Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28 - Start a Family History Album

January 28 – Start a family history album with photographs and copies of family documents. See Scrapbooking Your Family History by Maureen A Taylor (Betterway Books) for ideas.

I had the pleasure of viewing someone’s family history album that they did. It was done for living family members, and had a biography for each person. He then published it through one of those self-publishers and found that the books were very cost effective. He had numerous pictures and they were captioned so everyone in them was identified. He added some Descendants trees so that you could place each person.  The project was quite involved. He sent out letters to family members and stated what he wanted to do, and that he needed pictures for the book. Some people didn’t reply and he had to follow up.
The biggest downfall he did was not to give a deadline. I would have given a month deadline to get pictures to me. Hopefully most people would have sent you pictures and stories. Then I would handle all those items. When I got done, I would review and see who didn’t reply. I would send out a second notice to those people giving them a month deadline and let them know this is their second and last chance to be included in this wonderful family history album. When those arrive, I would handle all those items. Then I would send out one truly last notice, 3 strikes you are out. Let them know this is truly the last and final notice; you might want to let everyone in the family know who your holdouts are. Let them know that they will be included in the book and give them an example of the brief information that will be included and perhaps show them an example of one member’s nicely submitted information would look like. Give them a month deadline and if you get anything back, handle those items.  Then publish the book as is. Only give yourself a year to complete this project and let people know that you plan to have this project done in an year. Let them know that even though this project is going to take a year, you have deadlines you must meet and thus they only have a month to get this done. Once the book is done, send notices out on how people can get the book. They can go on-line and order the book(s) themselves or through you. You really want them to use the on-line system, so charge $1-$3 in additional handling and processing fee for all orders that must come through you. Your time is worth something and if people don’t want to order on-line, at least get paid for handling their requests. Depending on how much you want to make on each book, I believe you get to set a price. Try rounding up the book to a nice manageable number. For example, if the book cost $7.00, you could charge $10.00 for the book. Remember, you sent a lot of notices, some by mail and postage, envelopes, ink, paper all cost money. But don’t expect to make a fortune on these books, which will never happen. Think volume, you want more people to buy your books and get the family history into as many hands as possible is more important than making a lot of money on one or two books.

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