A Recipe for a Successful Cookbook

In the United States, the arrival of June brings with it National Barbeque Month. Primarily, it means three things: warm weather, fun festivals, and great grilling.

As the days get longer and you begin gathering around the outdoor barbeque, you also get a chance to show off your best recipes. If you’re a cook yourself, you know that presentation is as important as the flavor itself. So why not present your culinary chops in the best way possible?

You can put your favorite recipes to work for you and your guests, or collaborate with your friends and family for a cookbook worth keeping – and, despite the temperature, you don’t even have to break a sweat.

With our Microsoft Word Templates, you can customize colors, fonts and more just by following our Word template tips. If you select “US Letter Borderless” as the paper type in your page set-up, your cookbook will be ready to print via MagCloud.

If Word isn’t included in your summer style, you can also try your hand at our cookbook templates for Adobe InDesign and Apple Pages for designing your own barbecue cookbook.

zestIn the rare event that you haven’t already found yourself surrounded by appetizing inspiration, we might suggest browsing our selections from other grill-savvy MagCloud publishers, like ZEST: Food, Drinks & Entertaining.

 

Recommended reading:

Create a Beautiful Recipe Book with iWork Pages

Easy Custom Cookbooks with Microsoft Word

Cooking-up a Recipe Book with MagCloud

Free the Cookbook

How to make a cookbook—a delicious gift for everyone

Instagram Inspiration

As the old adage goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Today, these words have never been truer. Digital technology has long made an impression on our imagery, and while the tools are changing, the rules for aesthetics remain.

With the rise of micro-publishing platforms like Instagram, there has been an increase in the widespread sharing of traditionally outstanding photos in an innovative space. Photographers, individuals and brands everywhere have become publishers in their own right and have given new life to visual storytelling.

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Since publishers are known for their storytelling, Instagram enables them to extend the reach of their already compelling work. It offers a new perspective, and, if done right, can increase audience loyalty and readership. How, you ask? Read on!

Continue your Content

For starters, you can leverage Instagram for posting between publishing. It’s a quick, easy way to give your readers a sneak peek at what’s coming up in the next edition, or to solicit feedback on what they might like to see more, or less, of.

Keep it Simple

Your posts should be unique to you, so don’t overanalyze it. Share images that are easy and fun, and that speak to you specifically. Fill your frame with photos that matter to you and focus on the framing. The right crop can make all the difference.

Share your Story

Take advantage of Instagram’s hashtag feature. Beyond using common themes to create a steady stream of conversation about your channel or publication, you can also include popular hashtags to insert yourself into broader discussions about #travel, #photography or even #throwbackthursday.

Every time you post, you become more readily visible to audiences all over the world, exposing your publication to viewers with similar interests, and ultimately attracting new readers.

 

Recommended reading:

How MagCloud Publishers Leverage Instagram

How to create a big Instagram following

Creating Conversions: How to Maximize Instagram for SMBs & Publishers

MagCloud’s Favorite Instagram Users and Hashtags

A Partnership of Publishing Proportions

MCAnncmntHeader

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

Holiday Newsletter Templates

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Whether it’s for your business or your family, the holidays are a great time to send an update to friends, family, and colleagues. Here at MagCloud we think the best way to do that is with a beautifully designed print piece, so we’ve created a few holiday newsletter templates to help you get started. Once you’ve personalized your template of choice by adding your own photos and text in Adobe InDesign, Apple Pages, or Microsoft Word, follow our instructions to export a MagCloud-ready PDF file and then upload it to the MagCloud website to place your print order. We can even help you ship a copy of your newsletter to everyone on your address list with our Ship to Group feature. You can also opt to make your newsletter available as a digital version to share virtually if you don’t have someone’s shipping address.

Click the links below to download one of these new templates, or visit the MagCloud website to find more downloadable templates. Just be sure to check out our holiday shipping schedule to make sure you place your order in time. If you are using one of the templates below, you will also need to download the following free fonts:

Bebas Neue Regular
Langdon
Ostrich Sans
Linden Hill
Marcelle Script
Nexa Light

note: all templates will download as .zip files and will need to be unzipped before they can be opened in Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Word or Apple Pages

Holiday Newsletter for Your Business

Business NewslettersSend your customers an overview of what you did in 2013 and let them know what they can look forward to in 2014 with our holiday business newsletter template. This two-page template was designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Flyer, a double-sided single-sheet product with optional UV coating, and you’ll be able to print this newsletter for as little as $0.30 per piece when you purchase 20 or more copies. When you download this template you’ll be able to choose from three layout options: no logo, a rectangular logo, or a circular/square logo. When you are ready to export your file, be sure to follow the PDF export instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page.

