Thursday, March 27, 2008

There are so many POD’s (Print/Publish On Demand) services cropping up daily because they now have the book production technology to finally provide self-publishing authors with a way to get their books into print without costing them an arm and a leg.

More exciting than finally getting that novel of yours printed, is the other avenues that have opened up because of POD’s. We might not all be blessed with writing skills, but for sure we’ve all got something to say or something to share.

Like it or not, there is a mass appeal to be able to publish your own cookbook, how-to book, family photos, a tribute to your pet, or book of your photography. Now that POD’s are flooding the market, you can easily get your book printed for under $50, and have it look like something you bought at Borders. Provided of course, you hire a talented book design agency such as Picturia Press to do the layout... And just like that, you can tell your friends you are a “published author”. And who doesn’t find an appeal to that? I bet you’re digging out your old photographs as we speak. Honestly, who can truly deny the lure of ego gratification at a cost we can afford?

Of course many people have ambitions (perhaps delusions?) that they will sell millions of copies of their books. Who’s to say that won’t happen? Some people are just targeting a narrow niche, like a fund raising cookbook. Others are just content to have a beautifully produced book to sit on their coffee table, or perhaps just give as gifts to their friends.

The beauty of it all is that we now have another channel to express our individuality, creativity and words. And the good news is, the window of opportunity just swung wide open.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Deadlines are looming but the good news is I am passionate about my work. Some days it seems like an effortless engagement other days I need to take a time out and detox from my computer. But it seems that even when I take time away from my work, I'm still at the computer looking at what everyone else is doing. Now, the great thing about that is what you can really stumble upon. I really like author Tim Ferriss, and his book, "The 4-Hour Workweek". Even more so, I like his blog, here's just one of his recent entries: -21-day-no-complaint-experiment. Read this article and it may just change your life..... I'm only on day two.

Now back to my work in progress. and on the schedule for this week.

Wedding Album

Baby Blog Book

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I am actively seeking photographers who are interested in having a book created by us to be submitted and reviewed by renowned experts in the field of photography. Blurb is hosting an international symposium and a competition for photography books. The deadline for submitting books is July 14, 2008. Please email me if you are interested in this photo competition.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Today I made a customer happy by completing the design and layout of his new coffee table book. He was a lot of fun to work with and we became on such good terms that he's invited me visit him whenever I'm in his neck of the woods!

The client takes pictures for a hobby, but I must say he's got a very good eye and I really loved some of his pictures. The challenge here was getting the high resolution pictures from him to us and explaining why a low resolution picture can look good on your computer screen, but not in print. That is a common problem customers have....

By the end of the project, by George, I think he got it. I also worked with him to understand the FTP (file transfer protocol) process. Typically Picturia Press works with clients to receive their files this way rather than having them email photos (forget about it, impossible!) or mail CD's<(too time consuming/expensive). I recommend CuteFTP or Fetch as a free FTP program.

Click here to view the book!

Monday, March 10, 2008

We've just finished an amazing book this week. Yes, another one. This was a blog that a client wanted converted to a 10 x 8 book. The good thing about using Blurb software for blog books is the "slurping" feature they offer. The process of getting all the images and blog text from a person's blog downloaded to your computer and imported to the software. This makes life much, much easier.

My customer had been keeping a daily blog on her children's every day life for a year. Details, commentaries and pictures to go with each entry. Wow. This is a great gift to give your children when they grow up and it is her desire to create these books for each year. Can you imagine? Think about all the little things we miss or forget over the years and you could just pull one of these books off the shelf and read about yourself at age 9!! I love the idea.

Blog books are invariably more complicated then say just a book of photography. There's quite a bit of editing required, and the correct layout of images with text and captions. Our client's book ended up being around 118 pages. Be prepared when creating a blog book for a long design turnaround time.
Click here to view the book!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Since my last post, I've seen, spoken, emailed and called clients to no end and have now tried to develop a set of questions most commonly asked. Hopefully for you bloggers out there, it will save you some time.

How many pages can my book be?
As many as you like, but we don't recommend going over 400 pages.

How do I decide on the size and cover?
That size of the book is up to the client. Small books can be 7 x 7 inches, large books can be 13 x 11, but the most common size is 10 x 8 or 8 x 10. Choosing between a hard back or soft cover is completely up to the client.

How many pictures should I have?
Assume you'll need 40% more images than pages. So for example a 100 page book, you'd want to provide us with at least 140 images.

What size/resolution should the images be?
The higher the resolution of the image, the better quality the image will print. Even though a 380K file size image will show wonderfully on the Internet, it needs to be at least 1.2MB file size image to print on paper. If you give us images that are low resolution, we will either not be able to use them, or they may have to be the size of thumbnail images!

Will you edit my images?
Not all book designers do editing. In our case, we have the experience to do so. Editing can consist of color correction, removing unwanted spots or other items from a photograph to adding effects. This is not usually in the bid price for the project and is priced out separately.

How does the creative process work?
Every book designer is different. But at Picturia Press, we work with you to get the look and feel you want for the project. Then we go away and create that vision. We'll put a draft of your book online for you to view and make changes/suggestions. We work with you until you are satisfied with the end results

How do you get my images?
There is a variety of way for us to access your images. You can create a CD and mail it to us. We can set up an FTP on line where you transfer the files, or we can access them through an online photo gallery such as Picasa. We work with what's easiest for the client.

How long will it take?
Well, that can vary on the size of the project. But usually allow 2 to 3 weeks for the project to be completed, then it has to go to print - usually another week to 10 days. So, basically, don't expect to get a finished book in under a week.....

How much will it cost?
The magic question. Unfortunately, there is no magic answer. Book design can range from $250 to $5,000. It all depends. Just remember the reward of seeing your book in print is worth every penny!!

Side Note: Make sure you own all the rights to the images you provide us with, as you will need to confirm that in writing.