Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Next Book? Perhaps Self-Publishing for Genealogists


After this roller coaster of a week - and mind you, it is only Wednesday - I think I've discovered the topic of my next self-published book: self-publishing for the genealogist.

Seriously, this entire process of writing a book, getting it self-published, converting it to epub format for the Amazon Kindle, etc. has been a learning experience.  And one of the best ways to write a book is to base it on your own experiences and the knowledge you've picked up on the way.

The response to Approaching the Lectern: How to Become a Genealogy Speaker has been overwhelming and I really appreciate the heartfelt and constructive feedback from my colleagues in the genealogy community.  Now that the book is written, here comes the hard part: printing, distribution and marketing.

Some insights for those considering self-publishing:
  • Proof, proof, proof. Funny, this is one of my admonitions in the section of my book on creating presentation slides. It seems that no matter how many times you proof a book you've written, something will get by, only to be found by a reader.
  • Educate yourself on the process.  This is where my new book would help.  There are things I wish I had know before I even started writing my book such as: write it for epub (Amazon Kindle and e-book) formatting and then create the fancier print version. Also there is quite a bit I've learned about graphics, resolution, etc. which I thought I already knew.
  • Tap into the marketing machine.  Book marketing has its own process and methodologies. Then add the genealogy book market factor. Many members of the genealogy community have given me good advice on how to get my book reviewed etc. This is also important info that I need to compile and put together for future self-publishers.
So is it worth it? So far, I think so. And not just from a financial standpoint - there really is something satisfying about having your hard work in print.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

4 comments:

Kerry Scott said...

Yes! I'd definitely buy a book on this topic.

Lynn Palermo said...

Congrats Thomas, although I'm not too terribly interested in becoming a genealogy speaker at this point, I am interested in self-publishing. Publishing a family history book was a great experience that indeed I learned a great deal from and will utilize I hope in future books. However, publishing a family history book to family is a little different from self-publishing a book to sell to the public. So yes, I would be interested. Actually I already checked out Smashwords to see what tools you used to get it out there. Bet you didn't realize I was stalking you. Congrats again.

Jen said...

I would absolutely buy your book on this topic. As you know from our conversation yesterday, this is an area I am looking into as I finish my first book. I can use all the help and tips I can get. Go for it!

Elizabeth said...

Congrats on getting the book finished! Would be interested in hearing more about your experience since my background and day-job encompass publishing. Background also includes a LARGE project to convert print content to multiple digital formats. Feel free to email me at elizabeth(at)genealogygeek(dot)net if you want to talk.

I look forward to reading your book.