A Very Exciting Week

By now you know I’ve created three books (see here) with the help of the self publishing site Blurb, which a few weeks ago offered the RB community a free coupon to get us started on the road publishing our very own art books…I neglected to use my coupon, but more about that later on..
To my great surprise and delight, on the 11th October I got an email from Blurb’s International Marketing manager Jason Lilien, saying that he loved the books I had made with Blurb and invited me to attend a series of Blurb events over the course of this past week…
Of course I accepted and yesterday attended the last event of a very exciting week which I would love to share with you…see below

The first day called Storytelling Unleashed, was a breakfast and getting up very early to be among the rush hour commuters is something that I have not done in a very long time.. however the experience of the morning far exceeded the description in the invitation and was well worth the empty stomach on a packed train…fabulous breakfast by the way
“The invitation read: We will share the stories of how creatives today are leveraging tools and technology to tell stories in compelling new ways—both in print and digital formats. Whether it’s a company history, the story behind a brand/product launch or a portfolio to showcase work, learn how creative minds are pushing the boundaries to get their stories told… and heard".
It was an inspiring morning as I was able to see first hand how Blurb works, and to meet the top executives of Blurb (who were very enthusiastic about RB by the way) and other businesses…I was also able to view a myriad of art books in every format, some I was able to photograph (see below), exchanged business cards with a number of guests, got invited to do beta testing of a new App (yay) and met someone who is interested in buying some of my work..a great bonus that I certainly did not expect..

The second event was an evening with Bloggers…totally different group and a night to remember…
I’m not a blogger…as yet…though I did start one a couple of years ago and may start it up again, but this was also a very informative evening…we were shown by using Blurb, how bloggers could
“Find out about special offers for fans and followers
Hear first hand how other bloggers have run engaging competitions
See the blogger cookbook fundraising project that raised $45k for relief efforts
Examine some of the many how-to columns and reviews shared with readers
Learn about how to share and monetize our own efforts in new ways
Get more information on Blurbs top-performing affiliate program
I also found out that Blurb, the worlds premiere print on demand publisher, mailed out one million two hundred thousand individual titles in the past year and that while we as creators, have to purchase only one book, one customer purchased thirty thousand…..that’s a fabulous record..
An interesting side note: bloggers blog all the time…even when a presentation is going on…hmmm…not sure what to make of that

The third event which unfortunately I was not able to attend was a Photo Safari with Dan Milnor and the crew from Blurb for an afternoon of photography and fun…a group of Blurb enthusiasts went around the streets with Dan taking photos, while he gave them the opportunity to:
“Learn about lighting, timing and composition and a chance to get on-the-spot advice. In addition, all kinds of ideas about photography with an eye to the story and output they would like to create at the end..
“Daniel Milnor is currently “Photographer at Large” for Blurb, Inc. the world’s premiere print-on demand publisher. He splits his time between the smog-choked arteries of Southern California and the spiritual landscape of New Mexico. Milnor is a former newspaper, magazine and commercial photographer who now works primarily on long-term projects. His work has taken him from the rural corners of the United States to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America..
Milnor has created and published over one hundred unique titles, including the recently released “Manifesto Magazine,” which showcases the world’s best documentary photography. Milnor’s writing and photography has been featured in Camera Arts Magazine, Black and WhiteMagazine, Life Magazine, Zone Zero, Flash Flood, Finite Photo, Resolve, Hasselblad Gallery as well as many others.

The final event was the icing on the cake for me…the invitation read as follows:
“Join professional photographer Dan Milnor (see above) as he explores the possibilities and opportunities available today for creating and sharing your work in photography books.
From the simple and informal to the retrospective monograph, the choices of today are greater than ever before. This workshop will break down the choices, materials and philosophy behind making your own photography book. The goal of the workshop is to provide a complete picture of the bookmaking process within the context of a quickly changing photography and publishing industry. Whether you are experienced at making books or this is something brand new, Dan brings his practical, working perspective and you’re sure to walk away with new inspiration.
Bring your notebooks, your questions and your sense of humor
I brought my notebook and it is jam packed with notes as I devoured Dan’s every word…in a three hour power point presentation I learned, along with many other important points, how to create the best art books, how to make a book that works, from concept to marketing, themes, goals, design elements, whether to add text, (not always a good idea) typography, consistency of images, borders, backgrounds, and the all important cover…..above all less is more

By the way a number of Blurb books are now on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art along with Dan’s books

Needless to say I have learned a lot, hopefully will create better books in future, met many wonderful people and had a very exciting week
P.S. more coupons for free books which I will definitely use this time, were given at the end of each session…

Four photos of a selection of books from the event…there were many more but this post has gone on long enough…my enthusiasm for these books is self evident..Janis

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