So, I took advantage of a recent promotion offered to Zenfolio members to create and buy a Blurb book. This has been on my to-do list for a while now to showcase some of my photography and/or paintings, so I jumped at the chance. To take advantage of the temporary promotion, I needed to create my book relatively quickly, which was possible using their online book-creating tool, Bookify Online.
The most time-consuming part of the process was selecting whether I wanted to go with photography or oil paintings as the theme, and choosing which photos to use. Once these have been selected (I recommend dumping them all into a Blurb folder/directory on your hard drive), you can upload them to Bookify. For this step, the computer does most of the work. Upload all of your pics, and, depending on the speed of the connection and the size of your files, this may take a while, even hours. However, just let it do its thing, and check back every so often.
Once uploaded, Bookify provides an easy wizard type interface where you can make selections regarding how you’d like the book to look. Note that using Bookify isn’t highly customizable. However, if you want to create a book simply and quickly, this is the way to do it. Please note that you must decide on your book size before you begin! I made the mistake of selecting one size before I started, uploading and designing part of my book, to realize I wanted a different size. Well, it turns out, if you’d like a different size from what you selected, you need to start all over (if using Bookify)!
If you have more time to devote to this process, and are of the graphic designer type, Blurb provides other tools for book creation.
You can then drag your photos to each of the pages. Deciding which photos looked best together on opposing pages took a bit of time. This is a rather subjective process, but makes the overall experience of viewing your book, in my opinion, more pleasant. Photos with similar colors, tone, and comparable themes seemed to pair well. Otherwise, flipping through your book may be a more jarring and disjointed experience.
About 10 days after ordering my creation online, I recieved my book. I am pleased with the results, although next time I may spend more time experimenting with the more customizable methods of book creation.
All in all, it is a rewarding experience to see a hardcover book in high quality print containing your own artwork. I hear that this is a great marketing tool to show to would-be clients, but is also a great way to save memories of a great family vacation or honeymoon.