Publishing a Family History Book #general


David Cantor
 

A short while back, a member sought help with regard to publishing a family history book of some 600 pages.  I cannot remember who it was and I have been over zealous in clearing out my emails.
On reflection, there were many comments including my own about the hazards of self-publishing and I have been wondering if the original poster gave up heart or took the advice to take up the offer from Nina Schwartz.  Either way, it would be good to know the route taken (I may have missed it)
If the project is still in limbo, this is what I would do.  This list is not exhaustive but it is the basis for a framework

1. Break down the project into manageable segments - perhaps 4 or 5 separate editions - you decide.
2. Put the relevant files into separate folders on your computer, Edition 1, Edition 2, etc, etc - have a robust backup regime.
3. Get the BookWright free software from Blurb and watch their tutorials.
4. Practice on Volume 1 until happy with the result.
5. Create a low-resolution PDF file for proofing - this is unsuitable for printing.
6. There is no commitment until the book is uploaded to the Blurb web site, if you are still not sure, the draft will be deleted after a shortish period but you will still have the project on your computer.
6. Decide on the cover type and paper quality (go for the best you can afford).
7. Before ordering the book, it's possible to purchase a high quality PDF that could be printable at home but I see no point in this unless to distribute digitally at low cost to family members.
8. Look for discounts on the Blurb web site, they are frequent and can range from 25% - 30% and occasionally higher.
9. Order a copy of volume 1 and if happy - proceed to Volume 2 and so on.

A reasonable level of computer literacy should be adequate to achieve excellent results.

If all this fails, hire a grandchild or Nina Schwartz 

I hope this is of use to the original poster and anyone else contemplating a similar exercise.  I used Blurb for a similar but much smaller project and was delighted with the result

David Cantor


krausj2@...
 

This seems like good and generous advice.

I would add to be careful about font size as you layout and proof. It's easy to daydream about including "everything," but one consequence of that can be a book with print too small for easy reading. 
--
Joe Kraus
krausj2@...


m.rind@...
 

On Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 09:57 AM, David Cantor wrote:
1. Break down the project into manageable segments - perhaps 4 or 5 separate editions - you decide.
2. Put the relevant files into separate folders on your computer, Edition 1, Edition 2, etc, etc - have a robust backup regime.
A segment of a book is not an edition of it. You can't break a book down into "separate editions."
 
--
Miles Rind
Cambridge, Mass.


June F Entman (jfentman)
 

On Oct. 9, 2021, I wrote to Nina Schwartz, I thought, at artstop@... to see about retaining her, but I have received no reply.  Is there some other way to contact her or others who provide similar services?
 
June Entman
 
 


Joe & Carolyn Hoelscher
 

For anyone trying to publish a family history book, you are welcome to write and ask me about this process.  I did the design, layout and editing for a family history and genealogy book that ended up being a little more than 1,550 pages.  It was for my husband's family which is huge because they started collecting records, information and photos a long, long, long time ago, and stayed in touch with each other.  They had already published 3 books.  The one I did was their 4th book and they are doing the 5th one now.  Since it is all volunteer except for the actual printing and binding, I did not volunteer again!  There is a lot to discuss and decide about in this process.  I would be happy to provide some info as to the best way to do this with whatever resources are available to you.
Carolyn Hoelscher
cmhoelscher@...

Moderator note: please respond privately