seven tips for creating your book

  1. What story are you telling? Think about who is involved in the story. Who are the main characters? Who or what else plays a significant role, either large or small? Answers to these questions will help you decide on the pictures and text you want to include as well as how to best organize the pieces.
  2. Is the story told best with pictures or with words?  In other words, is this story best told through pictures with captions or as a story with pictures as illustration? This distinction will help you decide not only how to tell the story but also determine its design.
  3. What is the turning point of the story?  In any story, you need to introduce the characters and the background, build to a turning point and then resolve and conclude. While you’re not necessarily writing the next great American novel, you do want to tell your story in a compelling way, whether it is photo or text-driven.
  4. Use the best quality pictures you can find. Look for well-lit shots that are in focus. Also use a variety of shots – candid and posed, singles and groups, joyful and thoughtful. Close-ups, as long as they are good quality, can be particularly effective.
  5. Are there other sources of content - newspaper clippings, invitations, ticket stubs? The addition of non-photographic images can really enhance the story and is a good counterpoint to all the pictures.
  6. Plan more time than you think you need. These types of projects should be savored and most people find themselves more involved in the content than they’d imagined. It is too bad to have to rush to meet a deadline and not enjoy the process. (There is no harm in getting the project done early!)
  7. Take the time to record where the content goes AFTER the book is made – back to your sister, in the baby album etc. It will make things much easier for you when you’ve finished the project.