PDF to Book

Locked Exciting news – Blurb now accepts PDFs!

We think this is some of the biggest Blurb news ever … introducing our new PDF to Book workflow. You can now print a Blurb book using your own PDF, whether it’s from InDesign® or your favorite design tool. You can use our free, downloadable, ready-to-use InDesign® templates or get measurements using our specifications calculator to create a PDF using your own program. Bleeding an image from front to back and over a spine is now possible. Full creative control, like never before. And after uploading your PDF to Book, you’ll experience all the same features Blurb offers whether you’re promoting your book in the bookstore, participating in Set Your Price, or creating Blurb Badges.

We know that accepting PDFs has long been a request from you design pros out there. So, we’d like to extend a big thanks to a lot of the folks in our forums community who helped test the program over the past month – your feedback has been extremely supportive and helpful, and the books you created were amazing.

For our Blurb BookSmart® fans – BookSmart isn’t going anywhere. In fact, we’re already busy working on the next release.

Now, get busy and let us know what you think. We cannot wait to see how far everyone takes their new book designs.

– Kathy

Posted by
kathybad
Jun 23, 2009 2:55pm PDT
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kathybad
 

OW Yeah! I have no idea how you guys did it but I was just wondering today how awesome it would be to just upload a .pdf exported from InDesign. You should have seen my face when I visited blurb.com to see the announcement!

Posted by
MartijnK
Jun 23, 2009 3:04pm PDT
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MartijnK
 

Kathy,

You have no idea how happy I am!

In a simple two words! Thank You!

I am totally psyched!

Brian {a passionately Blurbarian}

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jun 23, 2009 5:18pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

Thanks Kathy.

I’m just disappointed that I never got to see a book in the Beta program after all my efforts. I hope support can work out why both my books fail pre-flight or I will not be able to use this facility.

 

Posted by
cbnewham
Jun 23, 2009 11:30pm PDT
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cbnewham
 

Hope there will also be a Photoshop template available soon

Posted by
MartijnK
Jun 24, 2009 1:44am PDT
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MartijnK
 

I was part of the beta test for this and was very impressed. The directions were really easy to follow and the process went smoothly. I am very familiar with InDesign, using it daily for work, so it was wonderful to use this powerful tool to design my book without having to follow the "Export to PDF>Import to Photoshop>Export as PNG/JPG>Insert into Booksmart" route.

If you’re trying to decide whether to do this or use Booksmart, the determining factor will be your comfort level with graphic design/photo editing principles. If you know a lot about Photoshop and InDesign, then you will appreciate this new process. If you like to keep things simple and not have to sweat the technical stuff, go with Booksmart.

As with all technology, there’s always a tradeoff between simplicity and power. Booksmart is much simpler and is designed to pretty much eliminate any rookie mistakes. InDesign is more powerful/flexible, but that means it’s easier to mess up or get confused about how to accomplish something.

Posted by
lhouck
Jun 24, 2009 10:46am PDT
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lhouck
 

it’s GREAT news, will we ever be able to export a booksmart book AS a pdf though?

Posted by
magcha
Jun 24, 2009 11:44am PDT
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magcha
 

This is a good first step.  Now, how about exporting a book to PDF from BookSmart or through Blurb.  Several folks have their  books published through Blurb in PDF format on Issuu.com.  They do this so that people visiting their sites can view their books in their entirety through links to Issuu.com  rather than previewing the books on Blurb.  Now that people can create their books as PDFs this will become more common so I hope that Blurb provide us all the capability to convert our books that were already created to PDFs. The point is to sell our books and a potential customer would like to see the entire book prior to purchase rather than just the first 15 pages.

Posted by
Nikon_Boy
Jun 24, 2009 1:25pm PDT
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Nikon_Boy
 

Can I pull in the PDF x-3 format into Photoshop CS? I don’t have, and thought I didn’t need, CS2 or 3. Can’t seem to figure it out.

Thanks,
Paul Treacy
http://photohumourist.com

Posted by
paultreacy
Jun 24, 2009 1:50pm PDT
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paultreacy
 

Aperture Templates pleeese!

