BookSmart

Booksmart 1.9.9 PHENOMENALLY unstable

I’m using Booksmart 1.9.9 to work on a book. It is currently 280 pages and, from the beginning, crashes several times per hour. Earlier versions crashed occasionally, but this version is extraordinarily frustrating to use. I’d be thrilled if the next version of Booksmart had no new features, but had much greater stability. This seems more like a beta version than a finished product.

Is Blurb working on this?

Matthew

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Posted by
mashny
Dec 19, 2008 7:04pm PDT
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mashny
 

If it helps diagnose the problem, I’m working on an dual quad core Mac Pro, with 10GB of RAM, and operating system 10.5.5. I use Photoshop CS3 to edit and finalize ALL pictures that go into my book (a 13×11 book).

I would deduce that it is not any limitation of my system that is causing this constant crashing.

Mathew

Posted by
mashny
Dec 19, 2008 7:07pm PDT
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mashny
 

Matthew,

what exactly do you mean by "crashing?"

I can’t even find my book to work on – it’s at 1.3 gigs 160+ pgs, I’ve been working on it for 2 months (also 1.9.9)  and has disappeared!   Is that "crashing?"

Posted by
jpreider
Dec 20, 2008 3:08pm PDT
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jpreider
 

Matthew -

BTW – I am working on the  same Mac – also editing in CS3.   Maybe Blurb doesn’t like Macs – or, PhotoShop CS3.   I do!

Posted by
jpreider
Dec 20, 2008 3:11pm PDT
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jpreider
 

Howdy all,

Sorry to hear about that. Customer Suport can solve most of these crashes. Please fill out the next crash report you’re shown (it’ll pop up when BookSmart crashes) with your email address. Then please write to Customer Support to let them know you have done so. Support will then look up your crash by your email address, and advise you from there.

Also, the problem isn’t related to Adobe products, nor to Macs in general. It’s most likely some kind of error in the book file. Support should be able to find and repair that error.

Best regards,
Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
Dec 20, 2008 3:40pm PDT
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jbates
 

By “crashing” I mean that the program just quits. Fortunately, when I reopen it, it opens to the page I was working on. There seems to be no actual damage to the Blurb book file the information is being pulled from.

Jeremy:

Thanks for the response. I have filled out at least one crash report. Sorry to say, I may have used a few expletives in it… Next time it happens (which is very often) I’ll fill out the report, then email Customer Support.

Matthew

Posted by
mashny
Dec 22, 2008 12:49pm PDT
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mashny
 

I’m using a brand new HP, 64-bit Vista and tried BookSmart for the first time on a 100-page book draft. After having it crash every five minutes or so during simple text formatting, I’ve decided this is not ready for prime time and moved on to Lulu. I much preferred the ability to format my own product, but cannot spend hours troubleshooting badly engineering software.

And yes, I sent in the trouble report. Moving on.

John Bordeaux

Posted by
jbordeaux
Dec 22, 2008 1:51pm PDT
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jbordeaux
 

My project “crashed” too. When technical support got back to me a week and a half after I first notified them of the problem, I received my “fixed” book with pages missing and half the photos gone from my layouts. And during the whole process of trying to recreate the book from memory, I was praying to the book gods to not let BookSmart crash my file again.

Not the best experience, let me tell you.

And aren’t the first posts about these problems in April? Why is it December and the issues are not resolved??

Posted by
krisalis004
Dec 23, 2008 11:20am PDT
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krisalis004
 

Hi krisalis004,

We’re sorry for your experience. It’s only fair that you should be able to share your case with other people on the forums, as It’s painfully true. Your file contained a pretty nasty crash, and support had to operate on the version of the project you submitted.

I hope the book you receive long outlasts any memories of technical difficulties, and that you will consider revisiting Blurb once BookSmart 2.0 is issued in 2009.

Happy Holidays,
Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
Dec 23, 2008 12:43pm PDT
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jbates
 

I feel your pain.  I invested approx 10 hour attemping to transfer a "text and photos" manuscript via cut & pasting text, and uploading photos.  I finally gave up this morning.  This is without a doubt, the most buggy, impossibly annoying program I have attempted to use, in over 20 years of graphical computing….

