Now It’s Easy to Publish Your Family History in an Electronic Book with Gedcom Publisher

John Cardinal is well-known for the excellent software products and services he has created, including the genealogy hosting service, Family History Hosting, and his products that produce web pages for personal genealogy web sites: Second Site and GedSite. Now he has a new product that produces electronic books (ebooks) containing the results of your family history research. These ebooks can be read on most ebook readers, such as an iPad, as well as on Windows and Macintosh computers. Here is the announcement:

Narragansett, RI – July 25, 2018 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce Gedcom Publisher.

Gedcom Publisher is a ground-breaking application that creates an electronic book in EPUB format by combining text and images you enter with information taken from your GEDCOM file. Gedcom Publisher knows the ins and outs of constructing a book in EPUB format, and it knows how to read your genealogy data. That means you can focus on the content of your family history book.

“Digital publishing is very popular,” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting, “and it’s likely that when our grandchildren mature, most if not all their reading will be e-books, not paper books. That’s why we should create family histories using electronic books.”

An electronic book (or e-book) is a book made available in digital form. E-books are easy to share and update, and they are more flexible than paper books. Readers can carry hundreds of e-books with them on their device of choice, including smartphones, tablets, and dedicated reading devices like Kindles and Nooks. Readers can adjust the font size to make reading easier on the eyes, and links in the text help them navigate to sections of interest. Text search commands make it easy to find specific names, words, or phrases.

You may insert biographies from your genealogy database into your book by choosing people one at a time, or by entering criteria to select multiple people. The biographies are called person entries.

In addition to the information drawn from your genealogy project, you can add other content to your book, including text and images. You can link from narrative text to person entries in the book and add source citations where Gedcom Publisher manages the footnote numbers for you.

E-books are a great choice for archiving the fruits of your genealogy research project. E-books never go out of print because they aren’t printed at all. E-books are contained in a single data file, so they are easy to share. Send a copy to family members or other interested researchers, donate your book to archival organizations, or sell it on Amazon – your choice.

Gedcom Publisher is incredibly flexible and includes a GEDCOM reader that handles GEDCOM variations from popular genealogy programs. It also reads TMG project databases.

For more information, please visit the home page for Gedcom Publisher here: https://www.gedcompublisher.com.

About Family History Hosting, LLC

Family History Hosting LLC was founded in 2007 to provide first-class web hosting services for genealogists and family historians, and to publish genealogy software focused on web site creation.

11 Comments

Love it, John. It will be a big hit!

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I wish this were either a web-based program or also available for Mac. Looks very interesting, though.

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RootsMagic has this built into the program. A person can design a book, or several, then save it in various formats or as a web page to be seen by browsers.

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Sadly this program is only for Windows. From the publisher’s website: “Gedcom Publisher is a Windows program built with .NET and designed for use with Windows 7+.”

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Publishing family trees (and associated history) online is a good thing, and may find more useful connections than a subscription-based Web site — I plan to write a case history demonstrating this soon. However, as well as adding “biographies”, there really needs to be the research and reasoning that went into the work. Squeezing this into per-person biographies is wrong, and this is why I chose to embed my trees and biographies into blog pages that present my research — still subscription-free, more than capable of adding multi-media, and supporting programmable click operations. I used SVG for the tree components of this. Have you looked into that technology, Dick?

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    —> I used SVG for the tree components of this. Have you looked into that technology, Dick?

    SVG as in “Scalable Vector Graphics?” I know the term but have never used SVG myself. I have seen some interesting use of SVG for other purposes but not for genealogy. Whenever you are ready, I would love to write (or have you write) a brief article about the use of SVG graphics and then point to your web site as an example of SVG being used for genealogy purposes. Interested?

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    I wanted to use SVG for the trees embedded within my blog posts, Dick, because (as the name suggests) they would scale indefinitely when expanding an image (or its hosting page). I threw some code together that was originally part of my STEMMA development, and then decided that others might find it useful for publishing online trees. The resultant tool, SVG Family-Tree Generator, was therefore offered as free software together with installation kit, samples, documentation, and even instructional videos.
    In summary, it has a graphical designer that lets you layout a tree (new or imported) with the mouse, and then generate configurable combinations of HTML, SVG, JavaScript, and CSS to deliver the visualisation. For my own purposes, I also wanted the generated trees to be interactive and to have programmable click operations. Some of the predefined functionality available includes the display of rich-text biographical details in pop-up frames and the generation of timeline reports — both of which are demonstrated in the blog-post I quoted above, as well as the original application at Demo.
    In summary, as well as delivering trees with finely-crafted layout and controlled content, the trees can optionally be used to front custom applications that deliver genealogical functionality. This seems to extend it into an as-yet unexplored area for genealogical software. Although inclusion of the predefined functionality is as easy as clicking a checkbox, the ability to add custom functionality is really for “power users” and there aren’t many of them in our field.
    NB: The designer is Windows COM-based (compatible with XP to Windows 10), but has also been run in WINE and a virtual machine on a Mac. The generated code is platform-neutral and has been used in Firefox, Chrome, IE, and Edge.

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Switching SVG conversation to email, Dick

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