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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.
Bookify is the Blurb bookmaking method of choice for anyone who needs to make a simple book quickly. From the amateur photographer who wants to show off a collection of iPhone photos to the wedding photographer who needs a quick book of proofs to show a client. Even if you have no experience with bookmaking, I think you will be pleased at how intuitive Bookify is to to use, particularly after you've worked through the movies in this chapter. Since Bookify is a web app, you'll need an online connection and a web browser that has Flash 10 or later installed.
Blurb recommends that you use Safari or Firefox or Internet Explorer over the Chrome web browser when you're working with Bookify. Before I start making a book in Bookify, I sign into my Blurb account. I don't have to do that. I could start my Bookify book without signing in, but if I do that, the program will throw out messages from time to time telling me that it can't save the book. So, I will have to sign in some point; I may as well do it before I get started. Here on the homepage I'll click Sign In. I'll enter my Username and Password.
If you don't already have a Blurb account, you can register for one by clicking here. A Blurb account is free. And then I'll click Sign In. I'll go up to the Apps menu on this page and I'll choose Bookify Online. That takes me to the Bookify page where I'll click the big orange Get Started button. The first choice is what size book I want to make. They're all really tempting. I think, in this case, I'm going to choose the Standard Landscape size because I have a lot of horizontal photos that will fit that format.
Next, I need to choose a style, and as it says here, this is just a starter style. This style includes a starter page layout and page background colors. I can change any of that later on while I'm building the book. I like the elegant Classic white background because it doesn't compete with my photos, so I'll go to that box and I'll click Choose. Next, Bookify is asking for the source of the photos that I'm going to import into this book. These photos have to upload to Bookify and that can take some time, depending on the number of photos and their size.
So, if you don't want to upload photos, you don't have to. You can just test drive Bookify by clicking here. But if you're following along with me using the exercise files, click on From my computer to upload files from your computer to Bookify. From time to time, as you're using Bookify, these tips will come up. They are really useful. For now I'm just going to dismiss this one by clicking Okay, go. And now I'm going to navigate to the folder in which I have the photos that I want to upload to Bookify. I want to select all the photos in this subfolder, so I'm going to click on the first one and then I'll drag down to the bottom of this list of files. I'll hold the Shift key, and I'll click on the last one to select all the files in between, and then I click Open.
Bookify begins to upload my photos from My Computer to Blurb. As I said, this can take some time, particularly if you have a lot of photos that you're including a book. And by the way, the largest photos that you can use with Bookify are 10 megabyte files. If you're following along with me, you may want to take a break and go get a cup of coffee. I'll see you in just a moment. When all my photos have uploaded, Bookify presents me with this screen, asking whether I want to drag and drop the photos onto the pages of the book myself or whether I want Bookify to do that for me. It really does save time to let Bookify take the first crack at autoflowing the photos onto the pages of the book.
By default, that will happen with the oldest photo going first and with one photo on every page. I don't have to accept that; I can change that order. So, I'm going to click this button and I'm going to choose to have my photos flowed onto the pages of the book by file name because I've already sequenced all these photos and given them sequential names. Alternatively, I could choose my sorting if I had already done the sorting of the photos in advance. So I'll choose file name A to Z. I can also change the starter page layout. I'm just going to leave that for now, and I'll click Auto-create my book.
In just a moment, Bookify puts all of the photos on the pages of the book. On this screen, I can click through the pages of my auto created book by clicking the arrows, going forward and backing up if I want to check something again. If I were entirely satisfied with this auto created book, I would click Looks great! Now make my cover. But that's rarely the case; I always want to tweak something so I generally click Edit Book here.
Before I do, let me mention that I could click Redo with new settings and that would go back to the last screen, where I could change the order of the photos as they flow into the layout and also the layout of the book. But I'm going to choose Edit Book. Here's another tip. I'm going to close that by clicking the X. Bookify has opened the book with the initial layout and the photos that it flowed onto those pages here in the editing workspace. This is where all the fun happens.
Later in this chapter, I'll explain all the features available in this editing interface, and I'll show you how to edit your book design right here in Bookify's workspace.
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