This post was created in partnership with Blurb.
The thought of authoring my own DIY book has always been a distant dream.
Books are a ton of work and the opportunities with publishing companies are few and far between. There is also a lot less freedom in producing a book about what you want, the way you want.
So, when Blurb reached out to me about their new self-publishing format I was super stoked to try it out.
We already know and love Blurb’s photo books, which are great for printing family photos and memories.
But they also offer magazine and trade book formats that still have the great picture quality Blurb is known for, and they’re produced at a price that you can mark up and sell.
Pretty neat, right!?
CREATING MY BOOK
To create my book, I decided to center it around simple crochet projects I’ve shared on my blog and some of my paid patterns.
“Yarn Over” is a crochet term that you use in pretty much every crochet stitch, so I felt it was a fitting title for the book.
I gathered high-resolution photos for all my projects, and then plugged them into BookWright, Blurb’s own free publishing software. You can also use BookWright’s import feature to transfer content from your blog straight into your book.
I chose to use BookWright because I had used it before and it’s very user friendly. I used some of the preset layouts, but it was also very easy to create my own layouts. It was simple to drag and drop pictures into the book, add pages, and then copy and paste text from the tutorials and patterns I had already written. An orange box would show up when my formatting wasn’t ideal. Sometimes I took the suggestions and sometimes I didn’t, and it still printed fine.
Once I was done with my book, I was able to preview it, and then send it to Blurb.com to publish. It really couldn’t have been easier.
That’s not to say it didn’t take time, but after a few nights’ work, and a week to print and ship, I had a physical book in hand. Pretty cool.
Note: I haven’t tried them myself, but I know that you can also create your book in Adobe InDesign or through PDF uploader if you prefer those formats.
LISTING MY BOOK FOR SALE
Once my book was uploaded to Blurb’s site, I was able to order copies and list my book for sale.
Blurb makes listing your book very easy as well. Their site pretty much walks you through the whole process. You write up a description, decide what your mark up is, fill in your tax info, and then decide if you want to sell it through Blurb’s direct sale side, or through the global retail network, Ingram.
You can check out my listing by clicking HERE.
They also include social media codes an embed code so you can put a small preview on your site:
My book is 48 pages in the 8×10 size, mostly of full color images, printed on economy paper. I listed my soft cover copy at $19.99, which gives me a $7.40 mark up. Considering I included $13 worth of paid patterns in the book, I feel like it’s the best value.
The hard cover copy costs $26.59 to print to begin with so it’s quite a bit more expensive at $31.99. The hard copy is of course inherently nicer, but honestly the soft cover copy is almost as beautiful. You get to print on the spine of the book and it’s sturdier, but the print and paper quality is otherwise the same regardless of the cover.
You can track your sales from the author dashboard and get paid once a month by PayPal (yay!) or check. Let customers order online and Blurb will print on demand, or print large volumes of 100 so you can add extras like embossed covers and ribbons at a reduced price. It’s up to you!
Publishing my own book has been so fun and so rewarding. I liked being able to have control over every little detail, even if I agonized over the format of the book for way too long, and now already know how I what I would change. 😉 Sigh…It’s the curse of creatives I suppose.
But it makes me really excited about the possibilities of what I could try next… A magazine collaboration, a chapter book, another craft book, a children’s book…why not?!
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the holiday season, be sure to check out Blurb’s Holiday Gift Guide, including order dates so you receive it in time!