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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 big reason to use Bookify over Blurb's other bookmaking methods is that Bookify was designed to be a quick way to make a photo book. One thing that makes Bookify quick is that if you're using photos straight out of the digital camera, you usually won't have to do anything to prepare those photos for Bookify. That's because most consumer-level digital cameras produce photos that natively meet all of Bookify's few image requirements. Those are: that an image be no larger than 10 MB in file size in order to upload; that an image be in either the JPEG or PNG format, and for photos that usually means JPEG; that and image be in the RGB color mode.
Color mode is a method of describing digital color and RGB is the most common color mode in photos taken with a digital camera. Since most photos that a nonprofessional shoots will probably pass those tests, rather than spend time up front worrying about whether your photos meet the requirements and trying to prepare them, it's way more efficient to just upload photos to Bookify and let it tell you if there's a problem with a particular photo. Now here I have some photos that I know aren't compliant with Bookify's image requirements.
And I'm looking at these files in Adobe Bridge. I will select this one, and I can see over here in the Metadata panel that this file fails the size test. It is larger than 10 MB so it won't upload. This file fails the format test; it is not a JPEG or a PNG. Over in the Metadata panel, I can see from the file extension that this is a DNG file, which is a kind of raw file. If you do shoot raw files, you have to convert them to JPEGs in order to use them Bookify.
And this file, although it is a JPEG and it does meet the file size requirement, is not in the RGB color mode. Here I can see that it's a CMYK file. This is unlikely to occur, but it's possible. Perhaps a designer was working with this file and converted it to CMYK. So let's see what Bookify does with these noncompliant files. Here on the Blurb website, on the Bookify page, I will go down and I will start a new book by clicking Get Started. I will choose a size for the book. I'm going to choose the 10X8 inch book, the Standard Landscape size, and I will choose the first Starter style, Clean and Simple, that has full bleed images on every page.
On this screen, I will get those files from my computer by clicking From my computer, clicking OK here to dismiss that tip, and going to the subfolder and selecting the files that I want to upload to Bookify. Now right away, you can see what happens when you try to upload a file that's in a format other than JPEG or PNG. I simply can't select it at all. So, I can't use it right out of the door with Bookify. But it looks like I can select the CMYK file and the file that's more than 10 MB in file size.
So I'll click on one, I will hold down the Command key on the Mac, Ctrl key on the PC, select the other as well, and click Open. And the file start to upload. But then, I get this error message from Bookify. It tells me that two of my images could not be added. I only had two to start with and here it gives me the specific reasons. Well, I already knew that this file was too big and that's the reason given here. The error message for the CMYK file is less clear, but I know that that's the only thing wrong with that file, so that's got to be the reason.
So, I will click OK here, and let's exit out of Bookify and see how to solve those particular problems. First, let's talk about that file that's too large in file size. You can reduce the file size of an image in Adobe Photoshop, in Photoshop Elements, or even when you're exporting from Lightroom. I am going to do it in Adobe Photoshop. I will open the file in Photoshop and in Photoshop I will go to the Image menu and down to Image Size. I see that the resolution is set to 300 pixels/inch, which is the maximum resolution you can have in a Bookify file.
So, I'll leave that at 300. If this was set to less than 300, I would uncheck Resample Image here, type in 300, and then check Resample Image. I do want to leave Resample Image checked for what I'm about to do, which is to reduce the width and height of the image, and that will make the file size smaller. I know that the width of my entire book is only 10 inches wide. So I certainly don't need the image to be any wider than 10 inches. In fact, I probably need it to be even more narrow than that, but I will take the maximum width and type it in this box, and the Height field changes proportionately.
I will go down and choose the method Photoshop is going to use to downsize this file. Bicubic Sharper is best for reducing files. And then I will click OK. I'll save the downsized file. File>Save As, I will save on my desktop. I will make sure the format is still JPEG and I'll click Save. I am going to leave the Quality at 10, but if I did need to say more file size, I could come back in and do this again and try reducing the quality. And I will click OK.
Now when I go out to my desktop, I see the reduced file and if I select it and then Ctrl or Right-click on the icon for the file and choose Get Info, I can see that I have a file that is now way smaller than 10 MB. It's now only 2.6 MB. So that's how you reduce file size in an image using Adobe Photoshop. What about this file that's in the wrong color mode, the CMYK file? I am going to open that one in Photoshop too so that I can convert it to be RGB color mode.
To do that, I will just go up to the Image menu, down to Mode, and I will select RGB Color. And now, I can see in the tab for this file that is an RGB file, and I would save it again. I will go back to Bridge to show you what to do with the file that's in the wrong format. Now, if this were a format like TIFF or PSD, I would just open it in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and save a copy as a JPEG, or I would export a copy from Lightroom as a JPEG. But because this is a raw file, I need to open it in a raw converter, to save it as a JPEG.
I will double click it and it will open in Adobe Camera Raw, which is the raw converter that comes with Photoshop and other Adobe Creative Suite applications. I am not going to bother with any of the settings. I am just going to go to Save Image. I will save it to my desktop and I will make sure the format here is set to JPEG. I will leave the Quality around 10 and I will click Save. Then I will cancel out of this window, and then I will go out to my desktop. There is the file that was a raw file; it's now a JPEG, so I can upload it to Bookify.
So, that's how to troubleshoot files that aren't compliant with Bookify's image requirements in the rare event that you're working with a photo that Bookify has trouble with.
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