An eBook is a document saved in an electronic format, a file saved on your computer. It can be sent via email, or stored on a website ready to be downloaded. The finished e-book can be sent out in two versions; a PDF read only copy or the original copy that can be edited.
Sending a read only copy gives you control over later edits and additions or sending out the original allows family members to edit and add to their copy of the e-book, later as the family make-up changes or more history is uncovered.
Although an eBook can take various forms, the most common is simply a word-processed document converted to a PDF. The Portable Document Format is the most widely recognized format for creating an eBook. In my opinion, you have two choices, Adobe Acrobat Professional that created the PDF, or Microsoft Word 2007 that converts any document to a PDF very easily.
Today we are going to review how to create an e-book in Microsoft Word 2007.
Steps in Creating an eBook with Microsoft Word 2007
• Using Microsoft Word 2007 write and compile your family history including photos, timelines, maps and documents.
• Review the finished file size. If the file is large because you have used many photos then you can reduce the size. Microsoft Word 2007 makes reducing the size of pictures very easy by clicking on any photo and then ‘picture tools’ and then on ‘compress’ picture. You may apply the compression settings to all pictures or just one.
Print- 220 ppi – a good quality for most printers or screens
Screen -150ppi – a good quality for web pages and projectors
Email – 96ppi – minimizes the document for sharing
• You are now ready to convert the document to a PDF. Simply choose “save as” and then choose “PDF”
Seriously, it is that simple. The most labour intensive part of this process is compiling and writing the word document, your family history. However, for most of us that is a labour of love.
Distributing Your Family History eBook
Remember that not all family members are as Internet-savvy as you. Prepare a quick 'how to' guide to accompany the family history eBook, explaining how the file can be used.
Most family members appreciate having a family history that they can edit/add to as they wish, as well as the original PDF file to take to the printer. Older family members, however, would probably prefer to have the final printed copy sent to them, especially if they have never used a computer in their lives! This is the beauty of the eBook, you can send the digital copy to your relatives, send the pdf file to a print-on -demand publisher or take the pdf to a copy store or print it on your own computer. The choice is yours or you can leave that choice up to the discretion of your relatives and their individual preference.
However, remember it will be the younger generation that will be carry forward the family history. So as much as we are sensitive to the limitations of our elders keep in mind that providing a Family History E-book is a great alternative to ensuring that your family history keeps up with present.
Creating a Family History Book - Great Reasons to Consider an Ebook
The Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Family History Book