Thanks

Shrey

Posted by
shrey
Jun 24, 2009 2:54pm PDT
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shrey
 

Quark Templates would be super. I’ll keep my fingers crossed they come soon.

Posted by
DSprechman
Jun 24, 2009 3:26pm PDT
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DSprechman
 

so how do i get started?  i’m kind of a thud-teckie. The first time I tried to Blurb a book i spent days clicking on the web site, looking to get in, not realizing i had to click on the BookSmart software on my computer—don’t say, duh!   i’m trying to learn.   it’s probably obvious to you . . .

 so HOW do i get to the PDF . . . to upload to Blurb?

Posted by
srogershare
Jun 24, 2009 3:56pm PDT
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srogershare
 

This is great news Blurb!!! thanks for finally making it a reality….

InDesign templates fantastic!

I would also put a bid in for Aperture, if that makes sense in the future!

Posted by
worldrider
Jun 24, 2009 4:24pm PDT
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worldrider
 

I also took part in the Beta testing for the PDF upload program and although I have not recieved my book yet (it is on the way!) I can attest to what lhouck said …  it is great for those who have some experience with graphic and/ or publishing programs but the Booksmart is the way to go if you don’t want to learn all the technical aspects of bookmaking. 

For the beta I used InDesign and although I have dabbled with it in the past, I was not a proficiant user like I am with Photoshop but after studing some online tutorials and getting to know the program I am now hooked and don’t want to make my books any other way!  Blurb’s directions were really clear and easy to follow.  I love the templates and the easy upload – being able to skip converting and importing  all my .jpgs to Booksmart was a dream!

I will give a review on the finished product when my book arrives.

Posted by
platteford
Jun 24, 2009 5:36pm PDT
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platteford
 

Great news! Finally creative freedom.
I have one question though:
Can i now, with ‘image wrap’ create a printed inside cover, or do these have to remain white?

Posted by
Bassimo
Jun 25, 2009 4:24am PDT
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Bassimo
 

Bassimo:

Everything is as it was before in Booksmart except you have now got absolute freedom for the standard book pages and cover.

So, in short: no.

 

Posted by
cbnewham
Jun 25, 2009 4:38am PDT
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cbnewham
 

Is there anybody out there who can recommend an inexpensive reference book about InDesign CS3 including an easy to understand tutorial – How to create a book with InDesign?

Thanks,
Hannes

Posted by
Hannes60
Jun 25, 2009 6:26am PDT
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Hannes60
 

Postscriptum: 

Online-Tutorials about InDesign CS3How to create a book with InDesign – would also be welcomed.

 Thanks,
Hannes

Posted by
Hannes60
Jun 25, 2009 6:33am PDT
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Hannes60
 

Yes, a simple tutorial wouldn’t go astray for just starting out.

I picked up inDesign within a day from never having used a DTP program before. It’s pretty easy to get the basics down – a Google will turn up some very helpful inDesign tutorials (I seem to recall some rather good video tutes). As an absolute beginner the hardest part for me was flowing text – until I discovered that you can set an auto-flow around pictures and you can just have one big text box rather than a whole lot of small ones on a page (don’t laugh!)

There are lots of books – far too many. I’ve only ever looked at one recently; that was for CS2 and had 100 tips and tricks to know. That was far more useful than the usual 1000 page tomes one sees.

Posted by
cbnewham
Jun 25, 2009 7:01am PDT
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cbnewham
 

Yes, please more tutorials on using InDesign with Blurb!!!

 Danke,

Brit

http://photocrew.com/britneyannemajure

Posted by
bmajure
Jun 25, 2009 12:35pm PDT
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bmajure
 

I desperately am in search for an answer on how to create a two page spread.
I would like to be able to make a ‘perfect’ overlap. Please cover this in the FAQ and/or in the tutorials.

Posted by
Pixelsenzo
Jun 26, 2009 7:55am PDT
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Pixelsenzo
 

Great ideas for tutorials. Please keep them coming. In the meantime, here’s a list of resources that you might find useful.

