hearts. They each wrote a loving letter to their own parents, describing not only their fondest childhood memories but also the values, life lessons, and ideals they would bring to their marriage. At the wedding rehearsal dinner, the two of them formally presented these letters in beautiful frames to my husband and me, and to Rachael’s parents. Everyone was deeply moved, and we will always treasure these loving mementos—so much more meaningful than a purchased gift could ever be. This made me realize that letter writing is fast becoming a lost art, yet thoughtfully written letters mean so much to those who receive them.
Their heartfelt gesture moved me to publish, a year later, four Good Ways to Write a Treasured Letter tips booklets showing brides, grooms, and their parents how to write heartfelt letters of appreciation to one another to commemorate the marriage. Three years later, in 2012, I published the award-winning comprehensive reference book, How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special. Since then I’ve also published six fully self-contained How to Write a Heartfelt Letter of Appreciation themed guides based on the book, and I’ve created a separate website, GoodWaysToWrite.com, for the indie-publishing branch of All My Best.
In 2016, I added my award-winning 40-page desk reference to this selection and gave it what I laughingly call the world’s most boring title: 80 Common Layout Errors to Flag When Proofreading Book Interiors. Despite that title—or maybe because of it—it’s been a popular seller on Amazon and in person, as it helps authors, proofreaders, copyeditors, and graphic designers.