I take so many photographs, that once edited and shared on social media they seem to get lost and forgotten about. As a graphic designer, I am a huge fan of print, its my preferred medium and one I am hugely passionate about, but sadly, something I’ve found in this digital age is its not deemed as important as it once was. Photographs always look better printed out, whether it be in a frame or in an album, there is so much more there than to just looking at them on screen.
Onto my book and having printed a couple of books with apple years ago it was the lack control you had when designing your book that I didn’t like, the sizes didn’t appeal much and they just felt so limited so I researched other alternatives and discovered Blurb.. they gave me full control from start to finish, I could design the book how I wanted, the software I am fully trained in & choose the papers I wanted.. perfect! let’s do this!
First up, head over to Blurb..you are greeted by a friendly clean site and everything you need to know is there.
Second step was to download the Adobe InDesign plugin, this is free and gives you complete creative license to create whatever you like, images, text, graphics.. the book is your oyster! This is my choice but you can create the book using their online software if you wish.
Once installed I need images to go in my book.. my preferred editing software is Adobe Lightroom and I’ve recently started to dabble with the VSCO packs which offer amazing results that reflect the perfect film look from years ago before our digital age. Each photo has its set of tweaks, highlights, shadows and so much more to perfect before you deem it as good as you can get it.
Whilst the editing was in progress, Thoughts turned to what what type of book I would like and what size.. more importantly, what paper to have! Blurb offer a Paper sample swatch you can order for a few quid which gets knocked off your book order when you enter a code. This arrived after a couple of weeks and I was sold on the uncoated premium paper with the large landscape size to really show off my photographs… yes this will cost me a little more but I’m sure it will be worth it.
Ok, so photo’s now edited and saved into a folder I can set my book up in InDesign, this is all done within the software under File > Blurb book creator. From here you can set the book up from scratch, size, paper, how many pages.. this then created your main inside pages design file to the appropriate size with guides and away you go. DESIGN!
Once the inside pages are finished, you head into the plugin and create your cover with spine which will be exact to the number of pages you have.
Once happy with layout for your inner pages and outer cover, head on over to the plugin and simply click ‘UPLOAD BOOK’ this will take you through a pre-flight and if there are no problems you are in business & the pdf files will be uploaded to blurb.
The book is then turned over to their website and you fine tune any extras you need…i.e – start and end colour pages and payment/delivery details. Click order…
…thats it! Order date is March 8th and I’m given the 20th as delivery on or before, thats 2 around weeks…not bad at all.
I LOVE tracking parcels online.. following them from depot to depot, country to country.. the time I traced my new Macbook Pro from a small town in China right to my doorstep in the UK was just riveting & brilliant! estimated delivery was now Monday March 16th and my book arrives 8 days after my order date! just brilliant…thank you Fedx!
The book is packaged safely in its own slot and wrapped in cellophane! unboxing of any item is always the best bit.
So the final book is open and looks fantastic! I really couldn’t be happier, the gorgeous matte hardcover wrap and beautiful uncoated pages bring my photo’s to life. You can really tell care has gone into making it and for the money spent its worth every penny. Holding it in my hands it feels fantastic! there is a good feeling about something you have created from scratch now in your hands to feel and touch and people have commented how gorgeous it looks.
I would recommend Blurb to anyone looking to create their first book, you don’t need to have design knowledge or software as they provide an online book creator that works just fine.. time to get those photos off Facebook and onto paper!
Blurb, where your ideas become great books.