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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 default elements that come with BookSmart, like the Starter Layout I created with the Setup Wizard early in this chapter and the pre-built page templates in the Layout Panel, offer more than enough choices for many bookmakers and they will stick just with those, and that's fine. But if you want to make your book unique, there are a number of optional customization features in BookSmart that you can use. For one thing, you can add pages to your Starter Layout. The minimum number of pages in any Blurb book is 20 pages. That's what I got when I created this book using the Setup Wizard.
You can see that's my last page, Page 20, down here in the Filmstrip. To add more pages, I'll click on a page after which I want to add a page. So let's say I want to add a page after the left facing page with the cemetery. I have selected that page in the Filmstrip. Now, notice that after this spread, there's only one more spread already laid out in my book; that's this one. I'll go back and I'll select that cemetery on the left hand page and I'll add a page from the menu here.
This is a menu of descriptions of Page Layouts. So, for example, I can have a page with 1 full bleed Photo or 1 Photo or 2 Photos. I'll choose that one. That's added a new page with image containers for 2 Photos, but look what happened after that. Down in the Filmstrip you can see all of the images got pushed over one. This spread has changed. Now it has hay on the left and farm equipment on the right, whereas it used to have farm equipment on the left and this full bleed photo on the right.
I don't want that to happen. I've taken care to set up my spreads with photos that work well together. So here's how I can avoid splitting my spreads when I add pages to a layout. I'll move over this way, and here you can see a spread that I think goes well together. I want these photos to stay together. So before adding any pages before these pages, I will lock them down. I'll select either one of the pages in the spread and then I'll Ctrl+click on a Mac or right-click on a PC on that page in the Filmstrip.
I'll hover over Page Lock Options and I'll choose Lock Spread Together. That adds this lock icon down here. Now, if I were to come here, where I have another photo of the cemetery, select it, and add a page (again, I'll add a page with 2 Photos), the spread that I locked down over here has stayed together, like this. Of course, this photo has been pushed over to its own spread. Another powerful tool for customizing a book is the Edit Layout feature.
Sometimes I can't find one of the pre- built layouts that really meets my needs. In that case, I can create my own layout by starting with one of the pre-built layouts and editing it to taste. For example, I am going to scroll all the way back to the beginning of this book and I am going to click on the Introduction page. This page was created for me by the Starter Page Layout. Notice, in the Page Layout Panel that there are just a few other options available for laying out the Introduction page, and I don't really see exactly what I want.
I am going to start with this layout, which is almost what I want, but I'd rather have a different arrangement of text boxes on top of this full bleed image container. With this page selected, I am going to go up to the top of the screen and click Edit Layout, and that takes me into this Edit Page Layout interface. By the way, I can do this after I add content to a page, but if I want to change a flowing text box, like this one, which has a lock on it, I need to make sure I have no text in that text container.
This is a flowing text box, which means, as I explained in an earlier movie, that if I add more text than fits in this box, it will flow onto the next text box available. If I want to change the shape or the position of this text box, I first have to delete that Lock. So if I click on it, BookSmart confirms that I want to Unlock this text container. I'll say OK, and now I can change the position or the size of the text container. I am going to click over here and drag this way to make the text container more narrow.
And then I'll reposition the container by clicking inside it and dragging down. And I'm using the grid behind the text container as I drag. Notice that I don't want to get too close to the edge or I get this warning that I should keep text containers away from page edges so that their content isn't cut off during the manufacturing process. So, I'll leave that here. I'd like to have one text container on the left and another on the right. With this text container selected, I'll go up to the top of the screen and I'll click Duplicate. I get a warning that text containers can't overlap. That's okay.
I am going to take one of the containers and drag it over this way. To line the two containers up, I'll hold the Command key on the Mac, the Ctrl key on the PC, to select them both, and then I can use the Alignment buttons at the top of the screen. So I am going to align these by their top edges. I don't want this text container at all, so I'll select it and then I'll click Delete. If I wanted to add another Image Box, I would use the Image Box icon. If I wanted a new Text Box, I have an icon for that up here as well.
So now that I am done creating this new layout, I have a couple of choices. I can just apply the layout to the page I had selected, or I can do that and at the same time save this layout so that I can use it on other pages in this book, as well as on other books. I am going to choose that. I'll save the custom layout as full bleed with text and I'll click Save. Now, in the Page Layouts panel you can see my new custom layout, and I'll have this available for other pages in this book or even if I start a new book.
The layout of this page has now been edited. It's just the way I want it. So, I am going to add an image to this page, and I have two separate text boxes into which I can type. If I then wanted to tweak the position of either text box, I could do that by going back into the Edit Layout Mode. Another way to customize a book is to add decorative elements, like these little page Ornaments that I can access from this menu, or different Backgrounds (either Solid Colors, Patterns, or Graphics), or to change the entire Theme of a book.
A Theme is a pre-built style that's a combination of Page Background Colors, Graphics, Photo Borders, Decorative Ornaments, and Fonts. I am going to click on another page to show you what the Themes do. I'll select this page that has lots of white space in the background. And then I'll go up to the Themes Menu, and I'm going to choose the Travel Theme. I'll click Change Theme at this prompt, and here I can see one of the Backgrounds that comes with this Travel Theme. If I don't like this, I can undo to go back to my original theme, or I can customize any of the elements of this theme.
So, let's say I want to customize the Backgrounds. I go up to the Backgrounds Panel, and depending on which Theme I've chosen, I'll have different choices here. This Theme comes with some plain background colors, and if I roll over these I can see how they look on this page. If I wanted other colors, I could click More Options. It also comes with some Graphics, and if I roll over these I can see how each one looks on this page. Maybe I'll select this one, and that changes the background on just that page.
That's a look at some things you can do to customize your book: add pages, create custom page layouts, and add decorative elements.
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