ART, INSPIRATION
and beautiful books.


The weather may be cooling down in Miami, but things are heating up in the book-making department. From the Miami Book Fair International 2013 (November 17–24) to the Art Basel Miami 2013 show (December 5–8), you won’t need to look far for book-making inspiration. The heat is on—make art, make books, and make them with Blurb.

 

Kids photo book ideas

Kids photo book ideas–celebrate your little Picassos in print

As any parent knows, artists start young with the world as their canvas. Walls, furniture, and floors are all potential targets (or rather, "mediums") and the fruits of their labor (regardless of the execution) never fail to surprise and delight.

Each year you display your kid’s artwork—but fast forward twelve years and housing endless school books, curling piles of paper, cardboard sculptures, and the like just isn’t practical.

So, what to do with your kids artwork? How can you find creative ways to display and preserve your children’s artwork and all those precious memories?

Using photo books and or ebooks to document this material means you don’t have to make difficult decisions on what to keep and what to part with. The opportunities for children’s photo books are endless—a book of their very best efforts, one for the more randomly memorable pieces (and events), artwork from school, artwork from home—you can create as many as you like.

With seven book sizes, five different end sheet and paper options, hardcovers, softcovers, and more—you can make a book as individually unique as their artwork.

Scan in pictures and paintings or photograph the work. If it was created at school, include the date, year, grade, and teacher’s name to add another layer of detail.

Kids love being the center of your attention so having their very own book containing their work is a big deal. These books make really special gifts for the artists, not to mention the grandparents. These are the types of holiday gifts that everyone in the family can enjoy and treasure.

 

Children’s photo book ideas from the bookstore

Children's Art - Tanja Speckmann

Children's Art | Tanja Speckmann

Wonderful world of ruby's art 2

Wonderful World of Ruby's Art 2 | Virginija Kuosaite-Knowles

 

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How to make a custom notebook: A creative gift for the creatives in your life

Finding creative gifts for creative people can be hard. But this year, we’ve made it easy. No matter what the creative pursuit is, the creative process needs a place to develop. For painters, writers, musicians, cartoonists—anybody, really, who ideates and creates—a notebook offers the perfect portable repository for creative musings of all types. Now imagine a notebook tailored to your recipient’s unique talent, style, or personality. That’s what we call a perfect gift.

We’ve put together a quick tutorial that shows you exactly how to make one of these one-of-a-kind notebooks. Illustrated with helpful screenshots, the tutorial guides you step by step through the entire process of choosing images and layouts, adding text, incorporating different styles of blank pages, and creating a memorable cover. In fact, the entire notebook-making process is so creative, you may end up making one for yourself too.

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Notebooks BookSmart tutorial

 

 

BOOKEND20 Pricing table

 

 

Works of art: Making books with Dan Milnor

We recently spoke with Dan Milnor, Blurb Photographer- at-Large and Artist-in-Residence, about some truly unique books he’s made with Blurb. We asked him to share one of his favorite works. Dan has been exploring the possibilities of what a book can be for years, blissfully unconcerned with commercial impact. Dan always poses the question: What can you do if you’re producing a book just for yourself, full of your own artistic vision? We’ll let Dan explain.

"I think the important point is that it took me a long while to understand the power in being able to make a SINGLE book. It gets lost in the ego shuffle of being trained as a photographer, trained to think that a book is about selling as many copies as possible. While that may be true in some instances, the reality is that MOST illustrated books just simply don't sell in any real quantity at all, something I didn't truly understand until a few years ago.

I began to realize I had been missing the point with Blurb, in some ways, and that instead of trying to do what I had been trained to do, and to think, I should just utilize the platform to make things I could never do any other way.

Thus we have "Because I Can" books.

This first book is called Wargames, which is about paintball and people playing war during war. I made the book, had it printed, and then took a physical copy back to the paintball field and shot it. Or had other people shoot it actually.

It took me two years to realize that one of the most powerful aspects of print-on-demand was the reality that I only had to make ONE copy of ONE book. I was trained as a photographer to think a certain way when it came to illustrated books, but I finally realized the traditional way was not working for me.

Wargames came about as part of a series of books I titled "Because I Can" which highlighted strange books that would only ever be published as a single copy. I was fascinated by people who play war while our country was at war. This wasn't a political statement by any stretch, just curiosity. Paintball always seemed like it would be fun, but I never ventured forth until the day I began making these photographs.

