When I give talks and people ask about “tips and tricks” for putting your work in print the FIRST thing I always stay is START NOW. RIGHT NOW. TODAY. Create a default size publication, whether that be a 20-page Photobook or 24-page Tradebook. Open Bookwright, go default and don’t get up until it’s done, uploaded and paid for. If you do this you have an overwhelmingly high chance of making more books. If you don’t do this I don’t hold out much hope. I really don’t. Remember, I’ve been making publications for twenty-four-years and I’ve heard just about every excuse you can possibly imagine. Some excuses I’ve probably heard five hundred times. They are just as they seem, excuses.
Recently I did a test. I used templates. These were not Blurb templates, although Blurb offers their own which you can find here. I was testing another site, another platform and knew if I liked what I created and wanted to print I could just use the Blurb PDF to Book. But I never really planned to print, just experiment.(Something I highly recommend you do.)
Templates are great, at least in my opinion, but usually take a beating from the “Masters in Photography” crowd. I’m not sure why this but so be it. I think templates are a GREAT way to get in gear, especially if you don’t have design chops. And remember, the vast majority of the templates I see are starting points. Look at them like a trail map. Sure, the map will take you to the summit, but you can veer off course at any time if it suits you.
Ever tried to paint a canvas? Then you know what it’s like to stare at that blank space trembling with fear over making the first mark. Designing a book can feel the same way. So take the pressure off and start with a template. Push it, pull it, tweak it and make it your own. Just make something.