Blurb Review: Self-Publishing My First Children’s Book

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I am so excited to share my experience in self-publishing my very first children’s book. As a first-time author, Blurb made the whole process seamless. To be more clear, from start to finish I was guided by step-by-step instructions with so many helpful resources. With their user-friendly interface, I don’t know how you cannot benefit from them.

A brief background about Blurb

Some may know this brand, some may not. I vaguely remember seeing their ads from time to time but never really thought about it much. Their logo floated around the internet but I had no idea what they were about. Well, I would like to introduce Blurb, my new self-publishing platform.

Blurb was founded by Eileen Gittins in 2005, and includes a team of design, Internet and media veterans who share a passion for helping people bring their stories to life. Blurb authors have created millions of books using our full suite of free book-making tools, and today a new book is created every minute. Blurb is based in San Francisco with offices in London.

I love making lists so I am going to proceed with my pros and cons:

Pros

  • easy directions
  • simple to follow layout
  • tons of helpful resources
  • self-publishing for all types of books (photography, memory, cooking or trade, just to name a few)
  • Sell your book with Blurb Direct Sell (a special widget on your site makes it very convenient)
  • sharing via your own site and via Blurb site (digital or print)
  • paperback, hardcover, e-book, glossy/matte paper, and more
  • customer support (Alina H. assisted me via email when I had some formatting issues with my order)
  • positive reviews
  • easily share your book via social media with BookShow. And if you have Facebook, you can set up a storefront page for your book
  • your Book Badge or Blurb Badge on your site
  • e-books are priced by you (with Blurb 20% commission and Apple iBooks 30% commission)
  • get paid at the end of every month with $25 minimum in your account with a nominal fee (preferably through PayPal because it’s cost-effective and fastest)
  • option to sell on Amazon but it will cost a bit more

Cons

  • InDesign software knowledge (if you want a more polished design, then you may need to hire a graphic designer/illustrator. I was fortunate enough to use a free drawing app on my computer)
  • board books are not available (I’m not familiar with how much goes into these types of books but it would be a great idea for children’s books.)
  • some technical issues with their Preview page feature in their BookWright software
  • photo books are priced a bit high
  • special widget for Blurb Direct Sell only works if your site is equipped with e-commerce capabilities (my site does not allow this feature)

Double and triple check your work before you submit your first order. Look out for:

  • spelling errors
  • words that you accidentally typed twice or left out by mistake
  • punctuation errors
  • cut-off text that is either too large inside the editing area or placed too close to the edge
  • content that is placed too close to the edge may be cut off so pay attention to any trim zones/trim guides
  • any other issues related to your text, images, layout choices, etc, that you might have missed the first time

Remember to take a break then come back and give it another look. Ask a family member or friend to look over the book as well — a second set of eyes never hurts. I definitely asked everyone close to me for help. Believe it or not, I missed a few typos and clunky sentences.

If you notice errors after placing an order, then please be aware that you need to cancel within an hour of that order. Simply go to that “pending” order, and cancel it accordingly. Otherwise, you will not be reimbursed.

For more details, the following informative video (about 10 minutes long) explains everything. Worth it to take a look.

And with great excitement, please check out my book, Owl’s Shape Adventure, in the side bar of this page under my bio. This is a cute look and find book for children ages 1-5. If you have young children or know anyone who may be interested in my book, do share the love! 😊

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 11.52.51 AM

I would like to thank Blurb for this wonderful opportunity and my family/friends for supporting me during this whole process. So grateful.

I am awaiting my own print copy so stay tuned for my book photos in the next few weeks.

And if you have any questions, please feel free to comment or email me. 😄

*Update – I have published a second edition to this book in January 2016 with edits to the book cover, font, and text in the story.

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