Three tips to elevate your family history book

3 Tips to elevate your Family History Book

Many of us have seen life histories or family histories compiled — sometimes they’re even in the form of calendars that someone painstakingly made (only to be discarded the next year!)

Don’t let that be you. If you’re going to make a book, you need to make it worth the time and effort you took to design and write the story. Here are three ways you can elevate your family history book:

Include Original Documents

Many of us already know we want to include photos in our stories, but what about letters, journal entries, certificates, census records, vital records or other noteworthy documents? Getting a high-quality image of these things can help tell the story of your ancestor with stunning detail that can’t be included in words. You might even have their signature in there, which is priceless!

Recently my client had me digitize all their black and white photos from the Korean War. I asked them if they had any correspondence to include, and luckily they had one telegram! I made a high-quality scan of it and included it in the book, and it’s one of my favorite parts.

Does digitizing documents seem daunting to you? Send them to me! I do digitizing as part of my offerings for family history books.

Write a Preface

Future generations deserve to know who wrote the book and how you did it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen well-written PDF documents on FamilySearch Memories with pictures, original documents, and detailed original writings with no preface about who compiled it.

If you want future generations to build on your research, consider writing even just a paragraph about who you are, what motivated you to compile it, the date you wrote it, and what your main sources were (interviews, journals, online databases, etc)

I make it a point to include a preface in each document and book I write. I can help you include a preface in your book with my editing services!

Get the book professionally printed

You’ve done so much work to get to this point — why stop at the printing process? Once again, ask yourself if future generations will be more likely or less likely to read your book if you go the extra mile for high quality printing, or if a coil bound book at Kinkos really serves your purpose.

Picture of a family history book, "Stanley Hunt's Early Life and Korean War Memories"
Book printed and cover designed by Organized With Emily

I offer book template design and printing services for family history books! Reach out to me at for help with your next life history or family history book.

I like to hang out on Instagram and share more in-depth tutorials on everything I make, create, and organize. Come be a part of my Organized with Emily community!

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