BookSmart

5x8 B&W Text Option

Has anyone created a text-only book this way?   I have a 150 page text that I would like to make available to students, but so far I am having serious problems with the text import feature of the program.   It seems impossible to maintain proper paragraph indents or import simple things like bulleted or numbered lists.  Seems like this might not be the best program yet for this kind of work. 

I’d just like to hear about other people’s experiences before I go though the hassle of using this program for my text.

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
mrusso11010
Nov 4, 2008 6:04am PDT
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mrusso11010
 

I am attempting to do the same thing for a book of approx. the same length and have the same issues.  On another forum page, I just posted a response to a comment by a Blurb team member that they are working on a technical glitch seemingly related to this issue.

 

usere is a technical glitch they are qoprkimng on y explaining that that they aren nenebr ifn referrib  the a techncial bug Bulrb is woprking on in relation to thios p[ropbprm

 

spting.  another forium umrInht ,materly the same lentghvhtrte;ly th dsame lenthtong to the same thing

Posted by
banfield
Jan 23, 2009 9:24am PDT
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banfield
 

I hope they fix this soon. I downloaded the software at the weekend and was hoping for a simple process to import my novel. It wasn’t a very encouraging start.

Posted by
Penfold0003
Jan 27, 2009 6:51am PDT
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Penfold0003
 

Same problem here.  There’s absolutely no point in having a feature to import Word files if tabs are ignored.

 

Posted by
AnotherAaron
Jan 30, 2009 11:04am PDT
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AnotherAaron
 

What do you know, I came to ask this exact same question. Do you really have to go through and intent every paragraph once you import into BookSmart?

Posted by
LumberBaron
Jan 31, 2009 1:22am PDT
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LumberBaron
 

Howdy folks,

We’re sorting out indents; it should soon be a non-issue and we’ll all be free to talk about drop-caps (I enjoy drop-caps as much as the next author, but those are more a "want" than a "need). Indent/tab is definitely a "need," and a required option for authors of novel-size books.

There are a couple workaround approaches we’re tinkering with; some "find/replace" solutions can properly format whole projects. Please stay tuned on this forum for updates; I hoping we might be able to post a suggested workflow this coming week. Thank you for standing by.

Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
Jan 31, 2009 7:50pm PDT
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jbates
 

Thanks for the quick response!

Posted by
AnotherAaron
Feb 3, 2009 11:51am PDT
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AnotherAaron
 

I’ve been burning hours trying to workaround the whole character return issue with importing my Word doc on a Mac. I’ve done everything you’ve suggested to format the text correctly, and still it crashes. Even just cutting and pasting the text doesn’t maintain line breaks.

Posted by
bbowers
Feb 6, 2009 4:00pm PDT
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bbowers
 

By email today, staff member Jeremy advised me that the software modification to fix this problem is expected to be in place mid-year.

Posted by
banfield
Feb 13, 2009 7:22am PDT
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banfield
 

...and I just noted (and completed) a new questionnnaire on this site asking people about their text management function preferences (obviously input for the software fix).

 

Posted by
banfield
Feb 13, 2009 8:25am PDT
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banfield
 

Howdy all,

Yep, we’re taking this text engine back into the shop for a bit bang on it, and will be prioritizing much of our developers’ time according to the results of that survey banfield mentioned. I regret none of the manual workarounds we experimented with proved sufficiently effective or workable to post; I had hoped we could come up with a band-aid fix for folks to use while the programmers worked on the underlying code. Instead, now we all have more time to brush up our manuscripts (mine included) ahead of the next release later this year (sorry we can’t be more specific here regarding dates).

Jeremy 

Posted by
jbates
Feb 13, 2009 10:53am PDT
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jbates
 

I’m also trying to make a 5×8 text book. They sent out an upgraded program for Blurb, watched the tutorial, and it shows that we can make justified text, and also text over a picture by adding a "quotation page". Well, none of those things are there or available! Where’s the upgraded info?

A "Professional" text book can NOT be with copy all flush left or centered. We need justified text to truly make a professional book. Help

Posted by
DZINER
Feb 21, 2009 8:41pm PDT
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DZINER
 

DZ:

I’m no expert, but:

I think you may be confusing comments re different BookSmart formats. As I understand, the 5×8" B&W format cannot include photos or "text over a picture". It is intended for essentially text-only books such as novels. However, at this stage it has some glitches which make difficulties except for the simplest with vigilant patience.

