Since my last blog, I have tried my hand at a publishing company that offers no help whatsoever: www.blurb.com, but is free. I mentioned them earlier, but now I have tried them. I decided to experiment with my short story book: Hobos I Have Known.
At this point I have done much of the work and sent for my first book to see how it will turn out. It has been shipped and I expect to see it any day now.
This book has been around for several years now so much of the editing and proofreading were done. Still, there is always the urge to change and improve(?) things. In the past, I did all the work and hired a local printer. That printer no longer does small run print jobs.
So, what is the difference between Blurb and Trafford besides cost?
The things I mentioned in my last blog about back cover copy, business cards, bookmarks, etc. are equally important with both companies. At Trafford, if you pay for the service, they will punch up your copy for you. At Blurb, you are your own, although you can hire people to help you out. These are freelancers not connected directly to Blurb.
At Trafford, they will design a cover for you. You make suggestions of what you want the cover to look like and they work with what you provide. They have a huge selection of pictures that you can draw from. You get one free rejection and then you have to decide between their second attempt and the first. If you are not happy with either, you can always send in your own. The first attempt looked like what I had requested but, didn’t really capture the essence of what I wanted. I liked their second attempt. It followed my suggestions; I supplied the artwork. I was talking to real people during this process.
At Blurb, they simply give you a choice of layouts and you do all the work. If you have a flair for design, that is no problem. Again, they will supply you with a list of designers if you want to hire one.
As for the core of the book, Trafford made it simple. After you do all your editing and proofreading and have someone else look at it as well, you simply send them a Microsoft Word file and they turn it into a book.
Blurb sounds as simple, but it isn’t. You do need a Microsoft Word.doc file. That’s the 2003 or earlier version and then have to break it up into separate files for each chapter. There was a problem with paragraph indents which I had been forwarned about by Candy McMudd, another Blurb author. Check out her youth book: Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove at Blurb.com or check out Diane Tibert’s blog page at WordPress. The editing process was slow at times. If you try them, watch the video on how to publish a text book first. I wish I had. I’m not going to offer hints on how to get around the paragraph intent problem until I see my book first. But don’t let me scare you off. Try your luck. It’s free.
Blurb, to my eye, is a picture book publisher. They seem to have handling photos down to a science. I haven’t actually tried a picture book. If you want a book of your wedding photos with text for you, your family and closest friends, they look like the place to go. Got thousands of fantastic vacation photos and want to make a travel book. Try Blurb.
Step one of this process is finishing the manuscript including proofreading and editing. Getting the book into print is step 2. Next comes marketing.