07 July 2016

Diggy Pod and Self Publishing for Family History

Many of my readers know that I became involved in family history when my dad started writing his autobiography and didn't know a lot about his dad's, Harry Glover, side of the family.  I told my dad I would see what I could find; little did I know I would be addicted to researching the family history. This was in December 2006, almost ten years ago.

I am happy to say that my dad's autobiography is done!  It is printed and is in the process of being shared with family members.  It was quite a process for my 91-year old dad.  He used Microsoft Word to write it and went through a couple of computers, lost part of it, and lost Microsoft Word somewhere in the process. Luckily, he had printed out copies of the book as he wrote it and I was able to use Dragon Dictate to get it ready to publish.

The biggest decision for my dad was to decide how to get it published.  He attended a self publishing event at his local library, went to the local printers and researched online.  It wasn't until a friend of his told him about Diggy Pod, that the decision was made.

Diggy Pod is a small self publishing company in Tecumseh, Michigan, my home state.  I cannot say enough good things about Diggy Pod and their customer service. From the first time my dad called them until the package arrived at his doorstep, they were terrific.  The quality of the book exceeded my dad's expectations.

Diggy Pod offers professional quality publishing.  It is a print on demand service, with no minimums to order.  Diggy Pod offers the following:

  • Sample-a generic sample will be sent upon request that shows paper options, print quality, etc.
  • Up front pricing- you know exactly what it will cost from the beginning, no surprises.
  • Cover options- makes it easy to create a cover on your home computer without graphic design experience.  
  • Binding options-paperback, spiral, and hardcover binding is available
  • Sizes-nine sizes of finished product are available, from 4"x 6"  to 8 1/2"x 11".
  • Paper-quality paper options are available
  • Color-Black and white and color page printing is offered.
  • Templates-provided and easy to use.
  • .pdf-software for converting Microsoft word document to .pdf format is provided free of charge.
  • Quality-so many levels of quality.  Diggy Pod provides their own quality check before final printing.
  • Proofs-online proofs are provided before final printing.
  • Website-everything you need is on their website to guide you through the process.
  • Real easy to work with person-telephone and email support is available and it is an actual person.
  • and so much more.

My dad's autobiography, "Life As I've Known It" was written using Microsoft word. Upon completion, I downloaded it to my computer and did the technical side of things; spell checking, margins, justification, headings, page numbering, etc. I added a genealogical section to the copy and added family pictures.  I created the front and back cover copy.  Once it was ready to print I converted it to .pdf format and ordered it.

I did make two mistakes. One, I knew about before hand and didn't double check it. I had the page numbers right justified instead of center justified.  The reason this is important is because the pages are done in mirror images of each other and the left hand page has a page number on the lower right hand side.  Diggy Pod let me know of this mistake, but it would have cost an additional $40 to submit it correctly and I decided it was okay where it was. 

The other one is kind of comical now that it is over with.  My dad had a good friend of his write a forward to the book.  I was going through pictures, looking for one of my sister and my dad, and I came across a picture of his friend.  I thought it would be nice to include that picture on the page with the forward.  Nice idea, wrong friend's picture!  Talk about embarrassing, on my part, when my dad got the book and saw it wasn't the right picture.  I was able to fix it by making copies of the right picture, printing it on sticker paper, and putting it over the other picture.  All is well, now.  My sincere apologies, Dr. Hartman!  

The final product was a paperback, 8 1/2 x 11, black and white book with 133 pages in it.  The final cost, including shipping, was around $10 a book. A great deal in our opinion.

My dad was very pleased with the quality of the book.  The service was fast. It took less than two weeks from sending the files in until my dad received it.  

My dad doesn't think anyone would want to read it outside of the family.  I am trying to get him to donate it to Hazel Park(MI) Historical Commission Library, he grew up in Hazel Park and talks a lot about his early years there.  Also, I would like to see a copy in Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The back cover copy, written by my daughter, Kirsten, is:

Few people have had the vantage point of nonagenarian Bruce D. Glover, a family man, soldier, friend, teacher and coach.  Glover developed a love of sports as a child that carried throughout his whole life.  As a coach, Glover spent 50 years guiding young men and women to become better individuals and athletes.  “Life as I’ve Known It” gives the reader a window into Glover’s life including:

·         His childhood during the late 1920’s and 1930’s
·         His high school years leading up to World War II
·         His participation in the Battle of the Bulge
·         His first coaching experience that led to a lifelong career as a teacher and coach
·         His coaching career highlights
·         His family memories

This autobiographical account of Bruce D. Glover’s life will show his love of family, sports, food, and more.

I was happy to help my dad see his project to completion. It is a wonderful example of a well written family history book and we can thank Diggy Pod for being so easy to use. If you are looking for a quality book publishing service, with great prices and excellent customer service, look no further: Diggy Pod is all you need!

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