52 Weeks to Better Genealogy – Challenge 47 – Genealogy Gifts

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge 47

Week 47: Make your genealogy gift list. The holidays are coming! Prepare a list of genealogy-related gifts you’d like to receive: books, magazine subscriptions, software, electronics, society memberships or anything else that might look good with a bow on it. If you’re blessed to already have everything you could possibly want, consider charitable donations and in-kind gifts to societies, libraries and preservation groups. If you have a genealogy blog, you can share your list and give gift ideas to your readers as well.

This challenge runs from Saturday, November 20, 2010 through Friday, November 26, 2010.

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Here are the latest posts from GeneaBloggers members on this week’s challenge:


52 Weeks To Better Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts that are a bit more challenging and are geared towards those new to the field of genealogy and family history as well as those who want to brush up on some skills which might be a bit rusty. Please include an attribution link if you participate.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

NEHGS Holiday Genealogy Gift Ideas


[Editor's Note: 'Tis the season folks! We just received this press release from our friends at the New England Historic Genealogical Society with some great gift ideas for your favorite genealogist - or yourself!]

Give the Gift of Family: Genealogy Makes a Wonderful Holiday Gift

Boston Genealogy Center has great gift ideas for family history buffs.

Boston, MA – November 2010 – This coming holiday season, The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston offers a unique and possibly eye-opening holiday gift idea: The gift of finding your family.

This year, NEHGS offers two unique ways to give the gift of family this holiday season:

1)     Family Discovery Package: this new and unique gift includes 1.5 hours of genealogy research by an NEHGS staff expert, a copy of RootsMagic genealogy software, a printed pedigree chart with recipient’s information, an annual subscription to the NEHGS member magazine New England Ancestors, and tips for continuing with your research. Contact NEHGS research services department at 617-226-1233 or email research@nehgs.org. Package price: $99.

2)     NEHGS annual memberships make perfect holiday gifts for genealogists of every experience level, or those wanting to get started. Membership includes full access to the NEHGS Web site, www.NewEnglandAncestors.org which contains more than 110 million searchable names in over 2,400 databases. Members also have full access to the 8-story research library located at 99 Newbury Street, Boston, and they receive two of the most trusted and respected genealogy publications in the industry, New England Ancestors member magazine and the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Contact NEHGS membership office at 888-296-3447 or email membership@nehgs.org.
Annual research membership is $75.

NEHGS, founded in 1845, is a premier genealogical resource with a collection of more than 12 million artifacts, records, books, manuscripts, photographs, documents, and other items dating back more than four centuries. And whether your family has long New England roots or whether they arrived in this country more recently, NEHGS can help members explore and discover their unique stories. The NEHGS staff of experts includes some of the most respected and experienced genealogists in the country, specializing in a wide variety of research areas such as early American, New England, New York, Irish, English, Scottish, Jewish, African American, and French and Atlantic Canadian.

Today, genealogy is one of the fastest growing and most popular hobbies in the country, with millions of people around the world now engaged in their family research. Every day, more information is made available online, fueling a renewed interest in uncovering the stories of our families and our region. This holiday season give the gift of family with an NEHGS membership.

For more information, visit NEHGS at www.AmericanAncestors.com or call 888-296-3447.


Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country’s oldest and largest non-profit genealogical organization. Located in Boston, NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials that help make accessible the histories of families in America. The NEHGS research library, one of the most respected genealogical libraries in the field, is home to millions of books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, documents, records, and other artifacts that date back more than four centuries. The award-winning web site www.AmericanAncestors.com offers access to more than 110 million names in 2,400 searchable databases. NEHGS has more than 23,000 members nationally. NEHGS staff includes some of the leading expert genealogists in the country, specializing in early American, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, and Jewish genealogy.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Interview – Susan Petrie of The Troy Book Makers

The Troy Book Makers

[Editor's Note: Here is an interview with  at Susan Petrie, author liaison at The Troy Book Makers,  in which we discuss self-publishing and its role as a component of genealogy and family history.

Look for more of these interviews here at GeneaBloggers in the future. I think as the genealogy industry evolves, many of our readers want to learn about the process of developing a genealogy-related product and bringing it to market.]

How did the concept of The Troy Book Makers develop?

Two independent bookstore owners, Eric Wilska and Susan Novotny, were seeing so many self-published authors come into their respective stores with very expensive but low-quality, poorly constructed books and they set out to help authors print well-designed, good-quality books with low up-front costs. Since 2006, we’ve helped over 300 authors do just that.

How can self-publishing benefit genealogists and family historians, and specifically genealogy bloggers?

Self-publishing lets you tell your story, the way you want it told. Each book is unique and made to an individual’s specifications. We always offer industry guidelines, as well as suggestions to keep costs down, if that is important. Otherwise, we take our cue from the customer. In addition, we keep files archived, so an author can return again and again for short print runs (as few as 10). Or, if necessary, we can easily return archived files to the customer.

Genealogy bloggers could print small runs of their research, and then add additional volumes (using the same layout) as their information expands, keeping research in a tidy, uniform format. We can print books with as few as 24 pages.

Of course, the kinds of books featuring family trees, recipes to hand on, and ancestral stories are limitless!

What are the advantages of using the services of The Troy Book Makers over a site such as Lulu or Blurb?

Troy Book Makers has a small, dedicated staff of three. We are easily accessible via phone or email, and since one person handles a project start to finish, that person is accountable for each step of the process. We can also provide answers to industry questions. If, for example, someone is confused about what an ISBN is and why it might be necessary, we can explain it.

Typically, how long does it take for a book to get published with Troy Book Makers once a manuscript is finished?

Actually, there is no typical! Authors have different skill levels with technology, varying resources (like a sister who designs book covers), and have varying amounts of time to devote to their project.

Here are some examples:

  • If an author submits a print-ready PDF for cover and interior, and turns the proof around quickly with minimal corrections, then it can take as few as four weeks.
  • If we are designing a book’s interior and cover, it’s usually three weeks for a proof, then another 3-4 weeks once the final proof has been turned in.
  • Some authors are quick and turn their proof around in 24 hours with few corrections, others have a lot of changes and may need 2 or 3 proofs.
  • If a customer communicates a deadline, we always let them know if it’s something we can realistically accommodate. Sometimes we can’t.

We’re honest about the amount of time it takes to create a quality finished product.

Have you seen an increase in the need for self-publishing services and if so, why? Is it the economy? More leisure time or early retirement?

Well, we’re expanding, so there has definitely been an upsurge in business for us in the past year. It’s hard to know what exactly is causing it, except that the idea of getting your words into print, into a book format, is something people seem to have been longing for. Having access to a community printing resource isn’t a new idea, just one that seems to be taking hold again. Word is spreading, writers are finding us. Our customers have been local, regional, and from around the world.

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Parisians by Graham Robb, and for inspiration, Brenda Ueland’s classic, If You Want to Write. (I’m also a self-published author.)

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Susan was also kind enough to let me know that The Troy Book Makers has a special “family history package” available which includes:

  • interior formatting (submit stories as .doc or .rtf)
  • cover design
  • image scanning (up to 12 original photos–black-and-white)
  • printed proof copy (for review, and to make any final changes)
  • 25  5×8 books (printed black and white, paperback, on acid-free paper with a full color cover)

The package price is $500 USD.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee