The hush-hush project which had me working overtime as an elf was a success. I made a photo book for my niece and her husband of their wedding day. When Carrie and Al opened it they were both surprised and happy, which was exactly what we had hoped for. After scads of research (bordering on the obsessive!) which included familiarizing myself with their websites and Googling lots of reviews and testimonials, I settled on Blurb to work with. These days there are a number of self-publishing outfits on the web. Shutterfly seems quite popular, especially in the digital scrapbooking world. But I didn’t want to upload my photographs to their site and then work on-line. Lulu was once almost exclusively text based, but has rapidly expanded their range. MyPublisher struck me as sophisticated as well as full service and was my second choice. But I chose Blurb because their site was welcoming, easy to navigate and intuitive. Plus, I was able to download their “BookSmart” software and work on the book on my computer. They offer templates and pre-made layouts for use. You can also create your own designs and templates. Or use a combination of the two. Blurb’s “BookSmart” software was a little difficult for me to work with initially. But after a couple of false starts and a few trips to their on-line “Help” pages I got it all sorted out. I ended up using some of their templates and creating several of my own. Because the book I made was photo rich, I decided against using any of their decorative layouts.
Once Al and Carrie’s 40 page book was completed I checked and rechecked unto the nth degree. I did follow Blurb’s advice and order just one copy, even though they were running some good pre-Christmas specials. Waiting was difficult! But as soon as it arrived and Chuck and I had a chance to look at it, appreciate the quality and feel the weight of the premium paper we had requested, I went directly to the website and ordered the other copies. Happily, they were offering substantial shipping discounts. Blurb allows you to keep your book “Private” and send folks an invitation link. That flexibility was another selling point for me. Here are some wedding photo books other people have published which will give you an idea of what you can do. I already have lots of ideas for other books I would like to create. And I would definitely use Blurb again.