DIY Coloring Book with Blurb

November 28, 2018Sarah Khandjian

If you’ve been following my blog for some time you know that I create free monthly wallpaper downloads. In fact, I’ve been creating them over six years and haven’t skipped a month! After creating original illustrations for that long I’ve accumulated a good sized collection of graphics but I never known exactly how to repurpose them—until now! I partnered with Blurb, the original indie book-making and self-publishing platform, to turn some of the most beloved wallpaper illustrations into a fun coloring book.

I started by ordering a swatch kit, which features print and paper samples of all the book options. After reviewing them, I decided on an 8″ x 10″ Trade Book with a softcover. The unit cost was extremely reasonable and the paper weight was thick enough to hold up to coloring with various mediums. Perfect for making a coloring book!

I skimmed the blog archives and selected reader favorites that I thought would make fun coloring book graphics. I converted them to line art and then got to work laying out each page of the book. I have more details about that process in this post but I just have to say there’s just something magical about taking digital art and seeing it in print. So much of what we create these days just stays on our phones, but when my coloring books arrived and I could actually touch my illustrations, I felt giddy. And that’s not just from being the daughter of a print expert. These books look even better than I imagined!

If you’ve ever wondered how you can create your own book (or coloring book), Blurb makes it so doable from start to finish, or rather start to sale and distribution. My background is in graphic design and I’m well versed Adobe InDesign (I even once taught a high school yearbook class) so I opted to use Blurb’s free InDesign plugin to create my book. It was as simple as selecting the product type and size and then designing each page as you would any other document. If using InDesign seems daunting, you can design your book using BookWright, Blurb’s free page layout software. Or if you’re Lightroom savvy, you can use Blurb’s Lightroom Book Module to create gorgeous photo books.

And once you create your book, it doesn’t end there, you have the option to sell through Blurb too. You can offer a digital copy of the book and/or printed copies (with a legit ISBN number and barcode on them).

I ordered a several copies of my coloring book and plan on gifting them to friends and family this holiday season. Just wrap up a set of colored pencils or crayons in pretty ribbon and place the book—which fits oh so perfectly in a shirt box—in a box and wrap it up. Maybe also include a mug and some hot cocoa (or canned wine for the adults) and you can gift selfcare in a box.

Color with Me!

Want your own copy of Colorful Calendars or a few as gifts? Head over to the Blurb bookstore and get a copy or two of Colorful Calendars today and get coloring! I hope this book brings you as much joy as it did for me when I created it.

Now, tell me, if you could make any book, what kind of book would you create?

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