E-Book Revolution With Emily Craven

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E-book Revolution Podcast Ep 17: Blurb on Self-publishing Illustration, Photo & Graphic Heavy Coffee Table Books

June 8th, 2014


While Independent publishing has opened the way for thousands of authors to quit their day job to write and make a living from their ebooks there is still one area that indies are find it hard to crack, and that’s print books with colour illustrations and photos. This puts some authors, in particular those who write children’s books, graphic novels, comic books or books that require colour photographs to help illustrate a story, at a disadvantage.

It’s not that there aren’t ways to do it, there are if you’re willing to deforest that money tree to pay an interior book designer or can navigate InDesign with as much proficiency as you need to fly a space shuttle. But unlike those epub/mobi authors who are able to jump most hurdles themselves with simple and cheap tools, authors who need a visual component for their work to tell the story are unable to globally sell their work for a reasonable price and at professional quality. Any indie worth their salt knows that selling books is all about being as professional as the big boys in NYC.

Which is why I was jumping around like I’d seen a unicorn take on a bull when I heard about Blurb  brokering a deal not only with Amazon to sell their beautiful print-books, but also with Ingram so that any indie author can sell their beautifully made print books in any store across the globe with the press of a button using Blurb's easy to use book creation tool. Imagine the possibilities not only for children’s book authors, graphic novelists and comic books artists, but for independent authors of all genres to create rare editions of their books at various price points all from a single, easy to create file.

In this podcast I talk to two of the lovely Blurb staff, Chief Product Officer Donna Boyer and Community Manager Garry Trinh about:

  •  Which authors benefit from doing graphic heavy print or coffee table versions of their work

  • The business set up and how authors gain royalties for these books
  • How using Blurbs channels can reduce the wholesale discount you have to provide booksellers
  • Examples of the way authors have taken advantage of this type of Print on Demand
  • How you can alter book formats and sizing to your advantage
  • How one author’s personal history book is winning awards and yours can too
  • The advantages of letting the reader decide ‘what level’ of book/finish they wish to buy
  • What the selling trends are for these types of books
  • What the best sellers have in common
  • How readers are now buying their print books based on their beauty
  • Why indie authors should and can take advantage of ‘collecting’ cultures
  • The collectability of photobooks
  • How the act of ‘curating’ content is driving sales
  • The most effective number of pages/size
  • How to use Blurb to create both print and iBooks Author versions of your book
  • How an author should price their books
  • The mistakes people make with when making visually stimulating books
  • How any author can use Blurb to create special editions of their books at multiple price points
  • What the Blurb deal with Ingram and Amazon means for you
  • We compare the strategies needed to: a) sell a lot of books vs. b) get yourself exposure vs. c) building up reader loyalty via rare editions
  • And much, much more!




About The Guests


Donna Boyer is a self-confessed product geek and started out at the Harvard Business School where she researched the global economic impacted of technology innovations. Before Blurb Donna was Vice President of Product at Callaway Digital Arts where she worked with publishers to produce award-winning illustrated books for the iPad. As Chief Product Officer at Blurb, Donna is leading the charge into the digital and mobile space. You can find her at Twitter @donnaboyer.


Garry Trinh is Blurb’s Community Manager for Australia. He has worked in the graphic design and publishing industry for more than 10 years. Since 2010 he has managed Blurb’s creative events and local business partnerships and taught Australian writers and designers how to self-publish print and ebooks with Blurb’s online platform. You can find him on Twitter @blurboz


Examples of Books Created With Blurb & Now Available Worldwide Via Amazon & Ingram

Comic / Graphic Novel

Westward Bound Vol. One Book Four by Stuart P. Beel

40 pages. Full colour. Trade size - 15x23cm.


Softcover - AUD$14.11

Hardcover dust jacket - AUD$29.57

Hardcover image wrap - AUD$31.38



Children Authors

Things I Love by Jessica Rose.

22 pages, Full colour, small square - 18x18cm


Softcover - AUD$20.84

Hardcover image wrap - AUD$43.56



Personal History

Dadslides by Charles Klein

160 pages, Full colour, standard landscape – 20x25cm, Premium paper


Hardcover image wrap - AUD$115.72


Awarded first prize. Self published professional section. At the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.



Travel book

Camera of Kilimanjaro photographs by the Porters of Mount Kilimanjaro. Edited by Helen Osler

104 pages, Full colour, standard landscape - 20x25cm


Hardcover dust jacket - AUD$62.70



Literature and Fiction book

Donut Shop of the Dead by Timothy E.Bacon and Paul J. Green

160 pages, Black and White pocket - 13x20cm


Soft cover - AUD$10.06



Experimental book

Letters (Eliza and Cleverbot) by Giselle Stanborough

248 pages, small square - 18x18cm


Softcover - AUD$66.07

Hardcover dust jacket - AUD$81.52

Hardcover image wrap - AUD$84.25

I love hearing from my listeners! If you’d like to appear as a guest, or offer any feedback on topics you’d like to see covered, email me at: ebookrevolution (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Emily's non-fiction book E-Book Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to E-book success is now available at KoboAmazon and Tomely (Australian e-book store).If you enjoy her tongue in cheek style you may also enjoy her comedy novel set in Facebook, The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire also available from KoboAmazon and Tomely.

The companion website for this podcast is www.ebookrevolution.com.au