Just about all photographers would like to see their images in a book. If getting a traditional publisher is not possible, there are now many self-publishing options available. Among these are mypublisher, Blurb, the iPhoto book service, and lulu. Some of these self-publishers will even help sell and market your book over the internet.
I recently tried my hand at using Blurb, and learned a lesson!
Blurb, like the others, offers numerous templates for designing your book. They also let you design your own templates, in Photoshop or other programs. I chose this option, since there was a specific look I had in mind. My design involved photographs and some text, saved as a high quality jpeg.
I uploaded my files and eagerly awaited my book.
A week later my book arrived. The overall look and feel of the book were good (I ordered a soft-cover version).
The quality of the photos was acceptable. Not great, but not bad. I'd say the average viewer would be pleased.
However. A big however. The text was nearly unreadable! It was completely ragged and pixelated, despite appearing perfectly sharp in my original high quality jpegs. Before submitting my files, I consulted the blurb advice forums, and the moderator stated not to worry, that if the text is sharp in your jpeg files, it will appear sharp in the book.
I spoke with friend and photographer Marianne Wallace, from Scottsdale, Arizona, who is active in the Scottsdale Digital Imaging Group. Their group has been quite active in self-publishing. She tells me that their group quickly found out that text within a jpeg will not reproduce well in these books, but text in the provided templates reproduces just fine. Also, text in a program using vector format, like Adobe Illustrator, will work fine.
So, I will soon make my second attempt at a Blurb book, this time using one of their templates!
The Scottsdale Digital Imaging Group recently had a meeting discussing self-publishing and their findings are summarized here. It makes excellent reading for anyone interested in self-publishing.