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Skill Level Beginner
- Digital technology has obviously had a tremendous impact on photography in a wide variety of ways. And one of the areas where digital tools have impacted photography is in book publishing. It wasn't that long ago that the prospect of publishing a photo book was a very expensive prospect. Today, with print on demand services and various digital advantages in the print workflow, it's actually not terribly difficult to produce your own photo book and actually not all that expensive.
Lightroom includes access to the Blurb book printing service and that is accessed via the book module. And in fact, we can take advantage of all of the features of Blurb directly within Lightroom, using Lightroom in order to create our book layout and then uploading our files automatically to the Blurb servers so that our book can be produced. Let's take a look at the basic process of producing our book layout within Lightroom. I'll start off in the library module because that's typically where I would get started with my images, sorting and organizing them so that I can filter my images down to just those I want to include in my book.
In this case, for example, I've navigated to a particular folder containing images I would like to assemble into a book. That could have just as easily been a collection, of course, and I've also applied a filter, in this case so that I can only see images with a one star or greater rating. The idea is that I want to have the filmstrip populated only with images that I want to consider for my book layout. Once that's accomplished, I can switch to the book module using the module picker up on the top panel in Lightroom and that will take me to the book module and enable me to start working on my book layout.
And as you can see, Lightroom has started off by giving me a basic, automatic layout for my book. All of the images on the filmstrip are included with a very basic layout. In this case, a layout that includes just one image per page, with that image filling the entire page. Of course, that layout is based on a specific book size, as well as some additional settings. Let's take a look at those options. First, in the book settings section of the right panel in the book module we have the book option and there you'll find the option to print using the Blurb online service to print to a PDF or to print to a JPEG.
In this case, I'm producing a book that I'd like to print, so I'll use the Blurb option. Next, we can take a look at the size option and we have several different sizes to choose from. There is a small square which is 7 by 7 inches, a standard portrait layout which is 8 inches by 10 inches, a standard landscape option which is likewise 8 by 10, just in a horizontal orientation and then we have large landscape which is 13 by 11, and finally, large square which is 12 inches square.
I'll go ahead and opt for the large landscape option, for example, and because the dimensions, and in fact, the aspect ratio for that particular layout are different, Lightroom lets me know that I'm changing the overall size and layout for the book and asks for a confirmation. So, I'll go ahead and click the change size and re-layout button, and that will cause the overall appearance of the book to change based on the changes I've made. I'll then go ahead and take a look at the additional options and you can see that I have 2 hard cover options an image wrap versus a dust jacket.
So, I can choose which of those 2 options I prefer. A dust jacket features essentially an additional print that's wrapped around the book, as opposed to a simple image wrap on the hardcover book itself. I'll go ahead and choose that image wrap option. We can also choose the paper type that we'd like to use. That includes Premium Lustre, Premium Matte, ProLine Uncoated, ProLine Pearl Photo, and standard. In terms of quality, the ProLine options are the best options and the premium options are still very good, with standard being a more basic, and therefore, more affordable option.
So, to some extent you're making a decision between quality versus price. I'll go ahead and choose the Pearl Photo option here and you may notice that the price of that book goes up somewhat significantly. Now, keep in mind, in this case, I have 50 pages thus far in this book layout, so it's a reasonably sized book. But I can reduce the cost for that book by choosing, for example, Premium Lustre or even opting for the standard option, which takes that price down a bit further. And, of course, we could also lower the price by choosing a smaller size option.
Bear in mind that the price shown is just an estimated price, there are volume discounts, there maybe shipping and tax charges, as well. So, this is just to give you a rough sense of what you can expect the price for your current book layout to be based on the options you've selected here in the book settings section, as well as, of course, the total number of pages included in the book. Once you've established those basic settings though, you're ready to get to work customizing your overall book layout so that you can finalize that layout and then have your book published.