Monday, August 06, 2007

making the book

SFGate has an article today about Blurb, a self-publishing vehicle. Dan Fost says he chose Blurb (rather than Lulu, say) because Blurb is local. He doesn’t say in the article that he took advantage of that. Can you stop by Blurb’s offices to pore over their books? The article is accompanied by photos, Fost’s family book, which looks OK, but also a table at Blurb heaped with Blurb-made oversize photo books that, from a distance at least, certainly look attractive.

Kevin Kelly at Cool Tools also likes Blurb for a photo book, though he recommends Lulu for one that’s text only.

Kelly has professional experience designing books, it sounds like. Fost doesn’t. So Fost’s endorsement actually means more to me. It sounds like making his book wasn’t a snap, but it was easier than he expected and he didn’t find the tweaking painful.

Says Dan Fost, “One of the most fun parts of creating Plumlee's book [Sybil Plumlee, 96, is Fost’s grandmother-in-law] was making a cover, and especially putting Plumlee's photo on the back inside flap, just like a real author.

“My wife, Betty Barker, and I also enjoyed fiddling with the software, playing with layouts, and inserting photos to get the project looking just right.

“We did hit a few glitches, however, that made the experience somewhat less than perfect. Some of the pages didn't come out flush left, so that looked a little strange, and I wasn't able to cancel the order [for the unsatisfactory version]. … Additions to different parts of the book sometimes threw things out of whack later on in the book. Headers and page numbers sometimes needed a little wrestling. But for the most part things worked simply and well.”

Of the result Grandma says, “It really looked like a book.”


Unknown said...

Blurb was showing off at MacWorld Expo when the iPhone and I were there. I sat through their tutorial, and it seems easy enough. Their books a certainly very pretty.

David Lee Ingersoll said...

I've only seen Oz Squad from Lulu so far. It looked pretty good. There were some issues with reproduction that I might have complained about but I suspect that they were the result of Steve having scanned the art from the printed comics.

I love that there are choices for getting short runs of books printed.