Steve

Posted by
smcbeath
Dec 26, 2008 10:59am PDT
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smcbeath
 

Hi Steve,

I don’t see a technical support incident from you; did you ever submit one from an email address other than the one you registered with Blurb.com? Tech support can help you work around any known issues so you can complete your book (without having to wait for BookSmart 2.0, coming next year). 

De-formatting text in your word processing program (Clear Formatting in Word’s Styles menu) and then pasting into BookSmart as plain text allows for the cleanest, smoothest experience working with text. You might also try pasting shorter passages of text to avoid creating multiple "flows." 

If that doesn’t do the trick, or you’re crashing as opposed to simply running into usability issues, please write to Customer Support and include in your message a link to this thread.

Best regards and thank you for your patience,
Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
Dec 26, 2008 11:44am PDT
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jbates
 

Like a few others here feel, Booksmart is not too smart.  It does not tell you where it saves or backs up your book.  I had  awindows crash and backed up my Booksmart folder thinking that was where my book was saved.  Then I reinstalled windows and my programs and my book was lost.  A big problem with this program is its java operation, uses a lot of memory and rund so slow.  I will try it again when the next version comes out, if its not any better, then I will have to move on to something else.  My system is very stable now that I have reinstalled everything I need, everything but Booksmart.  No I have not contacted Customer Support, because java just does not run on every computer.

                                                                                                   JD

Posted by
bigboss1
Dec 26, 2008 1:58pm PDT
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bigboss1
 

I’ve had this crashing problem as well – the program dies, and won’t restart at all. This happens every time I click on any of the buttons (more… on the themes, ornaments, etc, import photos from my computer button, the list goes on). I have yet to actually be prompted to submit a trouble ticket or whatever you are referring to – I am "working" on a number of books and now I can’t open any of them.

Posted by
beckwlf
Dec 28, 2008 3:10pm PDT
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beckwlf
 

I just downloaded this version, and it crashes consistently when I do the following:

1) Select "more options" under the background menu

2) Try to import photos from my own computer.

I also don’t seem to be able to type in any text in any of the text boxes.

I’ve heard good things about Blurb so wanted to try it out, but the program seems completely unuseable—it is so buggy. What’s up?

Posted by
linjudy
Dec 30, 2008 11:27am PDT
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linjudy
 

Well, within 10 minutes of reporting the problem via email, I got a response to do the following:

1) Please navigate to C:/ProgramFiles/BookSmart/Lib. Locate the file called NativeSmart.dll and please drag this file to the desktop.
2) Now please open BookSmart and try to load a photo. It should now work correctly.

Voila, it worked!

Posted by
linjudy
Dec 30, 2008 8:54pm PDT
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linjudy
 

Hi all

My Book Smart problem is quite similar.

It seems that the 1.9.9 version has something against copy and paste. As I write most of my stuff in open office, I am dependant on this feature. It’s not every time, but a lot, about half the times, Book Smart comes up with an error announcement and closes.

 

Also, linespacing is incredibly irregular, which makes some pages look amateurish…

Would like that fixed.

Otherwise, I am starting a small publishing buisness on my own, and plan to use Book Smart and blurb a lot, so I am very glad for the bookstore feature. Thank you.

 

Mads Kamp

nepotisma.dk

Posted by
madskamp
Dec 31, 2008 5:28am PDT
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madskamp
 

why does the texteditor go back to the default times new romans 12, at every linejump.

 

I’m writing in myriad web pro, 8

and every time I want a free line between to paragraphs it makes that free line times new roman, 12.

It is damned annoying, and makes every poem look a bit crappier

 

Mads Kamp

Posted by
madskamp
Dec 31, 2008 5:44am PDT
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madskamp
 

I’m still using BookSmart 1.9.4 becuase I couldn’t risk the problems of the various releases.

Copy and Pasting crashes BookSmart all too often. I found that it take the formatting of the first line in the paste and applies it to the entire pasted text, ignoring everything else.

And yes, madskamp, it constantly reverts to some predetermined text format instead of the format of the line you are typing in.  It truly doesn’t behave the way a typical rich text format editor would.  I find text formatting in BookSmart to be the most time consuming and crash-prone of all the tasks. I can’t imagine doing a cookbook or other heavy text-formatted book.

Posted by
royalef
Jan 2, 2009 1:19pm PDT
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royalef
 

Oh, on the text-heavy pages like a two page spread of all text covering a six-day itinerary, I gave up trying to format in Booksmart.  I brought the whole thing into Photoshop and saved as JPGs. Dropped into Booksmart as full page bleeds and was done.  I wasted most of an our trying to get the text in and formatted in Booksmart.  I will never do a text-heavy page in Booksmart again.

