Tips & Tools of the Trade Book: A Resource Guide

The Blurb blog is full of ideas and pro tips on the topic of trade books; how to write, design, and sell them, and why they are the most versatile format around. We’ve gathered up our favorite articles here, along with some inspiring author interviews, so you have the resources you need to create the ultimate trade book. 

GETTING STARTED & CHOOSING MATERIALS 

Let’s Talk Trade Books: Q&A with Dan Milnor 
A guide to Blurb’s trade book format with tips on paper choices, cover types, selling options, and potential projects. 

3 Reasons You Need to Make a Trade Book 
Discover the best perks of publishing trade books, from print quality to pricing. 

Find Your Book Format 
A handy flowchart with key questions to consider before starting your book project. 

PROJECT IDEAS & INSPIRATION 

Inside Trade Books 
All kinds of projects can be published in trade book format–a budget photo book, a notebook or journal, a literary magazine. 

50 Book Ideas for Writing a Book You Can Start Today 
From biography to business, cooking to crafts, diet to design tips, find a great topic for your next trade book project. 

9 Steps to Create a Comic Book 
Kickstart your story, characters, and illustrations with our step-by-step guide. 

4 Creative Custom Journal & Notebook Ideas
Personalize your book pages with room for lists, goals, ideas, doodles, designs, travel stories, and more. 

10 Tips for Creating a Custom Cookbook 
Bring your favorite recipes to life using these tips on food photography, writing, and design. 

Hit the Books with Dan Milnor: Your Portfolio Book
The photographer and creative pro in the know shares his expert advice on print portfolios. 

How to Write a Poetry Book 
A guide for poets who are passionate about writing, reading, and publishing their best work. 

How to Write a Non-Fiction Book 
Use these 25 tips to write, publish, and market your trade book (essays, interviews, family history, you name it). 

How to Become a Children’s Book Author 
Eleven practical steps to help you develop a great children’s book and put it in print. 

How to Write a Novella in 9 Steps 
Get the keys to this compact story form, like pacing, character, story arc, and figurative language. 

LAYOUT & DESIGN 

10 Tips to Make a Gorgeous Trade Book 
Learn how to choose your trade book materials, balance text and typography, and select a print quality. 

How to Make a Test Book (and Why You Should) 
No matter what kind of book you are making, printing a test book in trade book format will help you find the perfect look and feel. 

Tips and Templates for Creating a Killer Product Catalog 
Get all the details right when it comes to content, photography, layout, and printing. 

7 Tips & Ideas for Building a Standout Graphic Design Portfolio 
Use this checklist to keep your portfolio content, curation, and book design on track. 

How to Make Your Own DIY Personal Planner 
Creating a planner is easy with these step-by-step design tips + content ideas. 

SELLING & DISTRIBUTION 

How to Sell Your Book on Ingram (and Why You Should) 
Harness the selling power of trade books, expand your audience, optimize your metadata, and distribute like a pro. 

How to Price a Sellable Book 
Find out how to balance your printing cost with your selling price. 

12 Ways a Book Can Help Your Business 
A portfolio. A leave behind. An archive. An anthology. A catalog. Self-publishing books of all kinds can provide the financial or creative boost you need. 

BEHIND THE BOOK INTERVIEWS  

The Modern Alphabet by Megan Roy 
Illustrated children’s book 

Letter Shoppe by Dina Marie Rodriguez 
Artistic guide to hand lettering 

State Flowers of America by Sylvie Lee 
Illustrated coloring book with fun facts 

The Accidental Airbnb Host by Veronica Tercan 
Hospitality guide book 

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