Screenshot of Blurb's Booksmart software in use.
The text in this two-page spread can include all the information found
in a family group sheet, but in a visually appealing way that will draw
attention even from genealogically-disinclined members of the family.
In April, Heather Rojo wrote about using Blurb to create a blog book. There was quite a bit of interest in this topic, and she followed up with more Blurb details in answer to questions people had. I'd been leaning toward Blurb for a family history book I'm planning, so I was happy to know she'd had a good experience with it.
I wasn't quite ready to begin my project, but Heather told about Blurb's blog-slurp capability, and I decided to give that a test run using my first (non-genealogy) blog. By the end of May, I had my blog book in hand and was more than satisfied with the materials and workmanship. I started the family history book I'd had in mind, and also slurped a couple more of my old blogs.
The new-found portrait of the Schulte cousins has inspired yet another book project. My cousin Cheryl and I are putting our heads together on this one, a book about Joseph Meyer Schulte's ancestors and descendants. Together we have an abundance of material, lots of excellent photos, and a great mix of skills for getting the job done.
One of our goals is to keep the book under 120 pages. That's the cut-off point beyond which the binding of the book would be glued rather than sewn. We want the added strength of a sewn binding for our book.
Another goal is to create a book that will be interesting to all family members, including those who fall asleep when the word genealogy slips into the conversation. Think family history meets coffee table book. To that end, the first half (or more, as needed) of our book will depend heavily on photographs and narrative text pertaining to our immigrant ancestor, Joseph Meyer Schulte, and his children and grandchildren. For great-grandchildren and subsequent generations (in other words, those of us who are still living), I hope to include some yearbook-style pages, with several smaller portraits on each page identified simply by name and birth year. A section on Joseph's German ancestry is next, followed by a section about Joseph's niece Lizzie and other descendants of Joseph's ancestors. Charts, documents, and a bibliography will play a part in the remainder of the book, based on how much space is left.
I'd already roughed out about forty pages of the book when I read Denise Olson's The Hybrid Family History. You'll want to read that if you're thinking of creating a book yourself.