Friday, June 27, 2008

B.Y.O.B. (Build Your Own Book)

For Christmas this year I decided to make a gift to give out. I asked my friends and family for their favorite recipes and then created a cookbook layout in Microsoft Word and uploaded that to one of the many build-your-own-book sites springing up to have it printed.

Cookbooks are only one possibility. My daughter is planning to publish her own children's story. Photo books are another great gift idea. Or, that great American novel! Here's a couple of these self-publishing websites that I recommend.

I used because I liked being able to use my own layout, print in color, and the various binding options they offer (hard cover, spiral bound, stapled). I decided to keep my design private, but you can offer your book for sale on this site as well. There is a whole connected e-commerce section. In the end my 45-page full-color cookbook cost about $15/each.


Another site to build your own book is Blurb has a downloadable tool for creating your own books. I like the selection of sizes and the high-quality printing this site offers. Friends have had good results with this site.

Another idea is to publish your own magazine. I was just reading about MagCloud on Photojojo. This site is really setup to sell your magazine, but would be a cool gift idea as well. The site is still in beta so currently publishing accounts are by invitation only. However, I would definitely keep an eye on this site as it develops.
I'd love to hear other experiences and projects out there building your own books.

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