hello and farewell to MyCanvas

MyCanvas screen shot

MyCanvas screen shot

The loss of a good book building software / online program is like the loss of a dear family member. When Ancestry.com released the news on June 4th about terminating MyCanvas in September of this year I was devastated. Huh? What? Wait – I was just getting started. I’ve used several online book publishing services to make a wide variety of books, but somehow losing MyCanvas feels like a real blow. Last year I spent every extra hour I could after getting my daughter to bed working on a heirloom quality five generation family tree and history book that I could pass down to my children. I chose MyCanvas because it made sense. The ease of uploading timelines, pedigrees and adding backgrounds related to the time frames when my ancestors were living was one selling point. Others included the various binding and paper options. I chose a premium book (tan leather cover, hinge binding and semi white-glove treatment).

The good news for me is that I completed my book last year and was able to order two copies before Ancestry.com completely did away with the premium publishing services. The bad news and there is far more bad news, is that they are providing no way possible for users to save the work they created with their online software. This means it will not be possible to make edits for future editions and all final purchases have to be made by September 30th. Since I was really hoping to create similar books for my maternal aunts, uncles and cousins much later on, I’ve since been working OT to make sure I get solid 3-4 variations of my book done for my family. This was not something originally on my schedule yet I have no choice, but to slave away the night creating these books. Creating something from scratch will be far more time consuming and is the avenue I’ll have to take for any future work. So if you’re wondering where I’ve been… There you have it.

UPDATED 8/19/2014: Ancestry.com has announced that it will keep MyCanvas around for another six months before transitioning it to Alexander’s. According to their blog with the announcement:

Founded 35 years ago, Alexander’s is a Utah-based printing production company that has been the long-term printer of MyCanvas products including its genealogy books, calendars, and other printed products. This makes the transition of MyCanvas to Alexander’s a natural fit.

And this is the best news I have heard all day. Over the last couple of weeks and up until today I was stressing not so much about completing my projects, but keeping the quality top notch. Creating a family history book is something not to be rushed in this manner as mistakes are very likely occur to occur. Now I can take my time again and keep the quality on the up and up! Thank you Ancestry.com and Alexander’s!

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