General Interest

Locked Blurb BookSmart 1.9 is now available. UPDATE: Patch released Oct. 11

UPDATE: New patch released Oct. 11

Thought you’d all like to know that we issued a patch to BookSmart 1.9 late yesterday. The patch should resolve some of the issues that many of you encountered with our new build. Thanks to everyone for their great feedback and bug reports.

**

We are very happy to announce that Blurb BookSmart version 1.9 is now available. Not only have we listened to your feedback by focusing on stability and flexibility, but we’re also pleased to introduce some new tools to help with book design and collaboration.

Forum users are seeing this first. We’re not going to publicly announce this version until we’ve given everyone in the Forums an opportunity to give it a good run. We know you’ll have feedback that’s both good and bad and we want to hear it – let us know your thoughts in this thread.

Please keep in mind: While we did a rigorous amount of testing, there may be some issues found in this release. This is true of any initial version release of any software. We will immediately announce any necessary patch releases here as needed.

As requested, here’s a quick list of some of the features that are new to 1.9:

  • Community Book – Blurb authors can now invite contributors to share content and contribute to a community book project.
  • Page Layouts – We’ve added over 45 new page layouts to each book size. Modern designs, photo collages, yearbook pages, and more.
  • New design elements – 60 new color-customizable backgrounds, ornaments, and borders are available in all trim sizes.
  • New themes – 12 new book themes are included in nearly all trim sizes to help you get a jump start on Wedding books, Travel books, and Cookbooks.
  • SmugMug Slurper – Slurp your SmugMug photos directly into BookSmart
  • More Metrics – BookSmart now shows additional book measurements in metrics.
Thanks to everyone here who has patiently waited. Finally, if anyone that was experiencing technical problems with 1.8, please contact Technical Support immediately if 1.9 does not fix those problems.




Download Blurb BookSmart version 1.9.0

Posted by
JackLyon
Oct 11, 2007 10:18am PDT
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JackLyon
 

Thanks for putting a list together of new features.

I’ll certainly be checking out the community book option – this sounds ideal for a project I’ve been thinking about.

Is it worth reminding people that if they open previous books in 1.9 they will be updated and they won’t be able to go back and open them 1.8.1? Hopefully something people won’t need to do, but it’s always worth having a backup!

Anyway, congratulations on the new release.

regards,
David

Posted by
dcragg
Oct 11, 2007 10:25am PDT
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dcragg
 

Running it now. Loving it so far and the Community Book is going to really be great. I’d been thinking of a way to do that for some time.

Questions:

I imported my 1.8 produced book.. have noticed a couple problems. Then started a fresh book to see if the same problems were there.. they were not. Should I post here? Or would you prefer I email direct?

Also, you still have the watermark on the preview to pdf. Is there any way to turn that off?

I understand you’re not charging for the software because you want people to buy books from Blurb and not just lay them out in your free software and have them printed elsewhere. I do understand that. But what about allowing a non-print quality version to be output without the watermarks "For Proofing Only" line?

Still no way to move text around on the page.  Not a biggy since you offer so many layout options. But it’d still be nice. Any chance of that coming in the next release? Or, have I just missed it and it’s already there?

Lots of very cool additions for sure! Can’t wait to layout another book! Great job and it seems faster too! It’s just that there seems to be a problem with functionality using my already laid out 1.8 version. Will post here if you like, or by email. Let me know. 

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 11, 2007 10:38am PDT
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skiphunt
 

But wait…theres more :-)

With the 1.9 release we have also moved our softcover standard 8×10 and 10×8 books to the Indigo press. This means that if you order hardcover and softcover of the same title you are getting the identical output for your book pages.

More detail here .

Best,

—bw

Posted by
bruce
Oct 11, 2007 10:44am PDT
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bruce Icon_staff
 

all i have to say is FINALLY….now if you could only fix your printing issue because Im still waiting on a response about pages that BLURB forgot to print.

Posted by
JRPassions
Oct 11, 2007 11:50am PDT
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JRPassions
 

skiphunt –

Thanks for the feedback. If you have any bugs, suggestions, or additional feedback to report about 1.9, absolutely feel free to post them in this thread.

If your stuck with a specific issue around importing and/or producing your book, please contact Customer Support, and they’ll help you out.

Thanks,
Jack

Posted by
JackLyon
Oct 11, 2007 11:51am PDT
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JackLyon
 

I just sent the alleged bug report and details via email to technical support. I don’t want to post them here since I’m not absolutely certain it’s not user error on my part.

