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Choosing a theme


Creating Photo Books with Blurb

with Jan Kabili

Video: Choosing a theme

Choosing a theme provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Jan Kabili as part of the Creating Photo Books with Blurb
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  1. 2m 47s
    1. Welcome
      1m 42s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 12m 58s
    1. Choosing a theme
      2m 24s
    2. Planning a book
      4m 13s
    3. Organizing your assets
      6m 21s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Preparing your photos for BookSmart
      5m 59s
    2. Color-managing your photos for BookSmart
      7m 7s
    3. Starting a new book in BookSmart
      6m 17s
    4. Importing photos from your computer
      4m 35s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      7m 13s
    6. Importing photos from Lightroom
      6m 29s
    7. Importing photos from photo-sharing services
      2m 6s
    8. Touring the BookSmart interface
      3m 40s
    9. Laying out pages
      4m 23s
    10. Placing photos on pages
      6m 27s
    11. Troubleshooting image size issues
      4m 33s
    12. Adding text
      5m 2s
    13. Creating a cover
      7m 10s
    14. Customizing your book
      7m 52s
    15. Uploading your book to Blurb
      4m 28s
  4. 1h 12m
    1. Starting a new book in Bookify
      5m 30s
    2. Troubleshooting photo importing issues
      7m 16s
    3. Importing photos from photo-sharing services
      3m 6s
    4. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      2m 9s
    5. Importing photos with the Lightroom plug-in
      7m 21s
    6. Completing a Lightroom book
      4m 30s
    7. Touring the editing interface
      6m 41s
    8. Placing photos on pages
      5m 10s
    9. Troubleshooting image size issues
      2m 56s
    10. Changing page layouts
      4m 17s
    11. Adding, deleting, and moving pages
      3m 3s
    12. Styling your book
      4m 18s
    13. Adding text
      5m 44s
    14. Creating a cover
      7m 43s
    15. Publishing your book to Blurb
      2m 25s
  5. 26m 46s
    1. Why use PDF to Book with Adobe InDesign?
      2m 1s
    2. Preparing your photos for InDesign
      8m 32s
    3. Downloading and installing the InDesign plug-in
      1m 45s
    4. Using the InDesign plug-in
      7m 39s
    5. Uploading your PDF to Blurb
      6m 49s
  6. 11m 46s
    1. Ordering your book
      4m 14s
    2. Selling in the Blurb bookstore
      3m 36s
    3. Marketing your book
      3m 56s
  7. 41s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Photo Books with Blurb
Video Duration: 2m 24s3h 30m Beginner Oct 12, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

View Course Description

Creating Photo Books with Blurb presents three separate workflows for creating and publishing books that showcase photographs using the Blurb self-publishing service. The course starts with an exploration of photo bookmaking in BookSmart, Blurb's free desktop software, then shows how to make a simple photo book in Bookify, Blurb's online bookmaking service. The course also covers Blurb's PDF to Book plug-in for use with custom books created in Adobe InDesign, as well as information on ordering copies of photo books and selling them in the Blurb online bookstore.

Topics include:
  • Planning a photo book
  • Color managing photos for BookSmart
  • Laying out pages in BookSmart
  • Troubleshooting image size in BookSmart
  • Importing photos to Bookify
  • Adding, deleting, and moving pages in Bookify
  • Downloading and installing Blurb's InDesign plug-in
  • Uploading a PDF to Blurb
  • Ordering and selling photo books
Jan Kabili

Choosing a theme

You probably want to jump right in and start making your first Blurb book, but believe me, you will end up with a better book, one that really tells your story through photos, if you first do some planning. I think most the important thing to nail down in advance is the theme or subject of the book. If you don't have a clear picture in your own mind of what your book is about, you can't really expect your book to convey your creative ideas to your audience. Settling on a theme or subject up front will impact not only the content of your book but also many of the design decisions that you make as you build the book.

There are many possible subjects for a photo book, both professional and personal. A photography portfolio that shows off your best work is a popular genre. If you are a commercial photographer, you can use a bound book to show to potential clients. If you're an amateur, it's a great way to show off your photos to family and friends. To make your photography portfolio cohesive, consider focusing on a particular subject area that you like to shoot or a unique photographic style that's yours, rather than including a smattering of unrelated shots.

Documentary projects make some of the strongest photo books. If you've ever seen an old Life magazine, you know the power of photographs to tell a story. You can shoot a story all yourself or you might get together with a group of photographers and publish a collection of photos by all of you, as long as you have the right permissions. Another popular idea is to make a photo book to be used as a fundraiser. For example, you might publish a collection of dog photos to raise money for an animal shelter, or if you photographed an unfortunate event in your community, you might raise money for disaster relief by publishing a book of photos about the event or its aftermath.

There are lots of subjects for personal photo books too. You might make a family history book with vintage photos that you scan, or a book that celebrates your community culture, or a memory book of a family event like a reunion, a wedding, or a special birthday. To get more ideas and inspiration for subjects for photo books, spend some time looking through other people's books in the Blurb online bookstore at You can page through many of the books in that bookstore to get a better sense of their themes and content by clicking on a book icon and then clicking preview and then clicking the arrow to page through the book.

So, at the planning stage you want to ask yourself: What is the purpose of my book? Who is it for? And most importantly, what is it about? And let the answers to those questions guide you as you create your Blurb book.

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