I've made several photobooks. For anniversaries, special birthdays and to remember special family trips.
The site that I feel the most comfortable on is Blurb.ca. Yes, there are many others and I've tried some of them too, but I was introduced to Blurb when a sweet friend, Jacki, had my personal blog turned into a book just after Zack died. It was her way of getting my blog into my hands to document our journey and the way our life was with our son. I was so touched that she took the time to create such a special gift for me. There are truly no words to explain what it feels like to have your words put into print. It was like holding onto those memories in my hands.
This past Christmas, I decided to make a special book about my son Zack, who died almost two years ago and give it to several relatives, as a way to remember him.
I wanted to include all of our favourite family photos with him, some silly shots, photos from his therapy and shots with his loving brothers. I spent several nights uploading all of the photos (it's so easy to upload from Facebook and Instagram) and using the templates to create the perfect layouts, background colours and space for text.
I spent hours going through old photos, which we save by month, and sorting them so I'd have the perfect glimpse into our life with Zack. I wanted to show his laughter, his meltdowns, his favourite things and his love for his family- especially his two brothers, so that they could enjoy this book too. I wanted to use photos that showed his determination to walk and the pride he had when we accomplished the impossible. I wanted the "walnut cheek" to be captured when he belly laughed for his daddy and I wanted those deep brown eyes to glisten on each page. It was almost impossible to choose which photos made the cut, but after hours and hours, I think I got it right. I shed several tears making this masterpiece, but what was clear to me, in looking back on our years with Zack, was that he was deeply loved and he loved back with his whole heart.
I didn't want to rush the process or put added pressure on an already emotional project, so I was lucky that Blurb.ca has an e-book and PDF feature that you can view online or on your iPad. Just before Christmas, I was able to send an electronic copy to my parents, Zack's godmother, and Paul and I could keep a copy of the book.
Do you have hundreds of photos from Christmas? Do you have a new baby and want to document each year with a special book? Did you just take a dream trip and want to create a way to share the photos? Family recipes you want to compile in a proper book? How about turning your blog into a real coffee table book? You can preserve all of the memories with a book from Blurb....and it makes the perfect gift!
You can easily and affordably publish your own bookstore-quality books and ebooks with Blurb, a creative publishing platform that lets you design, publish and share professional-quality books starting at just $4.95 and ebooks for a one time publish fee of $9.99 (I loved this option!).
Here are some Blurb book ideas for inspiration:
• Wedding or New Baby book – Turn your wedding memories and baby milestones into a book that you will treasure and admire for years.
• Photo book – Dive into the hard drive or shoebox and build a book that documents a special occasion like a wedding, birthday, or other major event.
• Cookbook – Over 70 per cent of Canadians have been asked by family members to share recipes. Instead of sharing recipes on a scrap of paper or recipe card that can easily be lost, share them with a family cookbook that can be shared, sold and maintained for generations to come.
• Blog Book – If someone in your family is a blogger, surprise them this holiday with a hard copy book of their blog.
• Planner – Weave your favourite photos throughout a beautiful customized personal planner. There’s nothing like seeing special memories interspersed throughout your weekly appointments all year long.
If you are a Canadian blogger who wants to try Blurb.ca for the first time with a $50 off code? The idea is for you to create a photobook of you and/or your family, friends, pets, and other memory makers then blog about the experience... or simply host a banner or link on your site. They welcome PPC bidders, email marketers, coupon sites, and shopping portals too!
Be sure to enter our contest to win a $100, $50 or $25 off a Blurb creation!