Monday, June 22, 2009

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Giveaway & Review: Publish a Book on Blurb.com (5 Winners) [CLOSED]

Thanks to Blurb.com I now have a most cherished keepsake of my children. When I was offered a chance to review Blurb.com's book publishing services, I had many options before me. I considered making a photo book, a book of easy recipes, or writing and illustrating a children's storybook. I ended up choosing to make a blog book containing 1 year's worth of Silly Monkey Stories . . . a weekly blog meme I started in 2008 to document all the silly moments about my children. Click here to see an online preview of my book.


Creating a blog book was both easy and a lot of work at the same time. In short, I just downloaded the free Booksmart publishing software (which works for both a PC or a Mac), uploaded all my blog posts with the software, selected which posts I wanted to include, and then began the customization. That is when the real work began. Almost every aspect of the book is fully customizable as far as content and layout are concerned, including the cover and every single page of the book.

Before I get further into this review, I'd like to show you my two favorite parts of the book . . .

The Back Cover



The Introduction Page


What I thought about my blog book made on Blurb.com:

1) Since my book was over 50 pages long, it was a lot of work to customize each page, but the end result was worth it.

2) One problem I had was the images taken directly from my blog posts were small, so I had to shrink them down to make the resolution suitable for printing. One way to resolve this is to upload additional high resolution images and use those instead of the ones that were originally in your blog posts.

3) The images were conveniently able to be dragged and dropped right onto the pages you are currently working on.

4) I liked that you can amend the text after it has been taken from your blog.

5) I love that publishing your book through Blurb.com includes a copyright.

6) I liked how many options there are as far as book size, type of cover, type of papers, etc . . . enough options to fit any budget.

7) I opted to for the wrap around hardcover and higher quality paper. I do think it was worth the extra cost if you are creating a keepsake book like this.

8) I am extremely pleased with the final product. The printing is of the highest quality and there were no errors, nothing out of place, no graininess, and not one smudge.

9) I think it would be great if Blurb.com offered a less costly media rate for shipping.

After you've published your book, you have the option of making it public or keeping it private. If you make it public, then you can share the preview with others. You can also make your books available for purchase and add a mark-up to Blurb.com's base price. Every time your book sells, you earn however much you decided to mark-up your book. It is really a fun way to share your book, plus you can rightfully claim that you are a published author.

Thank you to Blurb.com for providing us with both a review item and contest prizes free of charge.


What you can win:
FIVE lucky readers will each win a $29.95 bookmaking code towards making and publishing their very own book on Blurb.com .


Limitations:
This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing.


How to Gain Entries:
Browse the Blurb Bookstore. Leave a comment telling me the name of one book you liked very much or found to be inspiring. You MUST do this to be eligible to win this contest.

Extra Entries:

1) For an extra entry, briefly describe one idea you have for making your own book if you won this contest.

2) For 5 extra entries, enter one of my other contests. Leave FIVE separate comments here telling me which contest you entered. You will earn 5 extra entries for each contest you enter.

3) Add this blog to your Technorati Favorites. Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so and under what username. Add to Technorati Favorites

4) For 10 extra entries, blog about this contest linking back to this post and to the Blurb.com . Then come back here and leave TEN separate comments with the link to your blog post.

5) Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your Twitter profile.

6) Tweet about this giveaway linking back to this post. Then come back here and leave the link to your tweet in a separate comment. You may do this as many times as you wish until the end of the contest.

7) Subscribe to this blog's feed. Or you can follow me through Blogger or subscribe via email (widget is on sidebar). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

8) Add my button or blog link to your blog's sidebar. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.

9) Add my "Graco Twin Stroller" giveaway button to your blog's sidebar. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.






10) Add my "Get Cool For School" giveaway event button to your blog's sidebar. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.







(All entries will be verified prior to awarding this prize.)



Random Drawing:
This contest will be closed on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. A random number drawing will be held shortly after. The winner will be announced here and will be contact via email or through their blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new number will be drawn.

Good luck in the drawing!