Thursday, May 3, 2018

Summer 2018 Update

Chances are you landed here on my blog because you were looking for some help with creating a book through Over the past ten years I’ve helped dozens of clients on four continents get their photos and stories off their computers and into a book. I started out designing mostly blog books, but Blurb no longer supports the import of the photos from a blog so that put a gigantic wrench in the speed in which I could produce that type of book. I now focus more on other types of books. My specialty is travel books with clean modern mosaic style. I also help format memoirs, books of poetry, and more text heavy books. 

Visit my bookstore on the Blurb website for samples of my work under the search term carriep

My fee structure has also changed so that you get a firm price up front for the design fee. The printing/shipping costs fall on the client and are dependent on the length of the book and paper/cover options.

I am in various stages of the following projects so will be limiting the number of new clients at this time. Feel free to reach out and see if my plate has cleared off enough to consider your project.  

Trip to Tuscany
Trip to SouthEast Asia
Sailing Around the World
MamaSpice Cookbook series
Mission to Brazil
Caringbridge Site conversion

Thank you for visiting Your Blog To Book!


Saturday, December 23, 2017

2017 News

Before I get into the updates I have for Your Blog to Book I want to say a huge THANK YOU to my clients for entrusting me with their stories and photographs over the last 9 years. Over 160 books have been designed since that first one in 2008! It means the world to me to be able to bring your stories to life and preserve family memories.

Now onto the updates and news for 2017.....
My kids are getting older and are all in school now so I've had more flexibility to work daytime hours. That means I work more traditional hours and have weekends free to spend time with family. My days (or nights rather) of working late into the night because that was the only time the house was quiet are behind me.

I also have expanded my design services to include wall art decor and fiber art. I learned to crochet in 2016 and add new products to my shop on Facebook all the time. Book design requires a lot of detail work and crocheting and sewing allow me to continue to be creative but it in a completely different way.

You can find my Facebook page under my main business page, Carrie Pauly Photography & Design.

Why the bear logo? Years ago we lived in a campground as the caretakers and I wrote a mommy blog called Raising Cubs in a Campground. My blogger name was MamaBear and it has stuck all these years later on Instagram and Twitter.  I wanted to distinguish the fiber design side of my business from the graphic design side and decided that sewn/crocheted products would be set apart with the @4MamaBear name. 

This website will remain active as a way for book clients to find information and see sample books, but you'll find my Facebook page to be the place to see current products and fresh links to book samples. If you don't have a Facebook account don't worry! You can reach me at any time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blurb Discount codes for January 2015 are available now

If you want have a book project waiting in the wings or you are just excited to get started making a book of your own, then you'll want to click on the discount code below. Offer is valid 1/28 through 1/31/2015

Save 20% sitewide @ Blurb (up to $50 off) code:MYVALENTINES

Click here to be redirected to Blurb's website. Thank you for your support!

Another great deal is available as well:

Save 25% on Large Square or Large Landscape books when you spend $100+
CODE: LOVEBOOKS25 Click here to be redirected to Blurb's website.
This one is valid: 01/01/2015 01/27/2015

***Please note, these are affiliate links and I'll make a small commission on purchases made through clicking through to the discount code and on to Blurb's website. Thank you for your support of my small business!***

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My design services are expanding!

My clients come from all walks of life and all creative abilities. Some want to be able to design their own books, but just don't have the time, and others are at a complete loss as to where to begin.

I have been blessed to spend the last nine years designing books for people all over the world and am expanding my business to include one on one and group classes on photobook design using the same (free) software I use.

If you are local to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota I am excited to begin sharing my knowledge so you can create your own books at your own pace. Preserving memories has always been a passion of mine and teaching book design will allow me to share information with even more people.

The benefit to you is two fold - cost savings and significant time saved from gaining 9 years of expertise in 1 hour.

Below are the two options I have available right now. 

1 ON 1 SESSION - $25 for 1 hour
* 1 hour consultation
* cheat sheet
    - instructions on editing layouts
    - tips on paper/cover options and choosing book size
* help with project organization
* 3 months of phone and email support

GROUP CLASS - $40 for 1 hour  (2-4 people)

Includes everything from the 1 on 1 session, but the cost can be share between 2-4 people.

