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Thread: Family Tree Maker for Writing a Family History Book

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-V View Post
    . . .

    I finally went with a self-publishing site called Blurb (http://www.blurb.com) which allowed me a lot more creative control over the output . . .
    Did you jump right away into the stuff you have to pay for, or were you able to use their free stuff for awhile?

    This is likely to take me two or more years, so I am wondering how that will work.
     


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    Y-DNA: R1b-L21> DF13> Z39589> DF41> FGC5572> BY168> BY166> FGC36974> FGC36982> FGC36981

    Additional Data:
    Lactase Persistent:
    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1a

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  3. #12
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    I made a book years ago but it's horribly outdated now since I've found so much more since then. I used MyCanvas which I liked but it was designed to be much more visual and image heavy. This worked because I have I lot of photos but I'd be doubling the amount of text and MyCanvas isn't ideal for that so I've been thinking about using something else.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Did you jump right away into the stuff you have to pay for, or were you able to use their free stuff for awhile?
    They have a free publishing tool that you download to build your book, so you can do all the work without paying for anything. They also now have two tools you can download - one is simpler to use but I think is made more for photo albums, and the other is the updated version of the one I used that gives you more control.

    You do all the work to build the book (import pictures, put them on pages, mix in text, etc) and it stores all the data on your own computer. Then when you have a version you want to print in hardcopy, you upload it (“publish” it) and then it becomes available in their bookstore (you can mark it private or public). You only pay once you order a printed copy, and then again they have lots of choices - hardcopy vs paperback, grade of paper, etc - that drives the cost.

    My books in hardcopy cost me $75 apiece so obviously you don’t get the price breaks per book of mass commercial print runs, but it was well worth the effort IMHO.

    I’ve used them a few times since then to make hardcopy photo albums so I’m pretty sure the procedures are still basically the same as when I was putting my family history books together.

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  7. #14
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    Ventura Publisher V10 is now only $149 and is a real powerhouse and will allow you to do almost anything you want and not be tied to any print-on-demand vendor. Going with a high offset web press is more economical than print on demand at around 200 copies. Also, the more pages, the less per page where print on demand just goes a very small amount. So it is critical that you decide the quantity over anything else. The first 150 copies are about what you can sell your book for and after that they drop to 20 to 25 % of retail.

    http://gpmtuobcvxoyqdna.depotapps.co...el-ventura-10/
    Last edited by RobertCasey; 08-14-2018 at 05:16 AM.

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  9. #15
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    I'm guessing these tools allow you to upload gedcom and Ancestry material and do indexing, as well? One of my concerns is organizing family groups in a way that clearly shows who is descended from whom. I also want a system that is easy to understand.

    One of my concerns is also with the modern mania for privacy, which is at least somewhat legitimate, given the problem of identity theft.

    What living people are going to want to appear in my book with any kind of identifying info, like birth dates and places of residence, if they fear their identities might be stolen?
     


    Hidden Content


    Y-DNA: R1b-L21> DF13> Z39589> DF41> FGC5572> BY168> BY166> FGC36974> FGC36982> FGC36981

    Additional Data:
    Lactase Persistent:
    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1a

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  11. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    I'm guessing these tools allow you to upload gedcom and Ancestry material and do indexing, as well? One of my concerns is organizing family groups in a way that clearly shows who is descended from whom. I also want a system that is easy to understand.

    One of my concerns is also with the modern mania for privacy, which is at least somewhat legitimate, given the problem of identity theft.

    What living people are going to want to appear in my book with any kind of identifying info, like birth dates and places of residence, if they fear their identities might be stolen?
    Blurb at least is not genealogy-focused; it’s just a self-publishing aid that helps you upload your own pictures and information. So it doesn’t have anything tailored to genealogy like nice formatting of gedcoms or family tree information, you have to do that yourself. But anything that you can get into a PDF format or JPG/PNG/etc (pictures) can be uploaded and formatted nicely on a page however you want.

    It seems to be a tradeoff between using genealogy tools that are light on formatting and publishing options, and publishing tools that are light (non-existant, really) on genealogy indexing/reporting/etc. I went with the latter and produced my own reporting for all the family information I wanted to include.

    That also meant I had full control over the content also, and for privacy reasons I reported for the most part only up to the most recently departed generations and I didn’t include any detailed information about living relatives. Yes I certainly included information about the parents of my oldest living relatives, but I don’t really think any identity thieves are going to be data-mining the book for those tidbits. These days identity theft is more about stealing personal data in bulk.

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  13. #17
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    I may get Family Tree Maker to help me create the charts, etc., and combine it with the self-publishing site for the flexibility.
     


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    Y-DNA: R1b-L21> DF13> Z39589> DF41> FGC5572> BY168> BY166> FGC36974> FGC36982> FGC36981

    Additional Data:
    Lactase Persistent:
    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1a

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  15. #18
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    neat topic, I had not seen it before

    much like some of the others, many years ago, I too checked out FM's book making option, but it seemed clunky and odd.

