Are you writing a Family History? Here are some tips from 48 Hour Books to help you through the process!
Compiling a family history can seem like a daunting task. The first decision you must make is deciding what the primary use for your Family History book will be. Will it be a keepsake for other family members? Or is it a genealogy book that you are going to market and sell? Depending on the answer to this question, you may want to take a specific approach.
We encourage all of our authors to do as much themselves as they can. From layout and formatting to PDF conversion, we can help you to do it yourself, which will save lots of time and money. We're always available to answer any questions you may have, and if you'd rather just give us your raw Word files and have us do the formatting and PDF conversion for you, we're happy to do that, too. We can help you to design your book, from the size of your pages to what fonts to choose for your chapter heads. And we can help with the layout of your cover, too. Our Create-a-Cover is an inexpensive option that lets you select the basic look of your cover. Then you upload whatever photos or artwork you'd like included, and we'll put everything together to make a professional book cover at a fraction of the cost.
Maybe you've already been through the process of design, layout, file preparation, final proofreading, and printing your book. If that's the case, you probably won't need most of the extra help that we've got to offer. But we're still the FASTEST book printers in the world. And with unique capabilities that many of our competitors can't offer (like case binding, coil binding, full-color printing and combo books - books with a combination of some black-and-white pages and some full-color pages), we've got a lot to offer the seasoned self publishing expert. You may not need our help most of the time, but it's nice to know we're still here for you if you run into trouble with something. We've got a great group of customer service people, so call us today, and we'll be happy to help you in any way we can.
A great way to display your family history is through your use of photography. There's nothing quite like seeing priceless photos of your ancestors, historical documents, etc. They can really make a genealogy come to life. At 48 Hour Books we can print black-and-white photos as well as full-color photos. We can even print combination of both, so if you have 30 black-and-white photos and 10 full-color photos, we can handle that. And if you've got color images that you want to be in black-and-white, we can convert them to grayscale for you. If you need an inexpensive way to add a number of full-color photos, consider grouping lots of photos into a color section in the middle or at the end of the book in a montage format with captions. If your book contains a lot of color photos, we recommend 80# matte text paper, rather than the standard 60# white offset.
If you are including photos, be sure to have them already placed on the inside pages of your book before you upload your PDF files to us. Many Family History books include photos that have been scanned from old scrapbooks. Make sure all of your photos are high resolution. If you're scanning old photos, be sure to set your scanner on the photograph setting and set it to at least 300 dpi (dot per inch). If you're taking more recent photos off of webpages (like Facebook, for instance), they may be low resolution. Zoom in to 200% to get an idea of how good or bad they'll look when printed. If they're not good enough, try contacting whoever took the photo and see if they have a high resolution version that they can send to you.
Take advantage of the online resources that can help you to investigate the history of your family and compile information. Websites like ancestry.com and myheritage.com provide information on your family's history, simply by entering your name into a database. These sites also help to generate family trees, which are great additions to family history books, and depending on the site, do not require a subscription to create.
Other online resources to consider are genealogy software that help you organize your data and research. This software may cost money, so be sure to search for sites with free trials. When you are choosing different software to use, be sure that you are able to export any graphics or documents you want to use in your book, into PDF format.
48 Hour Books offers Free Book Templates that you can use to format your book. They'll open in Microsoft Word or just about any other word processing program, and they come in four standard sizes:
You can type your book directly into the template and set it up any way you choose. Be sure to choose the right page size, and when you're done formatting, simply convert the file to PDF format, and the resulting PDF file will be ready to upload to us. You'll upload your files directly to your order, so you'll need to place an order first on our website. If you get stuck or have any questions, remember, we're just a phone call away ... 800-231-0521.
Perfect Bound books are great for most orders because they keep the cost down, but still hold up very well over time. At 48 Hr Books, our STANDARD turnaround for Perfect Bound books is just 2 business days. Nobody else in the world offers that as their standard turn-around. And if that's still not quite fast enough for you, we even have Rush and SuperRush options available. You might also choose Coil Binding, especially if you have worksheets or activity pages that you want your readers to write on. And of course, Hard Cover (case binding) is also available. Both Coil and Hard Cover take 5 days to produce.
We make it easy to self publish, with help from start to finish.
We've helped thousands of self-publishers just like you. We've got
lots of helpful information on our website, or just give us a call.
We're happy to answer all of your questions over the phone. Whether
you're new to self publishing, or you're an expert self publisher
with several titles already in print, we can help get your books
Once you're finished writing your family history, you may wonder, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhat do I do now?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Not to worry! Below we've outlined some steps to take that will get you started in the self-publishing process!
