The Media Credential Game

A Path to Magazine Publishing on a Budget!


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Some Background

I love shooting cars and do it as a hobby. Living close to the finest Concours d’ Elegance Events in the US it’s became an obsession turning me into an automotive imaging addict.

Shooting busy Car events can be a challenge for any photographer but a media pass or credentials issued by the sponsors can get you access to locations that turn an impossible dream into an awesome day of imaging. The trouble is that many of these organizations will not let you in unless you are attached to a major magazine or friends of the event staff regardless of how good your work may be.

I was able to get a pass to our local Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance for 5 years in a row but a year ago they changed staff managing the application’s and mine was denied stating that unless I was with a Magazine I could not get in. I was disappointed as this events Concours on Sunday is just not shootable without a media pass and early access as the small show field fills up with over 18,000 guests when the gates open. Later that week I received an email from Blurb Books advertising a special on their magazine publications and had the thought that if I produced my own Auto Magazine my chances to get into events like these may be much better.

The Outcome

A year later I am now the Editor, Photographer and Publisher for my own Magazine “The Motif Collective” and with 3 published issues on the street felt my chances to pick up a Media pass for this year’s Amelia event would be much better but I was wrong.


Denied again by the Amelia group was disappointing, especially when most of the media they do let in only posts two paragraphs and a batch of average images in one blog post for the entire year, even worst are the local folks with passes that do nothing more than post an album on their Facebook page.

Beyond this discouragement, I found a refreshed sense encouragement however! Because of the amazing results with my last Magazine publication I am inspired to shoot the event from the fringes, and focus the theme of next issue on this subject. Blurb offers Magazine printings on either Economy or Premium Versions, I had printed the first two issues using the economy production and was pleased but on a whim decided to try the premium for the third issue. For only two dollars more the difference in color quality on the inside pages was amazing, not only being so close to perfection in color and contrast the heavier paper is fantastic producing a magazine that will rival any other publication on the market.

This is a win, win product for any aspiring publisher or photographer looking to expand their services, products or credibility. Just like the Blurb Books (yes they rock too) you only have to purchase one copy and your Publication will then be available and hosted by online forever with options to sell or share anywhere is desired. In addition to printed copies you also have the option to produce eBooks and sell on Blurb, Amazon or the Apple iBookstore.

Nuts and Bolts

Magazines can be made with Blurb BookWright, Adobe® InDesign® or via PDF. All of my books and magazines were created and published using Blurb Bookwright and which is what I will cover here.


Billed as a creation tool for the creative and free Desktop Publishing Software to create professional looking books, magazines, and eBooks, BookWright is an awesome product. Simple and fairly intuitive to use the main features include:

  • Free, professionally-designed layouts and the ability to create your own
  • Print book, eBook, and PDF output all from the same project file
  • Free unique ISBNs for every version of your book (billed as a $125 value)
  • WYSIWYG print output via a color profile custom built for our printers 
  • Reflowable text containers
  • Rich Text Format (RTF) import for text-centric books
  • Will run on a MAC or PC

After you download a free copy of BookWright just select, create and follow the simple steps to start a new Magazine. With your first publication I would recommend that you try downloading the book templates to get a feel for the layout and potential of this simple, yet powerful tool.

Everything in the main workspace is set up with drag and drop functionality and when you click on any item the edit function becomes available. To reposition anything just drag any object to where you want in on the page or even overlapping pages, you may also grab any container edge to drag and resize it. Below is an example of an image that was clicked on to edit.


The program provides the majority of the standard page layout formats and all that is required to use on is to drag or double click to add it to a new page in your publication. You may also change the format of an existing page by double clicking on the newly desired format and as previously mentioned any of these containers can then be easily re-sized or moved.


Once you are satisfied with your creation or to check thing as you are laying it out BookWright has Preview function available as the work are display will be a bit different than the final output. Below is a screen of two pages in preview mode.


Once your publication uploaded you will have 15 days to order it or they will delete it. After you buy just one it stays online forever or until you remove it. In addition to Website and blog plugins, they also provide you with your own selling page to promote and sell your books and magazines with the below features:

  • Each book or magazine you make with Blurb gets a dedicated sales page
  • Make it available to the public or by invitation-only
  • Write a compelling book description
  • Customize a preview of your book
  • Share with others on social media
  • Blurb handles printing, shipping, and customer service

You can sell for profit or not:

  • Choose how much you want to earn with each sale
  • Sell your print book or magazine at any price above the base cost. EBooks can be sold at any price (or for free)
  • Blurb doesn't charge a selling fee for printed books or magazines and charges a 20% selling fee for eBooks.

Here is a sample of my Blurb Storefront, each book is preview able online with the number of pages’ available set by you.


Selling in the Apple iBookstore only takes the push of a button and once it is approved by Apple they will send you a link. The cost to create eBooks is an additional $9.99 but well worth it with this functionality and the cost also provides you with a professional PDF file which I use to publish the magazine for free on ISSUE for my non-MAC followers.




The Verdict

If you are interested in Publishing any of your works in any type of publication Blurb is a must try. From the magazines to book all of their products are top notch in quality, value and price. I especially love the Premium Magazines as I can publish an affordable but high quality printed publication of my car photography.

As far as my publications helping to elevate my media status in the eyes of event management, only time will tell. I do know that without my being rejected by them over at Amelia this new inspiration would not have happened however!