Saturday, January 03, 2009
All about blurb books
I've had some questions about the making of my 365 days book so I thought I would give you a mini guided tour of this years book so far and the process I go through.

First you need the booksmart software, this is free from, they also have tutorials and FAQ's and a forum and their tech support are very helpful. What happens is you open the software and select the size of book you want, what you want it for etc and the little wizard steps through it with you. On my computer I made a folder for my 365 day layouts, now with booksmart if you laod your photos twice, it puts them in twice, not in your book but in the little menu on the side, to keep things simple for myself I usually make a sub folder and save my images/layouts in there until I want to import them into booksmart, then I make a new folder and save my next lot in there. I will run this book all year and load the pages as I go.

So this is what it looks like. On the left are the templates, the tick indicates what one you have selected for your page, below them are your photos. A tick also indicates you have that in your book. Here is something I learnt, if you find you want to edit a photo it is not updated in blurb, so do your edit and load the photo again for the edits to show up.

I do all my pages in photoshop and I was concerned about controlling how my photos would look in the book (the software also had a preview tool which I used and printed off a dozen pages before sending it off for printing) When you select a template if you run your mouse over it it will open up with the dimensions, copy those down and then you have total control over it, I also found just using the sizing tools in booksmart worked beautifully too, but as I was placing text on my photos I wanted to make double sure.

here are some tips... make everything 300dpi (if it isn't of print standard the software does give you a warning) Save your images or back them up to something like flickr. Look at some books and see what layouts you like best, in my first 365 day books I used portrait and landscape shots but liked landscape the best, this time I want to use more photos in some so they have gone from photos to being little layouts, I have chosen the same layout and just changed the orientation of the text.

To me the photos only tell 80% of the story, I need a little bit of a story to go with them and the date, I have a dreadful memory so the date is really important to me. Another thing is this is just one paragrapg or a few lines so I try to make it count, this year I have also selected one font for my journaling and made it all the same size right throughout the book. I am also a sucker for the Ali Edwards brush sets from and have decided I will use those and a few other digital sets I make myself.

This was such a fun project, for a 120 page imagewrap (hardcover) book it will cost you $44.95US plus postage, for me the books cost $75 including postage to Austrlia because of the poor exchange rate, but it was worth every cent.

If you have any questions leave a comment and I will answer them in the comment section.
Blogger Dollie Evans said...
Love your idea for this project and really appreciate the pointers. I will be following your lead-I think a digital blurb book is the way to go. I am not familiar with brushes, so I'll have to check those out. Happy new year!
scrap hugs

Blogger Gabrielle said...
Great tutorial! Thanks!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is the second post I've read today about Blurb books! I am going to have to look into them ... their price is incredibly reasonable. I posted about my own hardbound book today from SharedInk - I love their quality but they aren't anywhere near as affordable as Blurb.

Blogger Iris Flavia said...
That is a great idea, indeed! A treasure for your kids in the future (and for you :-)...)

It´s just great how fast all those possibilities develop!