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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.
The cover of your book is the first thing that a potential reader sees. So, it's really important from a design standpoint. To design the cover of this book in BookSmart, I went to the film strip at the bottom of the screen and I scrolled all the way back to the beginning of the thumbnails and clicked on the Front Cover. Then I clicked on this central icon to see the full unfolded cover view, which includes the Front Cover, the Back Cover and the Spine as well as the Front and Back Flaps of a Dust Jacket. I dragged the zoom slider over to the left so that I could see the whole thing.
This is the cover layout that comes with my starter layout. There are other cover layouts available over in the Page Layout panel. I am going to choose a different one, this one here that includes a full bleed image container on the Front Cover. From this menu I am going to choose Hardcover. This menu lists the three kinds of covers that Blurb offers: a Hardcover with a dust jacket, a Softcover, and an ImageWrap, which is a Hardcover without a dust jacket that allows images to be printed right on the book cover. I don't really have to settle on one of the three cover styles until I order the book.
So, theoretically, I could design one book cover and then order it in any of the three cover types. But there are a couple of design factors related to the kind of cover that I have to keep in mind. For example, if I choose the Hardcover here and I designed content for the Front and the Back Flaps, that cover will be lost if I decide to order the book in Softcover or in ImageWrap because those models don't include a dust cover with flaps. I will start by working on the Front Cover.
I have selected it here and I'm going to view it as a single section by clicking the first icon under Cover Views. The title and the author that you see on the Front Cover came from the Setup wizard way back at the beginning of this chapter when I entered this title and this author into the wizard. I can change both the Title and the Author here. So, I'll click in the text box for the Title and I'm going to change the title to In the Valley of Longing. And I'll click in the text box for the Author, and I'm going to change that to read Photographs by John Lorenz.
I also can add a Subtitle here. I'll type San Luis Valley, Colorado. Notice that the title that I typed in the text box and the author's name that I typed in the text box on the Front Cover are automatically reflected here on the Spine. This Front Cover has a full bleed image container. I am going to drag a photo into that image container by going over to my My Photos panel, selecting this cover photo, and dropping it into the image container. When you are selecting a photo to use on the Front Cover, you want to be sure that there's lots of space for text and that the photo behind that area is not going to compete with the text.
In this case, the photo was pretty dark in the area of the text, so I am going to make the text light. I'll click on the Title text and I'll drag over that text, and as soon as I am in this text box, I have this bar with text options appears at the top of the work area. I'll go to the Color field, click there, and I'm going to choose white. I'll do the same for the Subtitle, selecting it, going to the Options bar and choosing white, and the same for the Author. Now I'm done with the Front Cover, except that I want to check where the Front Cover might be trimmed during production.
So, I am going to check Display trim guidelines and click OK. Anything outside the red dotted line is going to be trimmed away, and it's only inside the magenta area that my content is safe. I am pretty happy with this result so I am going to uncheck Display trim guidelines. Now I am going to go and look at the Full unfolded view of the Cover layout because I want to work on the Back Cover. I'll select the Back Cover. Here there is some non-printing text that will give you some ideas about what you can put on the Back Cover.
You can have text that's perhaps a summary of the book or maybe testimonials or reviews of the book. I am going to leave this Back Cover plain. So with the Back Cover selected, I'll go up to the Backgrounds icon in the bar at the top of the screen, I'll click there, and I'll choose a color that I think goes with the image on the Front Cover. I don't see a color that I like among these Theme Colors so I'll click More Options and I'm going to choose a light gray color from these swatches of gray, and I'll click OK. And that fills in the Back Cover as well as the Spine and the Flaps with that light gray color.
The Spine contains the text that I entered into the Title and Author text fields on the Front Cover. I can change it on the Spine if I want, but I am just going to leave it as is. On the Front Flap, there is a text box and an image container. The Front Flap is often used for text that summarizes the contents of the book. On the Back Flap, there is another text box and another image container. Often you will find a photo of the author in this image container and a bio of the author in this text box, but I don't have to put content on the flaps.
I'm not going to, because I may end up ordering this book either in Softcover or ImageWrap versions, and in that case, I'll lose the content of the flaps anyway. There are a couple of other pages to look at right next to the Front Cover. This is the Title page. It automatically contains the title of the book that I entered into the Title text box on the Front Cover. There are other title page layouts to choose from. I'm just going to stick with this one. Then there's a Copyright page that spells out the author's copyright in this book.
I'll zoom in so you can see that better. I could type my own language into this text box or I can just leave it as it is. On this page, as well as on the very last page of the book, there is a Blurb logo. If I don't want to have the Blurb logo in either of those locations in this book, I can click here on the Blurb logo and choose Use Custom Logo. And that will remove the Blurb logo here and on the last page of the book. I could drag my own logo here or I can just leave this as is.
If I preview the book, you will see that nothing is going to print in that area, either here or on the last page in the book. I am going to go back to Edit Book and I'll zoom out a bit so I can see both pages here. I do want to remind you that if you decide to remove the Blurb logo from your book, the price of the book goes up. So, you'll want to check the pricing page on the Blurb website. Finally, over here is an Introduction page. I can leave this blank, as I am going to, or I could type an introduction to the book there, or I could change the layout and add photos there as well. And now I'll go back to look at the entire Cover layout, zooming out so I can see the whole thing.
The Cover and the introductory pages are really the face of this book. BookSmart offers lots of options for designing a unique cover that will express the content and the tone of your book.
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