Family History / Genealogy Book


  • Minimum Order Of Only 25 Copies
  • Reorder as few as 2 copies at the same price per book


Prepare Your Manuscript

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Writing Your Family History Book

Those who have undertaken the task of writing a family history book will often say that computer software posed a significant challenge to them. This is why at the outset, we recommend using software that is user friendly and designed to work with the larger files that are common with many family history book projects. Below, we have provided a list of the most common software used for creating a family history book. The list is complete with comments and a rating system from 1 to 5. 

Do not use two or more varieties of software to produce your manuscript. Choose one type of software and stick with it. If the software you have originally chosen is causing problems, we would suggest copying the files to a Microsoft Word document. While Microsoft Word is not a perfect software, we have found it to be among the most stable if used correctly.


Use a single computer. Using two or more computers or a variety of software can cause a number of problems with your file, the most serious being text re-flow. Text Re-flow is the repositioning of text on the page due mainly to font issues. For example, if the word “afternoon” appears as the first word on a page on your computer, that same word may end up on the last line of the previous page when we print the proof of your family history book. This problem is not insurmountable and in most cases is avoidable. Using a single software on a single computer will minimize the risk of developing problems like this later on.  





We have listed a variety of the most common software used to create a family history book.  We have rated each type of software according to its performance.  Software such as Family Tree Maker is commonly used to create charts and complex family tree graphics.



Microsoft Word

While Microsoft Word is the most common choice for those creating their own page layout, it is not without its problems. If your book contains a large number of photographs, it is best to split your book file into several files. Keeping your book in one file will cause your computer to run slowly and become unstable. Newer versions of MS Word (2007 and newer) have the ability to save your files in the high quality PDF format for printing.

4 out of 5
Microsoft Works

Microsoft Works is similar to Microsoft Word in many aspects, but is less stable when dealing with larger files.

2 out of 5
Microsoft Publisher

The ability for Microsoft Publisher to handle large files makes this software a good choice for Family History books. Once complete, your file can be saved in the high quality PDF format.

4 out of 5
Adobe PageMaker

Although Adobe PageMaker is no longer available, users of this software tend to not want to give it up. It is generally considered a good software to use for children's books. If using PageMaker, you must save your file in the PDF format for print.

2 out of 5
Adobe InDesign

The best software to use is Adobe InDesign, due to its ability to create professional quality layouts. Unfortunately, the software has a steep learning curve and is quite costly.

5 out of 5
Corel WordPerfect

Corel WordPerfect is very user friendly, but mostly incompatible with modern printing presses.

1 out of 5
Google Docs

Google Docs is a very flexible application that handles word processing very well. Because Docs is exclusively online, it autosaves all of your work so you never lose any important files. There are restrictions to the size of images you are able to upload to your file.

Google Docs is available at no cost. To access Google Docs, click here.

3 out of 5





Editing Your Manuscript


We strongly advise having someone other than yourself check your manuscript for errors. When working with a comittee, it is common to divide this task among the various comittee members. If working alone on your book, we would suggest a friend or family member who is qualified do the proofreading. Another option is to hire a student from a local community college or university to do the editing. A third option is to hire a professional editor. Although we do not provide an editing service, we would be pleased to recommend a qualified editor.  

Note: As the author, you should never do the final edit. If there are mistakes you probably won’t catch your own mistakes, no matter how many times you read through the manuscript.




Choose a Page Size


The most common page size for a Family History book is the 8 ½” x 11” format. This is the best format for placing a combination of text and photographs on a page. It also allows a choice of a single or double column page layout. The second most popular page size is the 5 ½” x 8 ½” format. This format is usually used when there is a minimal number of photographs and the two column layout is not required.




Choose a Binding Style


Hardcover (minimum order 25 copies)

The recommended binding style for a Family History Book is the durable hardcover format. We use the highest quality binding to ensure your books will last generations. The hardcover binding format comes with three cover styles to choose from.


1). The foil-stamped option This option consists of a cloth-based cover material (not a lower quality paper-based material). The title of the book is foil stamped on the front cover as well as the spine of the book.


2). The foil-stamped option with a full color dust jacket The same as the option above, but with an additional full color laminated dust jacket.


3). A full color printed (case-wrapped) cover Also known as a coffee table style book, the case-wrapped cover allows for images to be printed directly on to the cover of the book. This option includes a custom cover design at no additional charge.




Quality Softcover (minimum order 50 copies)


While the majority of family history books are produced in the hardcover format, the quality softcover format is also available and a good option for your book. The quality softcover format includes a custom cover design at no additional charge.






An advantage to choosing our hardcover binding format for your family history book is our 25 book minimum order. If re-orders are necessary, you may order as few as two copies of your book at the original price per book. This allows you to order only what you require and eliminates the risk of paying for unnecessary copies. The minimum order for paperback books remains at 50 copies with a 50 copy minimum re-order.  










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