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 11, 2007 12:03pm PDT
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skiphunt
 

Hi! And thanks for your efforts and Booksmart 1.9 which look really good.

I installed it, no problems! However, my question that I placed a month earlier still remains: does it still save on C:\ the book by default? How can I change that? I have not found something in an probable Options menu.

Please guide me..

Posted by
larios
Oct 11, 2007 12:11pm PDT
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larios
 

I just tried my original book in v1.8. Went to print, and print to pdf. The resulting file was only 50MB instead of 800MB v1.9 generated when I did the exact same thing. Appears to be a glitch/bug in v1.9.

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 11, 2007 2:25pm PDT
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skiphunt
 

Just did another test creating a NEW book in v1.9. I just selected PhotoBook and slurped in a folder of 59 hirez images just to see if the print to pdf was just screwed up on my original v1.8 book that was imported in. The same thing happened. The resulting file too a very long time to generate and created a 700MB pdf file. I compared the 50MB pdf file that I generated from the v1.8 booksmart app… went to the same image used in both and looked at each pdf page at 100%. Both looked about the same. Only, the one generated from the v1.9 app was 700MB and the one generated from the v1.8 app was only 50MB for essentially the same amount of data. Looks like a bug to me.

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 11, 2007 2:47pm PDT
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skiphunt
 

Hi skiphunt –
The PDF is much larger in v1.9 b/c it is now outputting as a high-resolution PDF. We had customer feedback that text and some photos were being visually degraded when the PDF was saved out in previous versions of BookSmart. While heavier, this will provide more accurate and legible output for proofing.

If desired, Adobe Acrobat Pro will let you downsample as one of the Save As.. options.

Thanks – Chad, VP, Product Design

btw – nice avatar. looks like we were out on similar blue-sky days :-)

Posted by
CapnScrappy
Oct 11, 2007 4:08pm PDT
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CapnScrappy
 

Thanks. I compared the 50MB version from v1.8 and the same image output to pdf from v1.9 and could not see much different at all.. even up at 100%.. though the v1.9 pdf version was slightly better… just not 650MB better.

I do have acrobat pro, but I get no options when outputting/printing to pdf from booksmart. Are you saying I have to output the 700MB version, then open that up in acrobat pro, THEN downsample?

Yes, looks like a similar day for your avatar too! Were you in the Mexican desert high on peyote brujo and listening to Leonard Cohen as well?!   ;-) 

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 11, 2007 4:23pm PDT
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skiphunt
 

In a word – Great!

In a few more words… Nice upgrade to 1.8. Seems faster. Integration with iPhoto 08 makes such a BIG difference – no more exporting, then looking for files, and clogging up my HD with duplicate photos, etc. Many new backgrounds to choose from which are great, and i like how you can customise the individual colours – same for the new ornaments which are a nice touch. There are a few new page layouts, but nothing spectacuar IMO.

Obviously, i haven’t been using it for long, but so far i am pleased with what i see. However, i would have liked a bit more flexibility with individual photo layout. For instance, in iPhoto there are photo borders which are tilted – which can look really nice, and one particular effect i love is many small photo frames that house only one picture. This can also look great, please tell me if its in 1.9 and i’ve missed it, or just take it as a suggestion for the next upgrade!

One other point – I bought my first Mac 2/3 months ago – Mac Mini 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, and its a powerhouse. Only once has it crashed – if you can call it that – iPhoto unexpectedly quit, but that’s it. HOWEVER, today, after 5 minutes of using BookSmart 1.9, I get a daunting message on my screen – Mac OS X needs to Restart. Now of course this could be a coincidence, but it seems very odd. Once i restarted, it said Mac OS X had a problem, rather than singling out BookSmart, which is good – i think. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that was the only "bug"  i’ll ever come across using 1.9!!

Anyway – sorry for going on! In short, i’m very impressed with the new version of BS… (probably shouldn’t call it that, right?). Not so much many NEW features (new places to bring in photos and a collaborative tool) but existing features are much more expanded and customisable, which will be very beneficial to me.

Well, I only found out about Blurb 2 weeks ago, after realising iPhoto was far too expensive. Since then, i ordered a test book, which turned out amazing. And i have just bought 3 more books. The ONLY thing that slightly tinged the Blurb experience for me was the delivery charge of at least £9 to the UK. This has now changed to about £3! And now the software has just been updated, so i feel like i have joined the Blurb community at just the right time!

