A Partnership of Publishing Proportions

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By now, most of you have heard the exciting news we shared this week: As of May 5, 2014, we have transitioned the MagCloud business to our good friends at Blurb.

When we started MagCloud back in HP Labs we sought to democratize publishing, so anyone could create and distribute their own magazine. In the five years since, we have been honored to print hundreds of thousands of publications from wonderful publishing enthusiasts, photographers, artists and business owners all over the world. Now looking ahead, we feel it’s time for MagCloud users to get even more out of publishing and we believe that Blurb’s growing self-publishing ecosystem was the perfect next step.

What’s next?

For the time being, you’ll still be able to maintain creative control of your projects within MagCloud. All you have to do to use MagCloud as you would normally is accept Blurb’s terms and privacy policy when you login to your account. Your publications will look exactly the same, they will be printed as they always have, and the cost to create or buy new and existing products will not change.

Over the coming months, as we get settled into our new digs, the Blurb team will be providing more details on the transition. That means you’ll also want to opt-in to receive Blurb’s newsletter updates to receive the latest information on the transition, as well as stay up-to-date on all things Blurb.

In fact, it is Blurb’s features, like their broad line of book and magazine products and growing global distribution channels, that made them the obvious choice as we were looking to evolve what we started. In addition to robust authoring tools and a commitment to product quality, some of the many new benefits that you’ll find at Blurb include:

  • Precision design tools – like the recently released Blurb BookWright™ – to help you design your magazines with Blurb
  • Offset printing options for greater cost savings, as well as print-on-demand services
  • Unprecedented global reach across 80+ countries within Blurb’s platform
  • The Blurb Bookstore and third-party marketplaces

We hope that as our partnership evolves, you’ll find yourself as comfortable on Blurb’s pages as you are on ours. In the meantime, click here to learn more.

Publishing Poetry

Established by the Academy of American Poets, the United States celebrates National Poetry Month throughout the month of April. Ultimately, the purpose of the dedication is to draw individual and media attention to the art of poetry.

Image Courtesy of Parnassus Review
Image Courtesy of Parnassus Review

As artists, we know that poetry takes on many forms. While some keep free verse journals, others compile intricate sonnets and visual poems. Regardless of where on the spectrum your collection lies, though, there is a publication designed to make it shine. There is no time like to present to celebrate your own poetry, so read on for publishing pointers.

Maximize your medium.

Since the layout of a poem can be as important as the words themselves, the first step to publishing it determining the best place for your poetry to call home. Composing poetry on glass or wood and then uploading photos can completely change the perspective in your book.

Think outside the lines.

Tell a visual tale with your story by writing in different shapes. Graphic layouts are ideal for acrostics and outlining the silhouette of a character, or tracing the landscape of your setting, can significantly increase the visual appeal of text without imagery.

Face the font.
Create a language of your own by changing the fonts throughout your text. Don’t stop at style though, increase the size, change the color, and indicate significance with bolding, italics and CAPS. Each aspect of your font can add emphasis to your words and your tone.

Image Courtesy of Great Lakes Writers Festival
Image Courtesy of Great Lakes Writers Festival

Structure your space.

Like with lines, spacing can increase the drama on a page without any images. You can control the chaos with specific kerning or create a world of context by increasing the length of your lines. Sometimes the white space between the words introduces a meaning more powerful than the poem.

Don’t stop with words.

Each picture you include brings 1,000 words of its own, complimenting the existing artwork with even more context. Ebooks can deliver a digital space where the possibilities are endless; complete your composition with videos and sound recordings for a visceral experience.

Have any tips of your own? Share them below!

Recommended Reading:

Passion: Poetry – Inaugural Edition

Anthology of Mad Dog Poetry

The Inquisition of Poetry: Volume 1

Spring Snapshots: Making Your Photography Bloom

Image Courtesy American Meadows
Image Courtesy of American Meadows

For many, spring is the light at the end of the winter tunnel. Yet for photographers, it is the light at the end of the lens that makes spring most welcome. We find ourselves drawn to the season’s bright colors and warming up to the wanderlust that takes over the coming months.

Whether publishing a photography book or a travel magazine, spring deserves its own place on the page. Especially in an increasingly digital space, we know that outstanding content is best accompanied by outstanding imagery.

In order to do your wanderings justice, it’s important to strengthen the foundation of your photography beforehand. Pack your rucksack full of handy tips and tricks, like those included below, and then go on. Indulge your senses in all that the new seasons have to offer. When you return, share some of it with your readers.

If you’re already out the door, you’ll find a few tips to get you started below. We hope you enjoy these handy tips and links.

  • Get close to the scenery. It was Robert Capa who said, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
  • Leverage the light. Use golden hours like early morning, late afternoon or early evening for the most dramatic effects.
  • Speaking of lighting, watch your white balance. Compliment the natural beauty by turning off your camera’s white balance for the truest, clearest color.
  • Dress for the occasion. Pack on the layers for changing temps, but don’t pack so much you can’t enjoy your journey.
  • Get back to the basics. The Rule of Thirds never goes out of style, so align your subject along the intersections of nine equal squares within the frame for more drama.

For further inspiration:

OneLight Field Guide: A field guide to complement the accessories in your camera bag and make the most of whatever light you may find yourself in.

Composition Rules: A short review of composition rules to help you make better photos.

Fine Art Photography: Eye on Fine Art Photography’s Spring Issue features inspiring photography of places like Wakulla Springs, Yosemite, flower fields of Carlsbad and beyond.

Denim+Grace: Denim+Grace is a Photography Magazine created for Photographers and filled with content from leading artists in the industry.

Digital Compact Photography: A must have magazine, if you are using a compact digital camera and not an SLR. Full of hints and tips, for learning to take the perfect photo using a compact digital camera.

The Canon Spectrum: This magazine gives DSLR camera users a little bit of information on the different lenses that one should use for each kind of photography subject as well as recommendation of a wide price range of recommended lenses.

 

Recommended Reading:

Summer Wanderlust

Travel Photo Tips and Tricks

Q+A with Professional Photographer James Worrell

Celebrate Camera Day