Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

Unlock the Past authors

Unlock the Past invites interest from prospective authors.Pen

As of November 2017 we have over 80 guide books, six handy guides and three miscellaneous series titles in print. A number are 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.

Unlock the Past publications series

  • Guide books - over 80 titles, mostly 28 to 80 pages, with regular releases of new titles and revised editions
  • Handy guides - a new series introduced September 2017 - low cost A4 four-page guides on quality heavy card stock, concise, but packed full of key facts and clear information, intended for handy reference. See media release.
  • Miscellaneous series - introduced in 2015 - books of specialised interest that a commercial publisher would not consider.
  • Regional guides - we are considering a new series of regional guides. Expressions of interest from prospective authors are welcome.

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 any of the above series
  • speakers who would like to present the substance of their presentations in a more permanent and more substantial form
  • local, family and social historians
UTP0007UTP0105 UTP0292 UTP0524 UTP0501

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.

UTP0461 UTP0441 UTP0202 UTP0181 UTP0323

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.
  • Earn additional revenue from your expertise. Have your books to sell wherever you speak. And many of your audience will welcome a guide book or handy from you.
  • We offer 20% royalties on all guide book sales made, with quarterly reports and payments. This is based on actual selling price - usually normal retail price, but may be a special offer or sales to other resellers. Note: from October 2017 we are moving away from royalties for all new books and handy guides to offer two alternatives (options) for authors. More information on request (some details are still being worked through).
  • 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 by other authors at 35% discount (for resale). A significantly higher free book allowance and high discounts on further copies is one of the options offered from October 2017 on.
  • All Unlock the Past books are now also offered as ebooks, enabling us to tap into a wider international market.
  • Unlock the Past publications now have good recognition amongst many - libraries, societies, resellers and individuals. 
  • Unlock the Past publications are more prominently featured at ALL events we exhibit at - and are sometimes the only publications we take to events. They also feature more prominently in special promotions we run.

UTP0563 UTP0341 UTP0281 UTP0104 UTP0282

Handy guide series

As noted above this is a new series of - low cost A4 four-page guides on quality heavy card stock, concise, but packed full of key facts and clear information, intended for handy reference. From an author's point of view they may be considered as equivalent to a good magazine article or fairly extensive talks handouts. In fact for authors who speak they may be reckoned as bonus revenue generating handouts. They will vary from 1500 to 3000 words, depending on the number of illustrations included. They are all priced at AU$5 for easy sale with little/no need to handle change.

handy guides

Our standard preferred terms are:

  • 50 free copies supplied to authors (resale value AU$250)
  • 80% discount ($1 each cost) on extras for resale (net revenue AU$200 for every 50 sales)
  • 50% discount ($2.50 each cost) on other authors' handy guides for resale (net revenue AU$50 for every 20 sales)
For authors who do not wish to sell their own handy guides we will offer a fixed payment for publication rights either up-front or paid quarterly over two years. This is negotiable, usually between AU$100 and AU$200, but for those with higher sales prospects up to Au$300.

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  

UTPM001 | UTPM002 | UTPM003

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 for publishing 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. We prefer to work to 72 pages maximum, but this is not an upper limit with. Our guide books average of 250-280 words per page when fully laid out with images and opening and closing pages, but this depends a good deal on the number of images used.
  • please supply text in Word with photos in place to show where they are to go. If you use InDesign, we can probably take your InDesign file
  • photos and other illustrations should be also supplied separately, preferably as TIF or JPG files
  • in future we will only print in black, unless there is special need or value in printing one or more illustrations in colour - which may push the price of the book up.
  • 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 two main ways to handle this
     - use Word (or InDesign if you use this) to code your index (preferred)
     - use a Word file (or printout) 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 our editor, who may get back to you with a few queries or suggestions. We do not usually get involved in editorial changes other than to 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

    UTP0163 UTP0291 UTP0182 UTP0325 UTP0425