YES, it hurts to be hit by a paintball, and I was hit many times making this book. After receiving the book I lived with it for a while, enjoyed it, but then realized it felt incomplete. It was then I decide to "finish" the book, and case, by returning it to the paintball field and having the combatants take their best shot."

 

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Personalized Chicken Soup for the Soul Books

This year, you’ll want to impress friends and family with a truly original gift—a personalized Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Our friends at Chicken Soup for the Soul have selected stories centered around five popular themes: Christmas, love and romance, positive thinking, giving thanks, and sympathy.

All you need to do is add your name and the recipient’s name on the cover to create a lovely gift book. You can also add a photo to the back cover and create a personalized inscription page. We’ve even created a how-to video to show you just how easy it is to make this one-of-a-kind gift.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul - Personalized books

 

 

Art of art books with Blurb

The art of art books with Blurb

When you’re an artist, you’re generally working in editions of one: One painting, one sketch, one sculpture. And as any artist knows, you can only sell an original artwork once. Books are another story.

When you think of an art book, you probably think of a massive monograph, a museum-quality catalog raisonné. But there are many kinds of books artists can make—everything from documenting the artistic process to creating new work to getting your name (and work) out there. Here are some of our favorite ways artists use Blurb:

  1. Your sketchbooks as art books: A sketchbook is a place to play, experiment, and plan. It’s where ideas are formed and inspiration recorded. So why not immortalize that work for yourself and your fans? Alphabet Doodles by Don Moyer explores expressive forms of typography, while the scanned Moleskin journals of Raylene R. Gorum are a trip through the artist’s creative process.
  2. Play with your book: Sometimes books can be the raw material for more artwork. Paint, cut, or make a collage of your book’s pages to make it a unique art object. Consider our Trade and Pocket books, or any book using our ProLine Uncoated paper. These papers play nicely with ink and glue sticks.
  3. A little planner promotion: If you’re trying to sell your work, make a Weekly Planner or Notebook that includes images of your work. You can sell it or give it away to clients and galleries.
  4. Bring another dimension: Enhanced ebooks for the iPad open up a whole new realm for artists. They make beautiful, portable portfolios and you can add audio, video, and links. Environmental artist Jeff Frost’s Flawed Symmetry of Prediction showcases his video art and site-specific installations.
  5. The wonderful thing about art—and books made with Blurb—is that there are no rules. Follow your creativity wherever it takes you. So make some art. And make some art books too.

 

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Sell more properties with enhanced Blurb ebooks

Sell more properties—with a Blurb enhanced ebook

It’s Miami Book Fair International week, and our minds are on the beach down in Florida. We’re thinking sun, fun, and beautiful books. But there’s a serious business aspect to book-making that ties in perfectly with the Miami real estate market and the city’s focus on books this week.

The real estate market in Miami has been hot, hot, hot for ages, and local agents certainly know how to work their luxury properties to the max. But in addition to the usual ads and other high-end real estate marketing tactics, there’s a way to feature developers, developments, and properties that can help agents differentiate themselves in the market. We’re talking about leveraging the impact of a hardcover book and ebook to take property sales to the next level.

Potential buyers look for properties that meet all of their needs, and more. Imagine giving people the opportunity to easily picture themselves in a home or building, Nothing helps someone envision their life in a new home more than a gorgeous book that depicts every detail of the property. Agents can use print books and ebooks to show properties in great detail—whether as a persuasive in-person sales tool, or digitally for out-of-town property seekers. It’s a small investment that can help generate big returns.

What your ebook should include:

  • A floor plan
  • A description of each room and a description of the neighborhood
  • Beautiful images showcasing the space’s rooms with clear surfaces and minimal décor
  • Any audio or video content that can support the developer, property, or location

Make your enhanced ebook today

  1. Download Blurb BookSmart
  2. Design and create your book
  3. Click on “My Projects & Accounts” and click “Convert this book to an ebook for the iPad” underneath your book
  4. Once the ebook editor loads, it will guide you through the steps to review your ebook
  5. Add audio or video files to enhance your book
  6. Click “Complete” and “Publish” and head to checkout

Want a few extra tips? Take a peek at How to make an ebook with Blurb by Maggie Hannon.

 

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Newsletter Promo

 

 

*BOOKEND20 offer valid until December 2, 2013 (11:59 p.m. local time). A 20% discount is applied toward your product total with no minimum spend. Maximum discount is USD $100, GBP £65, EUR €75, CAD $100, or AUD $100 off product total. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.