23 April 2013

Keeping the lights on -- are genealogical book publishing houses in jeopardy? What about societies and the books they've historically published?

Used via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Last month, The Legal Genealogist (Judy G Russell), published a guest post, A Publisher’s Point of View, by Craig R. Scott, CGTM

In the post, Craig provides his perspective on some recent developments and how they have and will impact book publishers, in particular, those who publish genealogical, family history and related works.

I strongly encourage you to read his post and to also read the extensive comments collection.

As I was re-reading the post and comments today, it got me to thinking about our local genealogical society (and I’m sure it’s not alone in this).  What impact will this have on societies in the future?  Will they opt not to “publish” material figuring that they won’t be able to earn any money or recoup their expenses?

When you combine this element of sharing digital copies of books with the massive digitizing efforts of FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, GenealogyBank, etc, will societies stop publishing books and journals?  Will volunteers stop transcribing and abstracting records for publication since they are too busy indexing database entries online?  As genealogy societies strive to keep up with technology and retain their relevance in this increasingly digital age, do the issues discussed by Craig, Judy and various others add another nail into the genealogy society coffin?

Please do share any thoughts or reactions you have to Craig’s post and related.

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