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Thread: Blurb announces PDF to Book

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Blurb announces PDF to Book

    While I have not personally used the Blurb book making site, I have seen examples of their product and they are really very nice. What has prevented me from publishing a book up to this point has been the Blurb templates and process for combining images and text into a book design/layout.

    However, they have recently enhanced their service by offering the ability to publish a book directly from a PDF that you create. Included in that process is the ability to use Adobe InDesign to layout your photo book.

    I've only just received the notice of the new service and am currently downloading the InDesign templates. Without digging too deep, it would seem that the design has just become a lot more open and easy if you happen to be at all proficient with InDesign. From the sounds of it, they can make a book from a PDF made with any software, so if you are a Quark User (for example), you can just make your PDF and order your book (they don't offer any templates for Quark though).

    So, if you've considered self-publishing, this is a nice new alternative. Check it out if you like at the Blurb website here: http://www.blurb.com/make/pdf_to_book

    Best,
    Tim

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: Blurb announces PDF to Book

    Yeah, me too. Just got the email from them and for the same reasons like you I hesitated so far. Unfotunately I know nothing about in design, and I assume this would be a little much to learn for me. But I have a graphic designer who rents a house from Rachel here, and he might be the chap to talk about that stuff, if he is proficient in Indesign, I could use his service to discuss a layout.

    You say you know how the products look, that means you purchased a book published at blurb?

    What I really like about it is the ability to not sign up for something like a 2,000 print run, but to rather make that in smaller batchs, on demand.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Blurb announces PDF to Book

    It might be a challenge to take on InDesign if you've never used a page layout program before. But depending on your approach to learning software, the challenge might be one you enjoy or one that you would rather avoid. Since I work with it all the time, it's a relief to have the potential to use it for a book. It's spoiled me and that experience is largely responsible for my reaction to Blurb's more typical templates and free software for layout. By all means ask your resident designer about it.

    A photographer-relative had a book made as a gift for my wife and it was beautiful. Great reproduction and good quality materials and workmanship. You would be hard pressed to distinguish it from a book you might find at the local bookstore.

    Another photographer friend uses the service to organize collections of his work into tangible "files". It's a way to show bodies of work, projects, essays, or styles that goes beyond a bunch of prints in an old paper box.

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    Re: Blurb announces PDF to Book

    Tim, I have wondered about the quality of output from Blurb. I appreciate your posting this, and your comments regarding the sample you have.

    I'm really anal about my print output so I have shied away from using a service such as Blurb, but would like to use it as you have described in your second post. I'm not saying my printing is perfect, but just that I work hard to do what I can and have not been willing to let others print my images. Perhaps some test printing with their profiles is in order.

    I suspect that I have neither the skill nor patience to provide Blurb with perfect files for printing on their machines, but it might be fun to try to learn. I've been considering making books with the kits available from folks like Booksmart Studios et al, doing the printing myself, but don't really care for the binding process that I have found so far.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Blurb announces PDF to Book

    Dale: It may be that your standards won't be met by Blurb. I can't say. However, one thing I am sure of, holding a printed, finished book in your hands is an experience by itself. One that might lead you in a different direction or in pursuit of a different quality, but I think it's a worthwhile first step that can easily lead to inspiration and... who knows? At the very least the process requires putting some thought into which images, which order, what kind of text (if any). I personally find those kinds of exercises often lead me to a better understanding of my own work.

    Good luck!
    Tim

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    Re: Blurb announces PDF to Book

    Thank you Tim. I agree with you. I've been thinking of a couple of different books for awhile now, and I do enjoy the process of working through image selection, format, etc.

    Also, I don't intend to suggest that my print output is perfect, but I have worked hard to get the results that I am printing and don't like change much. I've not been thrilled by the quality of some online books that were sent to me by friends, so I have been hesitant. Surely, file preparation has a lot to do with that, as well as variation among the different vendors of books.

    Your post inspires me to look at this again. Thank you.

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