P.S. i ordered an Apple iPhoto Book anyway, before finding out about Blurb, and it still hasn’t arrived. I ordered on 23rd September… On the other hand, my Blurb book arrived in 7 working days.

I know i’m a little off the topic now, but i’m just showing my appreciation for all the hard work the Blurberati have put in to offer such great services, software and products, at such riduculous prices!

Thanks again,

Regards, James

Posted by
jameslupton
Oct 11, 2007 4:52pm PDT
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jameslupton
 

That crash you’re talking about is called a Kernel Panic.. goes to smoked out screen and says you must restart your mac. I got the same thing too with v1.9 but only once. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

Overall, I’m liking v1.9. I was mistaken about having acrobat pro. I don’t have it on my laptop but have it on my desktop and was able to save out a lower res pdf file by changing the pdf settings on export. 

I tried again on my MacBookPro and even though I don’t have Acrobat Pro on my laptop, I selected Acrobat 7 PDF for the printer. That gave me some "printer settings" and was able to change the DPI setting anywhere from 72dpi on up to 4000dpi. That created a pdf MUCH faster for quick proofing.

Is there ANY chance of gettings a version of BookSmart 1.9 that has a pdf output locked out for anything other than 72dpi? I was hoping to use BookSmart to create "ezines" that would be used as marketing tools online to drive sales to the hard copy through blurb.

Also, is it my imagination.. or do imported photos actually look a little better in v1.9 than in v1.8?  When I was laying out my first book a couple of nights ago in v1.8 the images looked fine, but didn’t quite "pop" like they do when viewing in Photoshop CS2. Now, after importing the same hirez images into v1.9.. I’d swear they look to have that "pop" I was missing. Is that just my imagination? 

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 11, 2007 5:06pm PDT
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skiphunt
 

I just had a quick look though the upgrade last night and was a bit disappointed.

My recollection was that over the last 2 months since I found Blurb, a lot of people were asking for a way to change the default font – unless I’ve missed it, I don’t see that that has happened, although some of the themes have different fonts than previous. 

Also, although there are now more  layouts, many were asking for customizable layouts – the ablility to move, rotate and resize photo boxes. I also haven’t seen that in the new release. In other words I see more choice of the same old  ideas, but little in new funtionality.

If anyone who has spent more time in it than I has found something really new that I’ve missed, please let me know.

Dale 

Posted by
dwags
Oct 12, 2007 4:47am PDT
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dwags
 

First of all: Kudos to the people that have probably been working 24/7 to get this release out of the door. I’m glad it finally works with iPhoto ‘08 as I really hate to have to get my photos from Flickr (slow downloads, etc).

Still, in my opinion the biggest point at the moment for version 2.0 is to get this baby to run FASTER. The current version is dead slow on my Macbook 2Ghz with 2GB Memory, imagine how fast it goes on my girlfriend’s Macbook with just 1GB of memory.

The price that Blurb charges for printing a book is unprecedented, but the slow response time of the software (and therefore the long time needed to edit a book) kind of makes it a money vs time issue. I am still going to keep on trying to make our first photo book, and hope the end product will be worth the time ;)

Posted by
cbetta
Oct 12, 2007 7:20am PDT
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cbetta
 

I want to ask a couple questions/requests regarding your 1.9 software that I’d prefer to ask via private email. Is there someone I can email direct for a couple specific questions/requests?

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 12, 2007 8:29am PDT
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skiphunt
 

Some comments on vz 1.9.  I published 2 books with it yesterday, just after it was made available to the forum readers.  Two problems and one feature request.

  Problem.  Spell check crashes the program as it finishes scanning the text and the spell check corrections are not saved first.  It did this repeatedly.  I had to abandon spell check.  I use a newer PC with 2 gigs ram.

  Problem.  As I was installing images on my pages, I had problems with swapping images from one page node to nodes on another page.  Sometimes it worked properly.  Other times the swap affected images in nodes neighboring those I selected, or put them into the last page, not the image nodes I wanted.  It was time consuming to find and correct the errors.  When the software put the image into the last page, it shifted forward all of the images from the page worked on to the end.  It then became necessary to determine where the desired page node was, after all the images had shifted forward and the possibility of large error was introduced.

