I recently came across an article written about my great grandmother in the Billings (Montana) Gazette several years ago. Her parents emigrated from Ireland to the U.S. in the late 1850’s during the potato famine. The article focused on her early years growing up on a ranch in southern Montana. The article was very brief and I found myself wishing that she had written a book about her life and what is was like having neighbors who were Native Americans who had fought Custer’s 7th Calvary at the Battle of the Little Big Horn – a battle where one of her uncles was killed.
We all have a story to tell. Our lives may seem ordinary now but think what a firsthand account would mean to your grandchildren, or great grandchildren, many years from now. With families in today’s fast moving society being scattered across the country, or across the world, we have lost some of the opportunity to pass our family history through story telling.
Fortunately today’s technology makes it easier than it ever has been to immortalize your family’s unique story. You have the ability to digitally record your history via video or audio. It is also easier than ever before to publish your story in written form.
Years ago publishing a book was a major undertaking that very few people did, primarily because the cost was so high. It is now possible to publish a book on Amazon for as little as $250.00. All you really need to purchase is the pricing barcode and register the ISBN number. Copies of a small book can be printed for $3.00 to $4.00 per copy, making publishing affordable for nearly everyone.
If you have given any thought to leaving a record of your life, or the lives your ancestors lived, to future generations I urge you to explore the resources that are available. I recently self-published a book on Amazon and, overall, it was a fairly painless process. Our webmaster Zach has experience in self-publishing and he did most of the heavy lifting.
If you have every given any thought to publishing your family history we would be happy to provide you with a Microsoft Word document template that is acceptable for self-publishing on Amazon. Then you simply need to start writing. I would urge you to not be too concerned with style and format; people many years from now will care more about content than if you are the next F. Scott Fitzgerald. Our webmaster can also point you to where you need to go on Amazon’s site to get the book up when finished.
Feel free to contact your advisor if you would like to pursue this or if you have any other questions. And start thinking about how you want to pass your story down to those that come after you.