Unlock The Past will be at

Deniliquin expo -  Oct 2017
Victorian expo - Oct 2017
2018 Congress - Mar 2018
2018 UTP cruise - Alaska - Sep 2018


Unlock the Past authors

Unlock the Past invites interest from prospective authors.Pen

As of May 2017 we have 75 guide books in print, a number in 2nd, 3rd and even 4th editions. In 2015 we licensed partners in the UK and North America to locally print and distribute our guide books in their respective regions.

Who can become an Unlock the Past author?

  • anyone with recognised expertise in the subject/s proposed
  • writers who feel they have something to offer in the compact guides
  • speakers who would like to present the substance of their presentations in a more permanent and more substantial form
  • local, family and social historians
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What subjects are of interest to Unlock the Past?

Anything in the history/genealogy arena that is likely to be of interest to other researchers. See examples of titles from our current list.

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Why publish with Unlock the Past?

  • get better recognition for your expertise. Many of our guide book authors have had further speaking invitations from the recognition gained from their book - some at major national events
  • get some financial return for your expertise. You may not be able to retire to some tropical paradise from the proceeds but can reasonably expect to earn anything from AU$200 to AU$500 or more a year from th more popular titles. In addition you can have your books to sell wherever you speak - another useful revenue stream. Not to mention a welcome convenience for many of your audience
  • we offer 20% royalties on all guide book sales made, with quarterly reports and payments - within 30 days of the end of March, June, September and December. This is based on actual selling price - usually normal retail price, but may be a special offer or sales to other resellers
  • we offer authors 10 copies of each guide book free and further copies for resale at 40% discount on RRP. Authors may purchase Unlock the Past publications from other authors at 35% discount (for resale)
  • All Unlock the Past books are now also offered as ebooks, enabling us to tap into a wider international market. Currently we offer 30% royalties on ebook sales, but that is open to review
  • Unlock the Past publications now have good recognition amongst many - libraries, societies, resellers and individuals. In addition they are prominently featured at ALL events we (and some of our Unlock the Past team members) exhibit at. We normally sell at least 10 - 20 times as many copies of an Unlock the Past guide book as we would the same, or similar, title from any other publisher

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Miscellaneous series

We have introduced a new Miscellaneous series under the Unlock the Past imprint. The aim is to provide a publishing pathway for books of specialised interest with a limited market for books that a commercial publisher would never consider. Generally we will take the book as set up by you ready to print, though in some cases we may prefer to reset it to our house style if this is fairly easily done. We can help with cover design if need be. We print and finish in house and offer our books in both print and ebook editions to minimise costs and maximise avenues/formats to sell in.

Here are some examples - click on an image for more details on each book  

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Ideal for:

  • war diaries, letters and reminiscences
  • personal diaries, letters and reminiscences
  • shipboard diaries 
  • school, church or other local histories
  • biographies
  • records or indexes you have compiled
  • anything else that might be of interest to a relatively small number of people, but which nevertheless may interest some others
  • books with as few as 10 pages up to those with 1000 or more
  • books requiring only 10 copies or less up to those with a market for 500 or more

Unlike our guide books we do not pay royalties. We normally supply 10 copies at no charge to authors and further copies at 40% discount. But terms can be negotiable if special circumstances apply. Email Alan alan@unlockthepast.com.au if you would like to know more.


How to publish and prepare your guide book with Unlock the Past

  • first of all email alan@unlockthepast.com.au about your proposal, giving some outline and your credentials and details of what you have in mind, including the estimated number of words and illustrations you expect to have
  • the length of guidebooks is fairly flexible to suit the subject. Most guidebooks range from 20 to 100 pages, with an average of 250-280 words per page when fully laid out with images and opening and closing pages
  • please supply text in Word with photos in place to show where they are to go
  • photos and other illustrations should be also supplied separately, preferably as TIF or JPG files
  • colour illustrations can be used, but this adds to the cost of the book
  • index - we code this into the text so it can be easily regenerated if we subsequently change the book layout. We can discuss this with you, but there are three main ways to handled this
     - use Word to code your index (preferred)
     - use a Word file highlighted with words to be indexed
  • supply any images you may want considered for the cover, which our graphic designer will set up
  • give some thought to the title and image that may be suitable for the cover
  • you also need to supply an author biography, photo and a blurb about the book for the back cover. We can email you examples if you have not seen these on our books
  • we will do all set up for production, including cover design, assigning an ISBN and handling legal deposit copies. We will supply a finished proof for you to review before we go to print
  • your text will be reviewed by one of our Unlock the Past partners, who may get back to you with a few queries or suggestions. We do not usually get involved in editorial changes. We do make it conform to our Unlock the Past house style. If you have never written for publication before we can arrange to have your book reviewed for you.
  • all our guide books are printed in relatively short runs as needed, so can be readily updated if necessary

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