Thursday, June 12, 2008

Online Editions for Everton's Genealogical Helper

Leland Meitzler, editor of the Everton's Genealogical Helper print magazine, announced the following this morning:

"Genealogy Online, Inc., publisher of Everton’s Genealogical Helper, today, announced the publication of the Genealogical Helper in an Online Edition. The Online Edition is an identical copy of the 176-page paper edition – complete with hotlinks to the hundreds of website addresses found therein.

"Launch Date – The new Online Edition will launch on July 1 – simultaneous with the home delivery and newsstand date of the paper edition of the July-August issue.

"Free Access – Subscribers to the traditional Genealogical Helper will have 100% FREE online access to the magazine – with no extra fees whatsoever. See for sign-up information.

"Online Edition subscriptions – Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Online Edition, will sell for just $12.00 per year! That is only $2 per issue! And it’s only $10.00 for subscriptions made before July 1 at or phone 1-800-443-6325."

Read the entire press release at Leland's Everton Publisher's Genealogy Blog.

This is a very welcome development in the genealogy publishing world - the consumer actually gets a price break for being digitally aware. For $10 a year, I'll be able to download and save (and print if I want a specific article) issues of EGH to my computer and be able to easily access it any time and place I have my laptop.

Frankly, the only thing better for me would be for publishers to provide an online archive of articles with an index for each magazine issue, and a subject index, so that I don't have to clutter up my hard drive with articles I'm not interested in. Oh, that's right -- Everton's is one of the periodicals that has imaged and indexed archive pages online at

This is a very smart business move by Everton Publishing. A fair percentage of current subscribers to the print edition will switch from print to digital publishing, and receive a price break. The company's publishing costs will go down when fewer printed copies are created and mailed out. The overall circulation of the magazine will go up - how can it not go up? A win-win for everybody involved.

I have not subscribed to Everton's Genealogical Helper before - my local library has subscribed to it for a long time, so I've been reading it at the library. I've read it ever since I started my research in 1988 - I would take my surname list to the library and check the index of each issue, looking for queries for my families.

My Genea-Cave is chock full of dead trees with pretty covers and interesting writing inside of them sitting in neat stacks on top of my book cases. I rarely read a past issue for fear of the stacks falling on top of me... er, because of the difficulty of finding a specific article. That is one reason why I publish selected periodical Tables of Contents on my blog - to enable me (and others) to find a specific article after Googling a name and/or location of an ancestor.

I think that This type of publishing is the future of genealogy periodicals. Internet Genealogy and Digital Genealogist have online-only (do they offer a print option?) publication, and Ancestry Magazine offers Ancestry subscribers a digital version of their magazine for free.

I hope that other print magazines like Family Tree Magazine and Family Chronicle will provide a "download only" option at a reduced subscriber price. Some magazines and periodicals (e.g., Family Tree Magazine) are offering CDROMs for their yearly archive of issues - this is another winning idea.

If the National Genealogical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and other societies offered a significant price break for membership by offering digital versions of their publications, I would leap at the opportunity, and I am sure that thousands of others would also.

This seems, at least to this voracious consumer of genealogy information, to be a winning publication model that is company smart, genealogist friendly and ecologically helpful.

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