MagCloud & Blurb

Utilizing multiple self-publishing platforms on one project.

In April 2017 I wrote and article titled MagCloud vs. Blurb which as of this writing has been on of my all time most read stories on Medium. This article is me taking the advice of Blurb’s ‘Creative Evangelist’ Daniel Milnor. When I published that article he said something to the effect of “shouldn't it be ‘and’?” I don’t always take the hint right away. I liked his comment and proceeded on with my own work.

Fast forward a year and I am working on a book of images from a family trip to San Diego. My idea is to use Blurb’s magazine format with the premium option. As I start making selects I find that I have two separate sets of images that deserve their own book. But the second set is small and it seems odd to create a whole second book. Then I remember Dan’s comment.

The gears start turning. What does MagCloud have that would fit well with the Premium 80# paper in Blurb’s magazine? After a few minutes on their page I see the line “8 to 16 page publications are printed on heavier 100# text stock.” It never occurred to me that they do print on heavier stock if you have fewer pages and saddle stitch.

I export those into a different folder and decide to see how working the two different products would work. In my mind I saw it as a good compliment. That the little (5.25" x 8.25") zine would be an insert into the larger (8.5" x 11") magazine. I use BookWright for the Blurb magazine and Apple Pages for the MagCloud digest.

By the time I’ve made my selects I already have a vision for sequencing and layout but getting that vision to work in the program is always a bit of a challenge. The biggest problem I have is that I shoot mainly horizontal orientation and the publications will be vertical. Once I figure out the battle of how to overcome that it is all downhill. Finalize edit, double check the files, upload to their respective sites, order, and wait for delivery.

Before I go further I need to explain this. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I am not out here making ground breaking work. I am not Frank, Friedlander, Evans, etc. My work is ephemera of my life. Hopefully my kids and maybe a few friends will hold it dear but the world at large will not be consuming my work. I say all this because you, as a reader, might wonder why I call these two sets of images one project. It is all from a week in one place and they are two stories of one place. That is how I see my work, as telling that story.

Moving on. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was a great solution for this project. The saddle stitched zine slid right into the magazine and the paper qualities complimented each other. Both heavy and holding the bright colors of SoCal beautifully. From my understanding they both a printed with the same way so there is continuity there.

I will be using this concept in the future. With MagCloud and Blurb. MagCloud and DIY. Blurb and [enter other self publishing company name here]. Having multiple layers for the viewer is a luxury we have nowadays. And a luxury we should take advantage of, especially if it adds to the story we are telling.