But, yes, the other BookSmart formats have been able to do both full-justified and text over image, with certain provisos, for some time.

The full-justification system is basic, only adjusting space between words, not within words at this stage. I was keen to use it as photos are (mostly) rectangular, and if there are to be blocks of fuller text with the photos, those blocks should be matching rectangular too. It is more difficult, so only use full-justification when justified! Don’t use it if some text boxes are narrow and you want to use a large font. [It doesn’t adjust the last line (incomplete) of a paragraph, so at the end you might want to fudge the last line with extra spaces.]

You can see the effect on  a couple of my books (12point font) at:

http://www.blurb.com/user/store/peteshep

(Patience loading. Right-click (PC) to zoom larger once or twice, then back to original.)

As  to text over picture, there are quite a lot of these in the BookSmart Layouts for each format. They show as grey for the photo, with lines over representing the text. Otherwise you can prepare any composition in another programme such as PhotoShop or InDesign and bring into BookSmart for uploading.

Take time,  :-)

P

 

 

 

Posted by
peteshep
Feb 21, 2009 10:06pm PDT
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peteshep
 

jbates, any update on this issue? Need paragraphs to either indent or dropcap. Additional customized styles might be a way to go?

/djw

Posted by
dianejwright
Apr 20, 2009 1:22pm PDT
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dianejwright
 

I fear you have to format your paragraphs by hand…good look with that nerve wrecking job.

The blurb software is still  terrible when it comes to formatting text, also with the only text version of books (8X5). I could write the book of bugs about that. Whenever you change the layout of a page beware of loosing format and also letters, dots etc.So nothing has changed as so often.

I recommend to play with a short version i.e. only a few pages to find your final layout.  When that is done I would dare to load bigget text into blurb software.

The printed results are ok, paper so lala, but to get there is hell! 

Posted by
editionh
Apr 26, 2009 8:31am PDT
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editionh
 

A Blurb staffer told me the current software is not capable of handling an all-text book.  He said updated software with the required capability might  be available mid-year.

 

Posted by
banfield
May 5, 2009 2:04pm PDT
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banfield
 

I did a 250 pages (8X5) and had to manually indent everyone of my paragraphs. In fact, I used the Tab key from my computer. It was the only way I found to indent perfectly. It was a wider indentation than I really wanted, but using the space bar was producing inconsistent results. Watch out also for losing dots and letters at the end of the page when inserting text.

I received the printed version and it looks pretty good, but if they could fix the formating issues, then it would look fantastic!

Posted by
dplacers
May 9, 2009 6:13am PDT
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dplacers
 

Just as info, I did a b&w book that was mostly photos, and it came out great!

Posted by
koolkat
May 18, 2009 10:15am PDT
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koolkat
 

Hey guys I’m new here, but I’m trying to create a b/w text book. When I select my word .doc document, I get an "Uh-OH" pop up from Boosmart and is unable to upload. I tried mannually copy and pasting into Booksmart and that worked fine, but when I select ALL and attempt to cahnge the font size, the program freezes up and crashes. Any helpful tips as to what I’m doing wrong?

Posted by
hunterrick
May 27, 2009 8:08am PDT
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hunterrick
 

I’ve been tearing out my hair trying to do a 5×8 all text book, having all of the problems listed here. Is BookSmart 2.0 (released today) supposed to address these issues?  If it’s as buggy as early reports, I hesitate to replace 1.9.9. Anybody tried it yet?

Posted by
XmasKris
May 30, 2009 10:31am PDT
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XmasKris
 

Ok – good to know I’m not the only one buring hours and hours on my book project…I’ve made a bunch of other books focused on photos with my students and they’ve gone so well.  This is my first all-text book – about 150 word doc pages…yikes. What a serious nightmare.

Anyone know of another program that works better? Kind of in a time crunch here. 

Posted by
melissa522
May 31, 2009 1:43am PDT
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melissa522
 

Perhaps some of the problem with pasting text in from Word is that it has Word macros or formatting that is not recognized. Try pasting it as plain text and format the text in Booksmart.

 

My 5×8 was a piece of cake!

Posted by
koolkat
Jun 2, 2009 7:18pm PDT
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koolkat