If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you know I have covered the “New Media” topic a few times. While considering self-publishing a book of blog posts to use for marketing activities, I came across blurb.com.
I ended up utilizing Blurb to produce a 40-page book of photos and memories that my wife and I, along with other extended family, put together for my Father’s 84th birthday. Blurb.com(affiliate link) makes it quite easy to self-publish a book of this type.
The most difficult part of any publishing endeavor (including creating a basic web-site) is the collection of relevant content. Beginning in late December and early January we emailed my large immediate family (I am the youngest of 5 children) and other extended family requesting a digital photograph and a caption to go along with that photograph. We included a few deadlines in order to make sure we would have time to review all the material, organize it, and have it proofread.
I am pretty sure a whole lot of you are already laughing and thinking to yourself…I wonder how many deadlines got missed and how many people called or emailed to ask if they could send an old picture and can you scan it for me? Well, every deadline got missed and almost half the book is composed of scanned photos (we ended up scanning about half of those). Had I not spent 20+ years in this crazy printing industry those things would have upset us, but we really did go into the project expecting that.
In order to produce a book with blurb.com, you must use the BookSmart software which can be downloaded for free from the Blurb web-site. BookSmart is available in either PC or MAC flavors. Since my primary computer is still a PC I opted for that version. We found the software easy to use and although it crashed a few times throughout the process we never seemed to lose any content because of the nifty built in auto-save features. While we sometimes found the mandatory BookSmart page layouts limiting, by and large we were able to do just about everything we wanted to do.
We submitted the book for printing on March 24th, and just found out our 20 copies will arrive on or about April 10th. So, keep your eyes posted here and we will let you know how the book turned out.