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Self Publishing your own Book
Member Name: Bullit70
Advantages: Total control over your book and content
Disadvantages: Blurb manufacture and delivery costs
I first took the self publishing plunge earlier this year when I released the Book Airsoft Infidels: The Very Best of Airsoft & Milsim Photography Book One.
I'd researched the possibility of getting a literary agent but when I weighed up all the costs and the printing outlay to actually print and manufacture the cost ran into thousands, money which i didn't have.
Instead of repeating much of what is written in the other Blurb review on DooYoo I hope the following info contributes to giving you an overall picture.
Speaking from personal experience the road to self publishing isn't as daunting as youd probably think, the freedom and sense of acheivement in having your work in print is second to none and Blurb provide probably one of the best platforms out there for budding authors and artists to get themselves on the printed page with your very own printed and bound book.
Blurb print in excess of 80,000 books per year and over the last couple of years has refined its operation considerably, for me I wanted to be able to produce a photographic book but remove the hassle of dealing with printers, couriers and payment headaches so Blurb and its self publishing setup was perfect.
My book was 80 pages, which was my own decision and was based on Blurb production costs,basically the number of pages you have in your book dictates your final price. Blurb establish a manufacturing price to produce each book, book format size and finish also affect this price and then you set the overall retail price that buyers purchase the book and you pocket the difference as profit, delivery is paid for by the consumer the book is printed by Blurb and then shipped direct.
Initially I was worried about print quality and because I was offering a product to consumers through I wanted the finished article to look just as good as any Amazon book if I was get repeat customers and stand up to scrutiny, Blurb has a reputation of being more expensive than other self publishing sites like Lulu but print quality is better.
To test the water I produced a small format 10 X 8 photo book of a holiday in Florida which ran to 40 pages, I downloaded Blurbs own book making template called Booksmart and over the course of about a week laid out the book.
Desiging your book is super easy, Booksmart is a program that comes ready made with loads of different page layouts and fonts from which you can just upload your images,click and drag,deleting, swapping and editing is also an absolute breeze and great for beginners or people with no design acumen.
Once your book is ready and you've checked and edited the content you just upload to Blurbs server, and don't worry, the book and its content remains your property, you don't give up any publishing or rights to your work to Blurb.
For my main project book Airsoft Infidels I set 3 different prices against 3 different versions of the book, softback 10 X 8,Hardback with dustjacket and imagewrap.
Another great thing with Blurb is that you can set up a product page for your book if you intend to sell it publicly,alternatively you can keep the book private and just allow close friends and family access to buy printed copies of it so at every step of the way Blurb is giving you the control over every aspect of your book.
the only downside with Blurb is that delivery costs, courier times and overall costs can be expensive,normally a 10 X 8 photo book of about 100 pages would set you back £12.99 if you bought from Amazon but with the way the pricing,margin and manufacture is set up it prevents you from pricing the book competitively through traditional retail routes. Because of Blurbs manufacture costs your aspirations of publishing on a grander scale are quickly brought into check unless of course you approach a proper book publisher.
I marketed my book with press releases and a website in addition to its own product page on Blurb, sales have been okay, nothing spectacular but then Airsoft, the sport that I play is relatively niche anyway so I wasn't planning on becoming a millionaire from it.
There are many other self publishing sites out there, Blurb and Lulu are two of the most recognised, you can check out Blurb on you Tube for more information but if you want to test the waters in self publishing then perhaps create a small photo book to begin with and see how you get on, another benefit is that all your digital photos at least get to see new life in printed form.
prices and formats do vary,if you want to produce a paperback novel or a large format glossy art book then there are options to cater for you, paper stock and cover options can also be selected depending on what you want your project to be.
Overall self publishing is about giving you the ultimate control in your book, no editors, no publishing agents and very little hassle to stress about.
Summary: A great way to making your own book project a reality