Most of us have seen the typical family history book of the past, photocopied pages of text with the occasional poorly scanned photograph, cheaply bound only to fall apart within a couple of years. I don’t think anyone starts out with the intention of making a crappy family history book. However, costs usually are a large factor when deciding between the crappy version and the coffee table book.
These days with print-on-demand easily available to anyone who wants to make a book, it is a wonder more people are still not creating family history books. You can go to any number of websites who will quickly make a beautiful coffee table style book from your family history. However, upon investigation it becomes clear that even print-on-demand has some issues.
One of problems with print on demand options is they are great if your book is not big. If you have a large family and your book is going to be a substantial size then you will pay the price. If you have a lot of genealogy, you wish to convey to your relatives, documents, a picture etc. than size becomes an issue. Often as the family historian, we are confronted with what we can include and what we must leave out of our books. Often a genealogist when confronted with this option will choose to get as much information as possible to their relatives at the risk of creating a cheaper book.
However, there is now another option. A Family History E-book may solve the dilemma of size over quality and should seriously be a contender when looking at your family history book options.
1. It is affordable. You can create an e-book at minimal costs, the size and the number of copies has no effect on the price. You may wish to purchase a program but there are many reasonable price products on the market and the cost can easily be covered in the sale of the e-book. Perhaps you already have a program such as Adobe Acrobat then you are already on your way. The e-book is not only low cost for you to create; in turn, it becomes more affordable to your relatives. This gives you a greater reach, getting it into the hands of more relatives.
2. It appeals to a younger audience. We are often looking for ways to encourage the youth in our family to take an interest in genealogy. A family history in an e-book format just might be the innovative way to get this to happen. It is in a format they can relate to and a price that is easy on their pocketbook.
3. Environmentally friendly – It goes without saying you’re saving a few trees and everybody young and old is all about that.
4. Easy editing for an ever-changing family. You can easily update an e-book without reprinting costs and send out updates to family members. Alternatively, they could make insert their own family notes in their own copy of the e-book.
The e-book option is so easy to do you can offer both a printed version for those that want to pay the price and have the coffee table style book and the e-book version for those who want the family history without another book on the shelf.
I have no doubt books will never disappear from the shelf, but an e-book option is an affordable alternative to your hardcover book.
(Watch for Post 2- How to Create a Family History e-book)
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