Your books, your way—with Blurb

Your books, your way—with Blurb

Blurb’s publishing platform gives anybody the ability to create, publish, distribute, and sell in both print and digital formats. Photo books, trade books, magazines—we do them all. Fixed-layout books for the iPad? Check. Reflowable ebooks for iPad or Kindle? No problem.

At the heart of the platform is BookWright, our powerful new layout tool that enables print book, ebook, and PDF output—all from the same project file. With professionally designed starter templates, RTF file import, and free ISBNs for every version of your project, BookWright makes it simpler than ever for anybody with a great idea to publish.

For design pros, we also have a plug-in for Adobe® InDesign®, providing an in-app solution for self-publishing through Blurb. Or if you need a little help, we’ll introduce you to a Dream Team of collaborators including expert editors, cover designers, and other publishing professionals.

When you’re ready to publish, we have sales and distribution options to match your objectives: sell directly to fans and friends, or go global with distribution to Amazon, the Ingram Content Group, Apple’s iBooks Store, or the Kindle Store. We even have offset printing, warehousing, and custom print options for high-volume projects.

via DigitalWorld article about Your books, your way—with Blurb.

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Be It Ever So Humble, Blu Homes and Opening Lines

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home…

The Daily Post challenge (from yesterday, but who’s counting?) was “What’s the first line of the last song you listened to (on the radio, on your music player, or anywhere else)? Use it as the first sentence of your post.”

Well, I cheated a little because I wanted to make another two-fer blog post that spoke mainly about my desire to BUILD my next home and Blu Homes is at the top of my list.

Just one of their homes...with a pool, of course!

The iconic design of the Breezehouse offers an elegant and harmonious connection between beautiful indoor and outdoor living. The Breezehouse is centered around its stunning signature Breezespace, a glass-enclosed living area situated under a distinctive “butterfly” roof. Dramatic sliding glass doors or Nanawalls© open to connect the Breezespace to the outdoors, creating an open-air living room that marries the home’s interior with the natural world surrounding it. A spacious floor plan, high ceilings, large bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms with floating vanities, utility room with side by side wash dryer, ample storage, and flexible floor plan options make the Breezehouse the perfect fit for you and your family.

via Breezehouse – Blu Homes.

No doubt you are likely reading this from the comforts of your own “humble abode”. Our “nest”, “crib” or whatever-you-call-it, home is as individual as we are.  Apart from the bare essentials, walls, roof…high-speed Internet, we fill it with those things that make it our own. Even if it’s a cookie-cutter suburban model, once you pass through the front door, what lies within is anything but identical.

Now that I have a new job…AND it’s a long-term “gig”…I feel that urge to find a home, not just a place to live. I’ve begun the process of elimination; throwing out many ideas that I’ve had over the years and trying to narrow the search down to WHERE, WHAT and WHEN/HOW.

Where is probably somewhere in southern Anne Arundle or northern Calvert Counties…close (enough) to work to be less than an hour’s commute, but retaining the luxury of LAND (love it, don’t want no cramped condo or townhouse living, no sir)!

What is dependent on a couple of factors, not the least of which is expense. Blu Homes have several models that I like, but they may not make the final cut if I build (which is my desire). I prefer ranchers over multi-story homes, or at least a downstairs master suite with additional bedrooms upstairs (and will be most for guest and resale value). I also need a pool, but will settle for a hot tub…water is a must! A garage or covered carport is highly-desirable, as is a fairly level lot with paved driveway (I have a gravel one now and I’m surprised I haven’t twisted my ankle yet!

When/how is a much larger question that will naturally fall more into place as the first two “questions” are more fully addressed. Financing houses in this area is not difficult, but can be an ordeal in and of itself…been there, got approved, but didn’t get the (two) homes that were part of the deal (probably for the best). Going it alone could be daunting, perhaps I’ll find a business partner to share in the costs and (hopefully) profits, since I doubt I’ll be retiring here.

Why we choose the place we live is as important as the location, style or landscaping. At the end of the (work) day, we come home, kick off our shoes and let it all hang out. Home is where the heart is…and the body that it lies within…

Stay tuned for further developments. It promises to be quite the journey!

The Daily Post, Opening Lines, via http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/opening-lines/

Vitsœ | Good design

Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design

Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him – “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colors and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?

As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he set about expressing the ten most important principles for what he considered was good design. (Sometimes they are referred as the ‘Ten commandments’.)

Here they are.

  • Good design is innovative
  • Good design makes a product useful
  • Good design is aesthetic
  • Good design makes a product understandable
  • Good design is unobtrusive
  • Good design is honest
  • Good design is long-lasting
  • Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  • Good design is environmentally-friendly
  • Good design is as little design as possible

via Vitsœ | Good design.

