Ok, it's not going to make the NY Times best seller list, but I did have fun putting together a nice book with photographs from the SkeeterBeater and the '07 North Carolina cruises. The idea had been in my mind for a while and when I was laid up with a bad foot a couple of weeks ago I got on the internet, imported the images and designed a nice softback book. Below is a screenshot showing part of the layout.
I used Blurb, one of several online book publishers. There other one I've heard about since is Lulu.com. These are online, on-demand publishers. It was a matter of downloading some free software, importing the images and designing the layout. What I put together was a pretty simple 8x10 book with one image per page (about 5x7 inch image size) and a little tag-line saying where the photo was made (i.e. Dixon Creek, 2009). There are a total of 80 images on 78 pages plus cover. I spent about three hours on it that first day, then another hour the following day, then uploaded the design and images to the website (about 45 minutes on a dsl connection). The books, I ordered three copies, showed up yesterday and I was thrilled with the result. Very nice quality paper, printed exactly as I had designed and with great color/contrast reproduction. The same quality of just about any photo book you might find in a store. I could even order it in a hardback version if I wanted to spend a few more bucks.
Cost came to about $25.00 per book. Not bad when you consider consider the cost of buying a photo album and 80 5x7 prints could be much more than that.
This online journal Bruce and I put together is fun and I do enjoy going back through the logs of our trips every once in a while, but having a book to hold in my hands is really pretty cool. There is something "permanent" about it. And I don't need to boot it up or plug it in to have a look at some of my favorite photographs. It just sits there on the table waiting for me to flip through the pages (what a concept!!).
Blurb even offers the book for sale to the public at their on-line book store. But truth be told I don't want anybody to buy this book, it is just something for me, Bruce and our families.
I would much prefer that you have your own adventure and publish your own book.