Posted by
royalef
Jan 2, 2009 1:46pm PDT
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royalef
 

Nothing but problems tonight, all I wanted to do was paste one line of text and crash, after six crashes, I just gave up for tonight.  I mean really.  Let me shut up before I say something i will regret.

                                                                                                                           JD

Posted by
bigboss1
Jan 4, 2009 4:38pm PDT
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bigboss1
 

I hear ya, JD. What’s the definition of insanity? Well, that’s me three times.

 I wouldn’t have had to do the cut and paste if the doc had imported correctly the first time. But alas, t’was not to be (I’m in a poetic mood tonight).

I can sort of handle the reverting back to a different font, but the crash-and-paste option was not one that I was hoping for.

I have emailed customer service. I hope for a resolution soon.

M

Posted by
CanHarmony
Jan 4, 2009 5:40pm PDT
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CanHarmony
 

I had the same problem of BookSmart crashing all the time – but something I did somehow managed to fix it after I fiddled around with it for ages.  Customer Service was fantastic at helping as well by fixing up an error that was in my book file and sending it back for me to download.  Although, it didn’t fix the crashing problem, it at least fixed my book file.

 Just in case this might work for anyone else, what I did was uninstall BookSmart, and then reinstalled BookSmart.  It came up with the ‘Where do you want to store your BookSmart Data?" and I opted to create a folder for it in the BookSmart folder on the C Drive.  Turns out that’s a big no-no for my machine, which was causing the program to crash constantly for some reason.  So, I uninstalled BookSmart, and also installed Java (as at the time I thought it might of had something to do with the fact that I wasn’t running Java), and then I realised there was a folder in ‘My Documents’ called ’.blurb’, so next time when the program asked me where I wanted to store my BookSmart Data, I selected the ’.blurb’ folder.  I haven’t had any crashes or program glitches since then!

 Maybe I’m just dumb and that’s where I should of been storing the data all along, and there’s probably some instruction that says to store it there that I overlooked.  But I just thought I’d include this in case this works for anyone else.

Posted by
kristie87
Jan 5, 2009 4:17pm PDT
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kristie87
 

I can’t even get the application to run on my Mac. I have a brand new MacBook Air. When I launch the application it crashes after about 30 seconds and gives the report the crash window. I’ve downloaded the application several times to see if the issue was fixed. Each time the same problem.

Hopefully someone has a fix. I think this is a great idea….if only I could get it working.

Posted by
bigdadee
Jan 8, 2009 11:56pm PDT
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bigdadee
 

ARGH! How disappointing this version is (1.9.9) Somedays it works fine, other days it only stays open for 5-10 minutes then chokes and crashes. I’m using a MacBook Pro, Leopard 10.5.6, with 2GB of RAM, what is the problem! I understand it’s a BETA version, but seriously?

At this point the ONLY reason I see to KEEP using Blurb is the finishing options. Aperture (which I have) is WAY more stable, but has fewer cover options. Layout in Aperture is easier. I could use Indesign CS3 and Photoshop CS3, but I may as well NOT even use Blurb if I’m going to do that. 

And it’s also lame that Blurb showcases all of these well ‘designed’ books that have obviously been created using OTHER programs like Indesign and Photoshop. There is really no way to do anything cool with their templates without involving way more work in other programs.

I really wish the SAME effort put into making the marketing of Blurb was put into making BookSmart stable.

Looking forward to the next version, or not.

This really shouldn’t be that hard.

Posted by
naynaykins
Jan 17, 2009 8:13pm PDT
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naynaykins
 

I don’t know that I would have asked for a blurb voucher for a Christmas present if I’d read this forum first. However, as I’ve now spend all day on my first book and all afternoon recovering from Booksmart crashes and trying to keep things going, I like to think that someone at Blurb will be able to come up with some answers for me. As for crash reports, I’ve only seen one to report the crash to apple. I have emailed the support team so am hoping to get this sorted out quickly before I lose enthusiasm.

