Interested in Self-Publishing Your Genealogy Research?

Self-Publishing Boot Camp

[Editor’s Note: Readers of GeneaBloggers may not know that I also run the Hack Genealogy website which covers the latest in technology for genealogists and family historians. Every other month I team up with Lisa Alzo, of The Accidental Genealogist, and we offer a “boot camp” covering a popular topic such as writing, project management and this month, self-publishing.  Check out the info below and be sure to sign up soon . . . each and every Hack Genealogy Boot Camp in the past has SOLD OUT!]

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Come join well-known genealogy educators Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee as they team up to offer a unique education event: Self-Publishing Survival Guide! On Saturday, 22 March 2014, you’ll be able to learn from two experts on how to take your written genealogical research and publish it in both print and e-book format.

Are you all ready to publish on your own, but you don’t know where to start and have these questions?

  • What is the best self-publishing platform for me and my book?
  • Should I use a service that handles book cover design, marketing and more . . . or can I really do this all on my own?
  • Should I have a print version and an e-book version?
  • What are the formatting and document preparation requirements for both print and e-book self-publishing?

You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content, handouts and freebies for the low price of $12.95! You’ll also receive access to the recorded versions of each webinar for up to one year!

Register by Monday, 17 March 2014 and receive $3 off the registration price for a low $9.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

Win A Free Registration!

That’s right. You could attend this Self-Publishing Boot Camp for free if you are selected as our Registration Rebate winner! Simply register and pay for the upcoming Boot Camp by the early-bird deadline of 17 March 2014. We’ll select one person from the list of registrants and refund their entire registration fee!  No contest forms to fill out! We’ll announce the winner here at Hack Genealogy on Tuesday 18 March 2014.


  • 11:00 am EDT /10:00 am CDT
    Welcome / Meet & Greet
  • 11:15 am EDT / 10:15 am CDT
    DIY Publishing for the Family Historian: Tips, Tricks and Tools
    Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
  • 12:30 pm EDT/11:30 am CDT
  • 1:00 pm EDT /12:00 pm CDT
    Microsoft Word Secrets for Self-Publishing
    Thomas MacEntee
  • 2:30 pm EDT / 1:30 pm CDT
    Closing and Thank You


DIY Publishing for the Family Historian: Tips, Tricks and Tools
Presented by:  Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

Whether you’re a family historian looking to share information with your family, an aspiring author, or a society looking for cost-effective way to produce materials, this session is just what you need to get started with self-publishing. Learn tips and tricks for preparing your book from idea to print, and the basics about which software and online writing tools can help with the process. Various self-publishing/print-on-demand platforms including: CreateSpace, Lulu, Smashwords, Kindle, and more, will also be briefly discussed.*

*    Attendees will also receive a free Self-Publishing Checklist.

Microsoft Word Secrets for Self-Publishing
Presented by:  Thomas MacEntee

Preparing a written narrative extracted from your genealogy research may seem straightforward, even using a generally accepted document software like Microsoft Word*. But there are special considerations when it comes to self-publishing that narrative, in both print and e-book format. Learn the secrets to producing a formatted narrative that can easily be published on a variety of self-publishing platforms.**

*    Microsoft Word 2010 will be the version used during the webinar. Many, if not all, of the features are the same or similar on other versions of Word including 2007 and 2013.

**   Attendees will also receive access to a special Self-Publishing for Genealogists Toolbox – tons of links covering platforms, methods and tips!

Presenter Bios

Lisa Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience in the field of genealogy. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of nine books, including: Finding Your Slovak Ancestors, Writing Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, APG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist” blog For more information see

Thomas Mac Entee

Thomas Macentee

When he’s not busy writing blog posts, organizing the 3,000+ members of, teaching online genealogy webinars and more, Thomas MacEntee is busy in his role as “genealogy ninja.” Stealth is not easy, but he manages to get the inside track on emerging technologies and vendors as they relate to the genealogy industry. After being laid off from a 25-year career in the tech industry in 2008, Thomas has been able to “repurpose” his skill set for the genealogy community and loves to see other genealogists succeed, whether it is with their own research or building their own careers in the field.

How To Register

Ready to join in this great educational event? Here are the details on the registration process:

  • Click the button above to go to PayPal and make payment or click here. You do not need a PayPal account to make payment.
  • Once payment is processed and received, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also receive links to register for each webinar. You must register for both webinars if you want to participate in both webinars.
  • Then you’ll be reminded via e-mail at least one day prior to Boot Camp.
  • Within 24 hours of the start of Boot Camp, you’ll receive the passwords for each webinar as well as links to all the handouts and freebies to you can review them before we start.
  • After the webinars, all registrants will have access to the recordings for personal use for a period of one (1) year. Recordings will be hosted on Vimeo and set to play only on a specific page here at Hack Genealogy. A password will be required to access the video pages.

Questions? Email us at

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions for all Hack Genealogy Boot Camp events before you pay and register! Click here for more information.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Genealogy: A House Divided or A House With Many Doors?


Seeing the genealogy community as divided between professionals and amateurs or as a complex structure filled with facets and opportunities is a matter of perspective. Over the past few weeks several discussions concerning the state of the genealogy community have popped up, many of which I started and I take responsibility for starting.

