RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

IAJGS Conference: Latest Trends in Publishing for Genealogists

This is the type of topic that you either see a need for or not depending on your views on how much you "own" your research. A small minority of genealogists are well known for guarding their research against the world and rejecting all pleas to share. But if you are in the majority of those who agree that sharing their research with others in their families and even their extended family. This presentation was described as follows:
Overview what is happening in the publishing industry in general that genealogists can take advantage of. Look at where technology is heading that may impact what you decide to do today (e.g., website, blog, Facebook, Flipboard, printed book, smartphone, tablet, eReader, and even ePaper). See how the next generation of readers consume books and media in different ways than in the past and have different expectations of what makes compelling content. Become familiar with the new tools available and formats. See it through the eyes of today's readers.
As with any overview there is a lot of room for speculation and generalization. The presenter, who I have written about before, is as follows:
Marlis Humphrey is the industry’s foremost expert on next generation family history publishing. She has applied her 20+ years experience in broadband communications and media and broadcast, technology, marketing, and strategic planning to the genealogy world. Not only a successful researcher, and as founder of myAncestories, Marlis has approached genealogy with a unique perspective on how technology advances in multimedia applications can enrich our sharing of family history and presents and teaches her ideas and methods, inspiring genealogists – whether beginner, expert, or professional, nationally and internationally.
If I were going to fast-forward through any discussion about publishing, I would be relying on the last 30+ years that I have owned and help manage a publishing company. More specifically, we would have been called a computer graphics design and pre-press company, although we did take some projects through to publication. This business began in 1984 as part of my retail computer store. We went from a printing environment dominated by traditional printing presses to print-on-demand and epublishing.

I fully realize that there is a significant part of the genealogical community that sees publishing a hard-bound printed book of their genealogy as their most coveted goal. From my standpoint, I see no use anymore at all for paper publishing. I would rather publish electronically and view the content on a tablet computer.

Marlis did a very good job of review not just the past but showing where we are presently in the digital online world of hand-held computers. Here again, I am mostly out-of-step with the majority. I am not at all ready to give up my 27" screen and my full-size keyboard. I am intrigued with products such as the Flipboard app and other similar products. She was recognizing the composition of the genealogy audience and talked about printing a paper-based book of genealogy, something I would not contemplate. One good reason is the pile of boxes of printed family history books I have sitting in my basement. I keep finding people to give them to, but I still have boxes and boxes of the leftover copies. Ebooks do not sit in piles in your basement.

There are a variety of companies online that will publish a traditional paper print book on demand. That means they will print only as many copies as you desire, thus avoiding the piles in the basement syndrome. But the advantages, as pointed out during the presentation, of publishing online or at least electronically, is the ability to link graphics to websites and enrich the content of the book.

If you want to pursue the world of online or electronic publishing, here are some links:


and many, many others. 

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