Scattered Leaves Press

Scattered Leaves Press is a small, full-service, nonfiction self-publishing company, owned and operated by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, MFA, CG, and James W. Warren. We publish high-quality family histories, memoirs, biographies, essay collections, spiritual memoirs, guidebooks, and more in hard or soft cover and as ebooks. (See our available books below.)

Sharon and Jim offer you individualized attention on your book project. We are a small company dedicated to developing personal relationships with our clients. While some self-publishing companies cut costs by farming out work, Sharon and Jim work solely on your project. Sharon brings 30 years of professional writing, editing, and book mentoring experience, and Jim brings 15 years of professional design, layout, and indexing experience. Click here for more about Sharon and Jim.

Because each project is unique and we offer personalized attention, we do not box you into choosing a “package deal” like some self-publishing companies. We provide you with as much or as little help as you need. You pay for only the services you desire. Whether you have a complete book ready to print or are looking for writing, editing, layout, or printing help, we are ready to work with you.

Here are the services we offer:

  • Unlimited, ongoing phone or Zoom meetings to discuss your questions and project’s needs as it progresses.
  • Writing Coach and Mentor: Sharon’s coaching and mentoring services can assist you through all phases of your writing project.
  • Content and Development Editing: Sharon will review your work in progress for proper writing techniques, organization, and, if applicable, genealogical and historical content. She will help assist you in the development of your book’s content. You can submit chapters as you are writing them or the full manuscript.
  • Copy Editing: Sharon will copy edit your manuscript for sentence structure, grammatical problems, and punctuation. Click here for the different levels of copy editing you can choose from.
  • Book Design and Layout: Jim handles all the layout and design of our books. He will work with you regarding all aspects: trim size and cover design, overall book style, fonts and font sizes, photos and illustrations, and captions. For family histories, Jim creates ancestor/descendant charts and locates or creates maps and other appropriate illustrations to enhance the layout in addition to your family photos.
  • Photo Digitization and Enhancement: Jim will digitize and electronically enhance the photographs, maps, charts, documents, and other illustrations to place in your book. We can also help you locate or generate illustrations.
  • Indexing: Both Jim and Sharon can work on indexing projects. We can create a basic name index to your book, or customize it to include any combination of names, places, and/or subjects you prefer.
  • Proofreading: Sharon will proofread the final formatted pages (galleys/page proofs) of your book for typographical errors and formatting problems before you print.
  • Publishing: Your completed book will be generated as a PDF that you can take to your local printer. Or, we can handle the printing for you. We work closely with several reasonably priced printers in our area that specialize in high-quality, small and large print-runs of books, both hardbound and paperback. Once we deliver the PDF to one of our printers, it typically takes four to six weeks for printing and binding.
  • Order Fulfillment: Once completed, we can ship all or some of the copies to you. We can also handle sales and order fulfillment if you wish. Or, we publish your book as an ebook. We make ordering available on Amazon.
  • ISBN and Copyright Registration. If you choose to publish with Scattered Leaves Press, we will assign an ISBN (International Serial Book Number) to you under our imprint. We can also register the copyright in your name with the Library of Congress.
  • Book proposal writing. If you would like to try pitching your book to an agent or publisher, Sharon can write or help you write a quality, professional book proposal.
  • Book promotion and press releases. Sharon and Jim can help you determine your market and where and how to promote your book. She can also write or help you write a press release.

For more information or to schedule a consultation by phone or on Zoom, please feel free to contact either Jim or Sharon at

Click here for more books published by Sharon and Jim under their Warren & Carmack Publishing imprint.

◊ ◊ ◊

Coming in 2020 by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Inheriting the Gordon Hips, a collection of humorous essays

In Search of Maria B. Hayden, M.D.: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K.

 ◊ ◊ ◊

 Tell It Short
Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2nd revised edition, 2019, 152 pp., $18 plus shipping

Does the thought of writing your family history send you straight back to bed to hide under the covers? You’re not alone. Most family historians agree that they enjoy research the most. What if there was an easier, more manageable way to share your family history, while telling the life stories of your ancestors in an interesting and factual way? There is.

Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief comes to the rescue, guiding and inspiring you to craft family history essays—the nonfiction version of the short story.Tell It Short gives those interested in writing their family history an alternative to the all-encompassing book by exploring the creative nonfiction essay form. This guide will show you how to share the stories of your ancestors’ lives in a completely factual yet compelling manner. You will learn about  
  • key elements of effective nonfiction storytelling
  • ways to put ancestors into historical context without fictionalizing
  • methods for using appropriate speculation
  • several categories of family history essays: memoir, personal, humor, travel, food, and literary journalism
  • strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading

Tell it Short contains helpful instruction, examples, and ten sample family history essays by Dinty W. Moore, Rebecca McClanahan, Sonja Livingston, and more. This guide will help you take your family history writing beyond the traditional begats into short works your family will enjoy reading.

Review: Tell It Short — A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Betterway Genealogy Books

The Elements of Genealogical Style: A Simplified Style and Citation Manual for Writers of Genealogies and Family Histories, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2017, 46 pp., $5.

This is an ebook (PDF) and will be emailed to you within 24 hours after purchase.

Table of Contents


How to Use This Manual

Part I: Style Guide  


Relationships and Proper Nouns





  1. Commas
  2. Quotation Marks
  3. Apostrophes
  4. Hyphens and Dashes
  5. Semicolons
  6. Colons
  7. Brackets
  8. Ellipses

Additional Styles

Specific Words


Poor Word Choices

Verb Tense

Passive Voice and Use of First Person

Quoting and Block Quotes

Bulleted and Numbered Lists


Part II: Citation Guide  

Footnotes or Endnotes?

Why Do I Need a Bibliography?


  1. Book by One Author
  2. Book by Two Authors
  3. Book by Multiple Authors
  4. Book with No Author
  5. Online Books


  1. Article in Print
  2. Article Online
  3. Article No Author

Record Sources

  1. Censuses
  2. Cemetery Records and Tombstones
  3. City Directories
  4. Land Records/Deeds
  5. Military Records and Pensions
  6. Newspaper Articles
  7. Obituaries and Death Notices
  8. Online Databases without Images
  9. Passenger Arrival Lists
  10. Personal Knowledge, E-mails, Letters, Oral Histories
  11. Vital Records
  12. Wills and Probate


A: Sample Notes

B: Sample Bibliography

C: Proofreading Checklist

D: Numbering Systems, Creating a Style for Children Listings, and Sample Genealogy

E: Elements of a Formal Essay

F: Genealogical Case Study/Proof Argument Outline

G: Elements of a Research Report

Other Books by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack sold by Scattered Leaves Press 


You Can Write cover



You Can Write Your Family History, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, 2003, 246 pp., $21 plus shipping, published by Genealogical Publishing Co.

Your ancestors are composed of more than vital records and family group sheets. Behind the names and dates are tales of love, loss, resolve, and sweeping change—of history itself. Their stories are what will make them real to your present-day (and future) relatives, the ones who don’t care about city directories or census records.


You don’t have to be a writer to chronicle your ancestors’ lives. In You Can Write Your Family History, popular author and speaker Sharon DeBartolo Carmack explains exactly what it takes to create a compelling, highly readable, and entirely true story, whether you decided to write a biography, family history narrative, or memoir.


Carmack covers each element step-by-step, showing you how to


  • select the best type of family history to write
  • decide on a theme
  • conduct efficient research to flesh out a narrative
  • put ancestors in the context of social history
  • get the words down on paper

The results, you’ll find, are well worth the effort. There’s no better tribute to those who came before you than to share their stories with those who will come after.

Copyright Cover

Carmack’s Guide to Copyright & Contracts: A Primer for Genealogists, Writers & Researchers, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmak, 2005, 119 pp., $18, plus shipping, published by Genealogical Publishing Co.

Before you borrow, publish, or sign on the dotted line…

You need to read this book!


Perhaps you’ve struggled with some of these questions:


  • Do I need permission to use something off the Internet?
  • Can I reproduce a newspaper obituary on my ancestor without permission?
  • How do I know whether something is in the public domain?
  • Does copyright protect my Web site?
  • Who owns the client report?
  • Can I publish my ancestor’s diary without anyone’s permission?
  • Is my lecture or lesson protected by copyright?
  • If I write something for my genealogical society as a volunteer, who owns the copyright?
  • Can I download GEDCOM files without permission?

