As some of you may recall, last year I put together a book featuring a collection of images from my first trip to Iceland. It was amazing seeing it in physical form, all those images brought to life on paper. However, I knew I wanted to make some changes to it if I ever printed it again — a chance to organize some of the images and pairings differently.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Iceland two more times (once in October, and again just last month), and now — in collaboration with Blurb — I’ve had the chance to create a version of the book that truly represents my time spent in one of my favorite places.
I’m SO excited for you to see it for yourselves, but first I’d like to share my process and what I learned through creating, revising, and finally selling a book, and to hear from any of you who have made a book yourself, or want to make one.
Revising the book
As this was the first time I’ve ever revisited a book design (with the book itself being my first book, so a lot of firsts here), I started by looking through the original book and marking the images I wanted to remove and replace. Even though I was happy with those original images, they were all from a single trip and I knew I wanted to include the other two visits.
Once my cuts were complete, I made a copy of the InDesign files for my original book — the templates were originally created using Blurb’s InDesign plugin, which also made it easy to setup a new book and link the updated files this time around — removed those images from the layout so I could see the empty spaces and get a better look at the images and spreads I had left. At that point, it was clear some of the images could be moved around, so I did a little reorganizing while still leaving blank spaces so I knew where I wanted to add new images.
Selecting the new images was pretty similar to how I did it the first time, except this time I didn’t print them all out first (I think I’ll definitely do that with the next book I design, however — it makes it so much easier to understand how all the pieces fit together!). Once I had my selects ready, I exported the images from Lightroom and started placing them in the empty pages within the InDesign file. After a little further reorganizing, and swapping a few of the large, two-page spreads around, I was happy with the new images and how it flowed.
I didn't change the size, paper, or format of the large photo book (11x13) — I loved the way it felt the very first time I held my original copy. However, I did create a smaller, second book this time around: The same images, same feelings, but in a mini format. The big book is amazing, and looks great on any coffee table, but it’s more pricey — the smaller version allows me to get the same quality of book into more hands, at a more approachable price point.
SELLING THE BOOK
When Blurb approached me about this project, I was thrilled because for a long time I had requests from friends and family to be able to buy the book I had made. After researching my options, it was an easy decision to sell directly on the Blurb Bookstore. It was seamless, as not only are they the production company, but also the sales and fulfillment platform, so there are fewer variables to deal with. I knew I could trust Blurb to oversee the entire process from printing to getting it into your hands.
Blurb also allows me to sell the book on Amazon if I want — something I’ll definitely consider in the future, but at least for now, the Blurb Bookstore is the easiest option (and allows me to offer a discount! Read until the end to find out how to get it :)
I'll be honest, the process of making and revising the book wasn't an easy one — mostly because of my indecisiveness selecting the images ;) Thankfully, creating the book layout itself (using Blurb’s InDesign plugin) was pretty straightforward, and only required learning a bit about InDesign (which I had to become familiar with when I designed the first version of the book last year). Now that I’ve done this a few times over, I really have no excuse for not creating books more often, for myself, family, friends, and occasionally, all of you. Seeing all these images in physical form still gives me butterflies.
Tips for creating your own book:
- It’s ok to ask for help, whether with writing or selecting your photos. It’s easy to get too attached to certain images, and it helps having a trusted second opinion to make sure you’re not holding onto something that would be better off cut from the book.
- Look at photo books you love, whether on your shelf or at the bookstore. See how they display images and text, and how the books are structured, and use that as inspiration for your own design.
- When shooting, photograph the big picture, but also the details. It helps round out your story and gives your viewer a chance to feel and see what you saw. The texture of the rocks beneath your feet, the details of the petals of the flowers in the sweeping field, it all helps support your storyline.
Have you self-published before? This book project was a personal one, but I’d love to hear if you are interested in more books or prints from me in the future. if you have any questions about my process with Blurb or just putting a book together, comment below… and if you’ve made one, send me a link, I’d love to see it!
FINALLY, THE BOOK (AND A DISCOUNT!)
This was one of my favorite projects this year, and I’m so excited to share it with you. You can get your hands on a copy right away: it’s available in two sizes — 13x11” and 7x7” — I hope you enjoy it!
Use the code VICTORIAWRIGHT to get 20% off when you buy either size (bonus: you can add as many books from Blurb’s store to your order as you want, and the discount still applies! It will only work once per-person, however :)
Fine print: Get 20% off your order total. You can use this promotion 1 time. Offer valid between 2017-06-01 and 2017-09-01. Promotion valid for all books in the bookstore.