Don't forget to proofread your book before you send it to us for
printing! The best way to keep your costs low is to proofread
carefully at every step. Your costs start to increase if we have to
go back and forth with multiple revisions of your files. Try to give
us trouble-free "ready-to-print" files from the beginning.
We recommend reading and re-reading your book until you can't stand
it any more ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and then reading it some more. Find family members or
friends who are willing to look through your book for typos or
grammatical errors. You can even hire someone to do the proofreading
and editing for you if you'd like.
Editing your book is perhaps the most tedious part of the self-publishing process, but trust us, you'll be glad you did it! There's nothing worse than holding your finished book in your hands and realizing there's a misspelling on the first page.
You may be wondering: What exactly is an ISBN?
An ISBN is a unique number that identifies a book. Many books have the same or similar titles, so bookstores and book distributors use an ISBN to be sure they're ordering the correct book. If your book doesn't have an ISBN, bookstores (including online bookstores) won't carry it.
Each version of the book (paperback, hard cover, ePub, MOBI, PDF, audiobook, etc.) has it's own unique ISBN. So you might need 4 or 5 ISBNs just for one of your titles. That's why it's best to order your ISBNs in blocks of 10, 100, or even 1,000. Keep in mind that once these numbers are assigned, they cannot be re-used.At 48 Hour Books, we offer packages that include:
To make it simple? An ISBN is like a serial number that identifies the publisher, author, and title of a book (as well as other information). More than likely, you'll need an ISBN if you plan on selling your book (and youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll definitely need one if you plan on selling it in bookstores).
An ISBN is not the same as a bar code, although the ISBN is used to create a bar code. You must have an ISBN if you want a bar code on your book. (A bar code is like a price tag; itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the graphic with vertical lines that gets scanned whenever an item is purchased).If you'd like to add ISBNs and Barcodes to your order, simply download our ISBN Application Form (USA), fill it out, and email it back to us. (This is only for the United States and its territories. Canadian customers should get their ISBN through CollectionsCanada).
It can take several months for a copyright application to be
approved, so we recommend researching this as early as possible! Many
authors do choose to get their book printed while they are waiting to
hear back from the copyright office.
All of this information and more can be found on www.loc.gov.
Next you'll need to decide how you want your book to look. What
size do you want it to be? You may want to visit libraries or
bookstores to get an idea of what size books similar to yours usually
are. We have four standard sizes available (4.25 x 7 inches, 5.5 x 8.5
inches, 6 x 9 inches, and 8.5 x 11 inches) but we are able to trim to
almost any custom size (we can even print books as large as 12 x 12
We've written a blog post that describes in great detail how to layout your book in Microsoft Word. Click here to read it. (It will open in a new window, so you won't lose your place here.)
Once the design work is done, and you're sure that your pages are the proper size, make sure all
of your files are print-ready. We require PDF files for printing, so
you'll want to convert your document into that format. You can
convert your files to PDF by choosing ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œFile > Save as > PDFÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
if your computer offers that option. If you don't see that option,
you can try using our free PDF converter (available here). Or, if
you're a new self-publisher and don't want to mess with it, just send
us your Word files and we'll convert them for you for $50.
After you save your file as a PDF, be sure to check the PDF file CAREFULLY before sending it to us for printing. Any errors on your PDF will show up on all of your books.
Your book cover can be in PDF format or can be saved as a .jpg, .jpeg, .jpe, .gif, .png, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, or .eps file.
Finally, a simple step! Our Cost Calculator makes it easy to determine how much printing and binding your book will cost. Fill out the cost calculator, and if you're ready to
place an order, simply click the big red button. Our online ordering is fast and easy ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of course, if
you have any problems you can give our customer service reps a call
and they'll be happy to walk you through the process!
After your order is placed you'll be prompted to upload your files directly to your order.
Once you sign off on your proofs, we'll start printing and binding your
books! Now all you'll need to do is wait (this may be the toughest
part of all)!
Here is where the "48HrBooks" clock starts ticking. Keep in mind, we don't count Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays, and each day's cut-off is 5:00 pm EST for Standard Production, 3pm EST for Rush, and noon EST for SuperRush. Any approvals after these cut-off times will be counted as the following day.
Example: If you OK your proof Monday at 4:45 pm EST, your books will ship Wednesday. But if you wait 20 minutes longer and don't OK your proof until 5:05 pm EST on Monday, the approval will be counted as Tuesday, so your books won't ship until Thursday.
Perfect bound books will ship in 2 days, coil and casebound books will ship in 5 days. Don't forget to add shipping time! Our standard shipping method is UPS Ground from Akron, Ohio so keep in mind that it may take several days for your books to ship. Be sure to contact us if you have a specific need-by date and our customer service reps will work with you to find the most cost-effective way to get you your books on time!