Friday, December 18, 2009

author, author!

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 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.



DancesWithSandyBottom said...


Wow, this is waaaaay cool on several levels: (1)You have a high-quality personal album of your cruising photos. (2) You've provided an excellent example of a great way for anyone to create a personal book of family photos. (3) A collection of your photos are now published in a book available to the public --which is a good thing even if not the motivation for publishing. Your photos are the best.

Googled and found this helpful overview of self-publishing here....

And found this helpful review of four self-publishing applications:

Found this right-on quote by Kathryn Hall, a publicist: "Thinking your publisher is going to make you rich and famous (and promote your book) is like giving birth and thinking your obstetrician is going to raise your kid."

Self-publishing has come a long way in the last few years. Thanks for pointing that out!

Found your book for sale at Blurb...

Yet again, we continue to learn and be inspired by following the Log of Spartina.


Steve said...

Thanks for the links Paul.
This winter I'll do a book from the Crab House trip. And I can easily see doing one of these books on each future trip. I could be a nice set of book on the shelf.
And think of the possibilities for group trips - Watertribe events, Texas 200, etc. Everybody can send in their photos to an organizer and that person can produce an book of shared memories.
Yes, waaaaaay cool.

MaryLou said...

Wow. What a neat idea! I knew about the self-publishers but had no idea about the cost. Nor did I ever think of them as a way of saving pictures. I'm no photographer, but there are a lot of family photos out there.

Perry Burton said...

Great idea Steve. Much easier to have people see the photos of your trip in a book than in a large stack and pass it around. Thanks for including the links.
Great work!