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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.
Let's take a tour of Bookify's editing workspace to familiarize you with the controls and features that you'll use here. I've made a new book for use in this movie and those that follow it in this chapter, following the steps that I already showed you back in the first movie in this chapter. In a nutshell, just to get your screen where mine is right now, I started Bookify, I chose a Book size and Style, in this case the standard landscape size and the bold black style. I chose to get photos from my computer and uploaded about 15 photos for this movie.
You're welcome to upload photos of your own or, if you have access to them, the Exercise Files. Your upload may take some time. So if you're working along with me, just pause this movie till it's finished. When my photos finished uploading, I asked Bookify to bring my photos in by filename because I had numbered my photos by sequence. Alternatively, I could've chosen the my sorting order. Then I clicked Auto Create my book to have Bookify flow those photos onto the book pages as it created this book.
Finally, I clicked Edit Book, and all that brought me here to Bookify's editing workspace with a head start on my book design because I opted for Auto Create. So this is Bookify's editing work area, where I'll design the pages of a book. To access pages, I can either use the arrows on either side of the double-page spreads, or I can go up to this diagram at the top of the screen and click a particular spread from here. When I roll my mouse over a spread icon, this little frame pops up to give me an idea of which photos are on that spread, and then I can click on the spread to go to it.
At the bottom of the screen is my photo stream, which displays thumbnails of all the photos that I've imported to Bookify for this book. It's from the photo stream that I'll drag photos up into the pages of the book, as I'll show you in next movie. I can scroll horizontally through the photo stream to access other thumbnails or if I've imported a lot of photos, I'll expand the photo stream by clicking this double-pointed arrow. I'll click that again to collapse the photo stream. A green checkmark on a thumbnail in the photo stream means that that photo has been already used at least once in this book.
From the Show menu at the bottom of the photo stream, I can choose which photos are displayed in the photo stream. I find it sometimes useful to switch this to Not Used In Book. So, I can quickly see if I have any photos left to add without duplication, and I don't in this case. From the Sort by menu, I can change the order in which the photos appear in the photo stream. I could choose to see the photos from oldest date first, most recent first, or if I've taken the trouble to sequence the photos in advance it's best to set them to my sorting or, because I've actually numbered my photos with sequential numbers, to filename.
And now in the photo stream I see the thumbnails in the order in which I determined in advance that I would like to have them in this book. This at least gives me a starting point for the sequencing of photos on pages. To get an overview of all of the spreads in the book, I'll frequently switch to Arrange Pages by clicking this button. And if I scroll down, I can see each of the pages in the book (most of them are double-page spreads) to get a sense of how the pages look as the reader will move through them in order.
This also lets me know if I have some blank pages like these that I need to fill with photos or delete from the book. In this case, I didn't upload enough photos to fill the minimum number of pages in a Bookify Book, which is 20 pages. So, I'll either have to leave these pages blank or get more photos, which I can do by clicking the Get Photos button up here. This Arrange Pages view is also where I go to delete or to move pages, as I'll show you later in this chapter. To get back to the regular edit workspace, I'll just hover under any one of these pages and click. And that takes me back to that spread in the editing workspace.
Under each page here, there are icons for changing the layout of that page, for changing background color, and for decorating photos with Photo borders. I'll cover all of this later in this chapter as well. On either side of a double-page spread in the work area, there is a tiny plus (+) icon that I can use to add pages either before or after that spread, as I'll be showing you later. In the next movie, I'm going to cover the controls for positioning photos on a page. To see some of those controls, I'll click on a photo, and that brings up this bar.
To close the bar, I'll click in a blank space. There is also a bar at the top of the screen. That contains this Actions menu, from which you can do various things like order the book, save the book, exit the book. The item I use most often here is this one on the right, My Books. Clicking that will take me to a list of all the books that I've worked on using any Blurb bookmaking method. So, this is really useful if I need to edit a book that I've worked on before, because when I go to that list and click on a book it will open it here in the editing workspace.
Here are the important save icons. One of the best features of Bookify is that it automatically, from time to time, saves your book as you are working on it, so you don't lose what you've done. So, you don't have to click Save now yourself, but if you come to a crucial point, you can always click Save now. Even better, saving doesn't wipe out the last saved copy, which you'll still find under the My Books list. Over here, there are some more buttons. Style Book allows me to change the style of the book including background colors and fonts and so on.
Get Photos is for bringing in more photos to my photo stream. And if I do bring in more photos and I want to flow those onto empty pages in my book, I could click Auto Create. But when I have just a few photos to add to pages, I usually do that manually. And then when you're ready to design the cover of your book, you can click Design Cover and work in a special area for book covers, which I'll show you in this chapter as well. And finally, at the top right is the all -important Preview button, which you've already seen me use to get a clean preview of the book without all the controls in the editing workspace.
Here, I can go through the book page by page, simulating what a reader will see. And when I want to go back to the edit workspace, I'll click Edit Book here. So, that's an overview of the Bookify interface. In the rest of this chapter, I'll show you how to use the interface features to quickly design a great looking book in Bookify.
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