Publication of your one-name study is a vitally important part of your ONS, and should not be left to some future time when the study is more “complete”. It never will be! Publication, in whatever format, serves several purposes:
Publicises your achievements
Creates a permanent copy of your work to remain after you die
Presents the work in a readable form that will attract others to contribute more information
Enables you to credit and to thank people or societies who have provided generous advice and assistance in your research
Ways to publish include:
- The Guild’s Journal of One-Name Studies
- Other genealogy magazines (do mention the Guild!)
- Your own One-Name Society newsletter or journal
- Privately published books / booklets
- Guild profile pages
- Guild seminars
- Your own ONS website (with a link to the Guild!)
Writing a book may seem a daunting task, but it can be a rewarding and effective way to document your research and pass it on to future generations. To get ideas on how to do this, look at what others have done – although your research is unique and your book will be likewise. Write it with a view to the future, enabling you to update it easily and to convert it to HTML for web purposes. For example, you might consider paginating the book on a chapter basis rather than as a continuous sequence of pages; this makes it easier to insert new material. Consider carefully whether to use colour; this will make the printing much more expensive.
The simplest method of getting material printed these days is to convert the final version to PDF. That way your publisher will have minimal work to do, and the cost will therefore be minimised. Shop around for a publisher who can handle small print runs.
If you want to sell the book, then don’t put the same research on the web as well, or you will never sell the book! Some one-namers have found they get much more feedback from people who read the book than they do from those who read a website. A very short print run (e.g. 10) may be advisable at first, as no sooner have you published than people come out with more details to add to the book! However, this depends on having a publisher willing to do this. Some have found that once the book is on the printer’s system, quite small batches of further copies (e.g. 20 at a time) can be reprinted without any new set-up charge, but the set-up charge is quite large even if only minimal changes are made.
If you are considering publishing your own ONS then you may like to review the use of online systems like Lulu – see www.lulu.com – as described in the Journal Vol.9 No.6 (April 2007). This is a method of self-publishing via the Internet, whereby you can upload a computer readable book, such as a PDF document, to the site and potential customers can purchase the book from the site. Each copy ordered is individually printed.
Formal publications should use an ISBN/ISSN number and be deposited in the copyright libraries. The Guild would be delighted to receive a copy for its library. Consider also depositing such publications with the Society of Genealogists and/or other relevant county or local archives.
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