A club history is more than a book. It’s a record of the club’s past glories and an inspiration for the next generation. It’s a heirloom and a club treasure. It’s something you proudly exhibit in your reception room or clubhouse.
Lettertec is often approached by clubs passionate about producing a history. Producing a history of your club, correctly, is one of the most worthwhile things you can do. Advice, from the right people, the experts, is essential. Lettertec has proudly produced hundreds of sports books, and no one is in a better position to advise. Think of us as your manager, trainer and coach, leading you to success.
With that in mind, here are the six quick steps you need to take to produce the book your club deserves.
Get your book write
The foundation of every book is the words. To say the words are the first step sounds obvious, but you might be surprised to learn that writing the book is often the most challenging stage. Is there a writer or a journalist in-house? Someone with the time and aptitude to begin researching and writing the history of the club. If not, don’t worry, different tactics can be employed.
Who you going to call? Ghostwriters
Ghostwriters can also be hired. These are professionals who undertake the research, conduct interviews, and write material for a fee. If this option doesn’t appeal to you, again, don’t worry, there is a third way. Remember, most of the history of your club is likely to be already written. Your club is likely to have been covered in newspapers, history books, radio and TV shows and more. The first step can be gathering and organising this trove of information. At the very least, this makes things easier for the club writer, or leaves less work for the ghostwriter, helping to reduce his or her fee.
The power of the spoken word – Ireland has a rich oral culture, and GAA, soccer and other sports clubs understand this better than anyone. Many of the stories that make up the history of the club are inside people’s heads, usually older players and members, who have seen all the ups and downs. Why not ask them to dictate their memories onto a recording device? Or ask a club member to interview them and record it. Once numerous recordings have been made, and all the old stories gathered, you will be surprised how much material you have. You already have the makings of an interesting book.
Writing a club history is a team sport
Set up a special committee of club members to work on the book. Give each member a designated role. One person can be tasked with collecting images and old newspaper articles; another can interview older players; another can be the writer; another can handle the fundraising, and another the social media and press. This is just one model, but the team dynamic is a proven recipe for success. Why not set up a book club WhatsApp group, to allow members to communicate with each other quickly?
Fundraise for your book
While a club history is priceless, there are of course costs involved. Our advice would be to organise a raffle or club event. In addition to being a great source of revenue, the raffle can be a community event aimed at getting people invested in the book. You can share some chapters and photos from the book on social media or your local paper, so people can see the excellent work you are doing.
In Ireland, GAA, soccer and rugby clubs are more than sporting organisations. They are integral parts of the community. Use this to your advantage. Make people feel involved in the book process. The club is much more than the players, so reach out to the wider community. Put an ad in your local paper, requesting images, clippings and memorabilia for use in the book. Engage older players and their families. Reach out to the diaspora. Nothing triggers nostalgia quite like sport. Create a club book Facebook or Instagram page, to reach the club community around the world.
We hope this six-step plan gives you the confidence you need to create a beautiful history book for your club. If you would like to discuss your idea for a club history in more detail, make sure to get in touch to arrange a call with our in-house expert. If the process appears daunting, think of the prize at the end. A beautiful hardback book, carefully produced by Ireland’s premium craft printers. Something that will remain in your club for generations as a testament to what your club has achieved and its place in your community.