*****To maximize our time together I will ask that you have the free software from called Booksmart already downloaded onto your computer and your photos available via,, Picasa Web Albums,, your computer's hard drive, a flash drive, or CD's. *********

Contact me at carrie pauly @ gmail com to schedule a session or class!

Deluxe Alphabitty Moments Book

Alphabitty Moments - The Baby Book Edition

While this isn't my first Alphabitty Moments book, it IS the first time I've used my "little things" concept for a baby book. I am so pleased with how cohesive it is and that I was able to get almost 300 photographs in an 80 page book. It was very important to me that I stayed true to the theme of Alphabitty Moments but at the same time cover as much of my daughter's first year as I could.

One way I incorporated extra photographs & text in was to add a summary of her first year near the beginning of the book.

A rainbow theme runs through the entire book as a nod to the theme for her 1st birthday party (which is also her golden birthday).

       Don't let milestones overshadow the fleeting moments that make up childhood,
                                for it's the ordinary moments of every day life
                     that define childhood & become our most treasured memories.

Alphabitty Moments Instagram book

Alphabitty Moments Meets Instagram

When time permits I also make books for my own family. Sometimes it's a photobook from a vacation (that I used as a pregnancy announcement!) Other times it's a book from our Summer Series.

But my passion, when it comes to photos books, are Alphabitty Moment books.

Don't know what an Alphabitty Moment is?

Let me explain...I'm sure we all agree that the big events of childhood - the firsts we all photograph and document are important, but Alphabitty Moments are about the ordinary moments that fill in the gaps. Using the alphabet to tie those things together weaves a story unique to each child. They are the little moments that might go unnoticed until they are no longer part of our daily life. I wrote in the front of Elsa's book the following reminder to myself....

Don't let milestones overshadow the fleeting moments that make up childhood,
                                for it's the ordinary moments of every day life
                     that define childhood & become our most treasured memories.

A quote that's popular on Pinterest goes something like this, "Some day we will look back on all the little things and realize they were actually big things"

My personal favorite is this Winnie the Pooh Quote I added to Elsa's book:
I'm so passionate about this project that I've published four versions so far and have two more waiting in the wings. Elsa's baby book was based on the Alphabitty Moments theme, but was much more elaborate than Sam's and Julia's. What can I say? Technology has made things much easier than when my first two were born! THEY got 30 minute DVD slide shows of their first years so don't feel too bad for them.

This year when I made Elsa's book I used mostly pictures from my phone that I posted on Instagram (I'm 4MamaBear) at some point, but that wasn't always the case. I set up the layouts so no matter the Instagram border or size of the original photo, they will all be consistent and mesh well together.

I made a couple of other design changes so I could include MORE information without compromising the simplicity of the book's theme. Now instead of only a letter, word, and photo in each spread an explanation is included along side the photo.

I use a special section in the back of the book to include the date and location each photo was taken & use a custom designed key to fit all the information together seamlessly.  

My kids LOVE looking through their books and hearing stories of when they were little.
I think you might be surprised at how quickly you can scroll through your photographs & come up with 26 words & photographs that describe your child! And if you want to stick with a general A-Z photobook without a focus on the little things, I am still more than happy to offer my services.

A 60 page book using this format is $100.
If you prefer the 8x10 format the cost is $200

'You Are Loved' book

Below you will find a repost of a post I wrote for my personal blog about a book I made for my youngest daughter:

  Looking Beyond the Baby Book: How to record memories in the 2nd year and beyond.

I will forever be grateful that I found Tiff's post over at A Day In My Life. If it weren't for her post about the photo book she made as an alternative to a traditional baby book, I can pretty much guarantee that all the photos I took of Elsa over the past year on the 1st of each month would STILL be stuck on my computer waiting for me to catch up on 6 years of blog books.  Instead I was motivated to get 223 of my favorite images into a book for me to publish using my favorite bookmaking site. When Elsa turned one I was at a loss as to how to keep recording her milestones in a way that didn't require a lot of effort. I knew I would have plenty of photos, but I didn't know how to tie all the text together or even what exactly I would be able to blend together into a cohesive book.  I searched for a 'prompt' so to speak, and what I landed on is so simple yet so full of information about Elsa each month of her second year.