 *  Feature request.  It would be great if the order info  <del>-  user ID, password, quantities, soft/hard cover,  credit card info etc.  -</del>  were obtained at the time of creaing the book, in the software on my computer and uploaded with the book pages, instead of requiring a second session of data input through a web connection after the book was uploaded to the Blurb site.  I uploaded my final book last evening, and walked away (went to bed) for the 1/2 hour process, but the order wasn’t complete until I sat down this morning to finalize with my user ID and choices.  It required a second step that introduced an additional session with Blurb and an undesirable delay.  With this feature, my book would have been in production immediately as I slept, or as I handled other business, .  ROES software functions in this fashion.

Posted by
Waltb
Oct 12, 2007 8:38am PDT
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Waltb
 

The two books I ordered yesterday and this morning I’m told will take 11 calendar days in production.  That seems excessive.  It that normal?  It is slower than my previous experience.  I was expecting 3 days.  I need the order much faster.

Posted by
Waltb
Oct 12, 2007 8:43am PDT
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Waltb
 

I’ve opened my project a few times in 1.9 and while it looks nice, I can’t change a thing!  The text is still spaced out wrong from your "dancing text bug" and if I add so much as a space, the entire program crashes.  The thought of starting over on a very text-heavy book is a little daunting.  So far… nothing but disappointed.

Posted by
joesgirljeri
Oct 12, 2007 8:49am PDT
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joesgirljeri
 

I was one of the unfortunate souls who had a large project 2/3 completed when the system started locking up. I have been waiting for over two months for the update to complete the book. Last night, I used the new software for the first time and was very impressed. The software worked almost perfectly and was much faster than the previous version. Thanks so much for taking your time to release this version. I encountered one small glitch  which might have been user error. When I tried to change some of the text in a header, I received the standard error message saying something like, "Booksmart was forced to shut down, etc." I went back in and everything worked fine after that. I will admit that everything I have done using the new version is pretty basic because I am just trying to finish the book I started several months ago. However, I am very pleased with 1.9 so far. 

Posted by
wtmarks
Oct 12, 2007 10:46am PDT
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wtmarks
 

If you downloaded v1.9 yesterday… where do you get the update patch and install? Or, do we just delete the one from yesterday and re-download?

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 12, 2007 12:44pm PDT
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skiphunt
 

Jack;

What problems does the update patch resolve & is it a patch file – or a new download of the full file?

Thanks & Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Oct 12, 2007 2:34pm PDT
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lkb-28
 

Hi,

Jack celebrated the release of BookSmart 1.9 by eating seafood for dinner. Consequently, he is out sick today. That aside, the patch is a full-on new download, not a patch file. Just go to Help on the nav bar and download the latest version.

As always, let us know if you experience any problems.

– Kathy 

Posted by
kathybad
Oct 12, 2007 2:50pm PDT
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kathybad
 

So I checked the version from my download last night -  # 1.9.0.20357 and then followed the instructions above to download the release with the patch.

When I open the "new" download, the version  number is still the same. Was there a revised 1.9 or not????

Dale 

Posted by
dwags
Oct 12, 2007 7:29pm PDT
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dwags
 

Hi – I have a question for those of you who had books that would not open in 1.8 and were waiting for weeks/months for 1.9 to come out. Could you now open your book?

I was working on a book of over 200 pages. I was almost done – over 95% complete. I’m guessing I had over 150 VERY emotional hours of writing and laying out photos in this book (it was a memorial book about my 15 year old lab that passed away. All of a sudden one day it wouldn’t open. I immediately filed an error report and the short version is… after FIVE MONTHS of waiting with intermittent customer support culminating in answers like “sorry”. I STILL CAN NOT OPEN MY BOOK.

My entire experience has been absolutely unacceptable if you ask me…

Does ANYONE have any suggestions? Recreating this book from scratch would be impossible.

I think I’m going to snap.

Kolin

Posted by
polark13
Oct 12, 2007 10:11pm PDT
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polark13
 

Dale,

The original version was 1.9.0.20247 , so you obviously downloaded after the update.

regards,
David

Posted by
dcragg
Oct 14, 2007 5:39am PDT
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dcragg
 

Good Morning,

My experience with 1.9 is that the user interface seems very slow, compared with 1.8.

Specially when typing into a book, it takes a couple of seconds to catch up the keyboard.

I could see a couple of minor bugs, a page unexplicably would not set proper footer justifications. Another minor is that asking for header none… well nothing happend. 

Regards,

 

Pablo 

Posted by
pmiliani
Oct 17, 2007 6:00am PDT
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pmiliani