Retrospective book of my work–input sought!

Hi folks!   I am in the midst of preparing a book of my work including the 24 pieces that will be in my part of the Rising Stars exhibit this coming fall at International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival Houston, as well as many of my other best pieces from the past decade and bits about my life and influences.  If you have experience selling books from either Blurb or CreateSpace (an Amazon company) let me know.  I am still undecided which platform to use.  I would dearly love your input, whether you have self-published or as a consumer.


Do I use Blurb? or Createspace? Where would you go to purchase… I’d have a link on my blog etc. to either option so folks who don’t attend Quilt Festival may also purchase a copy.

I feel the quality of the Premium Magazine at Blurb is definitely better than the book I can create through CreateSpace–I have copies of Blurb books, Blurb premium magazine (which you would never know is a “magazine” as it is exceptional quality–a teacher I know uses this for her books and it is excellent), and several books (exhibit catalogs) from CreateSpace.   I really really want top quality over profits on this, but I also would like folks to be able to purchase the book easily online.

With both platforms, I can select an 8 1/2 x 11  portrait format (vertical) so I can include large images with good detail shots.   For print quality, Blurb Premium “Magazine” wins and the cost (unlike Blurb books) is reasonable.  For customer ease and distribution, using Createspace on Amazon is better because Amazon takes a much lower percentage of the sales price is you use their platform.  What to do?

For international customers, absolutely the Amazon/CreateSpace option is better because it can be  on-demand printed from European Amazon sites, thereby reducing postage costs.  For those in the US, I can have it on my site and Amazon-or-Blurb, depending on my final decision. The Blurb “magazine” is better overall print and paper quality, the template software is superb, but even if I can manage to list it on Amazon, I would make almost nothing (less than a dollar probably) per copy to keep it in the affordable range.

Please let me know your thoughts!   Would you buy from Blurb?   Or do you vastly prefer Amazon?  Price would be $25-30 plus any shipping depending on final page count–I’m guesstimating 80 pages, but could be a bit more or a bit less.  My goal is to keep the price under $30.


5 Responses to “Retrospective book of my work–input sought!”

  1. Lori Martinsek Says:

    Hi, Sarah:

    I would like to recommend your using Blurb to have better paper and print quality. Have you considered printing yourself through a digital printer?

    I can suggest options for you to contact. I own a small book production company that uses several printers.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your exhibit and book!


  2. Sarah Ann Smith Says:

    Thanks so much for confirming my instinct….I’ve considered printing myself, but prefer on-demand printing. Can your printers do that?

  3. Lori Martinsek Says:


    The problem with most POD printers is their use of light weight paper and little attention to color.

    Total Printing Systems focuses solely on high quality digital printing using 70 wt. paper as their standard paper. Contact Meg Souza at 734.507.1148 to discuss the options available. Short runs are standard for this Illinois-based printer.

    I prefer having control over the printing variables…


  4. Patricia L Walters Says:

    As a buyer of YOUR book I want the Quality like you say the Blurb Premium says! I am Very Willing to pay More than $30 to get this high quality book of Your Work!
    I cannot go to Houstan to see your exhibit so I very much want a copy of what ever book you can produce but much prefer high quality and am willing to pay for it.
    Is it possible to make two versions? Like one more affordable and one with the quality You (apparently like) and I prefer?
    Whatever you do, Please let me know what you decide to do in the meantime and later how I can get a copy!
    I am excited for you being in this exhibit and making a book so I can see it too!

  5. Paula Blanchard Says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Since yours is an art book, quality is crucial, IMHO. As a consumer of art books and a beginning art quilter, I’m often frustrated by the poor quality of images–detail shots in particular. Paper quality is important, but so are the sharpness and resolution of the images themselves, as you probably already know. I’ve made books with Blurb but not CreateSpace, and was happy with Blurb. Working directly with a digital printer would bring the cost per book down if you print enough of them. As a former publishing professional, I worked in all phases of book publishing, from editing to layout/design and marketing, and would be happy to talk with you if you have questions–including some cautions about working with a book packager, if you’re thinking about hiring one.
    (And if you need a copyeditor, I’d love to do it for you in exchange for a copy of the final book!)