Tips and Tricks

NEW PHOTOBOOK: decided to keep an informative log for you

Part #1: Preparation 

Well, I had a series of photos from my last summer trip to Syros island, Greece. See them here…

I decided to make a Blurb photobook. So I thought to document my experience, step-by-step. I did it in the past and you found it useful (see here in detail at my photoblog). I think this may prove helpful to others.

Well, I am a "B3" Blurb member which means I can soft-proof my photos using Blurb’s printers’ ICC profiles. This proved a bit tedious, because I had to re-copy the photos to a different folder and then re-tweak them a bit one-by-one to get optimal viewing results. Needless to say that without a calibrated monitor you shouldn’t be expecting too much in terms of color consistency! Without having seen (yet!) the end result, I am now much more confident on the outcome though… Let’s wait and see (+1 point for Blurb)

So, I downloaded the latest Booksmart version (as of Jan 02, 2009) which was 1.9.x. Everything went smoothly and I had no glitches while preparing the book. (+1 point here again for Blurb) I still miss though the ability to put a photo on the spine as I used doing in the recent past with Blurb books. (-1 point!).

Well this was the most tedious part. I then went for a hardcover 33×28cm – 13"x11", 60 pages book with a dust jacket. It’s the most professional looking one for a photobook and I have tried some of the different sizes in the past. Expensive, but it makes the difference.

After that I had to do the pagination thing….. In the past I did a Paros island photobook with grey background but didn’t like it that much. An older, black-background photobook from Santorini was much more classy. Browse the previous books online here… This time I went for a white background, as I saw that this was the preference in most coffee-table books sold at bookstores.

I completed the whole photobook in about 3 days, 4-5 hours per day for a total of 55 photos. I would still like more options for putting portrait oriented photos. I found the options a bit lacking, especially in terms of placing the text descriptions by the photos. But anyway….

I finished it and uploaded it to Blurb in less than an hour, with a moderate speed ADSL line (+1 point for that). I selected the dust-jacket option and the custom workflow option to depict colours accurately. I think that the price premium for that is still quite high (+6 euros, which is almost 10% of the cost, -1 point for that). I used the normal/ old paper and not the new one.I read quite a few bad comments at Blurb’s blog, so I skipped that. Unless they provide us with glossy paper I will not be changing that. (-1 point for paper options!)

Well, I ordered 5 copies at Jan 4, 2009 (taking the risk!) and then chose the intermediate shipping option. Expected day of shipping is now Jan 12, 2009. Will keep you posted.

Meanwhile I have put a complete version of the photobook online for you to browse. You can find it here (1st in row) and you don’t have to download anything! Just browse it! Some may argue that by putting it completely online you risk sales. But I doubt that… You can fully browse it at bookstores aren’t you? And because this is an electronic ordering thing, which for some people means extra cautiousness, you have to give something back in confidence…

So there I am waiting for the deadlines and the shipment of books. Will keep you posted for the un-packaging process, the quality inspection and photos from the real thing so as to have the full Blurb experience.

Until then, have a look at the electronic version here, or feel free to browse my photos at my website here... For those of you that would also like an additional, more relaxing way to see the photos included in my photobook, I kindly invite you to download and watch the relaxing Syros photo slideshow (with music!) found here….  (2nd in row, download to your computer for best results).

Well, this is the end of part #1.


Yannis (

Posted by
Jan 4, 2009 4:34pm PDT

Hello Yannis,

Great project – and great to be able to follow it with you! I’d not seen the Issuu site before and what a great way to preview the book online! Great that you can show the whole thing – I agree that if someone is buying online, they deserve to see what they’d be getting, just as they could in a regular bookshop. Fingers crossed Blurb allows full previews sometime so it’s all here on one site!

Hope the books turn out reall well.


Posted by
Jan 6, 2009 12:52pm PDT

Thanks Ben :-)

Part #2: Anticipation Update

Blurb notified for shipment of my Syros photobook on Jan 9, 2008 that is 3 days ahead of schedule :-)

Another point for Blurb.

Posted by
Jan 10, 2009 6:20am PDT