Technology Pursuit

Blending Technology Into the Language Arts Classroom

Tag: blurb

Blurb: My Go-To for Self-Publishing

In a previous post, I wrote about using the online publisher Blurb to publish my 2013-2014 Expository Writing class’ favorite works.  I enjoyed the process, but I didn’t know how the final copies would turn out once I had them in my hands.

Now I know.  They’re FAB-U-LOUS!

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The magazines came in with a thick glossy cover, plus nice thick pages with full-color images.  It was just as I’d hoped, but was afraid I wouldn’t get.

Immediately I started showing them off.  My own expository students this year were impressed and started thinking what they would submit for this year’s publication. Even students in other classes were a bit envious and asked if they could submit a piece of writing.

Which got me to thinking…other schools do literary journals.  It’s not a new idea–just new to us, and maybe new-ish for a school our size.  But why not?

I took the magazine to my principal and guidance counselor, and they were both impressed as well.  And then the ideas started flowing.  Why not open this up to submission from the student body and have my expository classes edit and manage the submissions? Why not publish quarterly?  Wouldn’t local dentist offices and car dealerships want a subscription?  In fact, couldn’t the new marketing class next year help market the book?

I’m feeling excited and overwhelmed with the ideas flowing–on top of all the other ideas I want to do next year.  I’ve got a lot of planning to do this summer.

But I can’t wait for school to get out–so I can start getting ready for next year!

(I’m such a teacher geek.)

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Publishing Books with Blurb

An area that my teaching in expository writing needs improved is publishing and audience.  My students need more of an audience to write to–more than just writing essays to me.  I’ve got some plans in mind.  Next year may finally be the year that I implement blogs (I’ve wanted to for a while, but I want to make sure I have a set plan in mind for them).  Another is that I need to set up a list of publications for them to submit to…and encourage them to do this.

What I’ve done this week is a third part of my plan, and it involves the Blurb website.  Blurb allows you to publish ebooks or hard copy books, magazines, or portfolios at a very reasonable price.

Bookwright copy

First, I downloaded the free BookWright program from Blurb.  For those who aren’t familiar with publishing programs, Blurb also provides tutorials.  However, if you’ve used publishing programs before, BookWright is intuitive and easy to figure out.

Note:  If you’re used to using Adobe InDesign and you want to publish more advanced, high-graphic pages, I would suggest sticking with that.  It will give you more control over your pages, and Blurb will upload InDesign files for publication, too.

Then, click the upload button when you’re finished, and the program will automatically upload all your BookWright files to its website.  There, you can order hard copies, PDF files, and ebook versions.  You also have options of how you want to promote your book–whether you want to keep it semi-private to those to  whom you provide a url, or if you want it available to the public.  Blurb also provides embed codes for Facebook, Blogger, WordPress, or any website, so you can promote your book there.

Blurb sets the base price for each book based on their costs, but you can then add your own profit margin.  This is a great way for others to purchase your book without you risking money.

Blurb provides many other options, too, for selling your book.  Definitely go check it out!

Oh, and if you want to check out the book I made of my last year’s class’s writing, you can see it here:

 

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