google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html The Family History Blog to Book Project | The Armchair Genealogist

The Family History Blog to Book Project


As promised last week, we will be starting a new project in the New Year. We're creating a family history blog with the intention of turning it into a family history book.  In my last post, From Blog to Book, Transforming Your Family History, we looked at all the logical reasons why a blog to book makes perfect sense for the family historian. However, before we begin, we’re going to start by identifying some of the key components to consider when creating and writing a family history blog with the purposes of producing a book.

In the coming weeks, I will address each one of the elements below in a post, with lots of valuable information and examples. Here’s what you can look forward to in the coming weeks.

1. Setting up a blog. We will briefly touch on how to set-up a blog. There a plenty who can help as many who have written some great articles on the how, when and where to set up a blog. However, I will add my two cents from a family history perspective.

2. Choosing a topic –  We're going to determine the scope of the family history we wish to write about. We're going to hone in on the family line, perhaps even a particular ancestor and source out the most compelling story in your family history.

3. Researching Your Subject – Now this we know. However, were going to look at things from not just a genealogist’s perspective but also a writer’s perspective.

4. Mapping out the blog - and therefore a book  - I will give you some tools to put a plan in place, so we have a path to the finish line.

5. The Book’s Theme – we’re going to get to the heart of the matter, we’re going to identify and write not just a history, but one that conveys a theme, a point beyond the story itself.

6. The Guts of the Story - we will talk characters(ancestors), plots and structures and setting, it's not just for novels.

7. Size - We're going to talk size. Blog size, book size, and costs.

8. Who is Your Audience – we will discuss who you're writing for, and how if effects the style and writing in your blog and therefore book.

9. Besides the Story – we will  talk, pictures, pedigree charts, documents and citations.

10. Publishing your family history blog to book – your options.

11. And finally – marketing your book, for those who want to take their book public.

I know we are all busy with Christmas fast approaching, however, my hope over the next couple of weeks;  to get you motivated and give you plenty to think on over the holidays.  I hope so you'll be ready to jump in with both feet come January. and start your own blog to book family history project.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks Marian, I intend it to be a very hands, on useful series, loaded with info.

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  2. This is something I have thought of before, but have been a bit afraid that others will steal it before it gets published. The group of series I have been presenting on my blog has been a sort of research in the rough on the topics for the book; but allowing others to use info that's already out there, and making them wait for the real deal. What are your thought on this?

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  3. Looking forward to it, Lynn. And what better time to be mulling over those thoughts than right before the traditional "New Year's Resolutions" season!

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  4. @Debra, I think it all depends on who your audience is going to be, and the nature of the blog/book. Certainly, holding some back for the book, is an option. I don't think this is the fear with a family history, but yes a novel, or family narrative or how-to book. Many bloggers have created books from their blogs just because some people prefer to purchase the information in a book, while others will search out the info in blogs. I don't know if there is any black and white answer, it's whatever the writer is comfortable with.

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  5. I've been thinking about making a hard copy of my blog for a while--mainly because it represents so much effort and I'd like it to be a family keepsake -- including stories and information that would be too detailed for a memoir or family history, both of which need a narrowed focus and a theme.

    If I just want to turn my blog, as it is, into a book, will you be sharing some options for that––or are you thinking of creating specific blogs that will become books? Either way, this is a wonderful contribution to the genealogy blogging community!

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  6. @Linda, yes to both your questions, we will look at options of turning a current blog into a book, we will also look at creating a specific family history blog for the purposes of a book.

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  7. Lynn, after reading your post yesterday, I was reading Michael Hyatt's blog (he's CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing), and last night it hit me that your two posts dovetail.

    Michael mentions how he took a series of posts from his blog, converted them into an ebook, then offered that, free, as an incentive for people to sign up for email subscription to his blog. You can find the post at http://michaelhyatt.com/how-to-get-a-ton-of-new-subscribers-to-your-blog.html

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  8. I really want to do this, and started the blog about a year ago.

    What I need help with is the technical mechanics. How to transfer and save the blog and image from blogspot, where to store it, how to name/label it, what word processing program to use that will let me have pictures, images and work with them.

    Then how to organize and edit it within that program.

    I have a Mac, and when I tried to transfer the blog posts to "pages", I couldn't change anything or work with it.

    So bought Scrivner at your recommendation, but I can't make it work with this, and I am very confused about the images. I want to save the image in the text, not separately.

    I recently bought word for mac, but not sure how to proceed with transferring the posts to a document that I can save and backup, and I can edit and rearrange. To be truthful, I haven't started on trying to learn word yet, I guess I kind of want to know if that is the program I should be trying to do this in.

    I am very happy you are doing this.

    Thank you!! I look forward to learning from you.

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  9. @ Jacqi, I read Michael Hyatt regularly, and have flagged that post but haven't read it yet. I will be sure to do so. Thanks.

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  10. @goldvet2. Thanks for your comments, I have made a note of all your questions and I will do my best to answer them as we proceed through this process. I am not a Mac user, however, if I can't find the answers for you I will try to find someone who can. One question I have for you, are you looking a turning this into a print book or an ebook?

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  11. Hi Lynn,

    I appreciate the response.

    I would like to turn it into a print book. I did one for this branch of the family in 1998, and it was literally cut and paste the photos and documents onto white paper, print the text off of my computer with the spaces left for the picture, tape the picture in and take the whole thing to Kinko's to be photocopied off. Then I hauled the photocopies off to a binder to be bound.

    Now I would like to do a much better revision of the same book, with all the new stuff I've learned.

    I want it to be print, but I've heard there are websites or services where you can submit the digital version of the book, and then it can be print on demand. So the buyer would pay for a copy, and get one sent to them and I wouldn't have to try and guess how many copies to print, and collect for and pay for all the copies up front. Also, later if people wanted more copies, they can just order more rather than there having to be a whole 2nd printing of a set amount.

    I just don't know who those places are!

    Thanks much for sharing all this information!!

    Clytee Gold (goldvet2@yahoo.com)

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