So the last couple of months, I've been working on an idea for book, and I wanted to see a mockup/proof. It's mostly photographs/images, with a very text introduction, and I wanted only one image per spread, like a nice little monograph. Which means a lot of blank facing pages. Which is fine if you're printing a run of books, even a small one. But it sucks if you use an on-demand printer, which usually start charging $1-1.50 for each page over, say 20.
I decided to use Blurb.com for the proof, partly because they offer a nice variety of formats and finishes, but also because their stepped pricing structure was quite reasonable. Also, their BookSmart tool is pretty flexible for putting the book together. There's a large selection of page layouts, which I was able to pare down and edit to my own liking. So far so good.
Here's my first and only tip for anyone thinking about using Blurb & BookSmart: BE $)(%ING SURE AND HAPPY WITH THE SIZE AND FORMAT OF YOUR BOOK, BECAUSE IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE IT, YOU'LL HAVE TO START OVER FROM $#*(%(ING SCRATCH. HOW THE HELL CAN SOMEONE CALL AN APPLICATION "BOOKSMART" WHEN IT IS TOO )($*#%ING STUPID TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE THE MOST BASIC CHANGE OPTION OF ALL?
So yeah, the proof arrives in a few days, we'll see how it looks [besides, too big, obviously.]