Any of us can be a published author with little to no cost by using online digital publishing companies. You create the pages on your computer and then upload them to the online sites. They all offer tools to help you create wonderful family history publications that your family will cherish for years and years..
Here are two of the sites to consider: Lulu and Blurb. Take a look at the books others have created, read user comments and check out the pricing on the sites. There are other sites available, so be sure to find the one that best fits your situation and expectations.
A thumb-through of existing genealogy books on the sites, will help you both visualize your book and give you some ideas of what makes a good family genealogy book. Here are examples of a publication on each site:
You can see the different styles of writing genealogists use when writing their books. The Barber book (Blurb.com) was written by someone who was gifted at writing family stories and then supported his text with reports from his genealogy program, photos of people, places, their environment and their tombstones. The few preview pages of the Batten book (Lulu) show that the author used reports from their genealogy program sprinkled with photos.
The focus of the two books differs in that the Barber book focuses on a limited number of generations while the Batten book covers many more generations but loses the detailed story text represented in the Barber book.
The choice of writing styles depends on the amount and type information that the author wants to convey to their readers. What style will you choose for your project? It all depends on your audience and the information you are trying to convey to them.
Close and extended family constantly ask me for a report of their lineage. Depending on the ancestral lines that we have in common, the book type reports may be several hundred pages to 4,000 – 5,000 pages long. I use Legacy software to create the reports and send them as .pdf file attachments on emails rather than printing them to hard copy. The reports are “OK – to – great” depending on how much time I take to interject written stories, text, photos, documents and other information as compared to the basic formatting from Legacy. The same files can be used in publishing a book from one of these vendors.
Using one of the on-demand publishing companies will save you a lot of money in setup costs and you don’t have to make a minimum purchase out of pocket. Pricing of the books automatically covers the printing costs and any additional profit you decide to include can help fund continued research.