Interesting Ways to Personalize a Book and Be Part of History

The Obama Time Capsule

by Amy Sorokas /


Recently, the cards aligned for Rick Smolan and he was able realize a vision to create a book about the journey of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States with personalization of the book for each and every purchaser. This type of customization is pretty incredible.


It is a little different than the normal self-publishing process that is now available to anyone via great sites like Blurb. There you make your book and you publish it. Purchasers (if you decide to make it public) cannot modify your work. You can use their book making software that helps guide you through the process or you can use any software and make a PDF. It is pretty easy and I recently enjoyed making a guest book for my wedding at Blurb.



With THE OBAMA TIME CAPSULE, Smolan and team took the idea of custom publishing a few steps beyond. The book is a 200 page hard bound coffee table book that pulls together never before seen photographs from 140 professional photographers along with essays from Colin Powell, Arianne Huffington and Obama's sister. When you purchase this professionally designed and produced book you then have the opportunity to participate in the final outcome of the book. You enter your name to become a co-author and your name appears on the inaugural invitation. On top of that you are able to upload your own photos to exist on the pages right alongside the photos of the Obama family and their supporters.


It will be interesting to see if this high end customization of books becomes popular. It will become easier and easier to make yourself a star!  Well, at least for your own library or coffee table.





Rick Smolan


Microsoft Photo Community and Icons of Imaging websites:

Microsoft Photo Community Website Icons of Imaging


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