Self-Publishing a Book with Blurb

Blurb.com – 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 Lulu.com or Create Space, but let’s focus on Blurb.com here. I’ve used it a number of times with varied books and found it quite versatile.

Made using Blurb.com
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.

Taking Applications for a Social Secretary

I’m really in need of a social secretary. How lovely it would be to delegate all the petty tasks to someone so I would have my time free for what I consider important things, like amusing myself. Unfortunately, the days of social secretaries did not survive past the Edwardian era. There are virtual assistants nowadays, but it’s not the same as having someone standing by to take care of daily trivia.

 

Just last week, I could say, “Jenny, call around to the neighbors to see who does their house cleaning. Since the housecleaner called in sick, we need a substitute right away.” Instead, I scrubbed and bleached the shower and took care of a minimal number of household cleaning tasks so we wouldn’t be too dreadful before Linda returned next week.

Today, I could shove the dental reminder and the list of events for the RV club at her and say, “please put these into the Google calendar with automatic reminders.” She could then take care of running to the post office to mail some packages for me, and while she’s out, she could pick up my allergy medicine at the pharmacy.

When she returned from that errand, I’d have her pull together all my receipts needed for tax deductions relating to my writing. Then she could reformat my short, nonfiction ebook to submit for Kindle Direct Publishing.

While doing that, she would need to remind me that I had a one p.m. line-dancing class to attend. Before leaving at the end of the day, she should remind me of the genealogy program, Finding Your Roots, coming on PBS at eight p.m. tonight.

If there’s time after formatting my ebook, she could study the instructions for using the portable IRIScan and demonstrate it for me. Then I could scan some family photos and clippings this evening. Better yet, I could set her to work digitizing the boxes of pictures which would take her several weeks.

Enough fantasizing. I’d better get busy on these tasks, and I’ll have to remind myself not to miss my exercise class.