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Old 03-13-11, 12:05 PM   #1
cccorlew
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I made a book, and so can you.

Excuse me from lifting this from my blog, but I thought it might be of interest to my fellow 50+ folks...

I've been making books about our trips for a few years now. The first was of "The Gates," Cristo's 2005 art installation in New York. I've also made them for our Oregon Coast ride, our Washington bike tour and now, our 2010 Cycle Montana, Idaho and Oregon summer. Even though I like to think I'm a digital guy, there is just nothing like having a physical book out on the table. And, like I tell my photo students, no one is ever going to go through an attic and discover an interesting shoe box full of pixels. Here's a link to the Montana book. You can even click that little four-headed arrow and get a full screen view.

I've created books using Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, Qoop, MyPublisher and Blurb. Several use a web interface, and some use a downloadable program you run locally. After messing with them all, I like Blurb the best. Mostly because their program does away with a slow web interface, and works pretty well. It's no InDesign, but it's easy to use.

This book covers our Cycle Montana ride with Adventure Cycling (which we loved. I can't say enough good things about them) as well as our stop in Idaho and our Crater Lake ride. It's the largest book I've done at about 11 x 14 inches. I'm happy with the reproduction and so far it looks like we spelled all the words right.

My other Blurb book: One Thousand Miles, and a Little Bit More
I had so much fun making the Montana book I decided to make another one commemorating the quest for the California Triple Crown jersey undertaken by Lance Oldstrong (from the NorCal forum) and myself in 2010. I used recycled blog posts, screen captures from BikeForums.net NorCal posts, photos and "liberated" ride reports. After all, this may well be my pinnacle of cycling achievement, so a book seemed somewhat reasonable. It will give me something to reminisce over as I sit on the porch with my mint julep.

I made two, and gave one to Lance Oldstrong. My trick totally worked. At first he had no idea it was about him, he thought I'd just found a book about the Triple Crown. It was fun watching it dawn on him that he was in it.

If you ride, make photos, or take vacations, I strongly encourage you to consider making your own book with any of these services. It's just plain ol' cool to have a physical memory, and in making the book you get to relive all the fun you had.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:28 PM   #2
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Nice job. Do you like Blurb best?

I've made a couple with MyPublisher.com, and have been impressed with their quality.

Here's one: Car Bike Trip

HotPrints.com is great for very cheap paperback photo books. Image quality is good, however. They used to be totally free, but now I think you have to pay a few dollars in shipping and handling. The ones I got had two pages of advertising in the middle, but those could be easily and neatly ripped out.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:44 PM   #3
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Yes, I liked Blurb best. I thoght their software was a bit nicer. I've used MyPublisher, but only for a very small fun paperback. Some reviewers say they have teh best photo quality, but I can't complain about Blurb at all.

I went full tilt and bought hardbound books, so they do cost, but they look like real books!

Car Bike Trip= nice! Looks like a great trip.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:59 PM   #4
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Fantastic! This is the type of thing I'd like to showcase our road trip(s) to Glenwood Springs, CO and other future trips. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:07 PM   #5
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Your Montana link doesn't work for me!
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Old 03-13-11, 03:49 PM   #6
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Your Montana link doesn't work for me!
Odd. Try this link. Instead of going directly to the preview it goes to teh info page where you can click to preview.
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Old 03-13-11, 06:02 PM   #7
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Update on HotPrints: The books are free, BUT you have to pay $2.99 for shipping and handling. You can get four books per month at that rate.

The online software for creating the books is pretty cumbersome and slow. It takes a while to get used to it. The books are more like pamphlets, but they are definitely high quality images. When they were totally free, I made a few each month.

I'm too cheap to pay $3 per book, but if you like these things, it could be worth it.

You can see PDF versions here and here.
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Old 03-13-11, 06:08 PM   #8
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Curtis, I also couldn't get to the Montana book via either of those links, but I could via your blog: http://ccorlew.blogspot.com/

That is a really, really nice book, I bet it took you a long time to make it. Is there any way to zoom in when viewing it online? Even when viewed full-screen, I can't read the text.