Posted by
Snaps22
Jan 18, 2009 2:23pm PDT
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Snaps22
 

If Smartbook can be smart enough to deal with photos of various sizes as input and get them in there correctly, why can’t it be smart enough to process pasted text and remove illegal formatting? That doesn’t seem as thought it would be a huge engineering challenge and it sounds as though ti would cure a lot of people’s problems. You’re losing customers who don’t bother looking in the forum. All they know is, the thing is buggy and they move on to more stable solutions.

Posted by
wordsworth
Jan 19, 2009 4:20pm PDT
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wordsworth
 

Hello wordsworth;

I guess I am about to find out how unstable 1.9.9 is, since I’m about to start on my latest book… although in all fairness, I’ve been playing with it for a while now and have not encountered anything out of the ordinary… time will tell…

However, as for your comment… I would say that dealing with text is FAR more problematic than dealing with images! What users appear to be looking for here is almost to have BookSmart work as a word-processor – and that (to me anyway) looks to be a major upgrade to the fundamental basis of BookSmart being an image presentation tool…

Apart from that – although I like BookSmart a great deal, for the unwary or un-initiated, it still does NOT handle images correctly!

But I do agree with the comment about losing customers… I have made that same comment to Blurb in the past…

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Jan 20, 2009 2:22am PDT
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lkb-28
 

Sorry, but I’ll have to disagree with you Lee, as far as images go, I have yet to get one to resize right and I’ve read everything posted here about resizing images, it just does not work.  I scroll the mouse over the image box, it gives a certain size, I rezsize the image to that size and every single image is too big.  I use the image adjustments, to center the image and there are white spaces either on four sides or on the top and bottom.  It just does not work.  I finally saidto heck with it and I’m using nother program to make my pages and import the pages into Books***, but even then I can not get them to resize right.  Out side of the crashes from copying and pasting text, resizing images and losing a 100 page book I was close to finishing,  this program is just one big pain and I’m seriously just saying enough of this sillyness and moving on to something better that at least works.  I’m trying to hold out until the next release of Books*** come out, but I’m seriously considering something else myself.                                 JD                            

                                                                                                         

Posted by
bigboss1
Jan 20, 2009 5:50am PDT
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bigboss1
 

Hi JD;

What do you disagree with me about? Seems to me we are in agreement about image handling – although I’ve never encountered any problem with pre-sized imports!

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Jan 20, 2009 7:16am PDT
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lkb-28
 

I have to agree, it freezes for me every 10 seconds and freezes for about 5 seconds. copy and paste is almost impossible and just general editing and workflow has grinded to a halt. Anyway we can roll back to a previous version?

Posted by
sigma
Jan 25, 2009 9:23pm PDT
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sigma
 

Sorry Lee,

I was rushed to work and misread your post, I thought you had said the resizing worked OK, which in fact it is anything but OK.  I’ve looked at everything on resizing here, both in this forum and the Blurb blog and I have yet to find anything that works really works.  Not everybody has time to play around with customer support, I sure do not, but its hard to believe that nobody at Blurb is not aware of these problems.  My mistake Lee.

                                                                                                                JD

Posted by
bigboss1
Jan 26, 2009 3:50am PDT
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bigboss1
 

I’d have to agree…very unstable.  And my problem happens the split second I try to do anything with a text box.  Actually, I’m still on the cover, all I want to do is REMOVE the text box, and I get a crash on EITHER of my machines.  This is doubly frustrating because many serious designers would like to be doing this from InDesign, and just downloading a template, laying out the book and exporting as a PDF they can upload.  WOW, would that be easy.  But the only (ridiculous) way to use InDesign or another layout software is to do a two or three-step conversion to JPGs for individual pages…..just silly.  Especially since in my case I can’t get the BookSmart title off of my cover without crashing the program.  I really wanted to try Blurb, but it looks like I won’t be back for a while, I’ll go invest my time in Lulu formatted projects again.

Posted by
harbor521
Feb 5, 2009 10:54am PDT
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harbor521
 

I know youve heard it all before – but BOOKSMART HAS CRASHED and I’m close to having a weep! Ive been working on something for my Masters due for an assessment next week and now VAMOOSH – I cant get at it. It lets me open Booksmart ( after checking out all the previous solutions and trying them – that bits working…) Now the lovely thing admits I have a book, lets me see the title and then when I open it – says : Sorry I have had a technical glitch. GRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by
eejaypeabee
Feb 5, 2009 11:23am PDT
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eejaypeabee