Friday, April 24, 2009

It's a book!

I am very fortunate in my friends, but I have a particular debt of gratitude to mention today: First, to Maribeth, who made it clear she wanted my Contemplative Photographer's Alphabet turned into a book; secondly to Vicky, who -- always alert for artist possibilities -- sent me a pointer to a contest being held on Blurb.com; and thirdly to Maggie, my old friend from high school, who convinced me that Blurb was not a ripoff and I should give it a try.

I figured out quickly that the point of the contest was to get people to self-publish their photography books using Blurb, but it took me a while to realize that this might be a way to make a book out of the alphabet (I am a little slow sometimes). Eventually I screwed up my courage and decided to pursue the option and now, as of this past weekend, I am the proud possessor of a lovely little 8" x 10" book of my meditations.

It's not inexpensive -- $24.95 for a paperback, not including shipping and taxes -- and if I want to sell it through them to anyone else they charge an additional $5 (so I had to raise the price $5 to cover that) but it's really quite lovely: the colors came out great, the paper (I didn't go for the high end paper) is just the right weight and shininess, and I am delighted with the whole process.

The way it works --if you want to make a book out of your own work -- is you download their proprietary software and design the book yourself. The software is easy to use, and since I already had the photos I was able to produce the whole thing in an afternoon. One of the most exciting parts -- since the Alphabet has been stable for a couple of years now -- was designing the back page, which you see here. It's one of my favorite shots from Shaw Island, of a boat in Blind Bay and the Orcas ferry dock in the distance, paired with one of my favorite Hafiz poems -- all in all, a wonderful experience.

SO. If you are an artist who has been longing to put together a book of your work, I definitely recommend a visit to Blurb.com to look at your options. And if you've always wanted a copy of the alphabet for yourself... well, this may not be a particularly inexpensive way to meet that need. On the other hand, buying the calendars I create every year one at a time from my local printer -- and those are only 14 pages, stapled, with no lovely cover -- costs almost the same, so I suspect the problem is buying these things on an individual basis. There are volume discounts at Blurb, just as there are at my printer, but they're not as significant, and I don't see myself purchasing a hundred copies and trying to sell them out of my home...

But, all marketing concerns aside, I confess I am just giddy with delight to see this work in print. So thank you for listening to my gush; I promise tomorrow I'll be back to business as usual!

Oh -- and by the way, the mounted exhibit of the alphabet is ready to leave Houston, so if you have a place to display twenty-six 13" x 19" images and would like to display it, just let me know... the only cost is shipping them to the next location.

6 comments:

kimquiltz said...

Ha! I was going to ask you the other day how the "Book" was coming along (remember previous conversations?) but I didn't cuz I didn't want to cause any guilt if you hadn't done anything...but look at you! AWESOME! You are SO on your way...

I really MUST get better at listening to the Spirit's Whispers.

altar ego said...

I am so grateful to learn about Blurb. The ability to "publish" is opening all kinds of ideas. I need to learn more about how to use photoshop to incorporate text (never mind improve my photographic images), but OMG, this is just another signpost that some kind of application of my creative pursuits is at hand. The gift of people I have stumbled into/onto are an essential part of this journey, and I am indebted to the Spirit for leading me to you, and through and in you finding resonance and inspiration. Sorry to gush myself, but it all came tumbling out, as I believe it needed to.

Soon as I've got some funds, I'd love an alphabet book.

Jan said...

Congratulations! And Blurb sounds so interesting.

karengberger said...

CONGRATULATIONS! That is just the BEST news, and you deserve it. How very lovely indeed. I think I need to buy one as a gift for a friend...hmmm...or two...

MB said...

Wow......okay this is weird.....I had not been to your blog for about 2 weeks. I have not had a particularly easy couple of weeks and decided I needed to hear your soothing voice and see some beautiful photography. So today, I open it and there is my name in the first paragraph. Can I tell you how it lifted my spirits, first to be thanked by you and second and most important, not to be forgotten. I am feeling a bit that way right now. I would love love love love love love love one of your books. Did I mention I would like to purchase one? Just let me know how, I am coming to Seattle the week of April 28-May 5th. I don't know if that is too soon, but I could certainly pay you for it. Let me know what works for you.:)

drw@bainbridge.net said...

Ah, sweet MB... sorry it's been a rough time. But who could POSSIBLY forget YOU?????

Buying the book is easy -- just click on the little blurb link off to the left there. But I think perhaps you should wait, as it wouldn't arrive til after you got back home anyway, and it may be that someone else has other plans for you...