All I have to do is complete sentences that begin with the word "You". I jot notes on our family calendar and in my daily journal so it's really easy to pull everything together. Despite my best intentions it wasn't possible to keep up with making new monthly pages so that task was left for the end, BUT it wasn't hard because I had all the information in only two places.

Opposite the page with text (I make those in Photoshop almost the exact same way as Tiff), I placed a full bleed photo of Elsa with her white chair.  Like the basket series I did every week for 52 weeks, I used a consistent prop to show her growth. Granted she's so wiggly the chair was off in the background sometimes!

The colors for the numbers were chosen based on whatever outfit she was wearing for her photo shoot. Knowing this ahead of time was good motivation to mix up the colors she wore. I didn't realize how much dark pink she has!

 After the initial spread for each month the layouts vary depending on how many photos I was able to get that month. All but a couple of times I did her mini sessions on the 1st of each month since her birhday is July 1st, but the information for each month covers the entire month. What that means is that below she's exactly 14 months old in the photo, but all the milestones happened over the course of the month she was 14 months old. Make sense? I wanted the 14 to go with the things she did at 14 months, not by the time she turned 14 months. Confused yet? I know I had to stop and think a few times as I sorted out the months, milestones, & photos so I was consistent! Have you noticed that's something very important to me yet? :)

I was able to sneak in a dear photograph spread which I loved! Julia was a little younger than Elsa when her photo was taken next to the same tree, but with birthdays in October and July this was the closest I could get of them in the same dress.

The very last 'you' on every month is 'you' are loved! and so that's what I titled the book.
I hodge podged a font to make the 'you' fit my needs. I'm too cheap to buy a font so I altered one to get the look I wanted. I simply enlarged it for the cover.

I'm still on the fence about whether I'll use the same format for her 3rd year. I think it would be great to go back and make a page a year for Sam and Julia with some highlights of the year, but I think it might be too late :( Besides, they have Alphabitty Moment books to remember their younger years. Eventually they'll have blog books too. What have YOU done to record milestones for your little ones?

If you want to see all of Elsa's book you can click here.
Want your own version? The cost for this book up to 100 pages is $400.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Waiting list for 2014/2015

Good news! I'm opening up my waiting list again for family blog books! My family and I moved over the summer to a small home in a small town with a big yard. We are enjoying the change of pace from working in a campground 365 days a year and living in the country. Now we walk/bike as much as possible and have close to 40 extra hours in our week that we didn't have before - granted I have 2 gardens the size of tennis courts to tend to, but I love it!

Please scroll down or click on one of the tabs above for more information on requesting a quote.
The best email to contact me at is

Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my design site!

- Carrie

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Waiting List for 2013/2014

First I want to say thank you for stopping by my design site! I hope that you take a few minutes to look around at some of the books I've designed over the years and are inspired to keep blogging, keep taking photos, and ask questions about how to turn your blog or pile of photos into a beautiful book!!!

My plate remains full for family blog books, but I am open to other photo book projects that aren't as time consuming. I work after my kids go to bed at night which means unless I want to survive on coffee and 3 hours of sleep, I can only take on a limited number of projects each year. Oh wait, that IS how I survive - thanks to a teething toddler! Anyway, please feel free to email me with any questions or if YOU are a blog book designer and are looking for new clients, I am happy to be a sounding board for resources so more people can get books into their hands faster!

My projects for Fall 2013 and Winter/Spring 2014 included:

Casey book 2013
Manning book 2012/2013 book
Knutsen 2013
Olsen 2013

If you don't want to wait for a blog book opening here are a couple other options for books I can design at any time in addition to these other types of projects.

Alphabitty Moments Books - A fun twist on an alphabet book completely customized to your child! - A popular version is the one I make using all types of photos (great photobooks for Instagram users!) A 62 page book is only $100 for a limited time!

