How to Create a Family History for Publication – Part 6 (the final part)

My Great Aunt with my Grandmother

Part 6 (the final part of this 6-part series) contains information regarding saving your book to a CD or DVD, printing and publication options, creating a PowerPoint presentation or an e-book.

Once your book is complete, typed and ready to be distributed, you need to decide how you want it published. The following are options to consider:

Saving your book to a CD or DVD: This is the least expensive way to distribute your book. Keep in mind that the only way someone can view your family history will be on a computer screen, a DVD player or on a TV screen with a DVD player connected.

* If you save the book as a Word or text document, anyone can make changes to your file. If you do not want anyone else to be able to make changes, consider password protecting the document so no one else but you can make changes.

* You can save the document in PDF format which will prevent anyone from making changes. PDF files are easier to read. To read a PDF file will require someone to have a computer or a tablet or other file reader unless you save it to a DVD formatted for an external DVD player.

Printing: You can either print copies of your book yourself at home using your own printer or use an outside copy service. Per page copy prices whether you copy them yourself using your printer or using a copy service will vary depending upon the following factors:

* Printing two-sided pages (printing on the front and the back of each page).

* Printing in color or black print only.

* Using a laser printer or an inkjet printer. If you decide to print the book yourself and intend to use an inkjet printer, depending upon the number of pages, this could be costly… more than using a copy service. Be sure to call different copy/printing services for prices before you decide. If you want your book printed in color, ask the service if they use laser color printers or inkjet. Most copiers today use laser printers.


* Printing on 3-hole punch paper for insertion and distribution in a folder or 3-ring binder. When you are estimating the cost to print one book, don’t forget to factor in the cost of the folders or 3-ring binders in addition to the cost of the paper.

* Coil binding. This can only be done using a copy service. NOTE: One of the advantages to coil binding and printing on 3-hole punched paper is that if you or any other family member should want to add pages to the book later, it can easily be done.

* Perfect or soft binding (pages glued together at the spine). This type of binding is usually used for paperback publications. However, if your copy service will do this for a reasonable price, it’s a nice finishing touch to your book.

PowerPoint Presentations: Your text and all the pictures and images can be imported and saved in a PowerPoint Presentation. Voice recordings, video clips, music, narration and special effects can be added. Presentations can be saved to CD’s or DVD’s with menus to send to family members or uploaded to one of many sites online that only you and your designated family members and friends can view.

As for the cost if you don’t know how to create a PowerPoint presentation yourself, there are many services that can do this for you.

E-Books: E-books require special formatting to create in order to read them on a tablet, Kindle, Nook, computer or other ebook reading device. There are many ebook publishing services that offer this type of formatting.

Cost: Keep in mind that the more pictures and documents you have, the higher the cost will be. The cost to put your book together will include the following:

* Typing of the text and Table of Contents

* Pictures and document scanning, cropping, size scaling, adding text titles, image editing (if necessary), and insertion into the file.

* The time to save each photograph and/or document as a file then combine them in the desired order.

* Printing costs vary depending upon the number of pages.

* Printing in color will cost more than in black only.

* Special paper. If you choose special paper, this will cost more.

* Binding costs if you choose to have your book bound.

The text portion of your book: Most likely you’re going to do the writing or typing yourself. You may even be able to scan the pictures and documents yourself. If you know how to scan images and insert them into a document and if you know how to save a document to a CD, you might not have to pay for anything more than the cost of the CD’s.

If you don’t need many copies, you can print them at home. Remember that color copies with pictures can use up a lot of ink. It might be cheaper to save the file to a CD and take it to a copy service to have copies made.

You may be thinking, “I can’t afford to publish or print a book nor do I even want to.” It doesn’t have to be a published book. Once you have ALL of the material put together in a computer file, you can take the file to any printer or most office supply store and have copies run off for your family. You can also save copies to CD’s or DVD’s for distribution. The cost is not all that much. Price what the cost of one book will be, before you make your decision.


I hope this 6-part article about putting together a Family History Book is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you if you found series this useful.

If you have a question regarding dictation transcription or how to run your own secretarial service from home, let me know. Send me your comments, suggestions, and/or questions in the comments section.

Bookmark this site and drop by again. I’ll be posting more tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts.

Thanks again for stoppin’ by.

Gail S. Kibby White

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