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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 PDF to Book workflow is intended for professional designers who have experience using a page layout program like Adobe InDesign. If you don't have much experience with bookmaking or if you don't know how to use InDesign, you'll probably be more comfortable using Blurb BookSmart or Bookify. So, why would a creative professional choose the PDF to Book workflow over Blurb's other more intuitive bookmaking methods? I think the reason is that PDF to Book offers maximum control over a book's layout and typography.
It also gives the designer access to all the sophisticated design tools of a full-featured page layout program, like InDesign, and it offers the designer the opportunity to create a truly customized book from scratch. Theoretically, the PDF to Book method can be used with any page layout program that exports a special kind of PDF, a PDF/X-3, that's compatible with Blurb's printers. So that doesn't have to be InDesign; it could be another page layout program like QuarkXPress.
But Blurb has streamlined the use of InDesign, in particular, by developing a Blurb plug-in just for InDesign. Blurb's PDF to Book plug-in for Adobe InDesign does two time-saving things. Number one, it installs a Blurb template creator into InDesign. The template creator is a short form that generates blank InDesign templates for pages and book covers which are presized to match every possible combination of book size, paper type, page count, and cover type that Blurb offers.
The other thing that the PDF to Book plug-in for Adobe InDesign does is it includes an export preset that automatically exports your book as a PDF/X-3 with all the correct settings ready to go, so export is literally a one-click process. I am going to be showing you how to install and use the Blurb plug-in for InDesign later in this chapter. So, be sure to stay tuned for that.
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