Easter has come and just about gone…and the family have returned home…so I must get back to some pressing tasks. The first job to finish is the uploading of a new 100 page book to Blurb…to commemorate my grand-daughter’s first birthday.
I’ve done Blurb books before. Originally I used their downloadable and free to use “Booksmart” software…probably the easiest way for a first-time self-publisher to get started. All you need is a computer, the free software and some jpg photos and away you go. My second book was done by creating my own layouts in In-Design, editing the pictures in Photohop and then uploading a pdf to Blurb. I converted the document to CMYK and did all my own soft-proofing prior to upload – perhaps the hardest way to make a Blurb book! The third book was done in Lightroom 3’s book module, using Blurb’s Lightroom 3 Plugin, a very good process, but Lightroom 4 makes the whole process even easier.
Making a book via Lightroom 4
Now, with Lightroom 4, you can design the whole book from within Adobe Lightroom’s Book Module. This allows you to view and edit the images (saved in a Collection) within the programme itself and to take advantage of all Lightroom’s advanced editing processes “on the fly”. Below is a screen shot of some pages.
From inside the book module, you can determine the size of the book, number of pages, type of cover and paper preferences and whether or not you want the Blurb logo to show on the last page (if you remove the logo, they charge more for the book). An estimated price is shown in the book settings menu and off you go.
There are plenty of page templates to choose from and you can easily change the page colours and fonts to completely customise the book. I believe there will be a facility to save custom pages in Lightroom 5, but that’s just in beta form at the moment.
Once the book is finished you just hit the big “Send Book to Blurb” button and away it goes. The uploading time will depend on your internet speed, but even on our slow as treacle internet it took less than an hour.
Blurb have partnered with Adobe to create this new feature and are offering a 20% discount on the product total of the first book ordered through Lightroom. More details.
Update 8th May 2013:
The book is great and was printed in the Netherlands as before. It looks as near to my monitor screen as could be expected from a printed book compared to a brightly lit LCD image. Binding was well done and paper quality is excellent, as I have always found before (went for the premium paper as I have done in the past…this is much better for photographs than the basic paper).
The Offer: I found that the offer of 20% discount only applied to the first book that you buy. We actually wanted about 8 books for the family, but it is recommended that you buy just one first and make sure that it is OK before putting in a big order. I could not find out if the discount would be available for more copies – the offer was a bit ambiguous – just said 20% off your first book made with LR4, which I assumed would be 20% off the cover price of all copies of that book, but I was wrong! So when I went in to order more, the discount was not available. I think Blurb should be more up-front about this! Another complication was that, when I got to the PayPal interface, I was offered a second book at half price and decided to go for this option – which automatically took off the original 20% offer, so in the end I bought 2 books for the price of one and a half. Further offers of this kind were not available to me when I bought more. So, basically I would say, watch out for offers and take advantage of them, because they come and go very quickly.