5 good resources for publishing your family history book

You have enough research done that you feel ready to put together a printed book of your family history. But how do you do it? Here are a few options to consider, along with their pros and cons:

ShutterFly, Blurb, MyCanvas

These three online options are all popular for designing and printing photo books. MyCanvas is a particularly helpful tool if you do your family history work on Ancestry.com, as it integrates directly with the Ancestry website. There are many benefits to designing your books online with these publishers. For starters, it’s a relatively low publishing cost, which is important if you’re on a tight budget. You also get total control over your design (though they offer layouts to help guide you if you need it), and they can be published quickly—if you get them done quickly, of course.

However, if you don’t have enough time to work on assembling and designing your family history book, it can take quite a while to get your finished product. After all, these are DIY book printers, so if you’re not doing it yourself, it’s not getting done. And if you’re not a great designer, you have to rely heavily on their premade layout templates, which may leave you with a final design that you don’t absolutely love. The binds on most of the books from online printers are typically glued, rather than being sewn. This, along with other printing and binding techniques used to mass-produce them, can result in products that don’t last as long as you might like.


While MyPublisher offers many of the same services as those mentioned above, they also offer books specifically designed for publishing your family history. Like MyCanvas, My Publisher can pull data straight from Ancestry.com. They also have a variety of book designs to choose from, and offer higher-quality production options, including stitched binding, which will last much longer than glued bindings. However, the designs from MyPublisher are specifically for family tree-style histories, so they may not work well for family histories that are written as narratives or biographies of individuals. Their cover options and selection of book sizes are also limited, so it may be difficult to get the exact kind of family history book you were hoping for.

Legacy Books

Legacy Books professional services that can include research, design, and printing–as well as the publishing of your family history book. We’re a one-stop shop for creating your family history book, and can even supplement your existing data with professional research. We manufacture only the highest-quality, most durable covers, and every book receives an archival-quality bind so that your book won’t just last years—it will last for generations. As a full-service business, we also offer professional, custom design for your family history book, so you get the exact product you were hoping for, down to the last detail. The full-service experience,  guidance, and professional touch that Legacy Books provides ensures you will complete your family history project. Keep in mind that Legacy Books doesn’t just bind and print your book; we become a partner in creating it.

There really is no single publishing source that is going to be best for everyone. But if you’re publishing a family history book, be sure to choose a method that will best help you complete your book!     

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