Have you ever designed and ordered a book using Apple’s iPhoto book publishing tool? I have, and they are nice. The quality is quite good and the pricing seems fair value – they make great commemorative gifts and keepsakes. But Apple’s not really in the publishing business. Through iPhoto your options are somewhat limited and somewhat photo-centric, all of which is as it should be.
But say you’ve got a publishing idea that doesn’t fit one of Apple’s iPhoto templates and, well, gosh darn it, also doesn’t seem to be getting much interest from any of the few publishers remaining in the business of making and distributing books. There’s always the so-called “vanity press” – but what if you could just design it and print it on your own?
Well, you can. With free software from Blurb you can write, design and print your own books and sell them online. Books can be up to 440 pages long and come in a variety of sizes in both hardback and softcover, at prices that make you wonder why it’s so hard to make money in the publishing business.
Blurb’s BookSmart software for Mac (cross-platform compatible with Windows) features a ton of professionally designed layouts or lets you create from scratch, integrates seamlessly with iPhoto, lets you import from online sources such as Flickr and Picasa, and supports all of your own fonts in a variety of sizes and text styles.
When you’re done creating, you can sell your masterpiece online in the Blurb Bookstore and keep 100% of the markup.
Blurb may not save the publishing industry the way iTunes saved the music industry, but it’s nice to know you can be a Paperback Writer for just $4.95.