Self-Publishing a Book with Blurb – A Way for Authors to Self-Publish

What is Blurb? It’s a wonderful discovery for an aspiring author or someone who just wants a few books for a special occasion or to share with their family. When a writer chooses to self-publish their content, there are a number of Print-On-Demand sites like or Create Space, but let’s focus on here. I’ve used it a number of times with varied books and found it quite versatile.

Made using
Gail Lee Martin shows off her books with family memories. I used Blurb to publish both of these books for Mom and Dad.

The wonderful thing about Print-On-Demand (also called POD) is the author doesn’t have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of books to get the book published by a traditional printer or face rejection over and over from a traditional publisher. The way that POD works at Blurb is the author uploads the book content to the Blurb website. At that point, the only obligation is to buy one copy of the book. Anyone else wanting the book can order it directly from Blurb’s online bookstore. The author sets the price and keeps any income above the printing cost set by Blurb.

How To Do It

  1. Sign up with Blurb. It’s free and you put the usual information (username and password).
  2. Click on DOWNLOAD THE BOOKWRIGHT SOFTWARE at the Blurb site. This downloads Blurb’s software to your own computer. You work offline at your own pace. Use the Blurb BookWright Guide to learn more about it.
  3. Start a new book using the software. Choose a title, paste in the text and get the pictures from your own computer files.
  4. Rearrange the text and photos until you are satisfied with the book.
  5. Edit, edit, edit… run the spell check and review the text and photos one more time. It’s best to actually print out the pages and review it that way. Somehow one sees the errors more clearly in a printed copy.
  6. Once you have it perfect, upload the book to Blurb.
  7. Now you have 15 days to order the book or they will remove it from their site. Don’t worry, it’s still saved on your own computer.
  8. Start promoting the book. Potential buyers go to Blurb’s online bookstore to preview a part of the book and to order copies.

You can preview the various books I’ve published using Blurb. My sample books are featured in my online bookstore. Click on a book cover to read more about it and to PREVIEW a portion of the book.


Make a Book for Your Mom for Mother’s Day

A few years ago, I got inspired to put my Mom’s writing into a book for her. I used the print-on-demand site Blurb for this.

It turned out great and she loved having a book with her name on the cover. Actually “loved it” is rather tame. She was ecstatic.

If you want to make your mom really really happy, start today putting together a book for her. It can be photos from her childhood, a collection of family memories, or so many other topics. It may not be done by Mother’s Day, but start it and see what you can accomplish.

The BookSmart software that you download for free from Blurb is really great to use. Here’s my page telling how to self-publish a book using Blurb.

Made using
Gail Lee Martin shows off the books with family memories.

Making a Photo Book

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, why not create a Blurb photo book filled with your favorite moments for that special someone. Instagram books and Facebook books are quick and easy to create and make the perfect little gift for the one you love. For more ideas and inspiration go to And remember that from now through 2/14 you can save 20% on your entire book order with code MYBOOKLOVE.

What I’d like to create is a photo book of my mother. She passed away last week at age 88. Family members are sending me photos from different times in her life to use in a slide show for her Celebration of Life.

Since the photos will all be digitized, it’s a perfect time to then put them into book form. In the past, I’ve used Blurb’s software to create some family memory books and to make a wedding photo book. I like the variety of page layouts provided and how you can customize them.

Gail Lee Martin
I’ve always liked this photo from the early years.


You can make a photo book to surprise your sweetie. Start now!

Checking the Stats

statistics for My Flint Hills Childhood (paperback edition)
statistics for My Flint Hills Childhood (paperback edition)

I love checking statistics on things I’ve worked on. WordPress does a great job of providing statistics on my blog efforts.

Now I have another place to check frequently, my mother’s book on Blurb. The site gives weekly statistics on the number of viewings of the book. Since they are having a contest this month, her viewing have taken a big jump. The contest was right on the heels of the book getting a mention in a USA Today article, so that probably contributed to the increase in viewings.

My contribution to the book involved pulling in the content (text and photos) that Mom sent me, and working out the layout. Then I proof-read the book as well. I guess I did the book design work and editing. My part was much easier than Mom’s as she wrote most of the content over a twenty year period.

It would be great if you would vote in the contest. The prize for the writer is $3,000. Make my 85 year old mother a happy author! To vote, just go to Blurb’s contest and get a username/password to vote. In the search box, put My Flint Hills Childhood to vote on Gail Martin’s book. You can only vote once on an individual book.