Found thru the OpEd piece on
Good Design is Aesthetic (Part 3) by Jordan Koschei.

Debra E. Brady, Publisher of MetaRead360 Small Press

Debra E. Brady, Publisher of MetaRead360 Small Press

MetaRead360 Small Press is looking for new authors to publish

Whether you have an idea for a new book or searching for a way to complete and publish one you already have, we are actively seeking both promising and already-published authors and multimedia producers. “MetaRead360” is all about delivering compelling books and videos that do not fit among the re-packaged fluff that flood the marketplace. 

Contact us with a description of yourself and your publication to see if we are a match.

A workshop designed like a tiny house | Boneyard Studios

A workshop designed like a tiny house

GALLERYPosted on 01/16/2014 by leepera

We believe tiny house workshops should be like tiny houses: small, intimate, and designed to your individual needs.  That’s why a couple of the professionals involved in building houses at Boneyard Studios put together a tiny house design workshop for the DIYer who wants more technical information and planning materials for their tiny house build. Our first workshop this past fall was a success and a lot of fun to put on, so we are redoing it again this Spring at Howard University.  Find out more details about the workshop and watch a video from our past workshop.  Check out our photos and materials from the past workshop below and see why I, Lee, was motivated to help design a workshop with these professionals after my experience building a tiny house.

via A workshop designed like a tiny house | Boneyard Studios.

Facebook Cheat Sheet for Marketers (#SEW)

Facebook Photo Sizes Cheat Sheet for Marketers:

Apps, Ads, Albums & More – Search Engine Watch (#SEW)

Smart marketers have known the way to a fan’s heart is through their eyes for some time, but significant changes to Facebook’s News Feed underscored the importance of visuals even further.

Facebook wants stories shared through their platform to be more vibrant, colorful, and ultimately more engaging. It seems they’re just following users’ lead; last year the social network shared their own research, which showed that posts including a photo album, picture, or video generate about 180 percent, 120 percent, and 100 percent more engagement, respectively.

Use this guide to help you improve the quality of images you upload and display on Facebook, by using the right dimensions, resolution, and features for the job.

Facebook Cover Photo

We’ll start with cover photos, the large banner image at the top of your company page. The minimum size accepted is 720 pixels wide but you may experience loss of quality.

The optimal image size for cover photos is 851 x 315 pixels. Start with a canvas of double that size – 1702 x 630 – for sharp, crisp images; Facebook will resize it and you’ll have the right dimensions.

Follow these dos and don’ts of cover images, directly from Facebook:

  • Do use a unique image to represent your page.
  • Do experiment with different images to see which gets the best response.
  • Do change up your image to highlight special events, seasonal trends, or other types of campaigns.
  • Don’t include any content that may be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright, or violate Facebook’s Pages Terms.
  • Don’t encourage people to upload your cover image to their personal Timeline.
  • Don’t make more than 20 percent of your cover image text.

Facebook relaxed their cover images guidelines as of March 6, 2013, adding the 20 percent text rule but easing up on their restriction on a call to action or contact information on the image.

Facebook also offers this helpful advice: To get the fastest load times for your Page, upload an sRGB JPG file that’s less than 100 kilobytes. For images with your logo or text content, you may get a higher quality result by using a PNG file.

The complete article availalbe via Facebook Photo Sizes Cheat Sheet for Marketers: Apps, Ads, Albums & More – Search Engine Watch (#SEW).

A Cautionary Tale on Tiny Houses

This Cautionary Tale on Tiny Houses is a Guest Post by Allan Cerf

Portland Oregon - Old Town Marque
Portland Oregon – Old Town Marque

Like what I hope is a large majority of tiny house enthusiasts, I really want to live in a smaller space. The notion that I don’t have to immediately buy a ‘McMansion’ or even a ‘normal’ say, 2100 square foot home (following the sad, bitter end of a relationship), and that I can be happier in a 600 foot or even smaller space, was what fired my–and probably your–interest in such small dwellings.

Discovering the Realities of Tiny Houses

The reality of what I have found has been not shocking (I’m too old to be shocked) but extremely disappointing. Full disappointment kicked in following my visit to Portland’s ‘thriving’ and unified Tiny House community the last week in December 2012. What I discovered is that such a community doesn’t exist. Oh, there are tiny houses to be sure but the unity…not so much. This is underscored by just who actually lives in these homes as well as the owner’s vision for these Lilliputian dwellings. Therein lies the rub: The owners and the dwellers’ are usually not the same. But I get ahead of myself.

via A Cautionary Tale on Tiny Houses.