Saturday, 6 December 2008

Publishing My Book

Firstly, I would just like to apologise for my absence from the blogging world for the past few days. The truth is that I was obliged to concentrate on putting the finishing touches to my second book, so that it would be published in time for Christmas. Move over Wife In The North!

My first book was published in September of this year. I worked on it, in my spare time and it took me about a fortnight to put together. It was published within 3 days and I was very pleased with it. My second book took 4 solid days of work and I submitted it yesterday for publication.

Do you know what I'm talking about yet? In case you haven't guessed, I'm referring to 'photo books'. I'm sure that you must have heard of them, but I hadn't until middle son's girlfriend brought one, which she had put together, to show to me a few months ago.

In case you don't know what a photo book is, it is a book, which you can create on your computer, using downloaded software and your own digital photos. On completion, you submit it to the appropriate website for publication. Most of the companies involved in photo processing seem to offer photo books, such as Bonusprint, Colorama and Photobox. Usually, the idea is, that you download the necessary software from your preferred site onto your computer, but, in my case, this proved an impossible task, even though I tried several different companies. Eventually, I settled on the Truprint site, because I could create the whole book on their site, without downloading anything.

My first photo book was made up from digital photos, mostly taken on our 'staycation', this summer. It included the enhanced photos, which appeared in my post dated 31st October 2008, with my poppy photo (right) displayed in a cut out area, in a black linen, hardback cover. It had 10 pages, which amounted to 20 sides filled up with photos, photos and captions, or text.

My second book is a photographic record of the lives of our 3 sons, from birth through to the present day. I have added some funny captions, here and there, plus a foreword, which brings a tear to my eye every time I read it! I've ordered 6 copies, this time, one for each of our 3 sons, one for my mother and mother-in-law and one for my husband and myself.

The photo books on the Truprint site range from £2.99 to £39.99. There is a good choice of backgrounds and photo layouts for each page. If I had wanted to, I could have displayed up to 9 photos per page. If I had needed them, I could have added an extra 65 pages (130 sides), although this would, naturally, have added to the price of the book.

I put the first book together using digital photos from my camera, but, for the second, I mostly had to scan in the photos and save them as JPEGs, because they had been taken with a film camera. I suspect that the quality will not be as good, using the scanned photos, but I will have to wait and see.

I think that the possibilities for creating photo books might be endless. They represent a wonderful opportunity for passing on memories and thoughts to future generations, are much easier to store than photos and less likely to be lost. I have been unable to find anything on the Truprint site to state that photos must be included as part of your book, so it appears that it would be possible to have a book made up of text only.

Would you like to see your short story in print? Perhaps you could.

Would you like to publish a personal cookery book, using your own recipes and photos? You could give a copy to a friend, as a gift.

Would you like to tell your life story, in your own words, using your own photos? Now, you have the opportunity.

I made up a short story, for my 3 lads, when they were young. They were my 3 main characters, in a fictional adventure, based upon a visit to the Bekonscott Model Village, in Beaconsfield, where we all spent many a happy hour, when they were youngsters. Putting my short story into print could well be my next project.

Now, how about you? Had you already heard of photo books? Have you created any? What did yours commemorate?

I would just like to add a note to suggest that you 'shop around' and do your own research online, if you decide that you would like to create a photo book, as a result of this post. I only have personal experience of the Truprint site, as it was the only company I could find, at the time, which would allow me to put my book together on their site.

PS Do you think I deserve some commission from Truprint? ;0)


Maggie May said...

Mean Mum, I was getting so excited for a minute. Wondered how you could get a book published so fast! You raised my hopes & dashed them again!

Your photo books sound a really good idea for those of you who are computer literate. For me I think completely unobtainable.Ah well...... back to the big stores for ideas!

auntiegwen said...

What a lovely idea, I think I might have to get one for my Mum with all the children in it, I bet she'd love that !

It's prob too late for her Xmas present but I bet we could sort that out for her birthday in August ! x

Mean Mom said...

Maggie May - I've had a quick look at the Boots site, as I suspected it might be easy to use. I didn't check this one before. It looks good, but I didn't check it out far enough to see how much text you could use.

You must have your photos stored in a folder on your computer, I think, in order to get them onto your blog. As far as I can see, the most difficult thing you would have to do would be to find your photos in your folder and open them, much the same as you have to for your blog. The site seems to guide you through everything else very helpfully. I would help you if I could!!

auntiegwen - I am sure that your mum would love a photo book with her grandchildren it it! As I've said above, the Boots site looks remarkably easy to use, if you want to do something quickly. You don't seem to have the backgrounds to choose from, but that would make it less complicated, if you haven't done one before. Orders are still being accepted. I think they're amazing!

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

That sounds like a very fun project to do. I will look into it. It's too bad that I lost so much of my artwork. Maybe I can figure out a way to retrieve it.

Mean Mom said...

The Finely Tuned Woman - You're right! It is great fun! I keep thinking of new ideas for them. What a shame about your artwork.

Laura Essendine said...

I made a photobook for my son's 18th assuming that he'd only appreciate it ten years down the line. He loved seeing himself and his friends growing up, some of whom were at his party and had as much fun reading as he did.

It's a lovely thing to do for anyone and yours will be much treasured, I'm sure.

Laura Essendine
Author – The Accidental Guru
The Books Limited Blog

Mean Mom said...

Laura Essendine - Welcome to my site.

Yours was a great idea, too! I'm sure your great grandchildren will also enjoy looking at the photo book you put together, one day! What a thought!

Thanks for dropping by!

Working mum said...

Mean Mom

Have a look at They will produce an actual hard back, dust jacketed coffee table book of your text and photos. You download their 'booksmart' software (very easy to do and very easy to use) and there are many, many possibilities for each page. They give you help and advice and ideas. You can upload your photos from your computer, picasa or flickr. They are recommended by the Royal Photographic Society for the best reproduction of photographs. They can even 'slurp' your blog into a book!

My friend did one and I thought it was an actual published book! I'm currently doing one called 'Tales of Isabel' of Izzy's funny stories to haunt her with when she's older. I am also going to get my mum a copy for her 60th birthday.

Seriously, take a look.

WM x

Mean Mom said...

working mum - My son's girlfriend's book was done at blurb. My computer will not allow me to download anything, so I have to use a company which will allow me to create on their site. The Truprint books also look like real books. Really, they do! (I've looked at loads of photo book sites - they all seem to look like real books - honest!)

Suburbia said...

I have been meaning to make one of these to my mum for ages. Not sure if I'm too late for Christmas now?

Mean Mom said...

Suburbia - You're not too late. As I've said further up, for a first book and if you're in a hurry, Boots photo development site seems quick and easy to use. You could put together a small 7 x 5.5 inch stylebook for £9.99. There's no fancy backgrounds. They promise to process within 5 days. You upload photos much the same as on blogger. I would do another one, if I didn't have painting and decorating the house to be getting on with!

Rose said...

Mean Mom, This sounds like a great idea! I would love to make up a book for each of my children, especially since the photo albums I made up when they were young are starting to fall apart. Color photos can fade over time, too, so this would be a better way to preserve them.

Thanks for this suggestion--a good idea for me to look into once the holidays are over.

Mean Mom said...

Rose - I'm glad that you are as excited about the photo books idea as I am! I think they're wonderful. I know that there are sites in the US which also publish them and, in fact, the whole idea probably started in the US. Have fun with yours, in the New Year!