Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Publishing Your Family History or Making Your own Reference books

I've put together a brief narrative and descendant report using my Genealogy Software program, and Microsoft Word. I then saved it as a PDF, which is the format needed to produce a book at most publishing websites. Blurb requires you use a specific PDF format, PDF/X-3.
It can be tricky when it comes to laying out your book correctly. You have to be sure that your fonts are embedded in your PDF; and you should not use unusual fonts. You should use commonly supported fonts. You need to follow instructions for margins carefully; otherwise, you may find some of your text is missing. The Amazon publisher (Create Space) and Blurb give you a list of problems which it detects on your PDF. I got a message stating my image resolution was too low so the pictures may not come out clear. Lulu does not provide these suggestions.
The best place to publish an ebook you want to share with your family for free is at Internet Archive which allows readers to read it using many different format options:  www.archive.org

You can make books to share with your family, or just as reference books for yourself. I think putting together  documents, maps, pictures, progress reports etc., in a published book would be a great way to access them easily. Even if you just print your important source material and three hole punch it and put it in a report cover it would be a very helpful resource. I've used binders in the past, but they are bulky and heavy, a light weight report cover is more compact too. I have quite a few documents etc. in digital format, but find I get tired of looking at the computer screen too long. I like a printed format sometimes. It can be quicker to access a book.
I plan on ordering a copy of my book at LuLu. This is definitely an amateur production. I've never tried anything like this before. I haven't used any professional advisers for the layout; so I am not sure how it will come out? We'll see what the results are? I do plan on adding an index to the book and making additions this summer, so it's a work in progress. This copy is my test run: http://blog2print.sharedbook.com/blogworld/printmyblog/index.html

Here is my test copy at Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org/details/AndrewForgeyMargaretReynoldsAScotsIrishFamilyInAmerica13112

Since I am using this blog as a research log I plan on publishing it using Blog to Print.

Some publishing websites

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