Saturday, 29 September 2012

Something for the Weekend 15

Here’s a post with a difference – so I do hope you’ll stick with the following ramblings and try your best to join in. Intrigued? No? Never mind, read on.

Very soon I plan to give the BI-Gen Blog a bit of a facelift. Nothing too drastic – just a cleaning up of the site and a design change.  However, I'm also going to be putting a big effort into a new idea of mine which I hope you will embrace by either supporting or contributing to – or preferably both.

You see, I've always wanted to do two big things in life as regards my interest in local and family history. The first is to help get people into print (or, more recently, of course, onto the Web). This has been a recurring theme of my (essentially small scale) efforts for the past twenty years, from my early days in the 1990s as editor and publisher of The North-Easterner mail order magazine, to my floundering attempts to get the ‘Local & Family History Centre’ website up and running a few months ago. Some things have worked, most haven’t, but it’s been fun trying and I know a lot of people have got quite a thrill out of seeing their name in print via one of my publications.

I don’t do much ‘old-fashioned’ publishing now – well, who does? But something else has been niggling away at my thoughts of late: and that is helping charity. Oh, here we go, I hear you say…

No, but listen. My idea (via a planned website/blog) is to sell e-books and e-booklets – written by anyone on any topic – and sell them to raise money for charity. The authors would get, say, £1 from every sale, too – so everyone wins. But if this is going to work it does, of course, rely heavily on two things: (a) I need folk to write e-books, and (b) I need people to buy them. I also plan to use Amazon’s e-publishing branch, Kindle Direct Publishing, to get stuff onto their website, too – again with a high percentage of royalties going to charity (maybe two-thirds).

Initially, this would be, I suppose, a local/family history-type venture (because it’s what I know), but there’s no reason why we can’t branch out into any genre. I've got a few publications of my own in the pipeline for the project, but I sure as hell need a whole lot more from, well, anyone, really. I can offer help with all sorts of aspects of any idea you may have, so don’t fret. And it can be anything from a few thousand words on your family history to a full-blown 100,000+ word opus.

As for the charities which I plan to support, well, I dunno yet; but I personally favour UK-registered children’s organisations. I am open to specific suggestions, though.

BTW, this charity fundraising idea may well spread beyond e-books in due course. One step at a time, though.

So, writing e-books and e-booklets for charity. Is this something that you feel you’d like to get involved in? Please, please, please, let me know what you think by either emailing me or leaving a comment below. Many of you will have questions, too, of course – so fire away. It may be that I can put together a mailing list for those of you who are interested in helping out – either way, I shall keep everyone updated with developments on the blog.

And you really need to spread this message via Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of those social media sites – so there’s something else you can help me with.

Well, get on with it, then...



  1. This is a really great idea. I'm an English major at a University here in the States, and I'm looking to get my writing out there. I'm also an aspiring editor, and family history nerd, so I'm really excited about this project.

    I'm subscribed to the blog, so I'll keep an eye out for any email list sign-ups and more information!!

  2. Thanks for the support, Morgan. I'm currently putting together pdf & Kindle versions of my own e-books to get the scheme up and running, then it's over to you guys to help things on further. Watch this space.