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Publishing for Pennies, Electronically
Material can also be found on page 602-604 of 2007 FGS Syllabus

                    I.      Introduction/Overview

1.    Piling System

2.    Filing System

3.    Workbooks

4.    Scrapbooks

5.    Traditional Books

6.    Electronic Files

7.    Electronic Books

8.    Hybrid Books

              II.      Economics

1.    Let’s keep this book within the family (5-80 copies)…

2.    As an author, the manuscript has passed 800 pages or so…

3.    Many photos included are color…

4.    This work is important, but I only have X dollars to spend and that’s years or savings…

           III.      Plastic Pluses

1.    10 printed books can cost $25.00-$100.00 each (or more), 10 electronic books may only cost $10.00 each (or less).

2.    Items to include are not limited to “printable items”.

3.    Black and white or color content cost the same.

4.    Author can produce themselves.

5.    Much easier to update.

            IV.      Archival Notes - A publication that is easy to access for many years (generations) to come:

Reading Format - Electronic copies do not loose quality with duplication, as long as there are several copies to guard against corruption of files, the information itself will survive.  However, how many tape drives do you own?

                V.      Copyright & Piracy - Anything written lately carries implied Copyright.  Formal Copyrights are obtained through the Library of Congress.

1.    (negative) It’s on the computer – may be so easy to share – an email here, a printed photo there...

2.    (negative) You mean GEDCOMs are copyrighted?

3.    (positive) Basic copying blocks may be included.

4.    Reminder - Any work in any form can be reproduced.

            VI.      Formats Available

1.    Native Files

a.    Family Tree Program/file format

b.    Word Processor

c.     Assorted Files

2.    Adobe-PDF

3.    GEDCOM

4.    Book formats

         VII.      Production Logistics - The physical act of taking a manuscript and multiplying it for family, friends and fellow researchers.

1.    If looking to self publish, evaluate equipment and raw materials needed.

2.    If looking to contact work, begin making contacts, explain your ideas and establish a dialog.

3.    Once costs have been determined, start marketing.

4.    Decide how your paperwork and sales should be ran and kept.

5.    Continue work (if not already done) your manuscript.

6.    Choose format – may be based on costs, size of information in project, technology trends, existing “norms” of computer systems:

a.    CD (black and white or color):

·        Label or Printed

·        Jewel Case and Inserts

·        Self Mailer

·        Hybrid

·        Spindle in book

·        Envelope in book

·        Any of the above methods

b.    Website (can password protect)

c.     Serialize into Emails

d.    USB, or other type of drive/card storage


     VIII.      Further General Advantages and Disadvantages

1.    Unless you are very comfortable with computers, you will be commissioning someone else to do the work.

2.    Some of your target audience will not enjoy the format.

3.    Working with others may yield new and better ideas.

            IX.      Conclusion: Today’s technology provides for more publishing options and price points than ever before. The decision to publish should be a rhetorical one. In a perfect world, publishing formats shouldn’t be decided by budget. Since they many times are, publishing electronically is gaining more acceptance. E-books are a dynamic addition to the publishing world and should be well used rather than ignored.

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E-publishing Check List:


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Resources for this presentation included more than a decade of practice and observation as well as assorted texts and articles. Conduct internet searches for current articles and texts, but never forget to consult your local reference librarian before, during, and after selecting a publisher. This speaker wishes all the best for every publishing project and also welcomes comments. Feel free to contact her by email ..

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Page Last Updated November 11, 2015

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