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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 last step in the PDF to Blurb workflow is to upload PDFs of your book pages and your book cover to Blurb for on-demand printing. These aren't just any PDFs-- they are PDF/X-3 files like those that I exported from InDesign in the last movie using Blurb's PDF export preset. Before uploading those PDFs to Blurb, it's a good idea to review them in an application like Adobe Reader, which you can download for free from adobe.com. In Adobe Reader I'll check that there's no important content near the edges of all the pages in the Blurb Book page PDF, which I have opened here in Adobe reader.
As I move through the pages of the PDF, I'll also check that all the text is in the right place and in the right font and that there are no extraneous registration marks showing and that everything just looks the way that I designed it. I'll also take note of the Page Size by going to the File menu in Adobe Reader and choosing Properties. And down here I can see the Page Size. Sometimes this is reported in inches, sometimes in other units of measurement like points. I am going to write that down so that I can check it against Blurb specs when I upload this file.
I'll do the same things to the PDF for the book cover, checking that there is no important content near the edges, checking the text and the images and going to Properties and taking note of the size of the cover. If I find anything that needs fixing during this review, I'll open the original InDesign files in InDesign, make the changes there, and re-export using the Blurb PDF preset. When I am satisfied with both my page and my cover PDF, I'll upload them both to Blurb using the Uploader on the Blurb website.
To get there from the Blurb homepage, I'll choose Apps and PDF To Book. On the next page, I'll click Get Started and then I'll click Upload your PDF. Here I'll log in to my Blurb account, and then I'll follow the instructions on this page. I'll specify the size of the book. This book was designed as a Standard Landscape book, 10x8 inches. I'll enter the number of pages in the book, 22 in this case. I'll specify the paper type that the book was designed for, in this case, Standard Paper. And the type of cover the book was designed for, in this case Softcover, and then I'll click Continue.
On the next page, I'll enter information about the book that will appear on the Book Detail page on the Blurb website and in the Blurb bookstore if I decide to sell the book there. I am just going to fill out the required fields, those with the orange star, for now, including the Book Title, the Author, and a subject matter Category from the book that will be used if I decide to sell the book in the Blurb bookstore. I'll choose Travel. Over here, the Private button is selected.
That's because by default, when I upload a book to Blurb, that book is private, meaning that no one will know it's on the Blurb site except for me and anyone to whom I choose to send an announcement by e-mail. Later I can decide to make the book public if I want to. Down here, I can choose what kind of logo is going to appear on one of the last pages of the book. By default, there will be a Blurb logo, either a white one like this or a black one like this, or I can choose to remove the Blurb logo altogether.
But there is a fee for that, so you'll want to click on this additional fee link to see how much extra that will cost. I'm going to go with the white Blurb logo and I'll click Next. Now it's time to upload the PDF of the book cover. Before I do I'll check the size specifications here and make sure that they're close to the specs that I wrote down for the cover back in Adobe Reader, and then I'll click Start Uploader. I'll click Upload Cover PDF and I'll navigate to the PDF of the cover of my book and click Open.
Next I'll upload the PDF of the book pages. Again, I'll check the size specs against those I wrote down from Adobe Reader, I'll click Upload Pages PDF, I'll navigate to the PDF of the book pages, and I'll click Open. Now, this can take a while, depending on the number of pages in the book and the size of the images on those pages. When both PDFs are finished uploading, I'll see this page telling me that Blurb is performing a Preflight check on my files. It checks things like whether my book pages file has a minimum of 20 pages, whether there is an even number of pages, whether the page sizes are correct for the book size, and whether the PDF was exported with the correct settings.
Preflight can take a few minutes, depending on the complexity of the file. I don't have to sit here and wait for Preflight to be completed because Blurb will send me an e-mail when it does finish. But if I want to, I can click this blue button to check the status of Preflight. In this case the Preflight check is complete and I'm pleased to see that my book has passed with fine colors. If I scroll down here, I can see all of the parameters that Blurb checked. Next, I am going to check out the Detail page for this uploaded book.
One way to get there is to check this button, Order Your Book, but I don't actually have to order the book right away. As it says here on the Detail page, I have 15 days to decide whether to order one or more copies of my book. At the end of the 15 days, if I haven't ordered any copies of the book, Blurb will remove the book from the site. In the meantime, I'm incurring no charges, and no one knows that I've uploaded this book because it's Private by default, as you can see down here in the Edit Book Settings section.
And, as it tells me here, I can upload another version of the book if I find things that I want to change. And I can always delete this book by going to the Your Blurb menu and choosing Your Books. This takes me to a list of all the books that I've put on Blurb and one of the options here is to click Delete if I want to remove this book from Blurb completely. In a later chapter in this course I'll go over ordering your book, inviting friends to preview your book and selling your book in the Blurb bookstore, all of which is pretty much the same no matter which book making process you've used, PDF to Book, BookSmart or Bookify.
For now, what's important to know is that uploading a PDF of a book you've made in InDesign or another page layout program costs you nothing unless or until you buy the book, and your book won't be public unless you specifically make it so.
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