Web Features

Updated Book Preview

Locked up this thread, as it’s getting fairly large and out of date. But I did want to keep the conversation going on Book Preview.

This afternoon, we released an updated version. Most of the changes are under-the-hood kind of things. But there are a few new things you may notice:

  1. Each book’s cover now "flips" like a hard cover book.
  2. You can now "move around" on a zoomed-in page, so you can get close up views on several areas of a page without needing to repeatedly zoom in and out. 
  3. You may notice some slightly faster loading times due to some streamlining we did with various Book Preview components. Though, again, this depends a lot on the contents of each book. And, we will continue to work on faster loading times.  
  4. Finally, here’s a neat little trick that we’re not talking about anywhere else just yet—you can now link to a specific "page" within your Book Preview. Like so.To do this with your own book, just copy your Book Preview URL and then add /pages/<number>.

    So, for the example above, you’d start by copying the Book Preview URL: ttp://www.blurb.com/books/232763/

    Then to point to a specific page, and “pages” and a number between 1 and 22: http://www.blurb.com/books/232763/pages/18

    You can even point directly to a book’s back cover.

    Note: As page 1 equals the front cover, page 2 the inside flap, etc., the actual page numbers from the book aren’t the same as the numbers in the URL. Each single page is counted, so (for example) the first full 2-page spread of a book (after the disclaimer and title page) will usually be either pages 6&7 or pages 8&9 (if you have a Table of Contents).

Anyway, as always, we’d love to get your feedback on these changes, as well as the Book Preview feature overall.

Thanks,
Jack

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
JackLyon
Jul 31, 2008 6:08pm PDT
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JackLyon
 

Hello Jack,

That is awesome feature. Thanks for the heads up with the latest info on updated book preview.

Thanks much for *all* you do, Jack.

Sincerely,
Brian, a passionate Blurbarian

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jul 31, 2008 7:16pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

That is NEAT ! ! ! !

Thanks for leeting us know Jack, your team are great innovators.

.......Tony

p.s. Book Preview overall? The front of most books is boring. Title, copyright, etc. Then you get to the meat. It would great to be able to set the start page of the 15 page preview at the start of an interesting chapter or section or group of photos.

Otherwsie I love it.

Posted by
tfrankland
Aug 1, 2008 12:21am PDT
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tfrankland
 

100% agree with Tony about being able to specify where your 15 pages for preview begin.  It may even turn out that it might be, say, pages 45-60 that you want to exhibit.  Is such an option possible / feasible?

I also agree, though, that your tune-up to the Preview function is excellent! Thanks!

Teri

Posted by
hooloovoos
Aug 1, 2008 6:49am PDT
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hooloovoos
 

As a user of Mozilla Firefox, the books cannot be viewd in this browser.  I realise we are a minority, but we are around 20% and growing! ;-)

Posted by
omeyas
Aug 7, 2008 1:15am PDT
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omeyas
 

omeyas,

there’s a couple of threads on this topic, including some workarounds, hopefully this may help

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/6/topics/3439

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/1/topics/3235

...........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Aug 7, 2008 1:58am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Ok, thanks.  It’s probably because I use adblock then, there are a lot of sites I could not view without it! I’ll switch browsers when I want to view the books!

Posted by
omeyas
Aug 7, 2008 6:41am PDT
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omeyas
 

Can this Book Preview feature be used before the book is actually ordered and printed? In other words, can I use it during the book creation process?

 

Martin 

Posted by
Fluor
Aug 15, 2008 2:42pm PDT
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Fluor
 

Hi,

First, I love Blurb and have 6 books out there in the bookstore.

But… I’d like to make a loop of all of the books previews and play them in my gallery.  But I can’t find any way to download them or make it happen.

Your presentation is great – full screen – and letting me download and present these previews will lead to more sales for all of us.  All I need to know is how to do it.

Thanks.

Frank
ftobe@silcom.com

Posted by
ftobe
Oct 25, 2008 9:52am PDT
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ftobe
 

Hi Frank –

I love your Black and White Series book. At this point, there’s no direct way to display Book Preview content on other sites, though that is something we’re currently researching. In the meantime, many authors have been successful in using Blurb Badges on their own sites. Definitely not the same thing, but you can at least link directly to each book’s preview.

Thanks,
Jack

Posted by
JackLyon
Oct 27, 2008 2:44pm PDT
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JackLyon
 

I agree withe Teri.  It would be nice to specify which pages are previewed.  My children’s book is short and the preview is actually the whole story. 

Angela

Posted by
baron94
Oct 28, 2008 6:02am PDT
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baron94
 

I don’t see any previews.  All I see is a yellow background with a little white circle in the middle.  What’s up

/

Posted by
Rivermill
Nov 3, 2008 2:58pm PDT
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Rivermill
 

RM: When you see that circle on the table-top it’s to tell you to go and have a nice glass of wine. When you get back you should find your book ready to go. (It takes quite a time to download.)

P

 

Posted by
peteshep
Nov 30, 2008 3:10pm PDT
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peteshep
 

Rivermill – If you’ve just uploaded your book, it may take a few minutes for the preview to render properly. Once that’s happened, though, it should load pretty fast. I successfully previewed both your and peteshep’s books. Loading time took about two seconds from my home connection (Comcast cable).

If you’re experiencing really long load times, try clicking on the "Have a slow connection?" link, on the lower right hand corner of your Book Preview page.

Posted by
JackLyon
Nov 30, 2008 7:05pm PDT
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JackLyon
 

Jack:

The American Dreaming:

When are you going to provide that Californian cable all round the internet? 

I’ve just timed on my broadband connection 100 secs to first display of cover.

http://www.blurb.com/books/440309

"Have a slow connection?" shows after about 10secs, displays the cover much quicker, but then delays, appearing to load each change until the book disappears altogether.

Posted by
peteshep
Nov 30, 2008 10:03pm PDT
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peteshep
 

peteshep – I would love it if everyone around the world had the fastest broadband possible. Until then… We’ve done quite a bit of work to optimize the Book Preview for all connection types. But, the fact remains that most Blurb books are filled with big, beautiful photos that can come with some fairly serious file sizes. We’ve tried to hit that sweet spot between making file sizes as small as possible while not massively degrading image quality. It’s something we will continue to monitor and tweak as time goes on.

Posted by
JackLyon
Dec 1, 2008 1:23pm PDT
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JackLyon
 

Sure Jack, I meant to encourage Rivermill to persevere.  I first thought mine was stuck, but now I know to wait.. They haven’t come back to this thread, but I just checked their Preview and it’s working normally. Very well presented photos of the Loire. Well worth the wait.

P   :-)

 

Posted by
peteshep
Dec 2, 2008 12:10am PDT
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peteshep
 

Why does book preview not allow to view ALL pages in  book?
Or at least give us the option if we want to let potential buyers to see all pages or only part of the book.

 Artemis

 

Posted by
artami
Dec 6, 2008 8:35am PDT
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artami
 

I would love to be able to choose the specific pages for the preview.  That would give us better marketing control of our product. A photography book can’t be front-loaded or the book loses steam, but for the purpose of a preview, I wouldn’t mind being able to showcase the most compelling photos no matter their position in the book.

Posted by
Cully
Dec 6, 2008 11:42pm PDT
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Cully