    In the end, I simply wrote it all myself. There probably was some sites that help publish back then like some of the guys are talking about, but really, I write reports all the time, and did about a zillion of them back in the University years, so it was pretty easy and no complications of some 3rd party having anything to do with my 'Whalen Saga'

    It was not very difficult. I had to learn a few tricks on how to paste a pic in the word doc I was creating and such
    ...but I handled it as if I was writing a major paper
    ...figured out the main chapters, all fairly logical and in general historical order-historical past that was relevant, last few hundred years of personal genealogy, last 50ish years story, dna story, relevant dna testing, big NPE story that was fun to tell, a chapter devoted to family stories and myths, and yes, I broke a few hearts there (ie: no connection to Churchill, yes a titanic survivor and a big flim flam of guys trying to trick my gpa out of a ton of money back in the depression saying we were big heirs to a US fortune)

    I have one bit of advice for those thinking of doing their family story, for what ever its worth
    I included a ton of DNA stuff that was outdated before I printed it all-I mean alot of science detail, that I revised and shrunk many times and still kept way too much that was not much use-and the key point, the real audience for this work has zero interest or background in the hard core science and anything more than a simple paragraph was too much
    ...now this was for my circumstances, yours might be different, but fyi

    ...so a small warning for folks, we who love the hobby, always want to include pretty much everything, including the kitchen sink in our presentations... giving a super detailed explanation as to why some small test of ours was wonderfully revealing, only to find, other than us, NO ONE GIVES A CRAP! NO ONE UNDERSTANDS AND YOU CANT MAKEM!


    my family loves me and is interested in family stories..much like others have found
    ...if I shrink what ever dna/genealogical news I have down to 1 or 2 sentences, and frame it like a click bait story (human interest, drama, blood ect) I can keep their interest, but if I present anything more detailed.... while polite, their eyes glaze over and they take the first chance to change to topic to toe fungus or something more interesting
    which gets back to the point, who exactly will be the consumer of this product...academia?, your local community? just close family?

    In any case, it took me a couple of years to write it (off and on, only when I felt like it) and self publish. I think it ended up being around 250 pages and quite thick. I cant remember what I paid for it to be copied and bound at Staples...I did the cheap thing and it might have been 50-70 bucks per. It had many pics throughout and alot of graphs and charts in the appendex

    The family liked it, ooohed and awwwed some, but I am quite sure no one read it thoroughly... in retrospect, stories that people would remember were the most popular/science was the least...I did include an appendix that had a ton of charts, diagrams, a genealogical tree generated by my Family Maker 16 version

    My only regret was dialing in way too deep and long on the genealogical science, but that is because I did not have a clear purpose for what I wrote...

    I think i originally made a mistake of wanting my 'Whalen Saga' to be all things to all people: ie the documented chase of my genealogical hunt, the long expensive cutting edge dna hunt, a good primer in dna science, telling the Whalen story as far back as possible, documenting all the facts/stories as so many are lost due to elders dying, giving a strong historical background that gave context, myth busting or confirming and so forth

    folks, to do all the above, you need to be a really good writer and be willing to write a monster opus
    ...but the last point, aside from finally recording the family story, makes a key point I only figured out part way through
    ...the real audience for this is my family...no one else remotely gives a shit so unless its to please me on some point, making it reader friendly is something my later revisions did a decent job at, but it caused me some trouble during the various editing phases

    Anyway rms, I certainly would encourage you to make your family story, particularly to nail down and document info so when someone in the family later is interested, they have it ready for them....given your experience, I doubt very much you need some 3rd party thingy to help write it, but I could be stupid wrong on that

    Mike
    Furthest Y line=Patrick Whealen 1816-1874, b.Tipperary Co. Ire. d. Kincardine Ont.

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  17. #19
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    Good advice. Thanks, Mike.

    One of my goals is to preserve the family story, including the dna evidence, especially the y-dna evidence, for future members of my family who have the genealogy bug and will appreciate it.

    I would like for copies to be preserved at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (no, I'm not a Mormon) and in the Library of Congress, where there's a chance someone who cares might find one someday.
     


    Hidden Content


    Y-DNA: R1b-L21> DF13> Z39589> DF41> FGC5572> BY168> BY166> FGC36974> FGC36982> FGC36981

    Additional Data:
    Lactase Persistent:
    rs4988235 AA (13910 TT)
    rs182549 TT (22018 AA)

    Red Hair Carrier:
    Arg160Trp+ (rs1805008 T) aka R160W

    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1a

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  19. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    I would like for copies to be preserved at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (no, I'm not a Mormon) and in the Library of Congress, where there's a chance someone who cares might find one someday.
    Just FYI I donated a hardcopy of my book to the Allen County Libraryís Genealogy library (itís one of the largest outside the LDS records in Salt Lake City and our surname association had just visited it during a reunion). They share digital copies (which they make themselves) with other family history centers, so a digital copy of my book is now in the Mormon records. Iím not Mormon either, but itís a good place to file a copy. Someday Iíll get around to sending them a hardcopy too!

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