– Kathy

Posted by
kathybad
Jun 26, 2009 1:23pm PDT
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kathybad
 

My Book Arrived today!  This book was made using InDesign through the PDF Beta Program.

I am sooo pleased with it!

Here are a few samples …

If you would like to see more images and my review visit http://platteproductions.blogspot.com/

 

Posted by
platteford
Jun 26, 2009 10:35pm PDT
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platteford
 

I put all my effort to be able to upload my files before the dealine for the beta testing on june 21, I finished everything around 4:30am on saturday 20 and uploaded my files, I was in the website everyday checking the status of my book and till today 06-26-09 still says "preflight" I was terrified!! after a couple of emails to customer service, they told me that my files maybe didn’t upload the correct way, that I need to re upload them, I cannot see a reset or delete option for the bad files or a re upload file option, did any of you guys had any issue uploading the files? i wish i can finish the project and have my beta book like the lucky people who just got theirs, i’m sad I was left behind, any suggestions?

Posted by
mosh-k
Jun 27, 2009 3:13am PDT
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mosh-k
 

Just upload the files again (which creates a new project).

I’m on my 5th upload of one book (and it just failed pre-flight again). So long as you have a support ticket and you uploaded the original book before the Beta ended then you should be able to just keep doing it until it works or support finds out what the problem is. Just make sure you get the special coupon number to recover the cost when you finally order the book.

So far I haven’t had a book I’ve made succeed – my first book had to finally have the PDF created at Blurb from my inDesign files. So I do get to see a PDF book (hooray!) but not one I created myself (boo!)  It’s beginning to look like I have a faulty copy of inDesign (sigh).

Posted by
cbnewham
Jun 27, 2009 4:17am PDT
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cbnewham
 

Thanks for showing us samples Sally!

Sophie :)

Posted by
sophieadd
Jun 28, 2009 10:19pm PDT
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sophieadd
 

With the PDF to Book Workflow, does this mean that the ugly problem with some Blurb-contracted printers inserting product-tracking barcodes on back covers and inside pages does not exist? The only barcodes appearing anywhere on or in my book are the ones I specifically insert. Anything else is completely unacceptable.

BTW – thanks for this new approach – it is exactly what I was looking for :-)

Posted by
hershey002
Jul 3, 2009 4:03pm PDT
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hershey002
 

Just thought I’d point out that when you try to preview a book on the Blurb website, there is currently a technical error which means that the cover is not displayed correctly.

I contacted Blurb support who tell me its a known issue and that its being worked on.

I noticed that the colour of the main cover image icon was somewhat less contrasty and colourful than the ones that I’d seen from booksmart uploads as well. I assume this is something to do with colour profiling. A little disconcerting… but its the final results that matter.

Posted by
free1000
Jul 6, 2009 8:08am PDT
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free1000
 

I am thrilled beyond words with this news!!!

I’ve been an InDesign pro for years now, and do freelance design. The client I’m working with now is having me put together a book, and I found Blurb to be the best match for our book publishing needs, but I’ve been stressing for months over getting my InDesign pages to Booksmart once the book is ready to be printed. Now I don’t have to worry with that step! Yippee!!! I can finally carry on as a graphic designer typically would and no additional software is needed.

I now feel like my professional layouts and skills can join the world of self-publishing without following a general cookie-cutter sofware package made for those who don’t have my talents and knowledge. Don’t get me wrong: Booksmart is wonderful for those who don’t know how to utilize or spend time with Adobe’s software. As for me, I’m so happy to stick with my Adobe software.

Thank you for listening, and mostly, for responding to the requests for this! This new option shows me that your company cares about its clients, and that you intend to remain competitive in the industry. I’m a loyal follower now!!

Posted by
owens1994
Jul 8, 2009 9:08am PDT
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owens1994
 

I just successfully uploaded a PDF generated with Aperture.

