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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.
When you finish designing your book in BookSmart, you will upload it to Blurb, so that it can be ordered and printed on demand. To show you the upload process, I've opened a fresh copy of the file that I've been working on throughout this chapter. This is the finished version of this book. I've added text and image to every page. Before uploading, it's always a good idea to preview the book. I can do that by clicking the Preview Book button here or by going to the Publish menu and choosing Preview Book. If I forget to preview the book and I just choose Order Book, I get this warning from BookSmart reminding me to preview the book. I'll click OK, and that will take me into the Preview mode as well.
I'll check the text and image on the cover elements and then I will click this arrow and I'll check every page of the book. Particularly when I have a full bleed image on a page, an image that comes all the way out to the edge of the page. I want to make sure that during the manufacturing process I won't lose anything important at the edges of the photo. I'll check Display trim guidelines and click OK. Anything outside of the red dotted lines won't appear in my final book. I'll keep these trim guidelines on as I move through the pages of the book.
I'll be careful about checking text, taking a look at whether it's in the right font, whether it's flowing properly from column to column and page to page, and whether the spelling and grammar is correct. Basically, I'll look through every page of the book to make sure that the book looks like I designed it. If I want to, I can even print a hard copy of the book and proof that hard copy. And I can do that by going up to the File menu and choosing Print. When I'm satisfied that the book is fine, I will go back to the Publish menu and I'll choose Order Book.
If Blurb finds something that it thinks needs attention, it'll tell me that here. So, here it's telling me something about the flaps on the cover. If I select that warning and I click Go To Page, Blurb takes me right to the page where it thinks there might be a problem. The problem here isn't really a problem; it's just that I didn't add any content to the back and front flaps of this book. That's okay because I want them to print with nothing on the flaps. So, in this dialog box, I'll just click Ignore All Warnings.
Blurb gives me one final checklist of things to check on: spelling, keeping important content away from page edges, and reviewing everything in BookSmart's preview mode. I've done all of that so I'll click Continue. Here, I have to sign into my Blurb account. BookSmart connects to Blurb and begins to upload my book. This can take a while, depending on how many pages there are in the book and how large the images are. When the book is uploaded to Blurb, I'll see this page on the Blurb site in my web browser.
Later in the course, I'll be showing you how you can order one or more copies of your own book, how you can announce the publication of the book to family and friends, and how you can sell the book in the Blurb Bookstore. But for now, simply note that Blurb doesn't automatically print your book, it doesn't send you a copy of the book automatically, and it doesn't charge you anything automatically. None of that happens unless you order one or more copies of the book. As it says here, you have 15 days in which you can make that decision about whether to order the book or not.
At the end of that time, if you don't order the book, Blurb will remove it from the site. And during that time, if you have something you want to change about the book, you can upload other versions of the book, still at no charge. And by default, nobody knows about this book. The fact that you've uploaded it to the Blurb website is private, as you can see down here in the Book Settings tab. The book only becomes public if you choose to make it so. If you ever want to get back to this detail page, just sign into your Blurb account, and then go to Your Blurb and choose Your Books. And there you will see a list of all your books that are on Blurb, whether you created them with BookSmart or with one of the other bookmaking methods.
If I want to get back to the detail page for the book that I just uploaded, I'll find it in this list and I'll click on details. And back in the detail page I can order the book, I can share the fact that it's here on Blurb, and I can edit various book settings.
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