Baby Books & beyond - beyond the 1st year! Check out this post on my personal blog about  how I monthly updates with photos for my daughters 2nd year baby book.

Pin It

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Waiting list for 2013

After a book a month pace in 2012 I have scaled back my workload for 2013 so I can spend more of my daytime hours with my young children.

Unless your blog is very photo heavy with very few words and/or text is all grouped together in paragraphs (not captions) I am not available for Family Blogger style blog books at this time.

For examples of books I am looking for please click on this link that shows some samples. In a nutshell, they include:

Travel Books
Family Photo Albums
Vacation Albums
Alphabitty Moment Books (ABC book for children using your photographs)
Wedding Albums
Portfolio Books
Child Photography Albums

When in doubt if your project is the right fit for me, don't hesitate to ask! You can reach me at

Thank you for visiting!

Blog Book Design Inspiration

It has been a a while since I've had an opening on my waiting list so this website has sat dormant for over a year. Word of mouth and return clients keep me hopping so posting here hasn't been high on my priority list.
I'm sorry to say that openings for new projects are still few and far between (see previous post for books I AM available for), but that doesn't mean I can't pop in and share some of my favorite layouts & some design/blogging tips when I'm waiting for a final book draft to upload to

Tonight I'm sharing some layouts from one in a series of books that I have been making for a client in Colorado.  My hope is that seeing what a difference the ratio of text to photographs has in the feel of a blog book will encourage you to format your blog posts with a potential blog book in the back of your mind.

Vacation posts tend to have an abundance of photographs that can often take up multiple pages in a book. Whenever possible I try to group the text together at the beginning or with one particular photo so the rest of the photographs can be showcased like you see in the layouts below.  (The dark gray rectangle that you see at the top and bottom of the screenshot is the spine of the book.)

I am always on the lookout for 'clean space' in a photograph that I can use to superimpose text. I feel like this gives me the best of both worlds - eye catching layouts with the descriptions that are meant to go with the photos.

Wasting space means wasting clients money which is a big no-no in my book, but page after page of my signature 'patchwork layouts' is not ideal either. Instead I strive to strike a balance which to be honest, is often achieved simply by the flow of a blog...some posts have lots of photos and some don't!

Sometimes white space can be just as powerful as the photos themselves.

...and sometimes I use a combination of white space, blocks of text, and patchwork layouts to lead the eye through the story as the author intended.

Remember, a blog is set up to scroll through one picture or at best, one collage at a time with text sprinkled or pooled in varying places in the flow of pictures.  A blog book, on the other hand is designed to help a reader take in a much larger portion of the story all at once.  They eye travels around and around each two page spread until everything has been processed. If I've done my job right, a reader will keep circling the layouts, picking up new nuances on each pass.

When it's all said and done what matters is that you have invested in preserving memories!   I hope I  have inspired you to take more photos, write more blog posts, design your own blog book, or hire me if your project fits my current availability.

I made a book a month last year so there are many more samples & tips to come! If there is something you'd like me to cover in my next post please leave your questions and/or topic suggestions in the comments.

Pin It

Friday, January 27, 2012

Waiting List for 2012

Thank you for taking the time to visit my design site! I am taking a limited number of new blog book clients for 2012. Please contact me so we can discuss whether I am a good fit for your project. Large blog book projects (200+ pages) are probably not something I can take on at this time since I can only work when my older two are in school and the baby is sleeping.

Projects I am looking for include:

Vacation Albums

Alphabitty Moment Books

Family Albums

Child Photography

Wedding Albums

Happily Ever After by Carrie Pauly Photography | Make Your Own Book

This is only a sample of the type of photobooks I can design - please don't hesitate to ask if you have a different project you'd like my help with!

The best email to reach me is:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Show off your photographs in a blog book

Thanks to a new feature at I am able to share select pages of the books
I design. Below you'll be able to view 102 pages from a 430 page book I recently finished. 400 blog posts, 1,415 photographs, and countless memories preserved in a one of a kind blog book. Be sure to click on FULL SCREEN for the best view!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Customer Testimonials

Jake's Baby Blog (the very first book I designed)

"I wanted to let you know that my husband was really impressed by the blog book you made for us. He spent a lot of time looking at it last night and commented multiple times that it exceeded his expectations. He was impressed at how professional it looked and how substantial it was. He is already planning on the next book!"