It was a very simple process, uploading took more time then figuring it out how to do it:
1. Calculate the page sizes on the blurb website (You need to get the page count correct for the cover, so you might want to create the cover after you know the number of pages of the book)
2. Create a book with a custom template with the correct page sizes for the PAGES This template is probably reusable for similar books?
3. Create a separate book with a custom template with the correct page sizes for the COVER This template is only reusable for similar books with the same amount of pages?
4. Fill the books. Don’t use the cover page or the first page and just don’t print them in the next step?
5. Print the books, one for the pages, one for the cover:
- only print the actual pages, not the covers pages created by aperture (by selecting page numbers)
- In the centre bottom of the print menu there is a button that allow you to select ‘Save as PDF-X’, use this one. I believe this option is only available if you downloaded these action scripts from an Apple website, but I’m not sure.
6. Upload. In my case the preflight accepted the PDF.

I’m really happy about this! I’m usually still changing images while composing a book and this workflow allows me to do just that without exporting/importing steps!

Disadvantage: The imagewrap areas (front, back) are not very clearly visible in Aperture in this way.

One other small disadvantage: It is very easy to add a book template with custom sizes to Aperture, but I don’t know of an option in the interface to remove templates. With templates for different numbers of pages the book templates the number of templates you genereate is very likely to grow very fast….

Posted by
fietser
Jul 8, 2009 3:41pm PDT
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fietser
 

Great news – and I’m planning the first book now.

A question:
How do you get rid of the grey background (that will disappear in print) but is annoying on screen when dealing with images?

SPS

Posted by
sstanding
Jul 13, 2009 8:48am PDT
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sstanding
 

Well, my first PDF book has arrived and it looks great. Now I’m only concerned that a buyer would not purchase it online because the previews are faulty and show the cover misaligned.

I do find the lack of a complete online proofing step a bit disconcerting. As a final sanity check it would be great to get a full size version of the online preview that was a rendering of the complete book. Just in case an incorrect PDF was selected during the upload process. Sometimes one gets ‘fat finger’. :-)

Posted by
free1000
Jul 14, 2009 11:16pm PDT
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free1000
 

So I’ve just uploaded my second pdf to print book. The first one was fantastically successful.
Now my current client is worried that, since the preview function is still a bit sloppy for this workflow, and she can’t preview her own book, which she has entered in the photo contest – can Blurb successfully preview it and get it into the contest in good shape? And on time? Do you guys actually print a copy for yourselves of each book for the contest? I assume so, but I guess a little reassurance would be nice.

Posted by
wiliamhoard
Jul 15, 2009 8:11pm PDT
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wiliamhoard
 

Hey, I was just thinking about that a while ago. I like BookSmart personally, but it’s great to have other options out there for those who prefer their own layout program. Another excellent idea. Keep it up!

Posted by
Goblins_Den
Jul 17, 2009 5:35pm PDT
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Goblins_Den
 

Regarding the ‘how do I remove the book templates’ from Aperture question, it is simple – you just hit the backspace key and it asks you if you want to delete the template.

My question is – how do you calculate the margins in Aperture? It’d be really helpful if the Blurb crew could just post the data that you need to put in to all the boxes.

Cheers!

Matthew

Posted by
mwyplummer
Aug 10, 2009 5:04pm PDT
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mwyplummer
 

To get rid of the grey background in InDesign turn off that layer so you don’t have to look at it.

Posted by
platteford
Aug 16, 2009 11:24am PDT
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platteford
 

it would be great if only the specifications calculator was working! I tried with Mac, with PC, with Safari, with Firefox… nothing. Every time I set the nook I want, the cover I want, the number of pages and then I click on GET MEASUREMENTS to know how deep would be the spine and prepare the design for the cover, absolutely nothing happens!
WHAT CAN I DO TO HAVE THE COVER MEASURES<cite>??</cite>?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by
naviglio
Dec 5, 2012 5:45am PDT
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naviglio
 

Hi naviglio,

If you let us know the book you’re making we’ll be happy to get you those specs (reference this post when you contact us).

-Craig

Note: Locking post due to age.

Posted by
csm
Dec 5, 2012 9:19am PDT
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csm Icon_staff