Delia Randall is a blogger and maker who documents what she creates for her family over at Delia Creates. Accomplished with a crochet hook, she shares patterns and how-tos with her followers in her posts and videos. She then gathered up some favorites, added some new patterns, and offered the collection up for sale in her book Yarn Over.
How I self-published my first book with Blurb
The thought of making my own book has always been a distant dream. Books are a ton of work and the opportunities with publishing companies are few and far between. So, when Blurb reached out to me about their new self-publishing format I was super stoked to try it out.
I was already a fan of Blurb’s photo books, which are great for printing family photos and memories. But they also offer Magazine and Trade Book formats that still have the great picture quality Blurb is known for. Plus, they’re produced at a price that you can mark up and sell.
Creating My Book
I decided to center my book around simple crochet projects I’ve shared on my blog and some of my paid patterns. After I gathered high-resolution photos for all my projects, I plugged them into BookWright, Blurb’s free self-publishing software. I chose to use BookWright because I had used it before and it’s very user-friendly. It was really easy to create my own layouts, but I used some of the preset layouts, too. It was simple to drag and drop pictures into the book, add pages, and then copy and paste text from the tutorials and patterns I had already written. An orange box would show up when my formatting wasn’t ideal. Sometimes I took the suggestions, sometimes I didn’t, and it turned out great.
Once I was done with my book, I was able to preview it and then upload it to Blurb to publish. It really couldn’t have been easier. That’s not to say it didn’t take time, but after working on it for a few nights, and a week to print and ship, I had a physical book in hand. Pretty cool! I also got an embed code, which showcases a preview of the book so I can easily share it on social. Swanky, right?
My book is 48 pages in the 8×10 size, mostly of full color images, printed on economy paper. I listed my soft cover copy at $19.99, which gives me a $7.40 mark up. Considering I included $13 worth of paid patterns in the book, I feel like it’s good value.
The hardcover copy costs $26.59 to print to begin with, so it’s quite a bit more expensive at $31.99. The hardcover copy is of course inherently nicer, but honestly the softcover copy is almost as beautiful. You get to print on the spine of the book and it’s sturdier, but the print and paper quality is otherwise the same, regardless of the cover.
You can track your sales from the author dashboard and get paid once a month by PayPal (yay!) or check. Let customers order online and Blurb will print on demand, or print large volumes of 100 so you can add extras like embossed covers and ribbons at a reduced price. It’s up to you!
Publishing my own book has been so fun and so rewarding. I liked being able to have control over every little detail, even if I agonized over the format of the book for way too long, and now already know what I would change. Sigh … It’s the curse of all creatives I suppose.
But it makes me really excited about the possibilities of what I could try next. A magazine collaboration, a chapter book, another craft book, a children’s book…why not?!
A version of this post originally appeared on Delia Creates.
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