Download this template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer): No Logo | Rectangle Logo | Square or Circle Logo

Download this template for Apple Pages: No Logo | Rectangle Logo | Square or Circle Logo

Download this template for Microsoft Word: No Logo | Rectangle Logo | Square or Circle Logo

Holiday Flyer Newsletter for Your Family

Flyer NewsletterLet your family and friends know what you’ve been up to the past year with our holiday flyer newsletter template. This short and sweet two-page template is available in three color combinations and was designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Flyer, a double-sided single-sheet product with optional UV coating, and you’ll be able to print this newsletter for as little as $0.30 per piece when you purchase 20 or more copies. After you’ve personalized the template with your family’s photos and text content, export your MagCloud-ready PDF using the instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page.

Download this template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer): Silver | Red | Gold

Download this template for Apple Pages: Silver | Red | Gold

Download this template for Microsoft Word: Silver | Red | Gold

Holiday Pamphlet Newsletters for Your Family

Pamphlet NewsletterIf you’re looking for a little more space in your holiday newsletter, check out our pamphlet templates. These four-page templates were designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ and 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet products, which have a half-fold binding and can be printed for as little as $0.60 per piece when you purchase 20 or more copies. The 8″ x 8″ version is available in the same three color combinations as the Flyer template. After you’ve personalized the template with your family’s photos and text content, export your MagCloud-ready PDF using the instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page. Be sure to select your chosen pamphlet size from the top of the page (8″ x 8″ or 8.25″ x 10.75″) before downloading the Instruction Package.

Click here to download the 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer)
Download the 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer): Silver | Red | Gold

Click here to download the 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet template for Apple Pages
Download the 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet template for Apple Pages: Silver | Red | Gold

Click here to download the 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet template for Microsoft Word
Download the 8″ x 8″ Pamphlet template for Microsoft Word: Silver | Red | Gold

Holiday Photobook Newsletter for Your Family

PhotobookIf you want to send even more photos to your family and friends this holiday season, we’ve created a longer photobook newsletter template. This template was designed for MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 5.25″ Digest product, and includes 16 pages to place your photo and text content. If you want to fill up all 16 pages, a print copy of this photobook will cost you just $2.56. You can also choose to delete pages in the template for a shorter 12 or 8 page booklet, or duplicate pages to make an even longer photobook and take advantage of our perfect binding option. When you are ready to export your file, be sure to follow the PDF export instructions in our Software Specific Instruction Package for your software of choice, available to download on our PDF Design Resources page.

Click here to download this template for Adobe InDesign (CS5 and newer)

Click here to download this template for Apple Pages

Click here to download this template for Microsoft Word

DIY Gift Ideas

From cookbooks, to calendars, to a poster of your favorite Instagram photos, use MagCloud to get a jump-start on your holiday gift giving by creating your own masterpiece.

cookbook_templateCookbooks

Recipe collections are a popular MagCloud publication type, serving the purpose of business promotionscommunity fundraisers, and wedding favors. With options for ordering print copies and downloading onto mobile devices like the iPad, MagCloud cookbooks are easy to keep close at hand in the kitchen. To help you get started on your own cookbook, check out our prior blog posts with templates and instructions for Adobe InDesigniWork Pages, and Microsoft Word.

Calendars

calendar_templateCalendars are a great way to relive the special moments of the past year, memorialize a one-of-a-kind summer vacation, highlight business accomplishments, serve as a collectible fundraising idea, or show-off your dog Kai’s greatest moments. Whatever your inspiration is, we’ve made it easy to get started. Select from one of our pre-designed templates or read our recent calendar blog post to design one yourself. And with a 28-page Standard format calendar costing only $5.60, it’s an affordable gift idea as well.

Posters

poster_templatesGive your child’s artwork, favorite New Year’s resolutions, new product offerings or your best-of wedding photos the rock star treatment with our Poster format. MagCloud’s full-color Posters are printed to order so there are no minimum order requirements – you can order copies of your poster as you need them, and come back to order more when you run out.  And if you want to make your poster gift extra special, read our blog post and watch our video for tips on framing MagCloud posters.

Share your DIY printed gift ideas in our comments section below.