Have you heard of Blurb yet? Yes? No? Either way, I would love to tell you all about them today – as a lover of books and as a lover of photographs, I am a great fan of self publishing and have created a number of photo books for family in the past. Blurb is a fantastic platform for self publishing – it helps you produce wonderful, high quality books, either for personal use or resale. I was part of a group of bloggers, who a while ago used Blurb as part of a fund raiser for Save The Children. We created a bedtime story book – Once upon a time – with our own and the kids’ drawings – with all profits going to Save The Children. It was a wonderful way for UK Bloggers to get together, share some stories and raise funds! The best bit? When my kids first saw our own story in print and recognised the characters they were over the moon to be “featured” in a real live and “proper” book.
The process was fun and simple. And of course, I was biased, as it had our stories and drawings in it.
Today, I received a book from someone, who I did NOT know:
Cultivate a Creative Life by Meta Coleman
Retails at $35,49
The great thing about Blurb, is that you can usually preview the whole book before deciding to buy – that way you can decide on whether you are likely to enjoy the content – or if you are giving it to a friend, whether they would enjoy it. Cultivating a Creative life, could mean so many different things to so many different people, that I was pleased to be able to take a peak at it first.
When the book arrived, I was not disappointed – printed to a high gloss finish, it was a little bigger than I expected, which was nice. I had already taken a peak at the contents. Meta Coleman writes her very personal relationship with art and creativity, as well as providing fun little project ideas to inspire you to get creative at home. I love that it is a combination of thoughts, dreams and inspirations, with practical projects to get you going (I love the shadow box portraits on page 15). The book is filled with these, but more importantly with some wonderful photography as well. The photos invite you to look, ponder and store away creative patterns, colours and designs, to pop up in your creativity another day.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS: Whilst browsing the blurb website, I noticed how many people used it to produce wedding photo albums or holiday albums – what a lovely way to commemorate a special day or holiday and allows for friends and family to print their own copies too. When you think about how much it costs to print of a set of photos, it seems like quite a cost effective idea as well.
KIDS ART: I also LOVE the idea of photographing my child’s artwork and putting it into an “Art Book” for them. My kids produce 100s of pictures and though I keep some, it is impossible for me to keep them all. I think creating their own art catalogues is a fantastic way to capture their creativity, whilst also dealing with the sheer volume of their output (and I love their work aged 3 and 4 and 5 – it is full of innocence, inhibitions and colour. Gorgeous.
STORY TIME: I already touched on this at the beginning with our collaborative blogger’s story time book. I think blurb is a wonderful way for parents to capture those early childhood years of bedtime stories. Many a parent I know LOVES making up stories for their kids and self publishing is a great way to make your own books for personal use, but also to get your stories “out there”!
What I did NOT KNOW about Blurb, is that it enables you to sell your photo paper books on Amazon (how cool is that?!) and that you can produce “one book” using the Blurb BookWright format, which can then be distributed as an ebook/ hard back or paper back book – giving your readers a great set of prices and format choices.