There are several discussion points below. I invite members of the GeneaBloggers community to participate, if they so choose, over at their blog and then link back to their post in the comments. For those of you without a blog or who simply want to comment, use the Comments platform of your choice (listed below).

Is This Really Important?

In the big scheme of things? No. I know what’s important to me (mass murder in Syria, freedom of speech in Russia and other topics) is not on the same scale of “genealogy issues.” While it sounds very “first world” to even be having this discussion, there is a level of interest which should allow such a discussion.

Some of you don’t want to have this discussion. Instead of saying “Well then go away,” I’m willing to say “That’s valid. Let me know why you feel we shouldn’t have this discussion.”

Ground Rules?

Simple: Act is if you were being interviewed on stage at a major genealogy event such as a conference or a radio broadcast. Be considerate, be clear, be concise. Own your opinions. No trolling. No anonymous comments. Don’t rehash old insults, slights or hurts. Keep it positive. Propose solutions.

Discussion Points – Where Is Genealogy Going?

Some of these are provocative and come from the bizarre mind of your host here at GeneaBloggers. My goal is always to get people to think, and many times to think outside the established or accepted parameters. That’s just how I roll.

  • Do you think the genealogy community periodically needs to have these discussions related to professional vs. amateur genealogy? Or are they unproductive and if so, why?
  • Has the DIY (“do it yourself”) approach in genealogy and the influx of many new to genealogy ruined it for the rest of us?
  • Does the use of the terms “professional” and “amateur” in genealogy help or hinder the community?
  • What is your definition of a professional genealogist? A hobby or amateur genealogist?
  • Is there one true path to being a professional genealogist? Is a credential or degree necessary?
  • Is professional training in genealogy geared more towards those with a higher socio-economic status or those who already have a higher educational background?
  • If you could tell someone new to genealogy that there are “standards” to follow, what would they be?
  • If the gamut of genealogical experience spans from Professional to Amateur, are there descriptive terms that can be used for those “in between” those end points? Hobbyist? Talented Amateur? Professional Amateur?
  • If someone uses their credential or experience in a way that is meant to demean, discount or dissuade the work of another genealogist (professional or amateur), what is an acceptable response to such a comment? Should it be ignore or is a response required? Would the response be different if the comment were made in-person or electronically (email, blog post, comment, etc.)?
  • Is there elitism in genealogy? If so, will it ever be eliminated? If it can’t be eliminated, what are some suggested tips on dealing with it?
  • Has genealogy always been rooted in elitism or is there simply an active push by some practitioners to set standards which will ultimately benefit all in the genealogy community as well as those that consign genealogical research services?
  • Is there really room for “everyone” at the genealogy table?
  • Are Professional Amateurs a threat to professional genealogy or simply a new breed of genealogist who happen to have a strong command of technology and a different perspective on genealogy?
  • Is there a generation gap in genealogy? Are there any other “divides” in the genealogy community or are these divisive tactics which act as roadblocks to enjoying genealogy as a hobby or profession?

©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Announcing – A New Genealogy Education Channel

Now here’s some exciting news that I’ve been sitting on for months and I am so happy to finally share it with my readers and the genealogy community!

Legacy Family Tree, provider of great free genealogy webinars, has upped the ante in the genealogy education market and is now offering over 136 hours of genealogy education for one low price at its new site

A New Way to Access Archived Genealogy Webinars

So how does it work? Well, in the past you may have attended the Legacy webinars for free or watched the recording for free within one week of the original presentation date. After that, if you wanted to watch the webinar or have access to the handouts, you had to purchase the webinar CD from the Legacy Family Tree Store.

NOW you can sign up for a membership at and get access to all archived webinars and the accompanying handouts for one low price. Memberships are available on an annual basis for the low introductory price of $49.95/annual (normally $79.95) or a monthly basis for $9.95/month (normally $12.95).

The Advantages of a Membership with Legacy Family Tree Webinars

With the new set up, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Access to almost 100 quality genealogy and family history webinars with over 136 hours of viewable content.
  • Syllabus materials that you can download to your computer, tablet or mobile device.
  • No shipping charges on ordering CDs and waiting for them to be delivered.
  • Easier access for international genealogists.

You can still purchase Legacy Family Tree webinars on CD if that is your preferred method of access.  But now you have more choices and more ways to enjoy webinars by genealogy’s leading educators including Megan Smolenyak, Thomas MacEntee, Barbara Renick, DearMYRTLE, Marian Pierre-Louis, Maureen Taylor, Geoff Rasmussen, Lisa Alzo, and Karen Clifford.

Upcoming Webinars Are Still FREE at Legacy Family Tree Webinars

What hasn’t changed with the move to Legacy Family Tree Webinars is the process of registering for upcoming webinars and then accessing the content for free.  And still, if you miss the live presentation, you can view archived webinars within one week of their live presentation date.

Register for my upcoming webinar, Behind the Cheese Curtain: A Look at Wisconsin Genealogy Resources, on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, by clicking here.

And make sure you check out the new site at Legacy Family Tree Webinars! I think you’ll be impressed by this new education resource for the genealogy community.

©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee