General Interest

QUESTION FOR ALL: Unsure about Blurb

I am considering making another book. But I am unsure whether to use Blurb over other publishers for several reasons.

1) When I produce a book I want it to be mine.  i.e. if I want a PDF file or a powerpoint presentation I have to reformat EVERYTHING using Booksmart.  I have to start over.  I am using a proprietary software package that I cannot change certain aspects of.
2) If I use some other publisher I can use Word or OpenOffice (which I am comfortable with) and simply "Print as PDF" with both softwares and ‘no watermarks.’
3) Admittedly, I have to create my own page templates with Word or OpenOffice but EVERYTHING is mine. It can be a simple layout.  I can even learn Scribus.

Has anyone else pondered these points and even used other ‘publishers?’

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
oaxacamatt1
Mar 11, 2009 9:54am PDT
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oaxacamatt1
 

There are some limitations with Blurb, but if you want everything your way, you’d probably want to go elsewhere. I had considered other publishers but figured Blurb met my needs the best, and most economically. And yes, I had to cut and paste my Word documents into Blurbs software, and reformat everything. But in the long run, it will be easier for me.

 

Just my opinion.

Posted by
koolkat
Apr 20, 2009 7:10pm PDT
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koolkat
 

Just  a little tidbit.  I have done several books and the way I do it now is mostly through  scrapbooking software and then save each page as ‘page1’, ‘page2’, etc and save them at a jpg file – I am using Scrapbook Factory right now and it seems to work good.  That way, I can just upload my pages as a full bleed photo on Blurb and I still have all my original work.  I just got a large format printer and because I saved them as jpg files, I can just print them.  I had to learn some tweeking on saving the jpg files and can get more specific if you need that.    Wendy

Posted by
wjukich
Apr 20, 2009 10:02pm PDT
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wjukich
 

I am not sure if I really understand the whole situation you are discussing about. I mean, Blurb Book IS owned BY Bookmaker (one of Blurbarians). If you notice the copyright information appeared in first few pages in published book, you’ll notice that there is copyrighted information. That is where you want to put some of copyright information there, and it can be easily done inside Blurb Booksmart.

Whatever you published and ordered a book, it IS your book!

As for the way you want to "own" your own design, it can be easily done with a variety of applications, including the applications you mentioned above. However, if you prefer more professional, high-quality full-bleed layout design, it can be easily done with Adobe InDesign or Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, where it produce very high-end professional result. The catch is a deep learning curves to learn how to use Adobe creative suite application(s). Of course, I recognize that not everyone own Adobe app or not.

As for PDF’s case, I am not sure if you want to upload PDF into Blurb BookSmart… It is NOT possible to do so at this time. As you might know, it has been frequently asked by other creative professionals about this very issue. And there is a couple of responses to that discussion from Blurb staff, and this feature will be included in some day.

As for your desire to create your own page templates with Word or OpenOffice, go for it. But understand that you might run into more challenging tasks to convert these files into BookSmart, where it can understand the file format language such as JPG and PNG. I would imagine that you could create a PDF output from Word (and/or OpenOffice) as PDF format, but you still need to have imaging editor application such as Adobe Photoshop (or any other similar app) to produce two important features: sRGB colour profile and 300 pixel resolution. If you do this way, it can be easily imported into BookSmart.

However, I do not design my full-bleed layout design with Word or OpenOffice. I use Adobe Design Premium CS4, that includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and few other nice apps. I use Adobe CS4 every day and use Adobe apps for years and years.

Perhaps someone else, who has some experience with alternative workaround similar to your situation working with Word and/or OpenOffice app and work their own templates and about their experience in converting PDF files (the ones created by Word or OpenOffice) into Booksmart… and about their experience with published book – that originally started with Word or OpenOffice.

But I am afraid that it might means more work for you if you do this way your own using Word or OpenOffice. It is just that Word is a word processing app, etc. Powerpoint is a presentation app, it is designed for presentation-style. Booksmart is meant to create your book by ordinary individual who wants to create their own self-published book. In that case, Blurb is unique POD provider

There are some possible problem that you might run into importing your PDF-generated files created by Word or OpenOffice – due to layout size in height and width. If you do this venue with more professional applications, like what I had mentioned about Adobe, this allows you to have more control of specific layout size, the way you want it to be the way YOU WANT IT to be, then you can put these your-own layout files into BookSmart.

Well, you mentioned about watermark in PDF, it is meant to be used for preview purpose around with your home printer – to get a roughly better understanding on how your published book going to be like.

Hope someone can help you with better insight or alternative workaround workflow similar to your specific desire working with Word and/or OpenOffice apps.

Hope some of info helps. Cheers, Brian {a passionately Blurbarian}

Posted by
brianbonitz
Apr 20, 2009 10:13pm PDT
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brianbonitz