Many genealogy programs allow you to "publish to CD." That is, your information can be stored on a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, suitable for presentation to family members. If you decide to publish information for your family or for your genealogy society, the question quickly arises, "How do we make the disks?"
To be sure, you can create the disks one at a time in a PC or Macintosh computer, then write "labels" by using a felt-tipped marker. That will look amateurish, at best. A better-looking result can be obtained by printing gummed labels designed for use on CD disks and then attaching a label to each disk.
The gummed label approach is an improvement, but still does not look very professional. In addition, engineers warn that the life expectancy of homemade CD-ROM and DVD-ROM disks is only a few years, at best. Adding the acids of the adhesive in a gummed label will reduce that life expectancy still further. In addition, a gummed label will always result in an out of balance condition, somewhat similar to losing a wheel weight on the front wheel of your automobile. The disk will "shimmy and shake" even though you have no steering wheel to feel the vibrations.
By far, the best solution is to print directly onto the disk's plastic surface in the same manner as all professionally-produced disks. The question is: how to do that in a cost-effective manner?
Most disk duplication facilities can handle all the details for you. All you do is send a homemade master disk to them, along with instructions and payment. The duplication house will return nice-looking finished disks to you.
The problem is that most disk duplication facilities do not like to handle orders for less than 1,000 disks at a time. A few will accept orders for as little as 100 disks but usually charge more on a per-disk basis.
Wholly Genes Software, the maker of The Master Genealogist software, now has an offer for genealogists that looks attractive. The company will meet short-run duplication needs, such as when planning to distribute CDs at a family reunion. The company will handle orders for as few as twenty disks. Direct printing on the disk is included. Artwork and packaging is also available for extra fees.
You can read the announcement at http://announcements.eogn.com/2006/05/duplicate_fullc.html
For more information, including a video of the robotic reproduction process, go to: http://www.WhollyGenes.com/duplication.htm