All of these questions and more come up in the course of our genealogical endeavors. Now there is an easy-to-understand guide geared toward genealogists’ special needs. Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, in her popular, conversational writing style, answers your questions and explains in simple language copyright, rights, and publishing agreements and how it all applies to genealogists.


Whether you’re a

  • genealogy hobbyist,
  • genealogical society volunteer or officer,
  • professional genealogist,
  • instructor,
  • writer,
  • librarian, or
  • speaker

you need to know something about copyright. You have questions. This book has the answers.



Front cover #3 180919 from Combined Cover Ver 2 10 Jul 2018

Lessons in Printing: A Memoir, by Klancy Clark de Nevers, 2018, 212 pp., $13.95 plus shipping.

In the middle of her college years Klancy de Nevers’ father began to hear voices. Her reaction to his breakdown was not what you would expect from a “well-brought-up” girl. At a time when housewives waxed floors, ironed sheets and washed woodwork, the mentally ill were often warehoused, or tranquilized and sent home to fend for themselves. Shielded by her mother from the reality of his condition, de Nevers willingly looked away, and didn’t mourn when he died.

In Lessons in Printing, exploring the evidence carefully preserved by her family, she reconstructs her father’s life and reconsiders her own responses. The result is a meditative memoir, a journey from scorn to compassion, from guilt to forgiveness.

Klancy Clark de Nevers has lived in Salt Lake City longer than she can remember, but her writings reflect her upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. She is author of The Colonel and the Pacifist: Karl Bendetsen, Perry Saito and the Incarceration of the Japanese Americans during World War II (University of Utah Press, 2004). Her essay, “My Life with Fonts,” recently appeared in Cagibi Literary Magazine.

“In Klancy Clark de Nevers’ unflinching Lessons In Printing, the life-lessons are often hard—the sorts we recall our parents referencing when they asked, “Did you learn your lesson?” As with this memoir, such lessons only take on a regretful clarity much later. Along a path of meticulous prose, we are brought into a printer’s shop and are taught the lessons of a fading craft and a fading craftsman, Klancy’s small-town editor-father. Over the course of this memoir, both the printing craft and the printing craftsman diminish—recede in their own ways. But neither are lost. This lovely memoir reaches into a dim landscape of regret and lovingly reassembles its lessons in printing—not as museum objects but in a way that breathes new life into the ghosts and spirits of their past.” David Kranes, playwright and novelist

NOTE: To order multiple copies shipped to one address, email for ordering details.

170712-11c01 Peden book cover image RESIZED

The Pedens of South Carolina, Volume One: John Peden and Margaret McDill and Their Descendants in America, edited by James Mark Paden, 2013, 425 pages, hardcover, $62.50 plus $3.99 shipping

The Pedens of South Carolina: John Peden and Margaret McDill and Their Descendants in America, Volume One, is a completely new book, based on recent research and analysis, expanded records access, and DNA testing. It details the first five generations of the family with the sixth generation descendants listed as well. The title change reflects the descent of these families from the Pedens who settled in colonial South Carolina, as opposed to unrelated Peden families that settled in colonial Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina.The new book begins with six chapters that narrate and document the story of the family’s origins in Scotland and Ireland, their emigration and settlement in South Carolina, participation in the American Revolution, the early ties with Chester County, and the settlement of Fairview in 1785 and 1786. One chapter for each of John and Peggy’s ten children follow. Each begins with a narrative of the early history of that branch with full documentation. Extensive research in original documents (land grants, deeds, wills, census) has greatly expanded and improved the accuracy of that history over the earlier books. The bulk of each of these ten chapters is a listing of the descendants of that line through the sixth generation. A simplified descendant numbering system has been utilized that makes it much easier to follow the lineages.


The book’s every-name index includes more than 8,000 individuals.The Pedens of South Carolina reflects the contributions of dozens of descendants who shared information, and years of research and work by the historians of the individual family lines: James T. Hammond, Barbara McDaniel Ray, James Mark Paden, Bruce Price Reynolds, Monya Fillinger Havekost, and Sharon D. Peden. Mark Paden’s dedicated leadership, sound judgment, and persistence as author of the narrative historical chapters, and as the editor, is reflected throughout the book. Peden descendants have a heritage, and a record of their family, of which they can be proud.


NOTE: To order multiple copies shipped to one address, email for instructions.