This post is for all of you creative types! I don't know about you, but I've forever had on my list of to-dos to create a few printed materials to better display my work when presenting to clients as well as press. I've also had a book proposal on my list forever and a day. While I have tons of content, I never knew just how I would print such a piece. Enter: Blurb Books.
I had used Blurb before for hard cover portfolio books that I brought to trade shows, but I didn't realize that they had this magazine style option. For what I needed, I felt the magazine format was absolutely perfect. And while it took me some time getting creative to get the exact look I wanted, I ended up with a piece that I can use for all of the purposes that I stated.
I printed up my initial version and I'm simply astounded at how well it turned out. I chose the Premium Magazine style with 80# 118 paper printed with a matte finish. I loved that you can do anywhere from 20 to 240 pages because for what I needed first, I only used 24 pages. But I have plans to do many, many more pages in other versions. I can also use what I already have and just build on it, and change out pages for the different end users.
I used the Adobe InDesign Blurb Plug-in to create and upload my magazine but there are other options as well that Blurb offers. While inDesign has a bit of a learning curve, the instructions that Blurb provides to get started and then upload your designs is super clear and easy to do. I highly recommend taking the time to get to know the ins and outs of InDesign.
I've used Photoshop and Illustrator in the past for creating pages for other publications, and the truth is that InDesign was made specifically for publishing. You really can't get better features.
I received my magazine about 7 days after I placed my order and I was blown away by the quality. I simply cannot stop looking at it.
It took me about 5 days to create my 24 pages plus cover and back cover. And then uploading and sending to print was a breeze.
I recommend a few things to keep organized, on task and create the best book or magazine possible:
1. Create a vision board on Pinterest for your project... or even a (gasp!) analog vision board to get you inspired and motivated. This will give you a good idea of how to layout your pages. I went for a Maximalist look heavy in graphics and overlays and color, naturally.
2. Before you get started on InDesign, gather all of the elements that you are going to use on your computer, make copies of them, and put them in one folder with your project title. InDesign requires that your links for photos etc are connected to a findable file, and this makes it much easier. Make sure all of your jpgs are hi resolution. But InDesign will definitely give you a warning when you go to upload if they are not.
3. Some pages will have so many elements that it is hard to keep track of them. It's helpful in this case, to create a page with all of your pieces (be it photos, type, overlaid graphics etc.) in Photoshop and save it as a jpg that you can then bring into InDesign. That way your document won't be so heavy that when it comes time to save it, you struggle. The only drawback of doing it this way, is that you might have to go back and tweak things in the original file in Photoshop rather than tweaking directly in InDesign.
4. Save your file often! These pieces are usually very graphics heavy. You want to make sure that if your system crashes (hopefully not!) you have everything saved. I save after most changes to my document.
That's really it. I'm SO incredibly happy that I did this, I'm making copies to send to manufacturers and press, and I'm now ready to start the visual end of my already written book proposal!
I'd love to know what kind of book/magazine you might like to produce... and keep in mind... you can actually SELL your book on the Blurb platform as well as Amazon, through Ingram (a major distributor used through thousands of books stores) or in the Apple iBooks store. It's truly amazing!
You can also order a swatch kit to see samples of all of Blurb's paper options before ordering your book.
And when you order a kit for $7.95, you'll get a promo code that lets you apply the cost of the kit toward your book.
This post is sponsored by Blurb, but I gotta tell you, I've used Blurb in the past, and they are the first self publisher I would think of to do something like this. I was so incredibly pleased with how my magazine turned out. I'd highly recommend Blurb... sponsorship or not!
Is your book/magazine available to purchase from you or Blurb?