Mar 07 2011

How to Make Your Own Book


How can you get your masterwork published?

Step One  – Write It

When that minor detail has been dealt with……..

Step Two – Publish It with Blurb Books

While you are waiting for the editor of Penguin Books to give you a call, you can arrange to have your book professionally printed. 

The barrier to this used to be the large print run that was required to make it worthwhile. You don’t always want a palette load of books (first up, anyway).

There are a number of services that will publish photo books, including the ‘keepsake’ function built in to iPhoto on the Mac. A quick google search shows a number of options

These cost in the order of $50, which is OK for a one-off special occasion. But what about short stories, plays, novels, letters, memoirs,family history, your political expose or a HSC English major work?

The solution we used was Blurb: Make Your Own Book. Make it Great  (thanks to Cathy M for the tip).

After registering with Blurb, you download the ‘BookSmart’ software (or ‘Bookify’ is you are after a photobook). This application is used to design your book – choose a photo for the cover, import your text from a Word document, choose a template, change your fonts, create a title page, etc. The application is a little clunky, but more than adequate for the task. When you are happy, it is a simple process to upload your creation to the blurb site. So far, all free.

Step Three – Buy It

Once your book is uploaded, you can buy copies. Books are printed on demand – you only need to order one, if that’s all you want.

Alex’s paperback 44 page book was available for $US 3.99 a copy. As a hardcover, $US 18.95. That seems like good value. Naturally, the more pages, the higher the charge.

Caution – as with many things ordered from the US, postage is the killer. It can more than double the price of an order! Ordering a number at a time can make that a bit better.

The quality of the printing in the books we received was excellent

Step Four – Sell It

Blurb also has its own bookstore – which means you can make your book available for other people to buy – just like Amazon. You can set the profit you’d like to receive for each book sold through the Blurb bookstore. They take care of the printing and postage. Your book may become a bestseller. Alex’s book with a preview of selected pages is now viewable in the blurb bookstore.

Watch out JK Rowlings!




What I Learnt On 7th March in other years

3 Responses to “How to Make Your Own Book”

  1. C says:

    I have a friend that’ll find this eminently useful. Thanks Tony.

  2. Sharyn White says:

    Tony- HELP! I now subscribe to a number of blogs and receive al my updates by email. Dont really understand RSS or Feedburners or how to get a single page that pulls together the different blogs i am following- Maybe you could help me out nd write about that! Cheers Sharyn

  3. Tony Lembke says:

    <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Thanks Sharyn,<div>Great idea. Will do.</div><div>TL</div><div><br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

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