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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.
Starting a new book in BookSmart is pretty straightforward because the program gives you a lot of guidance. If you haven't already downloaded and installed the free BookSmart software from Blurb.com, do that now by going to the Apps tab on the homepage and choosing Blurb BookSmart. Then follow the links to the download. Along the way, you'll be asked to register for a free account at Blurb.com and then you'll be able to download BookSmart. When the program finishes downloading, you can use the clear instructions to install it on your Mac, or on your PC, and then launch the program.
This is the first screen that you'll see. I want to start a new book in Blurb BookSmart, so I'll just click this Orange button and that launches the wizard that will walk me step by step through the process of setting up a new book from scratch. Along the way I'll make a number of choices. For example, I'll type in a Book Title and I'll choose a page layout and a theme. The good news is that all of those options that I choose can be changed once I get into BookSmart. So this just gets me going. I'll type in a draft book title and I'll type in the Author's Name and I then I have the most important decision to make and that is what size I want my book to be.
Because this is a decision that I don't like to change once I've made it. If I'm in the middle of laying out of book in BookSmart, even if I can change from one size to another, I don't always want to do that because it may involve rearranging a number of elements. Usually the best choices for photo books are one of the first five under Full Color Books. As I click on each one of these sizes, over on the right I see a graphic representation of the book and the dimensions of the book and the cover options that I can have with this book.
So, how do I choose one size or another? Well, I keep a couple of factors in mind. One is the orientation of my photos. So if I have a lot of horizontal photos, I'm probably not going to choose the portrait orientation book; I'll choose one of the landscapes. And I also think about file size. If I have a lot of small iPhone photos, then the Large Landscape book probably isn't the best choice. I might want to choose a smaller book like the Small Square. And of course pricing is always an issue. I can learn more about Pricing by clicking this button which takes me out to pricing details on the Blurb.com website.
And of course the purpose of the book is an important factor in choosing its size. If I'm making a professional portfolio I might choose the Large Landscape or perhaps the Standard Landscape. I'm going to choose the Standard Landscape and then I'm going to click Continue. On this screen, I'll choose a starting layout for the pages of the book. When I'm making a photo book I'll generally choose Portfolio or Photo book layout. Any of the pages in the book or all of the pages can be changed in terms of layout, once I get into BookSmart.
I'm going to choose Portfolio in this case. Now, down here, I can go to either the Wing It section or the Guide Me section. If you're familiar with BookSmart you might want to wing it, which means closing this wizard and going right into the software to start laying out a book, but since this is probably the first time that you've used the software, you may want to go to the Guide Me section and click Continue to go another screen of the wizard. On this screen you can choose some photos to import into the library for this book.
Those photos can come from files on your computer. They can come directly from iPhoto if you use that program. They can also come from online photo sharing sites like Flickr. I'm going to bring in a couple of files from my computer to show you how this works. I'll select Your Computer and then I'm going to click Get photos from computer. And then I'll navigate to the exercise files folder that contains the photos I want to bring in and I'll click Choose. Now down here it says that one photo is selected, but actually I've selected a whole folder of photos and all four photos in that folder are going to come in to my library for this book and then I'll click Continue.
You maybe wondering what it means to Autoflow your photos? Well this means that you can have BookSmart take the photos that it's importing to the library for this book and place them automatically on some of the pages of the book. I usually like to do that myself, dragging and dropping photos where I want them onto the pages of the book, but in this case I'll choose Yes, please do autoflow my photos so that you can see what happens when you make that choice. And I want to organize my photos alphabetically on the pages of the book, so I'll choose that and then I'll click Continue.
Next, I am asked to choose a theme. A theme is like a style--a combination of fonts, and page background colors, and decorative elements. These aren't all the themes that are available once you get into BookSmart, but they're a starting point. I'll leave this set to the default of Viewfinder which is a simple theme with white background pages and then I will click Continue. And that finishes my work with the wizard, which closed automatically, bringing me into the BookSmart interface. I'm going to make that interface fill my screen by clicking the screen button on my Mac, and let's just take a quick look at this panel, My Photos.
In this panel are all four of the photos that were in that folder that I asked Blurb to import for my computer, and down here there is a filmstrip that represents pages in the book that I'm creating. And each of these pages is laid out according to the starter layout that I chose. And you can see that some of those pages already have photos on them. That's because I asked BookSmart to autoflow the photos that it was importing onto the pages. When I click one of the pages down here in the filmstrip, you can see it larger up here in the work area.
In the next movies in this chapter, I'll be showing you how to import more photos from inside of BookSmart. So if you're working along with me, you may want to keep this page open or close BookSmart. You'll be able to open the book that we started already from the first BookSmart screen, where you'll see a list of all of the books that you've created, including this one.
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