How to make a Blurb photo book

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1. Navigate to your local Blurb site: (UK), (USA), (Australia), (Canada).

Register now: it only takes a moment and ensures that when you start making a book it will save automatically for you, so you won’t lose all your hard work if your computer crashes. Take a look around the Blurb site and watch the introductory (and very helpful) videos (in the ‘Help’ section, under ‘Webinars’, try ‘Book Publishing 101: Getting Started with Blurb Bookify’ for starters). Of course, you can also just jump right in and click on ‘Make a Book’.


2. Click on ‘Use Bookify Online’.


3. Click on ‘Get Started’.


4. Choose a book size, and then choose a style.

At the moment you can’t change the size of the book once you’ve started (so do pay attention to the dimensions you’re committing to), but you can change the style. You can’t go wrong with ‘Elegant’.


5. Blurb will now open up the Bookify software.

You need to have Adobe Flash player installed to continue. Blurb will check whether you have it, and offer to install it for you if you don’t. If you’re happy to install (it’s perfectly safe internet-standard software), click where necessary and choose ‘run’ when offered the option between running and saving, or running and not running.


6. Once Bookify is up and running it will ask you where you want to find your photos.

If you have accounts with one or more of the photo sharing providers listed (Flickr, Facebook, Instagram etc) you can use them now. Or just select ‘From my computer’ to browse the photographs stored on your computer.


7. Before you get started, Bookify offers you tips…

– these are worth reading as they can really speed up the way you create your books. When you’ve finished, click ‘Okay, go’.


8. Navigate to whichever drive you have stored your photos on (usually ‘Computer’).


9. If you think you have some images stored in a folder but they are not showing up, it may be that they are not JPEGs or PNG files.

Bookify will only work with these file formats (these are standard image formats) and won’t let you use anything else, so you must first convert any PSD, GIF or other images to JPEGs or PNGs.


10. To make it easier to pick photographs, change the display to show the thumbnails or icons:


11. To select more than one photograph at a time…

Hold down the ‘ctrl’ (PC) or ‘Apple/command’ (Mac) on the keyboard whilst you click the photographs you want.


12. Take a breather.

If you’ve selected a lot of photographs and don’t have the fastest internet speed, it may take a while to upload the files. Feel free to make a cup of tea here.


13. Choose how much control you want.

Once the files are all uploaded, Bookify offers you a choice: you can either relinquish creative control and let it place your photographs in the album for you, or do all the work yourself. If you let Bookify arrange your images, it puts the photos in by date order, and you can then rearrange them once it has finished. If you have imported exactly the images you want to include, and you want them roughly in date order, OR if you are in a tearing hurry and don’t want to edit anything, OR if you are a little nervous about all this, it might be worth letting Bookify do the work.

However, we’re on a learning curve here, and this is the first step on a lifetime of creative album making, so give it a go. If you’re not happy with the results, you can always request an Auto Create once you’ve started (this button is on the top right of the main book editing screen, between ‘Get Photos’ and ‘Design Cover’).

Click on ‘I’ll drag and drop my photos’.


14. The first screen can look a bit daunting. Don’t worry.

All you need to know for now is that you are being shown your virtual book, and you just need to select a photo from the film strip (1) and drag it to a photo page (not a text page – I’ll show you how to change this in a minute) (2). The strip in the top left of the screen (3) shows you which part of your book you’re looking at – in this example we’re on pages 2 and 3.


15. It is very easy to change the page layout templates that Bookify suggests.

First of all, it’s important to know that the default setting is for one image per page, and no templates are immediately offered for more than one photo per page. However, you can actually add up to six images per page – just keep dragging and dropping them onto a page and Bookify will automatically arrange them for you.

To change the layouts manually, click on the ‘layout’ icon at the bottom left of the left hand side page, or the bottom right of the right hand side page (1). Then choose either an image/image + text layout (2) or just a text layout (3).  Bookify will update the page with your selection. When you have finished, click the ‘X’ to close the box (4) and continue creating your book.


16. Once you have an image in place, there are a few things you can do.

Click on the photo to reveal the editing toolbar – you can zoom in and out, make the photo fill the frame, make the frame fit the photo, rotate the photo, get information about the photo and remove it (it won’t be deleted, it just disappears from the page but stays in the filmstrip at the bottom so you can use it again).

Bookify will notify you if the image quality isn’t sufficient for printing – look out for any warnings, and follow the instructions as necessary.  Low resolution warnings may appear if you are using small photos (such as those taken on a phone, or if you have zoomed in too much) in big templates. Try adding more photos to a page so the templates shrink – this often helps.


17. If you want to change the style of your book, click on ‘Style Book’ in the top right hand corner.


18. To import more photographs into the filmstrip, click on ‘Get Photos’ in the top right hand corner.

Follow the process you went through back in steps 6-12, and repeat until you have added all the images you want to. Again, depending on your internet speed you may want (or need) to take a break. Perhaps you’d prefer a coffee this time?


19. If you want to see an overview of your book at any time, click on ‘Arrange Pages’ in the bottom middle of the screen.


20. To return to the main page editing screen…

Click on the page you want to go back to and then click on ‘Edit Pages’ which will appear underneath the double page spread.


21. Make room for some more pictures.

If you want to add pages, click on the ‘+’ icon at the top of the pages on the main edit screen. Clicking on the left will add a page before your current page, and clicking on the right will add a page after it.

Continue adding pictures and pages until you’re happy with the way the inside of the book looks.


22. Nearly there.

Once you have added all your photos, all that is left to do is design the cover. Click on ‘Design Cover’ in the top right of the screen.


23. Choose the type of cover you want, and then click ‘Next’.


24. Create your book cover.

Starting with the front cover, drag and drop a photograph if you are using one. Click in the text box (1) to add a title, change the layout of the title with the toolbar (2) and change the colour of the cover using the colour palette (3).


25. Design the back cover, spine and flaps in the same way.

Then, click on ‘Preview’ when you are ready to proof your finished book (this is the last stage before ordering). If you see something you’re not keen on, you can still return to make any changes at any time by clicking on ‘Edit book’ in the bottom right hand corner.


26. In the ‘Preview’ section you can flip through your pages by clicking on each page, or the arrowheads to the left and right of the book.

Take the time to check that each page is exactly how you want it – this is very important, as once you order the book you can’t make any more changes. If you want to change anything, click on ‘Design Cover’ or ‘Edit book’, whichever is showing in the bottom right of the screen. This will take you back into the editing sections. Once you are ready to go, click on ‘Ready to Order’ and follow the instructions provided.


Congratulations, you have just finished your first Blurb book!

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