Creating a custom book
Creating a book with us is meant to feel like a great big family dinner. It is as collaborative as you want, you have access to every member of the team and there is tons of conversation over the details.
Bird’s Eye View
First things first, we discuss what it is you’d like to create or accomplish. Whether we’re mapping out the entire book plan, or ironing out what part Timelines will play in your big picture: we have a 10,000 foot view conversation. This is where you bring us all your wish list items and we discuss each of the big pieces of the project: research, writing, indexing and editing, visual content, design and format, and, probably most importantly: the deadline!
After our meeting, we will take some time to pull together all our questions, structure a budget and plan a series of deadlines for both you and us! From our conversation and this outline, we will write up a contract to discuss and sign. From this point on, you know what’s happening at every stage of the game.
Often started in conjunction with planning your project’s scope, this includes collecting all documents and photographs needed for the book, it might mean interviews with various family members for stories, and, if relevant, it might also mean reviewing past research you have conducted to formulate a genealogical research plan. This is one of the biggest (and longest) stages of the process and will require time commitment from one or several family members.
If research is required for your book, we’ll likely work in sets of hours. This system is beneficial because it means we can set specific, achievable goals for each set of hours, and you are aware of what we’ve found, or have not been able to find, and can make decisions as we go about priorities, budget and next steps. Each set of hours will result in a fully sourced research report you can use for future reference.
*Depending on how much research you are interested in, this stage is sometimes better separated out as a pre-project before the book itself is discussed.
The main arc of the book will be discussed before the writing commences and the format of the writing, such as narrative or more simply a loose transcription of interviews, is your choice. Combining any genealogical research with content from interviews and other sources of family history into a single narrative can take a significant amount of time.
An obvious step, once the writing is complete and all facts and stories are in place, the manuscript and all photo credits are edited professionally.
We work on a two-round approval system that gives you all kinds of flexibility to provide input and creatively direct the look and feel of the book. The designer will put together two or three different visual options or styles based on an initial discussion of what you like and want to see. You will then choose from those designs or come up with something entirely different after getting your feet wet with design and layout options. Refinements or a new design will then be presented. This second round of approval is for minor adjustments to specific fonts, colour or format. This process applies to final text, and the cover and interior design as well as layout.
An index is optional but recommended, especially in books where both genealogy and family stories are included. There can be a lot of names and duplication of names. Having an index of names, places and key events makes it really simple to enjoy the book as a reference or family resource as well as a beautiful keepsake. The book is indexed after it has been completely laid out and the page numbers will not shift.
Sending the designed book to the printer takes place when all other steps are complete and you have approved a final version of the manuscript with all graphic elements in place. If we are getting the spine or cover stamped, the art for these files, along with the cover art, is sent at approximately the same time as the interior of the book.
We love delivering your book right into your hands–and we hand-deliver as often as we can–in as pretty a package as we can muster. We care for your final outcome, as well as any documents or photographs or files we might have needed throughout the process, as if they were our own. This step isn’t the end, only the end of the beginning.