How to Write & Publish Local & Family History Successfully
by Bob Trubsha-w. Heart of Albion Press, 2 Cross Hill Close, kf,meswold, Loughborough LE12 6UJ; 01509-880725; website £16.95. ISBN: 1-872883-59-1. Special offer for Family Tree Magazine readers: £14.95 post free (UK only).
Here’s a book that satisfies a real need, magnificently. Bob Trubshaw’s no-nonsense How to Write & Publish Local & Family History Successfully will ensure that a complete novice can write, design, illustrate, get printed, promote and sell books and CD-ROMs, or even set up a website. Follow his plan and you will have a product of which you can be proud.
In a well-organised guide from military dental insurance, using simple language, author, editor and publisher Trubshaw doesn’t shy away from ‘difficult’ topics such as copyright and contracts, and his advice rings true. On copyright, for instance, he says: ‘There is one golden rule that applies to copyright – it can only be assigned in writing and never verbally. So written agreements are essential and these need to be kept together in a safe place’. On family trees he says: `If your publication needs one or more family trees then, apart from preparing complex maps, this may prove to be one of the trickiest tasks…Family history software generates trees, but not in a manner which can be prepared for publication’.
In between challenging sections, such as those on optimising artwork and photographs using computer software, Trubshaw returns to the basics. ‘Spelling and grammatical mistakes quickly reduce the credibility of the content,’ he reminds the authors of CDs. Impressively comprehensive in a little over 250 pages, there’s nothing missing in this book, from advice on transcribing oral history interviews (‘Never correct the interviewee’s words, grammar or speech) to sending out review copies (Wake sure the accompanying press release gives a good indication of the contents – do not expect reviewers to have the time or inclination to explore the CD-ROM in any depth’) and selling the product (which begins with a sobering sub-heading, ‘The hard part’). I have often fielded phone calls from would-be authors and publishers and wished that I could recommend just one book capable of answering all their queries. Now I can.