- Kelly
The Adventures of Jake and Alex

Our Story (The second book I designed)

"This book has been such a gift to us! It is a tangible way to look back on our first year with our twins and remember the challenges, the beauty, and God's faithfulness through it all! I am so thankful to have found Carrie to design the book for us. She did it in a timely, thoughtful, and professional manner and the finished product is such a treasure!"

- Jenny
Our Story

Roots & Wings

"I can't tell you how much I love the blog scrapbook you did. It's priceless! It's gone on my list of "things to grab in an emergency". - Sarah

Casey Chronicles

"LOVE LOVE LOVE the book. It is so perfect and looks fantastic on our coffee table. The cover is absolutely perfect and very "me" and the layout of the book is perfect. THANK YOU for your TIME and hard work!"

Tidbits & Snippets

Monday, May 10, 2010

Adoption Journey Blog Book

I recently had the privilege of creating a blog book for a family who at the time was beginning the process of adopting a son from Ethiopia. (The blog entries were from 2008 and they have since brought home their newest blessing, Connor.)

Their family album is full of pictures of their two daughters, stories of their antics, and family celebrations.

Every project is different - some have more pictures than text, others have more text than pictures, but this one fell right in the middle. If you click on the collage you can get a sense of what an album of this type will look like.

Keep in mind though that every book is unique. Every blog posts are laid out very carefully.
For example, the page below is part of a birthday post that I chose to highlight against a fun photo of the daughter's hands.

Another way to personalize your book is to have blog names replaced with real names.
Originally the daughters in this book were referred to as G and L but for $15 per name I replace them all with their real names.

If you are considering hiring me to turn YOUR blog into a book it would be a good idea to get in touch with me via email asap as my waiting list is about long enough to keep me busy until Christmas.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Is your child's baby book collecting dust?

Forget the old fashioned baby books. Now you can share your child's milestones and memories with family & friends via your blog AND archive content for their baby book at the same time. Thanks to Blurb's new widget you can preview a baby book example right here in post. Get inspired today!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Year In Pictures - turning your blog into a family album

Favorite family recipes:

Special holidays...

Special vacations....

....all preserved in in a beautiful hardcover book for each of your children and their future children thanks to the archival quality of the paper used in printing these books.

Friday, February 19, 2010

How to turn your travel blog into a book

Travel blog books are so much more than photo albums. The emotion in the writing after viewing a majestic mountain for the first time or chronicling a memorable exchange with a local...these moments and so many others are brought to life when the words accompanies the photographs.

Ten years ago when I traveled around the world I scribbled in a journal and carried 24 rolls of film for my 35mm cameras. I spent $500 printing out on 3 1/2 by 5's of my photos and on the albums to put them in. Fast forward a decade and I'm traveling the world again...this time via your blog.

Chances are you spent a significant amount of time chronicling your travels so friends and family could stay in touch with you and so you'd have a record of your journey. This is where I come in. I can take the content from your blog and turn it into a beautiful book.

Here's an example of a 400 page book I designed for a missionary who spent 2 years in Nepal.

Cover to cover no detail was overlooked. It was very special to the client that she was able to master the Nepalese language both in written and spoken form so I added the Nepalese version of the title to the cover as well as translating a verse that held special meaning to her to put on the back of the book.

Who decides the cover looks like? You do. I will come up with a couple of options to get the ball rolling but ultimately, the design is up to you.

Dedications are optional, but this particular client wanted to thank the people who prayed for her during her trip.

For a preview of this book you can visit my bookstore by clicking on the badge below:

Journey Through Nepal
By carriep


About This Blog

8x10 Hardcover Book
First 50 pages - $200
Each additional page - $2
Deposit - $100
(Shipping included)

11x13 Hardcover Book
First 50 pages - $400
Each additional page - $2
Deposit $100
(Shipping included)

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