I tried my hand at writing a book, or make that three. I was tinkering with the idea for the last few years and have some future books still milling around my head, but with some milestone events coming up, I had to push out a few in short order. Granted, 2 are personal picture books with a little history thrown in here and there, but the last is my first, albeit short, outright written creation. I am super pleased with the results, though I would definitely take advantage of my proofreading friend next time. There are a few sites around the web that will catch your eye, but one in particular won my heart, Blurb.
Not only do they NOT require you to purchase 300 of your own books with the first printing, they do not start at $1000.00 either. You can print one or many, it's up to you. And softcover, 20 minimum pages, starts around $20.00. You pick the paper, colors, sizes, etc. I just received my first ones in back in the mail from sending it off to them on 3/4/13, so they have quick turn around time, too. Shipping was not bad and I could have ordered an electronic version for another $5.00 each. Not only that, but if you want, you can sell your book online through their site for free. You pick your selling price, they do the shipping. What a deal! Best of all, they give you quite a few free software gadgets to help you get your book started. I used the one that is an add-on for Word. I constructed it there and uploaded right from there as well. It was rich in features and super user-friendly. I definitely would not have known where to start, otherwise. Needless to say, I love Blurb and will use them again when the next book itches to be let out of my cramped head. Yes, my sister, I know... I am working on THAT one too :)
The final reason I am blogging about Blurb? They sent me an email today with a $20 credit on my next book, and the first book for my special friends in the US. Sorry international followers... I hope they extend to you as well in the future! I was thrilled to receive this present in my mailbox and know it would have spurred me to write sooner if I got this last month.
What's holding you back from putting your thoughts, public or personal, on paper or ebook? Make a personal family cookbook, calendar, photo collage, how-to book, or memoir for future generations :) Here's the link... http://bit.ly/YeOLDA
I also have to note my very good experience using www.123RF.com for the clip art photography in the last book. It was easy to purchase credits and not as expensive as elsewhere online. The quality of the photos I used came out as beautiful in print as they looked in layout on my computer. The site was not as user friendly in design, but you can figure out what you need if you look around. Don't spend hours of time trying to figure out the licenses like I did, though. Bottom line, if its just for you, use the standard print license, for sales under 10,000 items, use the extended print license.