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Crafting leaps to the digital age when you create your own books

Choose book cover thwill tempt readers open book flip through pages.

Choose a book cover that will tempt readers to open the book and flip through the pages.

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Updated: November 16, 2011 1:37AM



It sounds overwhelming but online self-publishing software makes it really easy to publish your own book. You can keep it simple by using their templates to insert photos and text or you can go solo and use professional design software like Photoshop and layout programs such as InDesign to completely design a book.

Since the book is professionally printed and bound, it becomes a beautiful place to organize and display the best of your vacation pictures, candid wedding shots or come up with a creation that will make a beautiful gift, such as one filled with photos and notes of baby’s first year for new grandparents.

Here’s how to get started:

Choose a self-publishing website: I looked at www.blurb.com for this information, but there are others online.

Select your photos: Edit the number of photos down to your best, selecting one great shot for the cover.

Turn on the creativity: First, it might help to sketch out ideas on paper so you’ll know your direction.

Rember though, the drag and drop system in the software will allow you to edit and rearrange photos on the screen and add your text.

Time for layout: Have patience and follow the instructions and download software specified online. It will take you to the area where you will able to add photographs from your computer or where they are stored on Flickr, or Photoshop Lightroom, a photo management and editing software used by professional photographers.

Pick a cover from three formats: Options are black linen, hardcover book with four-color dust jacket on front and back; Hardcover with a four-color Image Wrap on front and back or Softcover version with a durable matte finish.

Settle on cover: Choose the photo that will best describe your book.

Other tips

Timing. Once you have designed your book, you will have to wait seven to 10 days for it to be printed, bound and shipped.

Order one or many. Prices start at $7.95 for a 7x7-inch square book and on up to a larger square book (12x-12-inch) for $49.99. Remember, the number of pages and type of paper stock used will affect the price.

For simple photo books. The ‘Bookify’ software offers the easiest route. It offers a layout template that gives you choices for borderless images or a white, black or color background. You can even make a book in one evening!

Watch a video. See how your book will be printed, bound and packaged at www.blurb. com/video_stories/behind_the_scenes.

MATERIALS NEEDED

Computer: You’ll need a PPC/intel, Mac OS X 10.5 or later computer and a printer (for proofs) for this DIY project. It is hard to believe that online resources such as www.blurb.com make it so easy to self-publish from a single book to a large number of books at one time — and blurb.com will even let bookmakers share and sell their books online.

Publishing programs: Work with layout software websites such as www.blurb.com or www.instant publisher.com.

Digital photo files: Use your favorite photos, but try to use the best quality digital photos (high resolution files) that will provide the best printed material for your printed book.

Ideas: Almost any subject matter can become a book: wedding, bridal shower, vacation, babies, cookbook recipes, family history, marathons, and fundraiser efforts by civic groups.

Attention to detail: Follow directions and use the appropriate level of software.

Joy to the world

The simple joy of blowing bubbles has just been turned up a knotch with the invention of colored bubbles, now available online at www.zubbles.com for $3.99 for a one-ounce bottle or $120 for one gallon (that’s a lot of bubbles). The colors are non-toxic, non-staining and supposedly disappear when exposed to air, water or pressure. Check out the video at www.popsci.com/scitech /article/2009-06/exclusive-colored-bubbles-have-landed-and-popped-and-vanished.



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