(I did that Blue Lake ride Friday.)

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Old 03-13-11, 06:09 PM   #9
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Curtis,

Thanks. My daughter wants to climb the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks starting next month. I suspect it will take us 2 to 3 years but this would be a great way to chronicle the adventure as well as a good learning experience for her.
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Old 03-13-11, 06:18 PM   #10
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TromboneAl: I have no clue why those links fail, They work on my computer (edit: I think I figured it out and fixed it). So thanks for posting the link to the blog. You're right, there's no zooming. I think it's just a preview thing.

cyclinfoo: That's a great idea! And something you'll treasure forever. Shoot lots, and try to make notes as you go. It's amazing what slips away.

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Old 03-14-11, 04:27 AM   #11
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Odd. Try this link. Instead of going directly to the preview it goes to teh info page where you can click to preview.
Thanks - both links now work!

I was watching a documentary last night about reintroducing predators to Montana. It looks like a fantastic place.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:52 AM   #12
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It looks like we have some similarity of experiences:

Attached Images
File Type: jpg SharedExperiences.jpg (29.6 KB, 17 views)
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Old 03-14-11, 10:24 AM   #13
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It looks like we have some similarity of experiences:
Too funny!
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Old 03-14-11, 03:01 PM   #14
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Looks wonderful... just wish I could see it full-size. (Am I missing something???) Maybe it will look bigger at the blogspot. I guess the only downside I can think of is that you've got to take a lot of really good pictures.

My deposit is in for 2011 Cycle Montana and someone else from 50+ (I forget who) is going too.
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Old 03-14-11, 04:09 PM   #15
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The book looks better in person at 11 x 14 or so than it does on screen. The preview is just that, a preview. There is a little button that makes it full screen, but you still can't really read it well.
If it's just the photos you want to see, I have a Flickr set at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ccorlew...32207135/show/

You will love Cycle Montana.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:19 PM   #16
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The book looks better in person at 11 x 14 or so than it does on screen. The preview is just that, a preview. There is a little button that makes it full screen, but you still can't really read it well.
If it's just the photos you want to see, I have a Flickr set at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ccorlew...32207135/show/

You will love Cycle Montana.
The full screen button was not working for me earlier but now it does and it is a big improvement... still, I wish I could see it better. I am psyched for Montana and have fished in the Bozeman/Ennis area many times so the general turf is familiar. It is surely going to look different from a bicycle though.
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Old 03-15-11, 02:04 PM   #17
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Just a comment: I think the ability to "self publish" is rather cool - however - not everyone should attempt it. A man who is currently with my sister, "published" a book after his pining and lost love for my sister whom he connected with again 30 years later after they broke up (she dump him after meeting the man she would marry). Besides the fact the man is clearly barely literate, it makes him come off a stalker and kindof creepy. I think some stories are better left private.
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Old 03-16-11, 08:14 AM   #18
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A book? Not sure if I'm the "writerly" type. I *am* finishing up my first solo CD, though. Of course, CDs -much like the printed word and literacy, itself- are going the way of the dinosaur. Still, very, very cool, Curtis!
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Old 03-16-11, 10:15 AM   #19
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A book? Not sure if I'm the "writerly" type. I *am* finishing up my first solo CD, though. Of course, CDs -much like the printed word and literacy, itself- are going the way of the dinosaur. Still, very, very cool, Curtis!
Words? Heck, I've made some that are only photos!

CDs? Love 'em. But Soundcloud and you can share!
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Old 03-19-11, 10:37 PM   #20
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Just a comment: I think the ability to "self publish" is rather cool - however - not everyone should attempt it. A man who is currently with my sister, "published" a book after his pining and lost love for my sister whom he connected with again 30 years later after they broke up (she dump him after meeting the man she would marry). Besides the fact the man is clearly barely literate, it makes him come off a stalker and kindof creepy. I think some stories are better left private.
Because he is creepy or because he's "barely literate?" :-)
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